The task of training a boxer either for fitness or for competition is something that has evolved as time has gone on. Of course, many are familiar with the standard equipment such as jump rope, speed bag, head gear for the purposes of sparring, as well as several methods that are used to help train the fighter in the defense of moving his head, which obviously will vary depending on both the trainer and the fighter.
|Credit: Boxing Buddy, Inc.|
While some ot the examples this observer has pointed out have been the status quo for many decades and it continues to this day, there have been methods as technology has improved that have gone from never seen or thought of before in the training of a fighter to now widely regarded methods of training as both technology and access to it has improved with time. One of the earliest examples that this observer for the purposes of historical context can remember seeing came during Evander Holyfield's first reign as World Heavyweight champion in the early 1990's.
Some may recall prior to his first title defense against George Foreman in April 1991, the then undefeated champion provided a one of a kind look into his training regimen that one might call revolutionary. Among the innovations that Holyfield along with his longtime strength and conditioning coach Tim Hallmark used were devices that helped the champion utilize his movement including tactics such as jumping over placed blocks that varied in height, as well as one device that sticks out in my memory where the champion was hooked into position by cables while wearing a specially designed vest that was used for the purposes of monitoring his heart rate and punch intensity as he shadow boxed. I can also recall at the time that in some ways these innovations were compared in sort of a tongue and cheek manner to the methods that were used by the character Ivan Drago portrayed by Dolph Lundgren in the 1985 film Rocky IV.
One of the things that Hallmark and Holyfield used in their training sessions however, that sticks out in my mind more than any other even over thirty-two years later was at the time a new twist on the use of another piece of standard Boxing equipment used through generations, the heavy bag that I had not seen before and shockingly have not seen used by any fighter since. An innovation where Holyfield would bend down and throw punches while Hallmark positioned behind the device and slightly above the bag, would move a bar up and down as Holyfield would move in a side to side motion. The device that was used I cannot recall by name three decades later, but it's use went beyond one seen in a standard heavy bag as it clearly was used to simulate a fighter fighting in close on the inside not only offensively, but also due to the bar being pressed was to train the fighter in the habit of moving his head side to side while fighting in close.
While I feel that the training methods that were used by Holyfield and Hallmark three decades ago could have benefited many fighters had the technology been more universally available. It was however, truly revolutionary for it's time and Holyfield was in many aspects a pioneer for being the first notable fighter to use such methods and innovations in his training in what became a Hall of Fame career.
It was those innovations that I saw as a fan all those years ago in the years before I began writing about and covering Boxing and by extension combat sports, that immediately came to mind when I was approached about a new innovation on the heavy bag. Boxing Buddy. Boxing Buddy, a product marketed and developed by Boxing Buddy, Inc. is the first of its kind Smart training system and device specifically designed for Boxing. It features soft adjustable arms that can fit around any existing Heavy bag or other round objects that simulate a fighting experience, which allows trainees to work not only on their offense, but it has an emphasis on teaching and honing defensive skills as well.
The Boxing Buddy device offers three modes that work in conjunction with the Boxing Buddy companion app including three modes with four difficulty levels including modes that define the speed of punches thrown by the trainee, Random sparring mode, which simulates a sparring session as well as custom mode and coach mode offing the first of it's kind Boxing training experience without going to a Boxing gym and all of the device functions can be controlled and tracked with the Bluetooth-enabled Boxing Buddy companion app.
Having seen clips of the device in action, this observer believes that much like what Tim Hallmark and Evander Holyfield were able to demonstrate in 1991 by incorporating then state of the art technology into Holyfield's training regimen, Boxing Buddy appears to be the next evolution in Boxing training that is portable and simple to use.
The Boxing world has definitely come a long way in the past three decades and as Holyfield's longtime trainer, manager, advisor, former fighter, and Hall of Famer in his own right, the late great Lou Duva said when questioned about the training being implemented by his fighter prior to facing George Foreman that technology was in his words "Here To Stay" and, despite coming up through the old school of Boxing, that he was only interested in what would work best for his fighters. There is no doubt that Holyfield's training methods in the 1980's and 1990's, which along with God given talent saw him win five world championships in the Cruiserweight and Heavyweight divisions, was truly groundbreaking and ahead of its time. Now, with the further innovation that is being brought to Boxing by Boxing Buddy, it has taken Holyfield's pioneering approach to training and conditioning one step further.
"And That's The Boxing Truth."
Photo included in this column Courtesy of Boxing Buddy, Inc. Used with permission.
To learn more about Boxing Buddy and to watch a video presentation of Boxing Buddy in action please visit Boxing Buddy, Inc. on Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/boxing-buddy-your-punching-bag-now-strikes-back--3?utm_campaign=boxing+buddy&utm_medium=pr&utm_source=pr
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