Before you throw yourself into boxing, here are some top tips on getting started in the sport, ideal for a beginner.

  • Find a good gym with experienced boxing coaches . Your number one priority when boxing has to be safety.

  • Work constantly on cardiovascular training . Running, cycling and skipping are great ways for boxers to build endurance and improve footwork.

  • Gain power by hitting the heavy boxing bags . The main purpose of the heavy bag is to develop power in your punches. Power in punching comes from understanding that the punch is not just coming from your arm or shoulder but from your whole body.

  • Build muscle mass . Weight training, sit-ups, pull-ups, dips and push-ups all help boxers build that all-important muscle mass.

  • Spar with other boxers in your gym . If you are sparring, try to spar with someone that is on your own skill level.

  • Shadowboxing . Practicing your skills in front of a mirror and focusing on defense skills and correcting techniques is highly beneficial. To make shadowboxing work, the boxer must have a mental picture of their opponent.

  • Switch boxing stances . Changing which foot is in front helps the boxer become more versatile and able to switch tactics when required.

  • Eat healthily . A bad diet can ruin all that you have worked for on those hard training days.

  • Breathe out . When throwing a punch, breathe out. If the opponent manages to counter with a blow to the stomach when your lungs are full, this is enough to bring most people to their knees.

  • Learn how to wrap your hands for boxing . This helps prevent injury to the hands which take a lot of punishment. It’s best to get a good pair of well-padded bag gloves.

  • Avoid overtraining . Constant punching stresses your joints, bones and muscles. It especially puts strain on the tendons and ligaments, so plenty of time must be left between heavy bag sessions.

  • Train to win . When training, train as though you are training for the heavyweight championship of the world. Your opponent is unlikely to give you any mercy so train as though your life depends on it.

Getting involved with boxing

Most clubs provide coaching in boxing by fully-qualified coaches, as well as offering fitness and resistance training. Most clubs welcome total beginners, and people starting out will be fine in a tracksuit.

Club members are never forced to box competitively. In actual fact, relatively few do box competitively, but for those who want to (and who are good enough) there are many opportunities.

Amateur or Olympic-style boxing is a healthy, well-regulated sport operating under tight medical supervision and actually has an excellent safety record.