I’m fighting this Sunday in another interclub, so for the next week I’m going to be going through the final steps to get ready. I have to make sure my weight is right (I have a kilo left to drop), go through the last couple of training sessions, and then rest up ready for the weekend.
Interclubs, known as smokers in the US, are non decision fights which give beginner fighters the chance to experience being in the ring, in front of a small crowd and spar with an opponent they haven’t trained with. Everyone wears 16oz gloves and shinguards and the referee keeps the fight controlled to stop anyone getting hurt. At the end of the three one-and-a-half minute rounds both fighters have their hands raised.
I need to go out and make it clear that I can win in a decision fight…
The whole point of an interclub is to let fighters experience a slightly higher pressure version of sparring, as a step between training and amateur competitions, without the pressure of a decision at the end of the fight. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t pressure when you’re taking part. While a record isn’t on the line, you still want to perform as well as you can, and show that if it was a decision fight then you would have beaten your opponent. You want to show that you could have won. This is especially true for me going into this weekend’s fight as I’m looking to move up from interclubs to decision fights and my trainer is going to be looking at my performance in this and my next interclub to decide if he thinks I’m ready to make the jump. It puts more pressure on me to perform well in the fight, and I need to go out and make it clear that I can win in a decision fight.
Because of this added pressure, the pre-fight nerves are going to be that bit stronger heading into this one, and I’m not sure how I’ll deal with them on the day. I’ve found in my previous fights that the process itself helps with nerves. Turn up at the gym, wait to weigh in, find out the fight order, get some food and wait till a couple of fights before hand, wrap hands, get my gear on, warm up and then I’ll get called in. I find that it gives me a sense of a set of steps, and once I’ve started there isn’t much choice but to keep climbing. I don’t want to let my trainer and training partners down, I definitely don’t want to let the guy who’s expecting to fight me down and I don’t want to let myself down. So I’ve got to go through with it and that knowledge does go some way to help to control the nerves.
This has been a shorter post, but I’m going to do a longer post in the future about the nerves before a fight, what I find helps me cope with them, and my mental approach to the nerves I feel before I get in the ring.
Keep an eye out for my weekly training diary next friday, as well as my post fight update on sunday!