Friday, June 24, 2016

Boxers Determining The Right Weight Class

Adrien Broner looked like he was dreaming about a cheeseburger at the weigh-in after not eating for days
Boxers choose the weight class they feel is right for them for various reason. There are 17 standard weight classes. Among them are light flyweight, flyweight, bantamweight, lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight, middleweight, cruiserweight, heavyweight, super heavyweight ect. Some feel more comfortable fighting at the weight class closest to their natural weight, while others struggle by choosing a weight class well below their natural size. Some even choose their weight class based on their favorite boxer growing up.

However, what happens when a boxer struggles to maintain that weight (especially in the lighter weight classes). What happens when it becomes an issue for a boxer to make weight/reach the catchweight for their fight. Boxers are fined for not making weight, losing tens of thousands of dollars, as being heavier than the stipulated catchweight provides an undue advantage over an opponent, which can turn dangerous.

Some boxers like their food more than others, indulging in pork chops, steaks, ribs, French fries, hot dogs, cake and ice cream (*looks at Adrien Broner*). Broner famously had a problem making weight this year for his fight against challenger, Ashley Theophane. It resulted in Broner being stripped of the belt and being fined $50,000 which he had to pay to Theophane. Broner now states he has outgrown the lightweight division and will move up to welterweight - translation: he’s not giving up the pork chops.

Broner and Theophane were not overweight prior to training camp, but they don’t seem to be fighting at their natural weight. Translation: those two looked hungry at the weigh-in like they were having fantasy type visions of cheeseburgers (LOL). They looked exhausted and below their natural weight for the fight, due to intense training and trimming down to make the catchweight. Theophane only had a few pounds to lose. Broner had roughly 25-pounds to lose after indulging in his favorite foods between fights and missed it by a small margin at the weigh-in. Hence the fine.

Some boxers really appear to be naturally thin due to their metabolism (Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Guillermo Rigondeaux). However, others clearly make a disciplined effort to lose weight for the catchweight, as they don't maintain the stipulated weight for their weight class between fights.
If Broner feels he can comfortably fight in a new weight class, this should not pose a problem for him and may as well, as he is clearly unhappy trying to maintain his weight in the lightweight division. To go for days without eating, while running for hours days in a row, mentally and physically draining one’s self for each fight, will take its toll after a while.

Being a welterweight will not pose a risk to Broner’s health (provided he doesn‘t develop cholesterol problems from the pork chops and hot dogs). Therefore, he may as well leave the lightweight division. It can’t be worth the distress of slimming down with a hungry look in your eyes like a zombie. Looking like you’re about to raid a donut shop and jump into a pile of donuts face first.

Some boxing trainers insist, if you aren’t use to fighting in a different weight class, it can cause a problem. Therefore, boxers will have to weight the risks (*looks at Amir Khan*). This year, Amir Khan famously went up two weight classes to fight Canelo Alvarez, who is like a bull and strong as an ox. It worked for a little bit, but the moment Canelo correctly cut off the ring he knocked out Khan in a KO that is very uncomfortable to watch.

Khan was laid out on the canvas, looking like he was going. After a few minutes, medical staff were able to revive him and take the boxer to the hospital. As much as Khan had gained weight and some muscle, successfully hitting the catchweight, he was not use to fighting as a middleweight or facing one. It was an intense knockout. Thus far, the knockout of the year. Khan was not used to being hit with that type of force and could have paid for it with his health. It was too much of a jump in weight class.