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There are similar questions to this one across the web, but I think the problem I have is specific enough that it deserves its own question.

I'm an amateur welterweight fighting at 69kg and 1.78m.

I've had 3 amateur fights, that went the following way:

  • 1st fight: win by TKO on the second round, caught my opponent with a right cross
  • 2nd fight: win by KO on the opening seconds of the first round, got him with a leaping left hook
  • 3rd fight: loss by TKO in the third round, ref stopped it when I could barely stand

Quite the violent experience, especially for an amateur welterweight. This is because for many years before joining the gym I train at, I always trained in this Mike Tyson-esque style which made me develop above average power for my weight class (that also contributed to me gassing out and getting stopped on my 3rd fight). Despite all this, I have never felt nervous or held back in the ring. And that is where my issue begins.

When I'm at the gym, I'm always scared to spar. My most valuable assets are explosiveness and power, which I obviously can't use in sparring. That means that whenever I spar, I barely hit my opponent because I'm doing movements that aren't really natural to me. I am also, for some reason, almost always scared during sparring, and that's not the case in the fights I had at all - which is weird, because my sparring partners aren't trying to hurt me.

My question then is: given the whole situation, how can I feel more comfortable in sparring?

Thank you in advance.

  • Have you tried anything from those other, similar, posts? If so, what have you tried and why didn't it help? – Mike P Feb 10 at 11:48
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Honestly, your only recourse is to spar. If you're worried about hurting your opponent, ask someone if they'll be willing to wear the full protective gear for a match so that you can practice counter-punching at force. You need to get used to getting hit and then striking back, and one way to avoid being worried about hurting your opponents is to pad them up (and, of course, train with someone who's skilled enough that they know how to roll with the blows so that they're not relying on that padding, which tends to do badly in preventing head injuries). If you're still worried about sparring even with your partner being better protected, you might try running punching drills where the other guy stands near padding or a heavy bag and you practice defense, absorbing, blocking, or dodging blows, and then when you unload your punch, the other guy steps aside enough for you to hit the bag as if they'd dodged the other direction.

  • Would protective gear really help though? Most people don't mind getting bruised or cut, it's more the concussive damage to the head. Great drill suggestion though. – Saucy Goat Feb 11 at 20:25

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