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A Guide to the Night Before Your Boxing Match

How to prepare
Publish Date: 03/23/2020
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

This article was researched and created by an experienced fighter and boxing enthusiast, Lorenzo from Extremestrikers.com

Before a boxing fight, there are several things you should do to prepare. From your diet, to getting enough rest, to reducing stress, you should take these preparations seriously if you want to perform well. Here are three things you should focus on in the days leading up to and the night before your boxing fight. 

What Your Diet Should Consist of Before a Boxing Fight

Your diet is just as essential to your success in the ring as your physical training routine. Your body needs the right fuel in the week before the fight so you can perform at your best. When you’re planning your pre-fight diet, you should focus on water, carbs, protein, and sodium.

  • Water – In the days before the fight, drink a lot of water and urinate frequently, to flush out your body. Do this up until one hour before the fight. At that point, only sip water when you need it. You don’t want a stomach full of water to make you feel tired or bloated during the match.
  • Carbohydrates – Boxing is a high-intensity sport so you need plenty of energy to fuel you – during training and before the fight. A high-carb diet is, therefore, highly recommended for boxers. High-carb foods you should include in your diet are oatmeal, beans and lentils, pumpkin, whole wheat bread, and quinoa.
  • Protein – When you scale back the intensity of your training in the days before the fight, you slow down the rate of your muscle recovery. To regain this after the weigh-in, eat lean protein foods like turkey, lean ground beef, low or non-fat dairy, fish, nuts, seeds, and eggs.
  • Sodium – In the days before a fight, it’s good to reduce sodium in your diet to help with weight loss. The night before, however, you should increase the amounts of sodium again. This helps you retain water in your body. Foods that are high in sodium include soy sauce, cured meat and fish, pickles, salted or roasted nuts, and canned vegetables.    

The Amount of Rest Needed Before a Fight

Overtraining is one of the worst ways to prepare for a fight. While you shouldn’t rest completely, you should lighten your routine in the week or two before the bout. You shouldn’t train for more than an hour each day. Apart from training, it’s also important to adjust your sleep schedule, preparing yourself to get plenty of rest before the fight.

  • Sparring – You might consider stopping sparring altogether for the week before the fight. If you’ve trained enough, sparring more in the week beforehand won’t bring you any more benefits. You might even have an accident during sparring, due to nerves before the upcoming fight. Stick to other methods for training just before the fight.
  • Cardio – Cardio should be limited as well. Focus more on basics and technical aspects like jump rope, speedball, or shadowboxing. Don’t overdo it with cardio.
  • Weight Training – You should keep weightlifting to a minimum too. You don’t want to work out too hard and show up sore to your fight.
  • Establish a Sleep Schedule – Rest before a fight isn’t just about training. You should strive for a consistent sleep schedule in the week before your match. Go to bed early and wake up early for several days beforehand, just like you would on the day of the fight. This way, your routine won’t be completely thrown on fight day.

 How to Deal with Stress before a Fight

  • Listen to Your Coach – If your nerves are flaring before a fight, one of the best things you can do is listen to the advice of your coach. They’re there to guide you through training and advise on the best way to prepare. Your coach has likely been in your position before, so rely on their tips and expertise to help you calm your nerves.
  • Establish a Mindset – Eating right and physical training won’t do you much good if your head isn’t in the right place. Worrying about your upcoming fight is normal, but you should take active steps to adopt a confident mindset throughout your preparations. The best way to help with nerves before a fight is to get plenty of restful sleep. Establish a nighttime routine, taking time to relax and make yourself comfortable. The night before the fight, check you have your boxing gloves, boxing shoes, and all your gear ready to go so you can relax as well.

Final Thoughts on the Night Before a Boxing Match

If you’ve prepared adequately, then you’re much more likely to have success in the ring. By looking after your diet, your training, your sleep schedule, and your stress levels, you’ll have good preparation habits in place.

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