As many of you may be aware, I have a fight coming up at the Hull Ice Arena which is headlined by the Tommy Coyle & Luke Campbell fight.
One thing people tend to think is that fights are ‘easy’ or ‘less important’ if they aren’t for a title or a belt. But they couldn’t be more wrong.
It’s the fights between the title fights that matter the most.
They are, so to speak, stepping stones; and without them, you simply wouldn’t get the chance to fight for titles.
They are the fights that enable you to be seen, they enable you to learn, to grown and to gain experience. They are inevitably the fights that set you apart from the ‘okay’ fighters, from the ‘journey men’.
They lead you to whatever it is that your future may hold. If you aim to be a world title holder, you have to prove yourself worthy of being given a shot. So it’s the ‘easy’ ‘less important’ fights that are the most important; and support really matters.
You not only have to prove to promoters, to managers, to press; but you also have to prove to the audience - the people that take their time to come and support you, to watch you fight, are hugely important. You have to prove yourself worthy of being watched.
The audience is probably the hardest to win over. As, unlike managers/promoters, they don’t specifically look for your technique or your footwork; just as the audience for Strictly Come Dancing doesn’t look for good or bad footwork from the dancers - they don’t care less about that. They couldn’t care less about how many punches have been thrown and how many punches have landed. They want to be excited. They want drama.
To be exciting, you have to get knocked down, or knock down your opponent.
Some boxers thrive off this, they go in looking to make an event, to make the drama; but not me.
I am there for the win, and I will be world level one day.
My next fight, although it may only be over 4 rounds, and not for a ‘title shot’ is hugely important to me; it is on Sky Sports.
My training has increased tenfold, as this is a fantastic opportunity for myself and my career.
But training doesn’t just mean my physical capabilities of lifting tyres, of running for miles, or for throwing as many punches for a set amount of minutes.
Training doesn’t just consist of physical exertion, or watching caloric intake. If anything, that is the easy part. Anyone could do that.
My main training comes in my mental discipline.
As I said, anyone can go for a run, anyone can train like a boxer; get up early and eat set out meals and take the right supplements. But not everyone has the psychological strength to beat the enemies that come with the territory of being in that ring.
I believe it’s your mental preparation that determines whether you win or lose.
Towards the end of your training camp you start to focus on the upcoming fight, and this takes you into a whole new world.
You have to focus, you have to beat your opponent mentally; to do so you become more at one with yourself, more alone in your thoughts. As your feet pound the streets, your mind is already waiting in that small square, it is already standing in a corner, facing your opponent.
As you eat your meals, you imagine each punch.
As you punch the bag, your whole fight is going through your mind.
It may only be 4 minutes in a small square surrounded by rope; but they are the most important 4 minutes of your life.
Good luck Tom from #TeamMonster!