KXL Afternoon Host Dan Mitchinson has less than two months to train for his first boxing match. The idea came from the TV show ‘White Collar Brawlers.’
“They take two guys, who have never fought before, train them, then let them go at it in a boxing ring” says Mitchinson.
“I was working out at the gym, and a couple of guys saw me shadow boxing, and asked if I boxed. I told them I didn’t, but was just doing some cardio, and that’s when they asked if I had ever heard about the show. After doing some research, and thinking about it, I thought ‘why not, I could do that.’ So here I am.”
Mitchinson is training with two time world boxing champ Molly McConnell at her northeast Portland gym.
“What I’m finding out is there’s a lot of components to this. There’s the workouts and weights, lots of running and cardio, and of course learning how to punch and not get punched.”
“Offense wins fights, but defense can lose fights for you” says McConnell. “You’re not going to win a fight with good defense, but you can lose one if your defense isn’t good enough.”
Mitchinson says coordinating punches with footwork has been more challenging than he anticipated.
“I’m not a very coordinated person to begin with, but I have so much respect for how easy she (McConnell) makes this looks. What I’m learning is that footwork is so important, and sparing is like a dance. These guys (professional boxers) have moves like ballet performers. Good fighters really are light on their feet, and it truly is an art.”
Learning to take punches and not ‘flinch’ or close his eyes when a punch is coming at him, is also something Mitchinson is finding challenging.
“I have people who have been doing this a year and still do that. We call those ‘flinchers’ ” says McConnell. But it’s something she says Mitchinson will overcome with more practice.
“I’ll say this, once you get into a ring and start sparring with someone, you learn a couple of things about yourself” Mitchinson adds. “First, even though I eat healthy, and worked out before I started this (training), I’m nowhere near in as good as condition as I thought I was. And secondly, no matter how good an athlete you think you are, once you get into a ring, your body is in a ‘fight or flight mode,’ because nobody wants to get hit by someone else,” he says laughing.