Five Things Boxing Movies Get Wrong about Boxing

There are reasons we watch certain movies and it has a lot to do with the fact that they’re made to look as impressive as possible with the choreography and the action that pulls people in. The drama that a boxing movie includes is often seen as filler by a lot of people since the matches are usually the best parts, though some might want to disagree. But the fact is that movies do get a lot of things wrong about boxing since, as I mentioned, they’re attempting to tell a story and make it look as glamorous as possible, or as realistic, and a lot of times they go a little too over the top and add in too much or too little detail when it comes to the actual match. The point in a movie is to look good, not to get everything accurate, but the unfortunate part is that when things look too good then it doesn’t come out feeling real since if anyone’s ever watched a real boxing match things aren’t quite as smooth as they appear in the movies and the boxers aren’t bound to look as good in the act. Like a lot of things in life, a boxing match is rough and kind of hard to watch at times since it takes time to get into a rhythm.

Here are a few things that boxing movies get wrong about boxing.

5. Referees won’t stand idly by while a boxer is getting their face smashed in.

Remember in the original Rocky when he kept leading with his face? Or how about when Apollo was teeing off on him without mercy? Referees are there to protect the boxers, not watch them get drilled into the mat. If they feel that a boxer can’t protect themselves, meaning that their guard isn’t coming up, they’re not responding to the ref’s summons to defend themselves, or simply don’t respond to anything, most refs will call the match since it’s their reputation and the boxer’s well-being on the line, and they don’t want to risk either since the matches are usually pretty brutal anyway.

4. The 180 degree spin after getting nailed isn’t realistic.

Anyone that’s ever been punched can tell you that it doesn’t feel good, but a typical punch, even one from a professional fighter, isn’t going to have the kind of force that’s needed to spin a person around in a half-circle since that kind of force might snap a person’s neck and seriously injure or even kill them since there’s the added impact of falling down to consider. In the ring, they might have a bit of a buffer with the mat and the ropes, but there’s still too much force in such a punch to be safe since that kind of impact would likely break a bone and cause other internal damage that couldn’t be seen. But this is the kind of impact that people would likely argue about since it’s highly theoretical and more for effect in the movies.

3. There’s not as much drama in the ring in real life.

Boxers might talk to each other a bit in the ring, but it’s not a good idea, since the best way you can say something in a boxing match is to let your fists do the talking. Wasting your breath on taunting or talking to your opponent isn’t smart since a fighter needs every breath they can get in order to last each round. This is an intense sport that takes a lot of each competitor and breathing is of great importance to each fighter, so talking isn’t a smart idea no matter how well-conditioned they are. With every movement, they need every bit of wind they possess, and talking just wastes it.

2. On average, a lot of punches won’t land the way they’re supposed to.

How many straight shots have you ever seen a boxer take? They might endure flurries and a few well-timed hits that come one after the other, that’s not hard to see. But the fighters are trained to move, dodge, and evade as much as possible, and simply standing still isn’t a great idea since it’s going to allow the other boxer to inflict as much damage as possible. Moving about allows each boxer to avoid at least a portion of each punch unless it lands just the way it needs to, in which case they’re kind of out of luck.

1. It takes a while for each boxer to get the rhythm of their opponent, movies are a little too choreographed.

Sometimes it can take a round or two, or more depending on the fighter, to really understand the methods of the other fighter and to get into a rhythm that will allow a boxer to really see and anticipate what’s coming. Of course, the other boxer might see this and switch things up without any warning, so each boxer needs to know how to defend themselves at a moment’s notice. In the movies, the boxers appear to weave their way into a well-choreographed dance from the start and it doesn’t feel as natural.

It’s all about looking good on camera, but getting things right would be nice now and then.

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