I had my first sparring session earlier tonight. This was basically a training session to match people up for a “smoker” we’re doing on May 12.
I haven’t sparred in probably close to a year when there weren’t enough guys interested to keep it going. I got matched up with a guy named Jeff I’d never met before, who ended up being a pretty good dude. I felt like I did a pretty good job, but exactly two times I left myself open and exactly two times he fucking cleaned my clock with a right cross. So I’m sporting a pretty nice shiner around my right eye.
I actually felt like I generally did well. I did a good job of avoiding a lot of his punches, and I caught him with some nice combos. My big mistake, was weaving under his jab. I was setting myself up nicely for hooks and uppercuts to his ribs… but we weren’t wearing those giant boxing cups, so I didn’t take my shots. In hindsight, I should’ve just pulled my punches but instead I just left my big dumb face out there to get tattooed.
We went two rounds. The first was pretty even, a good feeling out. He came out tentative and I caught him with a real solid cross. That kind of woke him up and he caught me back, but it was a pretty even first go-around. The second round, oh boy. I did a fairly good job of making him fight my fight; I’m a southpaw, so I had him circling into my power punch most of the round, but I got gassed and toward the end of the round he hit me like he had bricks in his gloves. I got pretty wobbly-legged and was sucking wind, and though I managed to finish with a couple jabs and some strong dodging, I definitely stumbled getting out of the ring.
Overall, it was fucking exhilarating. Most of my previous sparring was with a coach, so he was pulling punches and using it as a teaching session (which I loved), but this was the first time really throwing hands with someone. One of coaches came up to me after and said that if I wanted to do the smoker he’d probably match me up against Jeff because “people would pay to watch that shit.”
Quite obviously, though, I’m willing to do it for free.