It has been a long time coming for Melissa Drywater and Booyah Fight Team, but they have just completed their outdoor boxing ring.
Set up in Drywater’s backyard, she has been planning on building this ring for some time. Over the weekend, the finishing touches were put on the ring including an overhang to save it from rain.
“My fighters that are training now deserve to train in a ring,” said Drywater. “They need to learn the art of punching and working off the ropes. I thought well I’ll save up some money my guys deserve it. Everyone came out and helped out. I think it grew us closer together as a team.”
Before the ring was completed, Drywater’s boxers were not able to step in the ring. In fact, one of her fighters, Brandon Eagle, did not step in a ring until his first fight.
Training before the run included sparring, speed bags, running, and more. Now with the ring, Drywater can add a whole new level to her boxers training.
Along with sparring in a real ring, Drywater also has the chance to instill new drills from the ring. Breaking the ring into four separate sections via rope, Drywater can set up multiple stations for her boxers.
“Now I can have two sets of guys in two stations,” said Drywater. “I can have eight guys working on specific drills. They are working on pivots and head movements. We will do pushups, and sit-ups off of this. Just being able to move like a real athlete in a ring, is a little different than working on hard ground.”
The homemade ring gives Drywater’s boxer a chance to compete in the real thing. Padding and tires under the wooden ring give the fighter bounce under their toes.
Putting the ring together was a group effort according to Drywater. The Boxers came out to help level out the ground, set concrete for posts, set up ropes, and more.
One fighter, Blane Spriggs even climbed a pair of trees to help get the ropes for the cover over the ring.
“Everyone came out and helped out,” said Drywater. “To leveling it designing, hanging the canopy. I think it grew us closer together as a team.”
The inspiration to build a ring was a simple one for Drywater. The trainer wanted the old-school approach to training which includes training outside.
Fighting in the elements allows a boxer to build up his stamina as they get used to the humidity and temperatures outside.
“I am a strong believer in the old school philosophy that to improve you need to train in the elements,” said Drywater. “I think running outside is much tougher than on a treadmill for example. All the champions trained outside in a ring. I think this is a really good investment and a really big advantage for my guys. Even when it rains we can go out and train.”
The outside ring could have come in advantage for Drywater and Eagle in his fight on Saturday, May 20.
Fighting in an outdoor ring, Eagle narrowly fell by decision in just his second fight. Eagle almost knocked his opponent out on two separate occasions but was not able to take advantage. Eagle lost his second fight by decision by a score of 114-111.
“Being outside was a factor it was so hot that day,” said Drywater.
“It was close in the scorecards. He almost knocked him out but did not have the energy to get on top of him. He did good, he went the distance he just needed to throw a little bit more.”
The outdoor ring will quickly pay off for Drywater as she opens a youth camp on Tuesday, May 23. Kids ages 8-12 will start camp at 3 p.m. and kids ages 14-17 will start at 4 p.m.
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