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Rick Kupchella: Why I like the sweet science

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I was talking with a great business guy in town here the other day about my love of boxing, trying to encourage him to give it a try.

Not the “throw caution to the wind and go toe-to-toe with a pro” kind of give-it-a-try. Rather, I was encouraging him to try it as a workout – to learn the art. Hire a coach and escape the tedium of most exercise programs.

His response: “Rick, I’ve thought about it. That's not going to end well. Nothing good is going to come from this idea of me getting into a ring with an actual fighter.”

I like this guy. He’s freakin’ smart. He's grown a great company, and I have a ton of respect for him.

But he’s completely not getting this.

I’ve been trying to push myself with workouts of every kind over the years (and like so many, I wish there was more to show for it!).

With boxing, though, I’ve found a training regimen like no other. Most striking are the mental demands.

To the casual observer, it might look plainly physical. That first impression couldn't be more wrong.

The thing about boxing, you have to be constantly thinking – simultaneously offensively and defensively. To spell it out, you have to be F-O-C-U-S-E-D.

I’ve had hours of boxing training that left me completely drenched in sweat – and mentally drained.

I’ve had times when I could not put together the most rudimentary combinations (jab & a cross) at the end of an hour.


The coach: “Rick 1-2” (code for “jab-cross”) – and I can manage the jab but find myself literally trying to remember that “2” is for the cross. That’s drained!

But it's also a win. It’s evidence of laying it all out there.

In Minnesota this weekend, we have a chance to watch one of the top fights we’ve seen in this state in quite a while. ESPN-2 is carrying it live from the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The hometown competitor – Caleb Truax – is a top-ranked middleweight out of this state for many years. He’s the underdog against Donovan (Don) George, out of Chicago.

Caleb’s long-time trainer (and the guy I’ve been working out with for the last several months) is Tom Halstad.

Don "Da Bomb" George is apparently one helluva fighter. But I’ll confess to being squarely in the hometown guy’s corner. Truax (and Halstad) represent Minnesota well.

Absolutely first-class folks. They know – and show – tremendous respect for the sport. They are the kind of people who will elevate this game. Smart. Dedicated.

BringMeTheNews has scored a couple sets of ringside tickets for Friday night’s event. We’re gonna give ‘em away in a drawing tomorrow (Thursday) live on the Tom Barnard Podcast – and here on Sign up to win here.

I’m working on my friend – the CEO – to get out there with me. And we've scheduled a shared training session.

Whether you are interested in learning the art – the "sweet science" of boxing – or even just interested in watching it – give this a shot, and show up Friday night. It's electric, and you just may love it.

While we’re giving away $100 seats – you can get in there for as little as $35.

Hope to see ya at the fight!

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