WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR A FIGHTER TO TURN PRO?
(This is part one of a two part series in which trainer James Gogue will give his expert advice when it comes to a fighter deciding to turn pro.)
It doesn’t take much for a fighter to turn pro. Actually, all you need is medicals and apply for a license. But if a fighter wants to have a prosperous pro career, here are some things I think they should do.
First of all, a fighter needs to have ability. If a fighter has god given ability, then I feel they can become a prospect.
What helps quite a bit is seasoning and experience in the USA Boxing program as an amateur in the junior and senior ranks. A fighter needs to have a coach that can take them to the local smokers’ events and local tournaments. Those tournaments will tell a fighter if he or she is good enough to continue on in the sport. If they are good enough, then they can compete in regional tournaments and then at the state level.
If they are successful at the state level, then they can compete at nationals and that’s where they will face some top level talent which will help with the transition of turning pro.
Another big thing about turning pro is that fighter has to be a true professional and have pro attributes. The fighter has to have physical strength, athleticism, punching power and mental toughness. However, the most important thing is a fighter has to have is a tremendous work ethic. They need to understand the values of dedication, commitment and sacrifice. The pro game is like night and day from the amateur ranks.
In amateurs, the fighters are boys fighting for toys while pros are men who fight for money. In the pro ranks, there are smaller gloves and no head gear either. Plus, the fights are not three rounds like in amateurs. In pro fights, the bouts are four, six, eight, ten or twelve rounds.
Boxing is a very tough, brutal and an unforgiving sport. But if the fighter has all of the traits above, they will have a solid foundation and can build a successful pro career.
James Gogue trains local fighters out of Marines Boxing Gym in Edinburg. As a trainer, Gogue has trained four former world champions with one of them being the three-time champ Tony “The Tiger” Lopez. Also, Gogue has trained 13 top ten fighters in the world, sent five fighters to the U.S. Olympic trials and has the honor of having three U.S. Amateur National Champions.