The Top Ten Factors That Can Stop A Fighter From Reaching His Ultimate Potential

1/ Fame:

For many fighters it’s a whole lot easier to maintain focus while languishing in obscurity.

If he becomes a big celebrity, moving in exclusive circles, then the desire to make continual sacrifices and live the Spartan life can be compromised.

Examples – John Conteh, Mike Tyson.

2/ Money:

Staying hungry is more viable on a low budget. When fighters become wealthy beyond their wildest dreams it can take their competitive edge away. It doesn’t happen to every fighter as Marvin Hagler and Floyd Mayweather can attest but it’s a factor.

Examples: James Douglas, Mike Tyson.

3/ Women:

Whether it’s a case of one woman or bad relationship in particular or the availability of loose women in general, the fairer sex have taken many a good man down.

Examples: Hector Camacho, Mike Tyson.

4/ Drugs:

I suspect this one requires no explanation.

Examples: Aaron Pryor, Mike Tyson.

5/ Mental Fragility;

You can have all the physical gifts in the world but without a strong mindset and true self belief you will be found wanting at some point.

Examples: Zab Judah, Mike Tyson.

6/ Defeat:

A loss can be a valuable learning experience but a bad reversal can also ruin a fighter psychologically. And if it doesn’t ruin him then he is certainly never the same again, on occasion:

Examples: Donald Curry, Errol Christie, Mike Tyson.

7/ Prison:

Another self explanatory negative factor.

Examples: Tony Ayala, Mike Tyson.

8/ Tragedy:

Not all fighters who are unlucky enough to see one of their opponents die or get seriously injured are adversely affected in terms of future performance but a few were clearly never quite the same thereafter.

Examples: Joe Bugner, Chris Eubank.

9/ The essential inability of a great amateur boxer to adapt to elite level professional boxing:

Having a glittering amateur pedigree is normally an advantage and a springboard for a successful career in the paid ranks but not every great amateur makes a great pro.

Examples: James Schuler, Mark Breland, Jorge Gonzales.

10/ Firing the coach you should have stayed with:

It’s often been a knee jerk reaction for a fighter to switch trainers after a loss. It’s a great way of transferring the blame but the grass isn’t always greener.

Sometimes an undefeated fighter might make the same decision but has occasion to regret it when handed his first loss.

Examples: Nassem Hamed, Mike Tyson…