A Fighter's First Time
Preparing For Your First Boxing Match
On Saturday October 21st, UNDRCARD instructor Tammara 'Timebomb' Francis will be competing in her first sanctioned boxing match. Below is a first account of what that experience has been like.
Words by Tammara 'Timebomb' Francis
Boxing and fight training have allowed me to challenge myself in ways I never have, it's tested me in ways I didn’t think it would. It's also taken my appreciation of boxing to an entirely new level. The mental game is massive; how you move, and how you feel. Constantly learning different flows, footwork, head movement, learning how to read your opponent, it's never ending.
I've been training to fight for several years but the process really ramped up in 2016 - and ramped down again as life got in the way as well as a change in coaches. In August 2017 I connected with my final coach, Jared 'Last Kiss' Velasquez of UNDRCARD, and we began a committed final push for this October fight.
On cutting weight for the fight.
Deciding on a weight class was difficult. There was a bit of a shock factor as I didn't know my current weight and I thought I was lighter than I was. Then I found out I had to cut 15 pounds to get to where I wanted to fight which is the ‘light’ class (57-60 kg).
The highs and the lows.
There is a lot to learn and there are a lot of lows. For example, during sparring [where you make the motions of hitting another person but without the heavy blows, as a form of training] sometimes you think you’ve progressed so much, and then sparring reveals all of the work you have left to do. Every step however is full of learning and growth so while it may seem like a low, it's the only way to grow (yep that rhymed). It's about shaking it off, and getting back in, and trying again.
Training in a nontraditional boxing atmosphere.
UNDRCARD has done so much for my training; the amount of positive support, the crew that inspires me on a daily basis, my coach Jared Valesquez whom I met through UNDRCARD Boxing Studio and my fellow instructors - who I have so much respect for - that have cheered me on, sparred with me, worked technique. You can’t get this anywhere else. UNDRCARD is a community, it's this place that people come to box yes, but they come to hang out, and it's really indescribable. I'm very grateful for UNDRCARD and the #cornercrew for doing everything they do, and being everything they are, and it's because of that I am ready.
I decided to participate in a sanctioned fight for many reasons. When I began boxing I wanted to have a purpose for all the time and training I was putting in. I like competition (I've been a competitive runner for some time) and I like challenging myself and pushing my body to new limits . I am doing this for the pure purpose of setting a goal and achieving it. I am doing this for the love of boxing I have developed over the years. I am doing this to prove to myself I can. Losing my mom at a young age made me live this active healthy lifestyle, but it also made me realize that I can lead by example, that I can show others what's possible; a small town girl from the prairies, with an unimaginable childhood, can somehow be somewhat inspiring to others. The biggest reason, not only do I want to show others whats possible, but I want to show my kids what's possible, to show them that if they set their minds to something, it can happen.
Catch Tammara 'Timebomb' Francis at her first boxing match on Saturday October 21st in Cochrane, AB. Follow our social media (Instagram Stories @UNDRCARD) for up-to-the-moment fight times and fight footage. Good luck Timebomb! We're in your corner!