Once upon a time boxing with bad eyesight was a term that did not go well with the sport. When one imagines a boxer with bad eyesight they vision a seven stone wet through weakling aimlessly throwing hooks while seeing a double of there opponent. It is this thought alone. Along with the ridicules primarily coming from nonfighters that put a lot of potentially great boxers off the thought of training.
Believe it or not. There are actually a huge number of boxers training with bad eyesight. In fact, many of all-time greats including Joe Frazier won titles with what was described as “horrendous eyesight”. While there is absolutely no denying that in a contact sport that requires one’s vision and concentration to be at the max. Poor eyesight is a disadvantage. In this article, we will discuss the ways of making training easier and methods to help you in training and the ring.
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Short Sighted or Long Sighted?
Before deciding whether to get into boxing due to bad eyesight, you need to know what sort of sight you have. For example, in close quarter fight sports, short sighted fighters are at a slightly better advantage than long sighted fighters. Why? because while a short sighted person may have limited long range vision, at a shorter distance there vision will be closer to 20/20. Whereas long sighted fighters had a huge disadvantage at close range but a better advantage at a longer range.
It’s important to consider this while developing your fighting style. Short sighted boxers may not make as good out fighters as there long sighted counterparts but will make great brawlers.
Thankfully, boxing with bad eyesight has become easier due to contact lenses. While in most boxing and mixed martial associations actually fighting with contact lenses is actually prohibited they can be a great training aid. Simply slipping them in before training makes it effortless. There are, however, a few disadvantages which I will list below.
In sparring contact lenses can be knockout potentially causing some level of embarrassment and inconvenience.
Applying them can be difficult if you forget to put them in while wearing wraps.
Most gyms have a slightly bad reputation for being sweat pits, constantly touching your eyes could lead to eye infections.
If you intend on fighting and the association rules contact lenses out, it will make actually fighting extremely difficult.
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What Other Boxers with Bad Eyesight Say
After spending a considerable amount of time researching this article via Reddit and BoxingForum247 and gathering other boxers opinions on the topic many other boxers state that
“I used to fight in Muay Thai and boxed for a while before that and have severe myopia (short-sightedness), thought I’d give some input.
In terms of wearing contacts, I wore soft contacts without any major problems every single time I sparred – the only issue is you’ll lose one or maybe both now and then. If your vision is good enough, I’d not bother wearing them – mine is bad enough that I can only recognize people if our faces are basically touching, so it helped me to have them but I learned to manage if they fell out.
One major thing I would say is to speak to your optician and explain that you’re thinking of getting into boxing – the reason I’ve now stopped fighting is that I had a severely detached retina, which you’re MUCH more likely to get as somebody with short sightedness – your retina is already weak so they’re susceptible to tearing from head trauma, not even necessarily taking a shot right in the eye. Mine was from cumulative damage – I didn’t take any singular big knock which did it.
In fairness, my eye is now back to normal albeit a little bit worse in terms of vision (I wear contacts/glasses at all times so this doesn’t matter that much), I’ll probably develop cataracts in my thirties and I’m at a big risk of re-detachment. I’m not trying to discourage you because I don’t regret training and fighting whatsoever – I wouldn’t change it if I could go back and I’d love to still be able to do it. With that said, it’s just good to be aware of the dangers – I had no idea about any of this when I started.
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