Trash Talk All You Want. You Cannot Lie in the Gym
In the boxing documentary "Born and Bred" a boxing coach said, "When you're in that ring, it's kind of like a lie detector test. You can act as tough as you want out here (the boxing gym). You can act as tough as you want in the street. You get in that ring and somebody is in front of you wiling to rip your head off. You're going to show your true colors."
It amazes me how boxers who trash talk think it will shake their opponent. Yes, it sometimes works to get someone to act emotionally. Some get nervous. Some get scared. Some get mad. But the mature fighter who has put in many miles of road work and countless rounds of sparring, really has nothing to worry about. What counts is when the two lace up the gloves and get inside the ring.
In the early 2000s, there was a trio of edgy, flamboyant champions that named themselves, "The Bad Boys of Boxing." They were Mike Tyson, Zab Judah, and Fernando Vargas. They were talented fighters who were not shy about letting everyone know how great they were. Tyson said prior to his heavyweight showdown with Lennox Lewis that he wanted to eat his children. Zab Judah called junior welterweight champion Kostya Tzyu "swiss cheese" because he claimed he had so many holes in his defense. Junior middleweight champion Fernando Vargas said the great Oscar De La Hoya was not a "real Mexican."
It appeared all three were going to back up what they were saying and beat their opponents to a pulp. Tyson and Judah ended up getting knocked out. Vargas was saved by the referee after Del La Hoya was pummeling in the corner of the ring. So much for the trash talk.
The truth is, the one who does the trash talking is scared out of his mind. Just like Muhammad Ali was when he faced Sonny Liston for the first time. Of course trash talking hypes fights and makes people want to watch. Ali was the absolute master of it. Nowadays professional trash talkers like the flashy Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. do world tours trash talking one another. It was excellent marketing and did the job of getting people to watch. Even if it was a pitiful mismatch to the trained boxing eye.
But for those who are not at the elite level of sports entertainment, trash talking ought to be fuel. It should be motivating because you know deep down the person doing the trash talking if full of fear and is threatened by you. Keep your emotions in check and work hard. Stick to the game plan. Wait until it is time to take the lie detector test...and then show your true colors.