There are regular requirements to becoming a professional boxer; being trained, scouted, getting licensed, and winning fights, but what really makes a pro? For a lot of us, the time it takes to even get half that far is simply too much. Yet you go three times a week for training, have made significant progress, and have even won a fight or two. Are you a pro now?
The short answer is yes. If it makes you happy, if it’s something you like to do, and you think about it regularly, then you can never not be a winner.
A pro is someone who never gives up. Someone who, after multiple losses, picks backs up and goes to work. A pro is someone who trains, someone who teaches, and someone who supports the sport for more than the winning and losing. Like Muhammed Ali, you can be the best there is, but if you simply give up after being turned away or kicked out, then you’ve lost something far more important than the sport. Think about how different Ali’s story would have been if he just gave up all those years ago after his civil rights stance about Vietnam? Would we have remembered him so greatly if he didn’t continue supporting, encouraging, and even funding the brilliant people of this country?
You don’t have to have the bank account or sponsors to be a pro. That is only what it means to be a paid worker in the sport. All you have to have is the heart of a pro. If anyone begs to tell you differently, remind them that they haven’t felt what it’s like to get your first win after years of hard work. Remind them that it doesn’t matter what they think, only what you feel and continue to feel by doing what you love.