Amanda Serrano is a pro boxer, and the current female WBO bantamweight champion. She’s also the only female boxer to win world titles in five different divisions.

She shares her tips and insight for beginners:

1. Work the basics

“The most important factors to throwing a perfect punch are practice and patience. When I first started, my trainer would have me practice every punch non-stop for three minutes. I would do one round of just jabs, a round of just hooks, and so on.” Don’t get discouraged if the movements don’t come naturally at first. “I’ve had 34 fights, and am just now coming into my own.”

2. Trust your training

“When I step into the ring, I let everything go. Once you do that your body takes over and the punches come naturally. I’m not worried about getting hit because I’ve learned how to push forward.”

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3. Keep growing

Serrano’s favorite aspect of boxing—aside from winning—is the constant challenge. “I’ve been boxing for 10 years, and I still look forward to going to the gym and learning something new. After every fight I see what I have to work on, and try to improve and grow.”

4. Hone your fitness

“Just because you hit hard, that doesn’t automatically make you a great boxer. You could hit hard but have a horrible style and easily get outboxed by your opponent,” says Serrano. Stamina and endurance also play key roles in getting you through a match. “You have to work on cardio. Before I even get to the boxing gym I’m running and getting my cardio in,” says Serrano. And don’t be afraid to stand tall in and out of the ring. “Female fighters work just as hard as the guys,” says Serrano. “We don’t care if we break a nail or break a nose. I’m a five-division world champion, and I do the same things the men do.”

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