Daigo Higa and the Boxing Mindset
In boxing, as with all sports, success has just as much (if not more) to do with your mentality as physical ability. Boxing trainer and Hall Of Fame broadcaster Teddy Atlas has religiously preached that boxing is 75% mental and 25 % mental.
If a fighter’s mind and spirit are not in it, he or she will forever fall short and might as well step away from the game. That harsh reality may be the case with former WBC world Flyweight champion Daigo Higa.
FIGHTER WITHOUT A CAUSE
On February 13, 2020, Higa (16-1, 16 KOs) returned to the ring following a 22-month layoff due to an indefinite suspension by the Japanese Boxing Commission (JBC) and stopped Jason Buenaobra (7-5-3, 3 KOs) in six rounds in Tokyo. However, it was his comments after the fight that left folks wondering about his desire.
As first reported by Asian Boxing, the 24-year-old told reporters following the win that the motivation is not there.
“I feel like I don’t have a fighting spirit now.”
“If I don’t get motivated, I’m going to quit. I’m thinking a lot about the future.”
It’s been a tough two years for the muscular former world champ. At the beginning of 2018, he was on the verge of becoming a star on the Japanese boxing scene. Having won the world title in May 2017, Higa was blasting through opponents, being labeled a potentially great fighter and was being compared to the likes of Roman Gonzalez.
THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL
Then came the night of April 15, 2018. Higa was set to make the third defense of the WBC 112-pound belt against Cristofer Rosales. However, the champ failed to make weight the day before. Subsequently, he suffered defeat by a shocking 9th round stoppage.
From there, Higa’s world crumbled as he was suspended and had to re-apply with the JBC. After the JBC lifted his suspension in September 2019, he was given conditions that he must attend to for the time being. One included fighting at bantamweight due to his struggle making weight for the fight against Rosales.
It’s been a tough haul for the Okinawan. Maybe the nearly two years away from the ring took a psychological toll on him. With time, maybe he can regain that spark and once again become a world champion.
At the end of the day, to be your best, you have to be all in. And as of right now, however, Higa is struggling to regain the mojo and recapture the mental edge.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.