Choosing a sparring partner – a checklist

A few tips to consider when looking for a sparring partner

Choosing the right sparring partner is an important aspect of training, as it is crucial to spar frequently so you improve your skills and prepare for upcoming matches. Here are a few factors to consider when looking for a good match.

Skill level

It’s important to find a partner who is at a similar skill level as you. A partner who is too advanced can be intimidating and frustrating, while a partner who is not advanced enough may not provide the challenge you need.

Weight class

Try to find a partner who is in your weight class, since this is how you’ll be matched up in a real fight. Some say finding a partner of a similar height is also helpful, as your reach will be similar.

Fighting style

Look for a partner who has a similar fighting style to your opponent (if you know who your opponent will be, which isn’t always the case in amateur fights), this way you can work on techniques and strategies that will be most useful in your upcoming fight.


This is a big one. Make sure to find a partner who is available to spar with you on a regular basis, as consistency is important in training. No flakes tolerated!


You need to prioritize your safety, especially so you’ll be fit and ready for your fight. Look for a partner who is respectful and follows safety protocols. Now is not the time to show off.

If you’re new to boxing, it’s important to not be shy about asking your partner to go light if s/he’s going too hard for your comfort level. Getting hurt sparring is a waste and could turn you off to the sport before you have a chance to improve. Go easy and work your way up to hard sparring when you feel confident, and not before then.


Pick a partner who has a good attitude and is willing to work with you. A positive attitude and willingness to learn can make all the difference in a sparring session.

Get in the ring!

Finally, if possible, try to spar in an actual ring. While it’s not always possible for everyone and it can be helpful to practice drills without a ring, you can’t learn the corners of the ring and how to work it unless you’re actually in one. So if your goal is to work up to harder sparring or even to have a real fight, you need to be sparring in a boxing ring.

Good luck!