Boxing Clever

Awaiz Iqbal, Recruitment Consultant, International Team10 December 2018

The boxing world are still talking, and rightly so, about last weekend's big fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.  Not just the 'controversial' result, but the strength and determination shown by Tyson, a man who many had written off. His battle with drink and mental health issues, his weight, his time out of the ring - it seemed the odds were stacked. But he defied his critics.

Reflecting on that from a career perspective, the physical training aside; there are many skills and traits of boxers, shared by those in the legal profession. The dedication, the determination, dealing with the highs and the lows.  Our consultant Awaiz, who knows a thing a two about both boxing and legal careers, looks more closely at what those traits are…

ROUND 1 - Discipline
For anyone who’s ever so much as done a little boxing training, you will know there is a need for good discipline.  From putting in the training to thinking the right way in and out of the ring, boxers are taught self-discipline very early on.  Much like boxing, from the minute you decide you want to be a lawyer, the hard work begins.  The studying to gain the very best academic results, the dedication to be the best you can be, all takes discipline.  There’s a constant need to make sure you stand out in a crowded legal professional market - why should firms hire you?  Those with the best discipline will prevail.

ROUND 2 - Resilience
A strong chin is needed as much by lawyers as for boxers on the end of a jab.  Tyson Fury went down in the 12th and much to the boxing world’s astonishment, got up off the canvas.  Plenty of legal professionals face disappointing knock backs along the way with their career, especially at the start.  From fighting to secure a training contract to not getting a seat at the firm hoped, a need to be able to keep on in the adversity is important.  And even as your career progresses, missing out on promotion or even facing redundancy are situations that require a resilient mind and focus.

ROUND 3 – Respect
Many boxers fight in similar circles, having trained at local gyms or sparred rounds against each other as amateurs.  But at the end of every fight, we always see boxers show respect to one another.  There’s a mutual understanding and appreciation for each other’s abilities and achievements.  It’s the same in legal circles, the need to respect others in the industry.  As legal recruiters we know only too well how small the legal world is, and you never know who you might end up working alongside, with or against.  And with the journey to becoming a lawyer a difficult one, it makes it easier to acknowledge others’ successes and triumphs.

ROUND 4 - Humility
With success comes power and with power comes fame, and that’s the same for boxers and lawyers alike.  But it’s hard to stay humble when you reach those lofty heights.  Although confidence is a key part of victory in boxing, a boxer is always reminded to stay humble, as there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence.  Lawyers who show humility make good leaders, something which is important for anyone aiming to reach senior or Partner level.

ROUND 5 - Focus
All winners have a focus and a plan in place to progress to the next level.  Boxers quickly build a team around them, to help them – from making the right fights at the right times with the right opponents, to tacticians to help propel their career.  As a lawyer you may have mapped your legal future and feel confident following your own path.  But if you’re unsure of the next steps and where to move, or whether the market is right, then a trusted legal recruitment expert is always good to have in your corner.

Awaiz has a background in law but now works with law firms across the Middle East.  He helps legal professionals start a new life and career in the UAE, as much as those already based in the Middle East find new opportunities.  If you’re considering a new legal position in the Middle East, give Awaiz a call on 0161 839 4388 or send him an email to,  


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