The Boxers Screen

You'll be brought to the screen where you can actively manage your boxers, it looks something like this:

boxing game manage

The second button from the left up top (it looks like a man) will also bring you to this screen.

It has an alarming amount of stuff when you first look at it, but you'll be comfortably working with everything within a reasonable amount of time. You can see that the "Skills" button is highlighted, and you are looking at how good or bad the selected boxer is.

If you have multiple boxers you can click on their names to the right and switch which one you are actively working on. The right side shows their careers at a glance; their wins, losses and draws as well as knockouts. The ranking shows how far up they are in the world for their weight class. The little yellow dot under the word "Rank" is the symbol for money, and the number by it is how much the boxer is "worth" to you based on his weight, skills, ranking, and perhaps a couple other things. The number changes every year, hopefully going up. Heavier classes get a value boost because the public likes to watch big men fight, but it is not the "be all and end all".

Down below you can see your own career at a glance. Your age, the total wins and losses by your fighters, and the ever important bank balance. If your balance becomes negative you must get it back up quickly. Your creditors will give you six months to operate at a profit again or it's curtains for you. You can't take out loans, so you and your boxers must make money!

Let's now look through the options for the fighters. Above the Skills button is the view choices. The top is the default 3D view, showing what your fighter looks like. Underneath that is his "Fights stats" which will give you a summation of his last nine fights; who he fought, whether he won or lost, and if any knockouts occurred. The "Ranking Graph" shows you how fast he has traveled through the ranks over the past year, like his value this is hopefully going up. These three buttons really just give you information, but they will help you determine if a fighter is going to really make it in the sport or not.

The Skills button allows you to look at your fighters raw skills along with an estimate of his potential for each one. Each skill has its own use to a fighter, as his career progresses and he trains, they gradually head towards 99, although most never make it that far. The bright red indicates where he is now, in the picture you can see that Mark Hoggadon's agility is currently 36. The darker red extending from the brighter shows what his potential is, which would be about 41. If a fighter wins, his potential will slowly increase, but never as fast as you would like it to. You can't get buff overnight, and neither will your fighters.

So let's take a look at what each of the skills means to you:

Strength

This is your boxer's raw power, showing how hard he will be able to hit his opponent. A higher number will help him to get KOs, but he has to be able to hit his opponent for it to happen. A boxer who is good at going the distance in a fight can actually do pretty well without a lot of strength, although he won't be as exciting as the knockout artist. The heavier the boxer, the more likely he will be to naturally have high strength, although there are always exceptions.

Agility

One of the goals in boxing is to not get hit. If he's quick to get out of the way, he won't get hit so much. If the opponent is powerful but he can keep away from him, the opponent will be left frustrated and losing. Lighter boxers tend to possess more speed naturally, although they sacrifice power for it.

Endurance

Endurance is part of a boxer's "chin" factor, dictating how much punishment he can take before getting knocked down in a round. Over the course of the fight it lessens and late knockdowns become more common. Endurance and stamina work together to make a boxer easy to knock out, or very hard.

Charisma

Like you, your boxer has a charisma rating. For him it determines how popular he is with the public. Winning increases it, although he will always have his limits. Some boxers are really nice guys, others are jerks. His rating matters to your wallet, as high charisma boxers will be offered better sponsorship deals.

Quickness

This is his offensive speed, his ability to get in and punch at the right time. If a boxer is slower he'll be swinging at air a lot and his punches will be blocked more, wasting energy. High values will help him to connect more, although other factors will determine how much he hurts his opponent.

Stamina

This is your boxer's long-term ability to fight and stay on his feet. With high stamina he'll recover better between rounds and after being knocked down, helping to replenish his endurance. A boxer who can't get a lot of knockouts and needs to go all 12 rounds will need plenty of stamina to keep him on his feet.

Technique

Technique is a boxer's hitting ability, how well and flush he hits his opponent. With lower technique the punches will glance off more, causing less damage to be dealt. A boxer with good technique and quickness but low strength will be good at hitting his opponent a lot to score points, but will get less knockouts.

Lefty or Righty?

In UBM I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter if a fighter is left or right-handed, although it matters a lot in real life. Lefties are completely different to fight with because it's the opposite angle to punch. Perhaps it can be programmed in at some point, although it would be tough to code.

What Makes the Perfect Fighter?

Well, the only perfect fighter is one with all 99's (I've seen 100 for a single skill only a couple times), but you won't see that too often. A complete fighter will have high skills in certain areas to balance out lower skills in others, so that he can fight and win with his own style. A less powerful boxer can win with good speed and a decent chin, he'll have the tendency to go the distance in fights. A powerful boxer can make up for being slow if he's not completely outclassed in speed, I've seen some very interesting fights between strong boxers and quick boxers.

The one defining factor to me is the chin, the total endurance and stamina. A strong boxer may blow everyone away in the lower ranks, but will discover that not everybody will just fall down in front of him when he moves up. Twelve rounds with an opponent he can't knock out will be tough, he'll need to be just is tough to knock out or he'll start seeing early nights going the wrong way.

Different weight classes have different tendencies. Lighter classes tend to lean towards speed, while higher classes head towards power. Heavyweights in particular tend to be slow with so-so chins, but if you get hit it really hurts! For spectacular knockouts, you can't beat the heavyweights. So if you're signing a boxer in a particular weight class, you want to look for someone who has skills that are abnormal for it. A light boxer with good power as well as decent skills elsewhere will be rarer, but excellent for your stable. A heavyweight with a really good chin will be able to withstand the wars and hopefully deliver his own knockouts. Or a heavyweight with really good speed will flummox the lumbering powerhouses. In the middle ranks it's more balanced, so finding your next champion becomes a little tougher. I still lean towards a good chin, because being able to take a punch is a good quality to have.

The Training Button

Underneath the Skills button is the Training button, where you decide how hard your boxer will work on specific skills:

boxing training

You have a certain number of points that you can assign to him, so you have to choose wisely. The approach I take is to see what skill he is lacking in most - often endurance or stamina - and make sure he works on that extra. From there I focus on skills where he has the most potential to improve. There's no point in really working on technique if he's already maxed out in it as Mark Heggadon is. You need to assign at least a couple points to each skill, however, or their skills will decline over time.

Running increases endurance, speed bag works on quickness, rope adds to agility, weights is for strength, sparring improves technique, and the heavy bag provides stamina. You can only increase charisma through winning.

If you really messed up on your assignments, hit the "Reset" button and start over. I often flip back and forth between Skills and Training to make sure that I've got the numbers set exactly how I want them. Over time you'll need to change what he focuses on as skills improve and potentials are reached, so glance in at least once in a while.

The Biography Button

The Biography button supplies the rest of the information about your fighter; how old he is, his weight class, and personality being the most important.

boxer biography

As fighters age their skills start eroding rather than gaining or maintaining, it happens in the early thirties. Fighters tend to retire between the ages of 35 and 39, and having a high morale will help them fight longer. In the case of a world champion this can become quite the challenge as he won't have the ring skills he once had, you may find that dropping his contract is better than letting him get knocked out of the top 10 for his weight class. Or you can keep him out of loyalty and choose his fights very carefully.

If you've forgotten a fighter's weight, this is the place to get a reminder. You don't want two fighters of the same weight unless they are far apart in ranking, or they'll get into each other's way. The height does not matter at this time, although it is a feature to be worked on, another tough bit of coding for Celso!

You don't find out a boxer's personality until you sign him, and it at least slightly affects his fighting. A reflexive fighter will be slightly better at defensive counter-punching, while an aggressive fighter wants to be moving forward to take out his opponent. There are a few possibilities, the most interesting being a crazy boxer who is liable to do anything, including get less sponsorship money. A boxer with good skills will be able to overcome his personality, however, so don't feel that you have to make him fight the same was as his personality dictates.

The Manage Button

Here you can check up on how your boxer is doing in terms of fitness, morale, and his contract.

boxer management

A boxer has to have at least two fitness points to be able to fight, and it goes up one point a month. You can work on fitness during a fight, but if he's taken a beating you will have to wait a month or two before scheduling him another fight.

His morale has a sizable effect on how well he fights, you need to get it up, especially when his skills haven't developed yet. As with personality, a fighter with good skills may still do well with a low morale, but you still want it to be high. You can improve morale during a fight, but you get the chance to talk to your boxer every month, so you might as well do it until he's all the way up. The chances of it working depend on your charisma skill, and it won't work every month.

The maximum usable stars for either fitness or morale is 10, although morale can temporarily hit 11 if you talk to him. It'll go back down the next month so it doesn't have much use. Once his morale is at 10 there's no real point in talking to him anymore unless his morale drops.

When a boxer's contract gets down to about 8 months you have the option to renew it at a price that is determined by your negotiating skill. You'll notice that the boxer gets a low percentage for the sake of the gameplay. You get the lion's share of the money since you are the focus of this game. You can also cancel a contract, but you pay a fee for dropping him. The more months that are left on his contract, the more it will cost you, so you want to make sure it's the best choice. If you let his contract run out he will simply leave and you will have no penalty.

Note: The game will warn you if a contract is about to expire, so you don't need to sweat about renewing contracts all the time.