As a result, Doherty continues to get better as a boxer. In fact, he’s been taking part in matches for BKB (Bare Knuckle Boxing), which has aired events on DirecTV and has had shows at both the Hampton Casino and the Verizon Wireless Arena in New Hampshire.
“It translates and the biggest changes are the footwork,” Doherty explained. “Angling, foot placement and a lot of head movement and balance have to be different when you’re striking using just hands (as opposed to kicks as well).”
Doherty’s last boxing match was in early December, which might seem like a quick turnaround to switch gears to mixed martial arts.
“As a professional, I find that you just have to have the right mindset given whichever fight you’re preparing for,” he said. “The mental game is just as important as physical, and I think the switching has been great for my MMA game. Seeing that I love to use my hands the most, focusing on those in boxing camp make me that much more effective when I get in the cage.”
Doherty trains in Cambridge with Redline Fight Sports. No fighter can do it alone, and he’s had plenty of support from teammates and sponsors like the Ward 2 Social Club in Salem, Hype Xtreme and Global Warrior Management. He helps make ends meet by working construction at Mark’s Disposal, Demo and Cleanouts in Beverly and relishes the support of his girlfriend, with whom he’s expecting his first child in a few months.
“All that support means so much. It’s a lot of time in the gym, and her patience and understanding means everything,” said Doherty.