The brain's reaction to winning and losing is hard-wired.
Whatever the situation your body reacts in the same powerful way.
When the boxer realises he is about to win, his focus becomes sharper and his reflexes become faster.
Once the win is his, the boxer's body and brain surge with a variety of chemicals.
First, the chemical dopamine is released, it stimulates the pleasure centre of the brain.
Next, endorphins rush through his body. They help fight exhaustion and make the boxer feel good about himself.
Endorphins also act as natural painkillers. Even if the boxer has broken a rib, he will barely feel any pain.
Next, adrenaline and testosterone flow through the bloodstream to help him stay alert and speed up recovery.
The boxer starts to breathe more deeply. His heart pumps more oxygen-rich blood to his brain and muscles.
The boxer now feels euphoric with the glory of the win.
By contrast, when the boxer is about to lose the match, his reward systems are switched off.
The feel good chemicals start to ebb away.
His body then enters a downward spiral, which almost makes losing a certainty.
At the end of the match, the boxer feels every bit of exhaustion and pain.
When he realises he has lost the match, the stress hormone cortisol is released.
Cortisol – stress hormone
This mixes with the adrenaline already surging through his body causing him to feel anxious and frightened.
If the loss is significant, a primitive response we share with reptiles kicks in, which shuts down the body's non-essential functions in order to protect the brain, and makes him feel immobilised.
This includes slowing down the heart
And the blood starts to flow out of the gut, giving the boxer a sinking feeling.
The brain then has a final lesson to teach the boxer. Every time he loses, the hippocampus in the brain is stimulated making sure he remembers the loss forever.