Being able to take a punch is not a study in being submissive, nor should it be a practice of absorbing shots with your face or body. It’s about developing defensive skills and physical fortitude to address the inevitability that, if you’re mixing it up with another fighter, you’re going to get hit. A worthy opponent is going to serve you a feast of punches, but that doesn’t mean you need to eat all those punches like you’re a hungry heavy bag.
First, let’s address your attitude in the ring. You must protect yourself always, but, at the same time, you absolutely need to avoid being scared stiff. We recently reposted an article about the need for calmness and the power that comes with being willing to be hit. Through practice, from sparring and competition experience, you will gain an understanding of what to do when a punch comes your way, which will ultimately give you the necessary confidence to be at ease.