Jan 31 2012

Boxing Training Q/A: When To Sit Down On Your Punches.

I started boxing and I was told I hit really hard. Turns out I was always getting set or flatfooted for power but Id burn out really fast. Now Im on my toes more and don’t hit NEARLY as hard. When should you get set and when should you be on your toes? Thanks, Stander

Stander, you never want to be flat footed. You loose power and make yourself slow with your feet. When ripping a combination you can set down on your punches while digging into the mat while ON the balls of your feet so you can pivot and push off your feet when you punch. You can’t do that when you are flat footed. You also can’t cut a quick angle to punch off either while being flat footed.

Being on the balls of your feet allows you to own rhythm with your hands and feet. You more efficient/effective offensively and defensively. That’s how you want to be. You are handicapped and leaving power behind being flat footed.

As far as burning yourself out, try not to load up on every punch and relax when you punch. Don’t be tense and breath between combinations. That is the key to staying punching power. That along with proper technique.

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Jan 25 2012

Boxing In A Tight Circle.

James Toney in his prime was my favorite fighter to study. He was slick and displayed old school defensive skills. Fuck moving straight back. That’s a cardinal sin in boxing. Angles are a lost art. Turning a fighter doesn’t allow them to set and punch. When you cut angles you create openings to counter and punch your opponent. Tying up and grappling with a fighter zaps strength. Moving straight back still allows them to seem like the aggressor.

In the amateurs there is no time for such defense unless you are hurt by a punch. Referees disqualify for excessive holding. Holding allows a ref to get to involved in the fight and nobody wants that.

Cutting angles allows you to control your opponent and hit them at will. Boxing in a tight circle doesn’t drain you like running around the ring would. If you are gonna stand in front of your opponent roll and ride with the punches. Roll and fire right back. Rolling doesn’t consume a lot of energy either. This is boxing defined. To hit and not be hit, to evade a punch yet be in position to counter and land a punch. Tying can zap energy. Box smart. Learn how to box in a tight circle and roll with punches. You can own center ring doing this controlling your opponent if they are indeed pressing you. Boxing isn’t running around the ring like it’s a track. It’s not holding to smother a fighter’s punches. That is a tactic.

I loved how James would step around Iran Barkley when they fought and rip into him. A true art. Now watch and learn what angles and rolling can do for you.

Jan 23 2012

Weekend Wrap Up: Boring But Dangerous.

You don’t see 9-0 World Champions too often and you also don’t see many 2 time (should have been 3X) Olympic Gold medalist either. Guillermo Rigondeaux is just that fighter though. He demolished Rico Ramos last Friday night ripping the WBA superbantamweight title from Ramos with that impressive win.

Rigondeaux may be a stinker lulling people to sleep when he fights but the dude is damn good. He’s a fucking machine and he displayed impressive punching power in this fight. His quickness, movement, smarts, speed, along with his vast amateur experience make him an advanced world champion with only nine fights. Keep in mind Guillermo is 31.

He could improve on stopping and setting down on his punches more instead of being overly tentative at times. He has been slowly growing as a pro and it’s hard to transition from the amateurs to the pros when a fighter has over 300 fights like Guillermo does.

He does have a great trainer in Ronnie Shields. Ronnie has been working on getting Guillermo to open up more instead of picking and moving. He opened up in the 6th round knocking Ramos out. That fast accurate deadly power along with his savvy skill makes Guillermo an intriguing match up for several top fighters.

One such fighter he called out is no other than Nonito Donaire. THAT would be a great fight as Nonito is moving up. Nonito is a beast but how would he handled Guillermo’s ring savvy, speed, and skill? Guillermo seems to have what it takes to neutralize Donaire’s strengths. This fight should happen and should happen sooner than later.

We will see just how good the 2x Olympic Gold medalist and WBA super bantamweight champion is. One things for sure. Against Donaire, I highly doubt there will be a dull moment in that fight!

Jan 21 2012

Boxing Training Q/A: European vs American Fighting Style.

Here’s a great European vs American fight style q/a I pulled off of the boxingperformance.com forum. Wise and talented UK boxing trainer John Houston breaks both fight styles down and discusses the pros and cons.

John Houston in the US you always hear trainers talk about the classic European _style_, when an American fights over seas. What is the biggest difference between the two, what makes up the European _style_ and what _style_ do you feel is better when matched up with one another? I know skill prevails with both _style_s but I’m curious to know advantages of one over another. Thanks, Stephen

Stephen, I think the differences in _style_ between American and European boxers are diminishing, a consequence of communication and ideas being easier to disseminate these days.

I suppose the old definition would have been that European boxers box from a more stand up straight position with a tight closed guard, while American boxers employ more fluid waist movement, often with hands held lower. The other difference from these respective stances is the punches thrown. From the straight up; close-guard more straight punches flow, while the American _style_ can favor hooks.

Historically it has to be said, the American _style_ seems to have prevailed when they are matched up. As you say, skills prevail, but all things being equal the American _style_ seems to have come out on top more often, at least in professional boxing. This is really borne out by the fact that the differences between the _style_s are diminishing mainly due to the European adoption of American _style_s. I remember being taught a “British” jab (thrown with the thumb facing up) and an American Jab (palm down) by an old trainer when I started boxing. Now it is only the palm down jab taught as routine. The hook over in the UK is in a transition period, with a lot of amateur trainers still teaching it as thrown with the palm facing down, while most pro’s over here, and an increasing number of amateurs throw it in the American _style_ of thumb facing up.

The growing amalgamation of the _style_s can be seen in the variety of _style_s Europe now exports. Our own Ricky Hatton has taken to calling himself The Manchester Mexican, to reflect his aggressive, pressure fighting _style_. I think the trend will continue as trainers are able to watch different _style_s and swap ideas more freely.

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