Re: Distance awareness
this is a good question but i doubt anyone here is able to answer it.
First you need to be able to find your range where you can land from and then be able to keep your range with your footwork.
When you hit a bag take not of your distance between you and the bag where you can land shots from, also when you do punching drills with a partner guage your range. It just take time to be able to guage correctly. Then once you can do it in drills try to do it n your sparring.
Practice your footwork, moving back, forward, angles so on. If your opponent takes half a step forward you take half a step back to keep your desired range. If he rushes you and you dont want to get caught on the back foot, use spins or lateral movent, then readjust your range.
Learn proper footwork, never get caught crossing your feet over. Footwork is the key to being able to keep your range.
Also once you can judge your punching range try to judge your opponent lnding range. If you are in his landing range, get ready to use head work. If your head is out of his landing range just use parries. It would be pointless being in his punching range and not using head movement or tight guard.