Originally Posted by dftaylor
Generally, it's better to fight with a textbook guard, since it keeps your hands in position to jab and hook as a lead punch while minimising exposure to a counter. It also means your power hand is generally in position to get maximum leverage after throwing the lead.
That allows fighters with slower hands and reflexes to be more effective offensively and defensively.
Modern fighters, in my view at least, are all too busy emulating Roy Jones and Floyd Mayweather. But they're ignoring the fact that Jones was supernaturally fast and aware, and Mayweather is supremely well-schooled with foot, head and hand position - add in his physical gifts and it's near-impossible to emulate his approach.
There's nothing wrong with a low-hand stance if you've mastered its subtleties, but it's not something that seems very prevalent in UK gyms.
Booth uses it with his fighters to trick opponents into over-extending. They end up looking to land the lead had so much that they get out of position. For a fast, aware and mobile fighter like Haye, it was a good tactic. He could easily shift position and land a fast, hard counter. He's a gunslinger, basically.
With Groves it's less effective, so he relies more on his legs.
But regardless of how fighters implement it, it's naturally higher risk. For a technician like Watt was in his active years, he'll always criticise this - same as Manny Steward and Teddy Atlas picking on fighters who don't jab effectively.
A textbook guard learns fighters, that its ok to take punches on the gloves: Which will still do accumulative damage.
Only shit fighters with no real athletic ability should employ a text book guard at all times.