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Old 12-23-2009, 02:22 PM   #16
PowerPuncher
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

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Originally Posted by McGrain View Post
I have to say, "I'm beggining to think you haven't boxed/sparred" is fast becoming my least favourite phrase around here.

A straight shot to the head, a "guard-peircing" shot is basically impossible to stop by moving the fist across, certainly with any consistantly and it leaves you WIDE open to feints. Even if you position the glove in exactly the right spot it doesn't "take off" the entire shot, although it certrainly doesn't do any harm. Allowing for "round the corner" shots, the target area for such a punch is huge, and where a serious speed difference exists even modern gloves using the modern guard can be split.


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Keeping in mind the size of the old gloves and the position of the guard, it seems natural enough that these men would find a different way to solve the problem. The solution was a combination of evasive manueveres and parrying, still utilised by the most athletic of boxers (although it's different). "Dynamic parrying" isn't something you can do with gloves in a near stationary position. Yeah, man, in fact i'm beggining to wonder if you've ever boxed if you think that literal parrying is possible from a stationary guard.

As the gloves got bigger a natural change occured.

OR

As the gloves got bigger there was a co-incidental shift towards a style that would have been better all along. This is not impossible. However, the existance of Arturo Gatti has absolutley no impact on this argument.


None of these terms are meant to be taken entirely literally and a lot of them are my own.
No its not hard to block a shot when you have your hands up, its far far easier to manouver your hands to parry if your hands are up than if they are down, you have to move them around 3 inches as opposed to 3 feet. Saying its harder to parry with your hands up is LAUGHABLE TO THE EXTREME. I suppose the likes of Duran were really shit at parrying too right? Posting a pic of a weight drained DLH getting tagged proves nothing, he never had much defensive skill in the first place

And whos talking about keeping the gloves/guard in a stationary position? Movement from the hips/waist/shoulder is the ideal

As for older timers focusing on evasive movement. SO why don't they have good lateral movement? They go back and forwards in straight lines, which is another big no no. Where is the evasive movement on par with the likes of Whitaker, Ray Leonard, ALi, Pep? Also why is the footwork so straight up with a lack of shift of bodyweight from 1 side to the other?
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

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No its not hard to block a shot when you have your hands up, its far far easier to manouver your hands to parry if your hands are up than if they are down, you have to move them around 3 inches as opposed to 3 feet. Saying its harder to parry with your hands up is LAUGHABLE TO THE EXTREME. I suppose the likes of Duran were really shit at parrying too right? Posting a pic of a weight drained DLH getting tagged proves nothing, he never had much defensive skill in the first place
I think part of your problem here is this insistance on direct comparison. Because i'm saying dynamic parrying was something that old-timers were good at you are insisting that I must think that Duran was shit. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Showing De La Hoya getting tagged is an example of what I was talking about when I posted that picture - that where a difference in speed exists it's easy to split a modern guard even when using the modern gloves. Given the difference in the size of older gloves (33-50% depending) you can see why it would be easier to split the "modern" technical guard whilst wearing such gloves, surely? Smaller gap needed, smaller area covered.

Saying it's harder to parry with your hands up IS laughable in the extreme. Luckily, i've never said that. What i've said is parrying shots from a static guard is harder.

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As for older timers focusing on evasive movement. SO why don't they have good lateral movement? They go back and forwards in straight lines, which is another big no no.
I agree with you. Very important to parry incoming blows in this situation AND not to give to much ground (See Fitz).
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

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A proper guard has the fist on the chin with the forearm and elbow covering the body, why would he get stopped if he has his elbow there to block bodyshots? If bodyshots were such a big issue then, why not use a side on half guard thus only exposing 1 half of the body, which in turn is covered by the low hand, with the back hand their to block head shots? Why do MMA fighters use high guards?
Would that not be because they also have to block leg and foot shots ?
I don't watch much MMA ,or whatever its called, but from what I have seen their punching technique is horrible, I would not bring them into the equation.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

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Would that not be because they also have to block leg and foot shots ?
I don't watch much MMA ,or whatever its called, but from what I have seen their punching technique is horrible, I would not bring them into the equation.

Their punching IS coming on, but yeah, it's still not great. The guys who can really punch with proper technique are very noticable, put it that way. Part of this is because of the amount of space available in the ring. Also, over-commiting is very dangerous because balance is at an absolute premium as far as take-downs are concerned.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:09 PM   #20
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

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Their punching IS coming on, but yeah, it's still not great. The guys who can really punch with proper technique are very noticable, put it that way. Part of this is because of the amount of space available in the ring. Also, over-commiting is very dangerous because balance is at an absolute premium as far as take-downs are concerned.
Your theory about overcommiting seems logical,as the penalty for missing is potentially much more severe ,I should think.
That huge Pole, Pozdainowski ,whatever, he is called, built like Hercules ,punches like my girl friend,they dont turn their hands over ,must have been taught by Calzaghe.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:13 PM   #21
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

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Because boxing skills were undeveloped and would generally get better as generations passed
This is true. Well, when placed within the right context. I mean, i'm sure a lower guard worked better with the boxing rules as they were in 1900, which is COMPLETELY different from what they were in 1930. It took some time for boxers, heavyweights especially, to evolve.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:16 PM   #22
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

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Your theory about overcommiting seems logical,as the penalty for missing is potentially much more severe ,I should think.
That huge Pole, Pozdainowski ,whatever, he is called, built like Hercules ,punches like my girl friend,they dont turn their hands over ,must have been taught by Calzaghe.
Pudzianowski is a strongman who just fought his first fight in MMA. He does not in any way, shape, or form represent typical mixed martial artists.

That being said, you're right.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:11 PM   #23
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

It's a bit deeper than that.

There was much more emphasis on the 'lean', a move associated with Corbett and Johnson to make your man over-reach, which Ali would later popularize.

With lighter gloves, punches to the head were generally less concussive whereas a blow in the gut would really sink in and when you’ve got 20-45 rounds to play around with you’re gonna’ make damn sure you don’t cop many down there.

Activity levels were generally lower because the consequences of getting punched could be far deadlier. Go and have a spar with some bag gloves and you’ll find your self not as willing to hang about in the ‘pocket’ and instead assume a more open glove, distant stance.

To contrast the old timer’s methods against the fellows of today and come to blunt conclusions is akin to throwing a Neanderthal in a pool and asking why it does not swim as well. It was a different ball game.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:26 PM   #24
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

The gloves were smaller so a blow to the body is worse than a head shot - we all agree on this

If you have smaller gloves and bring your hands up it is very hard to protect your head as you are basically halfing the area of your defence as your gloves are smaller so less defensive coverage and the opponents gloves are smaller so less area of oncoming opponents blows to block away, so more shots would get through.

So a high right hand taht floated around the chin and a left arm that was low to protect the body was the most commonly used guard. I dont think you can disagree here as it is shown in film that the right hand stayed fairly high.

The right hand was set in the perfect place for parrying as it was loose and quickly able to parry a shot, now a parry is different from a block which is used now adays when fighters keep both of there hands up and tend to just put there glove in front of the oncoming glove, a parry knocks the arm away and leaves the person punching off balance due to the shift of there force making them unable to follow up with any more shots - if done correctly.

A parry when both hands are held high generally lacks the strength to alter your opponents line of projectory in their punch enough to throw them off balance and is more just a temporary defence and purely defensive instead of being used for counter attacks.

Also when both hands are held high you are left to guard your body with your elbows and they are quite thin and dont cover too much area and this is amplified with littler gloves that are harder to deflect so instead the left hand was used to cover the body more fully than the elbows or used to parry the oncoming shots (and therefor causing the same effect as a parried head shot but also sets up a brillaint right hand counter), whereas with bigger gloves there is more chance they just hit your elbows and they dont hurt as much when you get hit by them.

But guys were fighting say every month at least in those days in the gym sparring at least once a week (normaly) so of course they would develop the most effective style to use there hardly going to go against all your insticnts and use a defence that does not work to protect themselves are they?

And also there was elements of keeping your hands up in play as cross_trainer has pointed out.

Also does anyone not think that the use of a high guard corrolates with the use of bigger gloves? In other words do you think Winky Wright would have been effective in the 1910's with his high guard?
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:54 PM   #25
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

Interesting thread this one.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:18 PM   #26
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

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Originally Posted by PowerPuncher View Post
A proper guard has the fist on the chin with the forearm and elbow covering the body, why would he get stopped if he has his elbow there to block bodyshots? If bodyshots were such a big issue then, why not use a side on half guard thus only exposing 1 half of the body, which in turn is covered by the low hand, with the back hand their to block head shots? Why do MMA fighters use high guards?
In what way do top MMA fighters use 'high guards'? They don't stand with their hands behind their back, but they certainly don't use what in boxing would be called a high guard; it simply doesn't work with 4oz gloves.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:19 PM   #27
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

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Pudzianowski is a strongman who just fought his first fight in MMA. He does not in any way, shape, or form represent typical mixed martial artists.

That being said, you're right.
I appreciate he is a debutee,I used him as an example ,because to be honest he was fresh in my mind ,and I don't generally watch MMA, so I would have been scratching for another name.
I didn't intend any slight on MMA fighters who are undoubtedly very tough men ,just not usually that technically good at throwing punches ,imo.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:27 PM   #28
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

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I appreciate he is a debutee,I used him as an example ,because to be honest he was fresh in my mind ,and I don't generally watch MMA, so I would have been scratching for another name.
I didn't intend any slight on MMA fighters who are undoubtedly very tough men ,just not usually that technically good at throwing punches ,imo.
Because you're used to watching boxing and are applying the same standards to a completely different sport. You can't block punches with gloves, you can't stand sideways because it compromises your balance so much, the jab often becomes useless unless you have a 16" height and reach advantage because kicks have a much longer range, you can't throw a punch and clinch and expect the referee to restart the fight on the outside. I know you said you don't know much about MMA, but I suspect you're doing the same thing with the old timers; applying rules and standards from modern boxing that are completely irrelevant.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:12 PM   #29
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

Didn't Ali and Holmes often keep their hands low?
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:16 PM   #30
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Default Re: Why did the old timers have their hands so low?

You make alot of sense Greg.
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