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Old 01-19-2013, 06:56 AM   #1
Littlebigmouth
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Default Question about reach.

Been watching fights on youtube and I'm intrigued by the varying reach of boxers and how one can keep the other at a distance.

Consider Vitali Klitschko vs Corrie Sanders.

Reach 203 cm, vs 197cm.

6 cm advantage, 3 cm on each hand.

Vitali probably has longer hands.

There is variability in shoulder width (vitali probably also has bigger shoulders too).

The likelihood that once they're throwing punches that ratio above will still apply seems.... unlikely.

My thoughts are... the taller boxer aims down or relatively straight, he has a clear shot. He also has longer legs, meaning a bigger step which adds range to his strike.

The smaller boxer must strike upwards, through vitalis hands making him need close distance to get inside or be blocked or out ranged.

Further. The smaller boxers head is at level with vitalis shoulders. Meaning he strikes straight, while the other guy must strike upwards.

Vitali can move his head back as he has a long back putting his oppenent further out of range (remember the hypotenuse is the longest part of the triangle).

Now contrast if the difference were 10cm instead of 6 cm add in the factor of shoulder width, hand length (unless it is fist to fist) variable arm vs shoulder length and at what point does reach become a huge advantage ?

So does height have a lot to do with it as well besides the measurement of "reach" vs what two guys in the ring can actually hit at what distance ?

What is weird to me is that Sanders appeared to have an easier time hitting the younger of the two Klitschko's who has a 208 cm rteach..

Thanks for hearing my ramblings. Please help me understand.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:06 AM   #2
Robney
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Default Re: Question about reach.

Reach might be the most underestimated asset in boxing imo.

People look more at size instead of reach advantage, while almost all the greats had a massive reach for their size/weight. Just look at your top10 and compare their reach to their opponents'.
And look at the current P4P #1 for instance. Floyd wouldn't be able to use his shoulderrol/counter effectively without his (often much) longer reach.

It's so much easier to be able to hit someone while he can't reach you.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Question about reach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robney View Post
Reach might be the most underestimated asset in boxing imo.

People look more at size instead of reach advantage, while almost all the greats had a massive reach for their size/weight. Just look at your top10 and compare their reach to their opponents'.
And look at the current P4P #1 for instance. Floyd wouldn't be able to use his shoulderrol/counter effectively without his (often much) longer reach.

It's so much easier to be able to hit someone while he can't reach you.
Vitali doesn't. Infact his reach is listed the same as Alis but I remember seeing a picutre somewhere of Vitali out ranging Ali.

Andre Ward's reach is less than his height.

Juan Manuel Marquez has the same reach / height.

I want to know how the reach statistic can be interpreted vs how far a person can actually reach a punch in the ringh.

IF a boxer has narrow shoulders, and small hands with long legs it is entirely possible the reach statistic published is meaningless.

Lets put this another way...

Say someone with 203cm reach fights a guy with 197cm reach, but also has wider shoulders and bigger hands meaning their reach may be somewhere close to the same or negligibly different.

What if the guy with 203 cm reach is taller and hits harder.

If I'm 10 cm shorter the entire top of my head is exposed at exactly my opponents shoulder height meaning I'm already on the defense as I need to punsh on an angle and through his hands.

So if I know he is more powerful and can knock me out in one punch I'll play defensively. I don't want to lower my hands and rush in because I could be ko'd. So I keep my hands up and advance slowly.

Letting the other guy take pot shots and back away as he wants, because he can afford to make a mistake and I cannot.

Additionally I need to punsh up through his hands to get to his head I can't go over or around because his hands will be in the way. This creates the perception of being put out of range when it is really just a case of a different angle and the other guy having a lot more power.

If range were the factor I imagine we'd see the bigger reach guys hands connecting while the littler guys hands fall short with no need for the big fella to back away a lot more often (not saying that is all that would happen).

What do you think?

Last edited by Littlebigmouth; 01-19-2013 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Question about reach.

For some things reach isn't very important.
Hooks for example, a short arm is better suited for it because it makes the hooks quicker and much less telegraphed, longer arms give stronger hooks but they're also easier to dodge.
But most of the time reach is pretty important

Height really isn't important at all (most of the time as it has some drawbacks too)

Last edited by dyna; 01-19-2013 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Question about reach.

Yes height also has a lot to do with it, as you pointed out, a bigger fighter will be able to step in further with his shots relative to the rest of the body

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the ability to lean back and get away from a punch also makes a difference
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Question about reach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dyna View Post
For some things reach isn't very important.
Hooks for example, a short arm is better suited for it because it makes the hooks quicker and much less telegraphed, longer arms give stronger hooks but they're also easier to dodge.
But most of the time reach is pretty important

Height really isn't important at all
Yes it is

The two punches with the furthest reach are the jab, and straight

Before you can be in range to throw a hook, or uppercut, you theoretically have to get through the range in which you can be hit with jabs and straights

Having shorter arms on the inside is an advantage, but you still have to get there in the first place
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Question about reach.

Reach is so ****ing irrelevant it's not funny.. If you eliminated things such as footwork, skills and timing then it might mean something. It's always people who haven't boxed or don't understand boxing that talk about physical attributes as if they make a significant difference. I once heard a guy claim he would beat his mate in a fight because he has a longer reach. Ward outboxes everybody on the outside and inside and he has the arms of a midget. Pac, Lomachenko, Tyson, Gamboa etc...
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:05 AM   #8
Vidic
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Default Re: Question about reach.

Reach isn't irrelevant, but like everything else it matters with combined with other factors

Ward has good enough feinting, upperbody movement, footwork and most importantly, handspeed, that he can negate his opponents longer reach (Ward actually has 71'' reach, not that short but definitely under average, I'm fairly certain most people have a reach 1 or 2 inches above their height)

Two guys with absolutely equal attributes, but one with longer reach, and the one with longer reach will do better
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Question about reach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidic View Post
Yes it is

The two punches with the furthest reach are the jab, and straight

Before you can be in range to throw a hook, or uppercut, you theoretically have to get through the range in which you can be hit with jabs and straights

Having shorter arms on the inside is an advantage, but you still have to get there in the first place
You can have a short body and long legs.

To get on the inside, footwork is the most important thing besides the ability to either parry or slip the punches.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: Question about reach.

Tyson was an inside* fighter, so his short reach worked to his advantage, he would get inside his longer opponents jab and work the body and head with short hooks and uppercuts, the taller, rangier opponents were much less effective on the inside due to their longer arms

Pac has rarely faced an opponent with a signifigant reach advantage over him, Gamboas lack of size will probably prevent him moving up too far...

*middle distance, but inside his opponents reach
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:12 AM   #11
Vidic
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Default Re: Question about reach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dyna View Post
You can have a short body and long legs.

To get on the inside, footwork is the most important thing besides the ability to either parry or slip the punches.
Hmm, I don't see how this is relevant to my post?

I was not explaining how a fighter would get inside, I was explaining that in order to do so, the fighter with shorter reach will have to come within range of his opponents punches, which is a disadvantage

Control of range is one of the biggest assets in boxing, and reach plays into that (as do other things)
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:17 AM   #12
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Default Re: Question about reach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidic View Post
Reach isn't irrelevant, but like everything else it matters with combined with other factors

Ward has good enough feinting, upperbody movement, footwork and most importantly, handspeed, that he can negate his opponents longer reach (Ward actually has 71'' reach, not that short but definitely under average, I'm fairly certain most people have a reach 1 or 2 inches above their height)

Two guys with absolutely equal attributes, but one with longer reach, and the one with longer reach will do better
Okay, name me two fighters with absolutely equal attributes? That's nice in theory but absolutely no two fighters are the same, they do different things in fights and throw different punches, have different timing, reflexes, iq, speed etc.. Kostya Tszyu is another one with short reach who mostly fought from the outside.
A fighter with longer arms takes longer to extend his arms so a reach advantage is negated by that anyway.
Reach is absolutely meaningless to everybody other than the casual fan and the fan who thinks they can tell who will win a fight by looking at a weigh-in and some stats.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:24 AM   #13
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Default Re: Question about reach.

Ideally your reach (fingertip to fingertip) will be around your height or greater...

So if your 180cm tall (5'11") your reach will be 72" 180cm...

An inch or two in difference of reach doesn't mean much... all to do with how you throw the punch and of course fast feet in bieng able to get in and out of range helps hugely.


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Old 01-19-2013, 09:26 AM   #14
Vidic
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Default Re: Question about reach.

Being able to hit your opponent before he hits you = not meaningless

Not the be all and end all, but still an advantage, especially considering the jab is the most frequently used punch in boxing
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:30 AM   #15
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Default Re: Question about reach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miniq View Post
Ideally your reach (fingertip to fingertip) will be around your height or greater...

So if your 180cm tall (5'11") your reach will be 72" 180cm...

An inch or two in difference of reach doesn't mean much... all to do with how you throw the punch.


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Sonny Liston looks like a gorilla with those extremely long arms, he was also much bigger than Floyd.
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