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Old 07-17-2007, 06:41 AM   #1
Shake
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Default Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

Sharp Punching

A prime example of a sharp puncher is Thomas Hearns. He didn't have a clubbing punch, and you weren't in much trouble if you challenged him to arm-wrestling, as he gained his power through technique, speed and leverage. Hearns, as everyone here knows, was extremely lanky, and through ample training he mastered transferring his physical frame directly into destruction on the end of his long punches. The fact that he was fast enough to catch his opponents cleanly was paramount, for a sharp punch with leverage that is partially deflected isn't very effective.

This style lends itself well for one-punch knockouts.

Powerful Punching

First name to pop up is George Foreman. George, in his younger years, couldn't throw a straight punch properly to save his life. The proper technique did not matter much, though, as all he had to do was land semi-cleanly for an opponent to be duely stunned. George's power came directly from his back and shoulder muscles. Even when hitting on a guard there was a chance of breaking through with sheer force.

This style lends itself for battering TKO's and knockouts through wear and tear.

Hybrid

Mike Tyson is the best example of a mix of the two -- a powerful man to begin with, Tyson had the speed and punching-technique to land cleanly. He had both in such abundance that he became arguably the most offensvely impressive heavyweight in the history of the sport.

In his comeback, he had lost the speed that made his offense so successful.

Help me categorise important fighters and weigh in:

Is speed essential for sharp punching?

Did Kostya Tszu successfully substitute speed with timing to become a sharp puncher, or was he powerful to begin with? Or did he have sufficient speed?

What kind of puncher do you prefer to watch?

In what categories would you rank your ten favorite fighters boxing currently?

Do you have anything to add (to the concept, fighters, or otherwise)?

Is this thread stupid? (Had to )
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

Its a very interesting thread and one that has been partially covered before by the idea of 'clean' versus 'dirty' energy.

On a specific note, I agree Tyson is a hybrid puncher, for me he is very much near the speed end of the spectrum.

If forced to say I guess I prefer the clean punchers, but when push comes to shove I love watching all boxing.
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

Dammit, meant to post this in the regular forum. Any way to delete a thread?
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Old 07-17-2007, 07:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

Shake, nah good thread homie, interesting and thoughtful, keep em comin'....
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

I agree with your classifications, and it's a good thread.

Sometimes though, I think we tend to overcomplicate things. A KO by George or KO by Hearns is just as devastating to the competition, and both are eaqually entertaining to watch.

Last edited by Narlo; 03-11-2006 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shake
Dammit, meant to post this in the regular forum. Any way to delete a thread?
You could always repost it there but you'll get a good response here, and probably a higher level of comments and analysis too.

I want to ask you a question. If Tommy Hearns only had average hand speed would he still be a devastating puncher? If so, why?
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

If Tommy Hearns had average speed I don't think he would be as effective. Tommy usually controlled opponents with the jab and stalked them from range, something he would not be able to do as well if he had slower hands.

I feel that the pressure Tommy brought allowed him to set up an opponent. His fast hands were an integral part of his unique kind of pressure.

In the end, I can't readily answer your question. If Tommy would land the jab he could find a spot for his long right, but wether he'd be able to do so consistently and on the level of opposition he competed with is doubtful.
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fists of fury
I agree with your classifications, and it's a good thread.

Sometimes though, I think we tend to overcomplicate things. A KO by George or KO by Hearns is just as devastating to the competition, and both are eaqually entertaining to watch.
I agree on the entertainment value and you're right in that it doesn't matter much to me as a spectator, but I try to understand the sport more a little at a time. In essence I'm looking at past fighters, their attributes, deficiencies and qualities to better asses current prizefighters or talents.

I want to know what makes a good boxer, what makes for good boxing, and how to use and negate the subtle techniques used by boxing's best.
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

No, speed is not essential for sharp punching. In his 40's Duran certainly wasn't particularly fast, but he scored one kayo I saw (I forget the opponent) with deflection marksmanship. Correctly anticipating where his quarry's face would be, he accurately directed his right hand to the same point in space, and scored a one punch kayo by breaking his hapless prey's nose. (Roberto's right actually shoved the poor kid's nose halfway across his face. A fascinatingly hideous thing to watch replayed.) Duran was in his mid 40's when he dumped Pazienza on the deck for the first time in Vinnie's career with a similarly well-timed shot.

Arguello probably wouldn't be considered a speedster by most, but who would suggest that Alexis wasn't a sharp puncher? In the final major win of his career, he was being dominated by Billy Costello. A single precisely placed punch abruptly won the match for Alexis.

Carlos Zarate probably wouldn't be categorized as being especially fast either, but the few times I watched him he certainly seemed sharp enough.

Sometimes, there can be a trade-off between blinding speed and force of impact. It seemed to me that Ali's hardest punches were not always blindingly fast. The left hook he shot down Bonavena with wasn't a blur. Nor was the hard right he kayoed Foreman with.

When discussing sharp punching for one shot kayoes, SRR has to be classic in that regard.

When it comes to powerful punching, Jeffries could be named along with Foreman. Cuevas and Fitzsimmons could also be tossed in.
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shake
If Tommy Hearns had average speed I don't think he would be as effective. Tommy usually controlled opponents with the jab and stalked them from range, something he would not be able to do as well if he had slower hands.

I feel that the pressure Tommy brought allowed him to set up an opponent. His fast hands were an integral part of his unique kind of pressure.

In the end, I can't readily answer your question. If Tommy would land the jab he could find a spot for his long right, but wether he'd be able to do so consistently and on the level of opposition he competed with is doubtful.
What you've said is all relevant but I was more angling towards how powerful a puncher would Tommy be if his punches were not enhanced by the speed they were arriving at. For a 'sharp' type of puncher speed is useful. Would he end up like an Arguello instead, slow of hand but still a devastating hitter?
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Would he end up like an Arguello instead, slow of hand but still a devastating hitter?
I don't think he would. Hearns didn't have the same kind of timing. That's what Arguello replaced speed with, as well as flawless technique. Same with Zarate.
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
If Tommy Hearns only had average hand speed would he still be a devastating puncher? If so, why?
Forgive me, if you will, for butting in with a comment here.

Danny Lopez wasn't particularly fast, but could hit with tremendous force. I wouldn't consider Mike Spinks a great speed demon either. Tommy still would be able to generate considerable leverage with his punching, and continue to inflict significant damage by virtue of his reach. But with diminished speed, Hearns might be eluded a bit more than he was. It doesn't matter how hard a punch is, if it doesn't connect solidly. In the case of placement specialists like Arguello, it doesn't even need to be that hard if it strikes a vulnerable part of the anatomy.

Hearns maintained decent power as a cruiserweight, and proved to be of championship caliber even without his earlier advantages of height and reach at WW. I think Tommy surprised a lot of people with his ability to adapt as his weight climbed. I'm satisfied that he probably did evolve the capacity to maintain his power, although if he was slower, his shots could be more easily evaded.

ps: My apologies, if this post has a bit of a ragged quality to it. I'm laboring under a bit of a fog at the moment. (Bad night's sleep. Trying to use this mental activity to snap out of it, but my day's probably a lost cause.)
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:44 AM   #13
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duodenum
Forgive me, if you will, for butting in with a comment here.

Danny Lopez wasn't particularly fast, but could hit with tremendous force. I wouldn't consider Mike Spinks a great speed demon either. Tommy still would be able to generate considerable leverage with his punching, and continue to inflict significant damage by virtue of his reach. But with diminished speed, Hearns might be eluded a bit more than he was. It doesn't matter how hard a punch is, if it doesn't connect solidly. In the case of placement specialists like Arguello, it doesn't even need to be that hard if it strikes a vulnerable part of the anatomy.

Hearns maintained decent power as a cruiserweight, and proved to be of championship caliber even without his earlier advantages of height and reach at WW. I think Tommy surprised a lot of people with his ability to adapt as his weight climbed. I'm satisfied that he probably did evolve the capacity to maintain his power, although if he was slower, his shots could be more easily evaded.

ps: My apologies, if this post has a bit of a ragged quality to it. I'm laboring under a bit of a fog at the moment. (Bad night's sleep. Trying to use this mental activity to snap out of it, but my day's probably a lost cause.)
I agree with you in that Tommy's leverage and reach would still mean that he'd still generate significant damage on opponents. If he had average handspeed then of course it would mean potentially less opportunity to land, but as you've demonstrated with the examples of Danny Lopez, Michael Spinks, Alexis Arguello etc lack of speed can be overcome with accuracy and timing. Tommy's 'power' though is possibly supplemented by his speed, not only for opportunities to land but via increased kinetic force as well. It seems that Hearns, Arguello, Lopez likely had genetic advantages that made them punchers also.

It's possible that an average hand speed Hearns could be become like an Arguello as he was a very good technician. His style would be different of course and he wouldn't be able to throw those fast, sometimes wasteful, flurries when he had a man in trouble. If he knew he didn't have great hand speed then he'd be forced to develop things like better timing and punch placement. Hearns, like RJJ, relied very much on his athletic talents and so it's kinda hard to say whether he could still be as successful without his demon speed.
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:54 AM   #14
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shake
Sharp Punching

A prime example of a sharp puncher is Thomas Hearns. He didn't have a clubbing punch, and you weren't in much trouble if you challenged him to arm-wrestling, as he gained his power through technique, speed and leverage. Hearns, as everyone here knows, was extremely lanky, and through ample training he mastered transferring his physical frame directly into destruction on the end of his long punches. The fact that he was fast enough to catch his opponents cleanly was paramount, for a sharp punch with leverage that is partially deflected isn't very effective.

This style lends itself well for one-punch knockouts.

Powerful Punching

First name to pop up is George Foreman. George, in his younger years, couldn't throw a straight punch properly to save his life. The proper technique did not matter much, though, as all he had to do was land semi-cleanly for an opponent to be duely stunned. George's power came directly from his back and shoulder muscles. Even when hitting on a guard there was a chance of breaking through with sheer force.

This style lends itself for battering TKO's and knockouts through wear and tear.

Hybrid

Mike Tyson is the best example of a mix of the two -- a powerful man to begin with, Tyson had the speed and punching-technique to land cleanly. He had both in such abundance that he became arguably the most offensvely impressive heavyweight in the history of the sport.

In his comeback, he had lost the speed that made his offense so successful.

Help me categorise important fighters and weigh in:

Is speed essential for sharp punching?

Did Kostya Tszu successfully substitute speed with timing to become a sharp puncher, or was he powerful to begin with? Or did he have sufficient speed?

What kind of puncher do you prefer to watch?

In what categories would you rank your ten favorite fighters boxing currently?

Do you have anything to add (to the concept, fighters, or otherwise)?

Is this thread stupid? (Had to )
Clean Punchers would include Louis,Arguello,Jofre,Robinson,Napoles.Clubbers.Foreman,Peter,Bruno.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:01 AM   #15
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Default Re: Sharp punchers, powerful punchers and hybrids.

Great points and counterpoints in here. I find myself leaning towards the camp that believes a lack of speed can be substituded with a precise sense of timing. Alexis Arguello's career seems to suggest so well as, to a lesser degree, Kostya Tszu.

Wow. One of the things I was wondering has been answered already.

A new question: Ronald Winky Wright is a fighter who punches with great accuracy, yet he has very little pop to his punches. Why is this?

Is there a flaw in his technique? Could it be remedied? Does he choose to take a lot of steam off his punches?

I chose Winky because he strikes me as a technician, someone who executes his punches by-the-book. Why, to put it bluntly, don't they work?
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