Big fight, against type

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Saintpat, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. Saintpat

    Saintpat Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    I thought we could discuss times boxers brought out against-their-nature game plans in bigger fights to bamboozle an opponent.

    Here’s three examples:

    Salvador Sanchez, usually a mobile counterpuncher, held his ground and took the lead against Wilfredo Gomez. It’s obvious from the first bell that he wanted to take the initiative and, if not back Gomez up, at least not give ground.

    Ironically, the first knockdown game when an aggressive Gomez backed SS to the ropes and got tagged by a right-hand counter and left hook. But Sanchez was uncharacteristically aggressive himself in this fight and didn’t play his normal role.

    He won, by stoppage, of course.

    Marco Antonio Barrera, as we all know, famously outboxed Prince Naseem Hamed, using classic style to win a fencing match rather than swarming and loading up for big power shots as we were accustomed. Naz seemed to have no answers for this stylistic approach by a master.

    And then there’s Roberto Duran in the third fight against DeJesus. Esteban had dropped Duran in the first round of their first two encounters with left hooks and won the first, handing Roberto his first defeat. Ray Arcel told Duran that if he came at DeJesus with his usual animalistic, frenzied style again that hook would be waiting for him.

    This time Duran unveiled the skills that would carry him to all-time greatness, showing he was more than a swarmed and brute banger by patiently boxing Esteban’s ears off to set up the KO.

    What are some other surprising tactical approaches to fights that turned expectations sideways?
  2. Holler

    Holler Doesn't appear to be a paid matchroom PR shill Full Member

    Mar 12, 2018
    Obvious one is
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  3. Jel

    Jel Boxing Addict Full Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    Hagler against Hearns. Hagler could be aggressive but would often pick off opponents with his sharp shooting style before going in for the kill. With significant height and reach disadvantages, he went to war from the opening seconds and forced Hearns onto the back foot after the brutal opening 3 minutes.
  4. George Crowcroft

    George Crowcroft The Cobra Will Always Bite Back... Full Member

    Mar 3, 2019
    Tbh I think Hagler was getting away from that style all together, he stuck with a brawling style for the remainder of his career after that.
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  5. Jel

    Jel Boxing Addict Full Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    Well, he only had two more fights after Hearns - Mugabi and Leonard. He probably went into the Mugabi fight with a similar mindset to the Hearns fight and had the self-belief to figure he could take whatever Mugabi dished out and bomb Mugabi out, which meant he had an unnecessary war when he could have used his skills to outbox Mugabi in my view.

    For the Leonard fight I honestly don't think he went in with a gameplan at all so overconfident was he that he pretty much could turn up and fight any fight and beat Ray, hence staying in orthodox for the early rounds. That was the equivalent of giving himself a handicap, like saying 'I can beat you so easily I'll use my weaker hand'. That backfired!
  6. Flo_Raiden

    Flo_Raiden Boxing Addict Full Member

    Oct 12, 2010
    Are you talking about fights where a fighter wins one of his biggest fights by switching up their usual style?

    I would have to say Canelo beating GGG in the rematch when he chose to come forward and making GGG back up.
  7. bandeedo

    bandeedo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 19, 2007
    Gonzalez switching it up on carbajal.
  8. scartissue

    scartissue Boxing Addict Full Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    First one I thought of. Also, I would add in the rematch between Ruben Olivares and Art Hafey. Ruben turned matador and boxed a brilliant fight against Hafey.
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  9. JackSilver

    JackSilver Well-Known Member Full Member

    Jun 24, 2017
    Canelo comes forward in all his fights.
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  10. PernellSweetPea

    PernellSweetPea Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    This is a good post I agree. I think with Mugabi and Leonard he was also rusty and had not fought each time for a year and it showed. He looked sort of soft against Mugabi and flat and dry and stiff against Ray. I read once how Ray got Hagler to his restaurant opening at that time and they talked and Marvin said he was not motivated to fight anymore and Ray said, no kidding or something like that. No ****? And then after that or after the opening ( I am not sure which came first the fight or the opening) or after Mugabi fight with Hagler being inactive and looking bad Ray says at that Maryland studio I will fight Marvin. I think that was the start when Marvin thought that Ray sort of used something he said in confidence at the restaurant against him and then says I want to fight him. Ray knew when to fight Marvin. He didn't want to fight Marvin after Marvin fought Hearns. Because at that time Marvin was actively fighting.
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  11. Flash24

    Flash24 Well-Known Member Full Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    On point!
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  12. Jel

    Jel Boxing Addict Full Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    Yes, I read that too - I think it's actually in Leonard's autobiography. Ray's view was 'Why would he tell me this?' but Marvin probably thought 'Ray's retired' and as a former fellow fighter who had retired at the top of his game with fame and money he was one of the few people in the world who would understand Marvin's predicament. But Ray used that against him. You'd have thought that after what happened in November 82 with the faux fight-announcement-turned-retirement speech that Marvin would know better than to trust Ray but that probably doubled the enmity Hagler felt towards Leonard - a guy who proved not to be trustworthy in his mind.
  13. Tramell

    Tramell The Ideological Slayer: I Slay Ideology! Full Member

    Sep 21, 2012
    Mayweather moving up to 140 and taking the fight to Corley from start to finish.

    I'm not sure about this one...will take a chance Hagler vs Briscoe. Marvin backs up almost throughout the whole fight & is countering as a means to beat him.

    Liston vs Williams. The Big ugly bear was not the aggressor, Cleveland was. He used his jab to keep distance & only as the fight wore on and Big Cat started to ware outdid Sonny become the attacker proving he could be thinking fighter when he needed.
    There is a funny interview of Sonny saying that was the fight where he gained confidence. (IF) he could beat Cleveland he could beat anyone because Cleveland "had muscles everywhere, muscles coming out of his ass" Interviewer laughs at answer.

    Not sure about Hopkins..cause I consider him the chameleon of boxing- meaning he could morph his style into what was necessary to beat his opponent. Against Winky he sacrificed his jab to pary Wright's. Against Tito when his clinching failed early on he constantly circled the ring with his back to the ropes, but never stopped on the ropes. Tito had a nice move where Hop tried to clinch so Trinidad uses his elbow to push off Hop's collar bone, no clinching so Bhop adapted.
    Against Pavlik he didn't run, just used a 1 or 2 foot move, pivots, twist here and there and was always in range- PLUS staying inside negated Pavlik's best asset which was extending that arm to generate that power of a long lanky fighter. Guys like Taylor & Miranda stayed at the end of his punches & felt the results in full.
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  14. TBooze

    TBooze Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Interesting point; I would generally disagree, yes David Frost put a name to the tactic, but Ali had lost a step speed wise a few years earlier and was using his (with hindsight) unhealthy durability in fights pre Foreman.

    And lets not forget, the rope-a-dope was a case of Ali's legs not able to do what he wanted so he stayed back on the ropes while trying to figure out plan B. Dundee at the time wanted him to move.
  15. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    Hearns outboxing the master boxer Wilfred Benitez with loads of skill and more importantly patience backed by one of the great game plans.
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