When did boxers start using higher guards with regularity?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mrkoolkevin, Feb 10, 2019.



  1. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Not here for the fairy tales Full Member

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    When did boxers start using higher guards with regularity? And when did low and loose guards become recognized as poor/questionable technique?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  2. reznick

    reznick Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Considered poor by who?



    Klitschko discusses how there is no "proper stance" for all fighters, and even mocks the high guard stance.
    And then talks about his hands low stance.

    A 10 year long modern HW champion.
     
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  3. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I not with the earlier fighters, that they often adopt a higher guard when they go into a crouch, but use a lower one when in a more upright stance.

    It should also be noted that the more offset stance floured by many earlier fighters, presented a smaller target, and a greater distance of travel anyway.
     
  4. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Not here for the fairy tales Full Member

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    My bad. I was actually referring to higher guards in general--not *the* high guard stance per se.
    I'm going to edit the original post to clarify that.

    While fighters of old used to use much lower guards, modern trainers generally teach fighters to keep their guards somewhere around cheek level so that they are almost always in position to block punches thrown at their heads (and to deter their opponents from throwing those punches in the first place). Few fighters in the pro ranks abide by this technique strictly--most end up lowering their lead hands and some guys with big reach or reflex advantages especially take liberties). But the stance itself has become part of the accepted textbook fundamentals of boxing.

    I'm trying to trace the progression from very low and loose guards being commonplace to higher and tighter guards being the norm.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  5. Wass1985

    Wass1985 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    When folk got scared of getting hit.......
     
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  6. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Tony Canzoneri booted Full Member

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    Do you count the cross / crab guard as a high guard?

    As that is a guard that can be traced back to the bare knuckle days.
     
  7. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Not here for the fairy tales Full Member

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    Guys like Wlad are outliers, and get away with it in large part because of their physical gifts and natural advantages. Pretty sure his advice to "choose whatever stance you want and keep your hands at waist level if it's most comfortable" wouldn't go over well with most trainers, and would lead to a lot of guys suffering unnecessary ass-whuppings.
     
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  8. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Tony Canzoneri booted Full Member

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    Interesting article that traces back the cross guard from archie Moore. There are also images of Gus Ruhlin using cross guard.
     
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  9. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Not here for the fairy tales Full Member

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    That makes sense. It seems like it would be most effective--and its weaknesses less of a liability--in one-punch-at-a-time, slower-paced fights.
     
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  10. PernellSweetPea

    PernellSweetPea Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Wouldn't it be the start of the Queensbury Rules? Which is the foundation of boxing as we know it. Isn't that part of what is the foundation, but the guard was what was probably seen as necessary without the wrestling which they talk about. It made it more logical with that stance to win a match with the rules. It was not part of the rules, but it was modern style needed to win with those limiting factors.
     
  11. PernellSweetPea

    PernellSweetPea Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    And the high guard is something totally the choice of the fighter. Some guys like Hearns keep the left low and it baits the other fight to step in so he can counter, also the view is better with a low guard in many ways and easier to land punches sometimes if you jab to the body. Marlon Starling had high hands and blocked punches, although I saw him hit so many times and rocked on the top of the head. I am not sure why guys did not try that move often, but he was strong.
     
  12. Wass1985

    Wass1985 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    The thing that baffles me with fighters is they all tend to put their guard way up high when they are in close. That is completely the wrong thing to do as in close you are more open to body shots, with your guard way up high you have much more distance to cover in much less time to try and defend yourself.
     
  13. Senya13

    Senya13 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    In Russian boxing manuals it became a "standard" to hold hands higher (neck level) in late 1930s or early 1940s. Earlier manuals teach to hold hands at chest or solar plexus level.
     
  14. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti The Ad Wolgast of Googling Stuff Full Member

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    I actually suspect the cross guard has existed for ever, and it's just how some people instinctively cover up. There's a treatise from the 1700's that mentions it, and says not to do it (as someone can easlly push down onto it to make it ineffective). And you see Max Baer, Battling Nelson and others using it.
     
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  15. Jel

    Jel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    When I read the original post, I assumed it talking about fighters from the 20s like Benny Leonard, Tommy Loughran and Gene Tunney who generally kept their hands closer to their sides, or even Tony Canzoneri in the 30s. I would consider "high" guards in comparison someone like Barney Ross who technically looks much closer to my idea of a modern fighter with a higher guard. Ross-Canzoneri is a useful point of comparison of the two styles.
     
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