When did boxers start using higher guards with regularity?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mrkoolkevin, Feb 10, 2019 at 5:28 PM.



  1. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I think trainers always taught to keep the hands up.
    It depends what "up" means though.

    It comes natural to most people to raise them anyway, once someone starts swinging punches at your head you kind of automatically try to protect the face with your hands, as well as ducking. I mean, that's a normal reaction, inside or outside a boxing ring.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 1:07 AM
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  2. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Most trainers know a lot less about boxing that Wladimir Klitschko though.
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Boxing Addict 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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  6. 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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  7. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    The best boxers tend to vary the position of their hands quite a lot, depending on range and what they are trying to achieve in the boxing match from moment to moment.
     
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  8. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    When they lost the ability to slip punches?
     
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  9. AwardedSteak863

    AwardedSteak863 Member Full Member

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    When I think of recent guys that fight behind a high guard, Winky Wright, Ike Quartey and Arthur Abraham come to mind. All three had great thudding jabs and fought at a methodical pace.
     
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  10. Wass1985

    Wass1985 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    It is a lot easier to read a punch though coming from a high guard.
     
  11. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Not here for the fairy tales Full Member

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    That’s why trainers teach boxers to keep their elbows tucked in by their ribs. You block those close body punches with your arms, not your fists.
     
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  12. Wass1985

    Wass1985 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Not quite so easy with a higher guard unless you have exceptionally long arms, pivoting helps but a high guard leaves you more vulnerable. Of course you don't block body shots with your fists hahahaha.
     
  13. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Not here for the fairy tales Full Member

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    Yes, that’s exactly what I had in mind! I’m trying to figure out the transition between those two general approaches.
     
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  14. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Bronson Full Member

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    Also, somewhat related, I think I vaguely remember reading about ancient Greek fighters using high guards, front loaded weight distribution and the like.
    I think it was from a poster called Glaukos the Hammer?
     
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  15. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Not here for the fairy tales Full Member

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    Hard for an untrained guy to pull off but I think it’s easy enough for boxers who train to fight that way (especially against opponents wearing gloves). Longer arms are an advantage but even boxers with average arms can do it. If your gloves are up by your cheeks, your elbows are down and in, and you aren’t standing too square, you really aren’t presenting much of a target for body punching, and you only need to move your guard or bend your knees at most a couple of inches to deflect any punches. And of course if your opponent overcommits to body punching, he potentially opens himself up to head shot counters.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 7:43 AM

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