Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mrkoolkevin, Feb 10, 2019.
When they lost the ability to slip punches?
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.
It is a lot easier to read a punch though coming from a high guard.
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.
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.
Yes, that’s exactly what I had in mind! I’m trying to figure out the transition between those two general approaches.
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?
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.
Thanks! Do you have any idea what (or who) exactly led to that change, by any chance?
Sure but on average they certainly hold their guards much higher than their counterparts from 100 years ago, especially when they’re within their opponents’ striking range (the only time it matters, really).
Mayweather's shell defense was seen as a highly conspicuous departure from the predominant approach to defense.
As gloves got bigger it made more sense to use them to block punches. The smaller gloves were useful to deflect or party punches but they made poor earmuffs.
There has also been a change in general theory. That being that you used your right hand to protect your head- catch the jab, block the hook, etc...- and the left to counter. Because it is closer to the opponent. When boxing changed to square up stances, the use of the shoulders for defense declined and now you need to keep your hands high. You couple that with a general misunderstanding of "head movement" and range and there you are.
Incidentally, it is now not uncommon to see guys using the left glove- the lead hand in most cases- to block an opponent's jab. If you are looking to build a case that boxing is in a regressive era, that would be a good place to start.
I've had people come to the gym who want to fight like FMJ and want to hold their hands like he does. I've told them that FMJ has been boxing his whole life, his dad and family have worked with him forever, he has been in the ring forever, and things that he sees and does don't necessarily apply to most boxers, especially beginners. Boxers who grow up in boxing families like FMJ, Lomachenko, Fury, Byrd, etc. often have a sense of "anticipation" that fighters who start later can't/don't develop.
We try to convince them to learn to box using good fundamentals and tell them that after they start sparring/fighting they can use any style they feel comfortable with. FMJ, Lomachenko, Fury, and Byrd probably have perfect fundamentals, they have just added to it. One article I read said that most boxers are playing checkers, the better ones are playing chess, the ones like FMJ are playing chess while sprinting. They are planning moves far ahead of their opponent. What they do in the ring is too advanced for most boxers and trying to copy them will get most people hurt.
Interesting points. The glove size is a really interesting one - I hadn't considered that but it makes sense.
I have seen the same thing at my gym in recent years with newer fighters. They all want to use that Floyd shoulder roll which is not something beginners should be focused on.