When did boxers start using higher guards with regularity?

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



  1. Pat M

    Pat M Active Member Full Member

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    We had a guy come to the gym about 6 months ago. He had an argument with his previous trainer and was looking for a new place. Anyway, he has finished in the top 4 in national amateur tournaments so we were glad to get him. I was working mitts with him and I threw a slow left jab just to see how he'd handle it, he parried it with his left hand. I couldn't believe it, so I did it again and threw a right behind it, of course he parried the left jab again with his left hand and the right would have hit him easily if I didn't pull it. I asked him if he always did that and he said that nobody had showed him the obvious problem with parrying the jab with the left hand. He has mostly corrected that now, but bad habits are hard to break.

    His previous trainer was a nationally ranked amateur in the 60s so it wasn't like he didn't know anything about boxing. The guy we had was in tremendous condition and was extremely intense so he had done well without learning some basic boxing.
     
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  2. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Bronson Full Member

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    I know what you mean. However, would you care to explain in more detail, about 'anticipation'?
     
  3. Pat M

    Pat M Active Member Full Member

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    I'll try, I'm not sure I can describe anticipation in boxers. We noticed it a few years ago when our fighters were fighting a lot around the DC/Baltimore area. When a fighter like Lamont Roach or one of the Russells (kids whose dads/relatives trained them early) would fight, it was hard for their opponents to hit them and it seemed that they could anticipate what their opponent was going to do next. I suspect that it comes from being around boxing their entire life. Not necessarily sparring all the time, but being in the gym, being around boxers, working with boxers, as greynotsoold called it "immersed in boxing." It's like teacher's kids often do well in school because they grow up around it, for boxers from boxing families it can become instinctive and they learn to anticipate their opponents moves, maybe even before the opponent knows.
     
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  4. greynotsoold

    greynotsoold Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I like to teach the idea that you anticipate moves by an opponent because you cause him to make them. An easy example is an orthodox fighter moving to his right against a southpaw; when you make that move he will throw his left hand. You know that so you make him do it and counter.
    There are so many examples of that, you can't possibly teach all of them. But you can instill that mindset and accustom the fighter to thinking that way and looking to create those situations.
     
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  5. Pat M

    Pat M Active Member Full Member

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    You described it exactly. Kids that can think in the ring are usually the ones who go the farthest. I think you have put into words exactly what the kids do who "anticipate" - they make it happen. Some are many moves ahead. Of course, those moves work best against good fighters. The fighters who are not good are hard to anticipate.

    It's like a story I read from an old football book. The guy who wrote the book played right guard in the 60s and when his team would run a sweep to the left, he would pull and lead the sweep. The good defensive tackles and linebackers would see him pull and they would anticipate the sweep and run to their right toward the sweep. So the next step would be to have the guard pull, then the DT and LB would move to their right leaving a hole where the guard pulled, and then run a back through the hole that was left. This worked well until they played against a DT who wasn't "good." He just stayed there and the running back ran into him. Same type thing can happen in boxing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  6. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Interestingly John L Sullivan once said almost exactly the same thing, about the correct stance being the one that worked best for you.

    Having said that, lets compare Wlad's stance to that of Joe Louis.

    Wlad stands more or less square on to the target. This gives him a short distance of travel for his right hand to the target, and facilitates a high punch output. It also gives the target a relatively short distance of travel to him, and leaves him open if his guard is low. Understandably most fighters with this stance opt for a higher guard.

    Joe Louis stands off center to the target. This gives his right hand a longer distance of travel to the target, leaves his chin less open to the target, and allows it to be brought out of harms way by a subtle change of angle. This makes him less reliant upon his guard. Now interestingly when Louis goes into a crouch, bringing his head closer to the target, he immediately switches to a higher guard, more like a modern fighter.

    It is only fair to say that fighters had success with Wlad's stance in Louis's era, and vice versa. The obvious differences in their circumstances, are that Louis had to fight for fifteen rounds, and defend against punches from smaller gloves.
     
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  7. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Boxing Addict Full Member

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    It was probably him. Not seen him post in a while actually. He was doing good stuff, so I hope he comes back.

    If anyone is interested, from the Modern Art of Boxing 1792 by Daniel Mendoza

    Parry all blows of your adversary's right hand with your left, and those of his left hand with your right.​
    This rule ought never to be disregarded, except when you see a safe opportunity of catching a blow of his right hand if aimed at the face on your right, and striking him in the loins with your left; or of stopping his left-arm stroke on your left, and directing your right first to his kidneys.
     
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  8. Senya13

    Senya13 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    A bunch of clippings from a dozen or so manuals, the earliest from 1926, the latest 1965 -
    This content is protected

    I will delete the file in a few days.
     
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  9. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Not here for the fairy tales Full Member

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    Thanks for sharing! Fascinating stuff. Seems like 1938 was the turning point (among the images you shared, anyway).
     
  10. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Bronson Full Member

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    Awesome content. Seems older stances are focused on protection of the solar plexus, which is a vestige of bare knuckle / early queensberry stances and strategies.
     
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  11. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    That makes sense.

    Those smaller gloves could have made a solar plexus punch less damaging, but would probably have made relatively little difference to a chin punch.
     
  12. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Bronson Full Member

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    Yes, I think the cross guard developed in a similar way, to defend the two most vulnerable knockout areas, chin and solar plexus.
    I'm pretty sure some old fighters would ride a shot thrown to their head / chin with their arm whilst crossing, then chop downwards, almost like a karate chop. Of course, that's illegal now!
     
  13. Jel

    Jel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Quality thread this.
     
  14. Wass1985

    Wass1985 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Pacquiao has been doing it for years.
     
  15. reznick

    reznick Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    The 1928 photo looks a whole lot similar to a philly shell...
     

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