Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mrkoolkevin, Feb 10, 2019 at 5:28 PM.
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).
I'm not sure. I really haven't seen as many from 100 years ago.
Floyd Mayweather is the gold standard of recent years and he often had his left hand on or below his belt line.
Mayweather's shell defense was seen as a highly conspicuous departure from the predominant approach to defense.
Maybe it was. But I can remember Wlad and Haye with lefts almost completely down, and Vitali had both hands really low often, Fury moves around with hands down too, even Joshua is beginning to adopt a waist level left. Rigondeaux often had his hands right down. Sergio Martinez. Some of the best around. Mayweather was just the best at not getting hit for so many years.
And people are naming about 2 or 3 boxers they might like from the 1920s, of similar reputation to Floyd (eg. Benny Leonard and Tony Canzoneri, the latter way more extreme and unusual for his time or any, than the former, in my opinion) ... and looking at a bit of footage, and making the same kind of statements.
I don't know what's typical or dominant or not in either era, I'm not convinced either way on the trends. I'm just putting out examples.
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.
There's no reason to believe the same isn't true of Tony Canzoneri, Benny Leonard, Gene Tunney et al then.
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.
I know what you mean. However, would you care to explain in more detail, about 'anticipation'?
Rolling and slipping the punches as well as Mayweather obviously takes talent, dedication and years to master , to put it mildly, but using the left shoulder to guard the chin, and rolling with the punches are boxing fundamentals.
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.
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.