T Nation

Approaching Slick Boxer


#1

Been sparring at another gym recently and a few guys there have a completey different style, not your typical hands up in boxing which im fortunate enough to spar with different styles. They have the lead hand down and rear up like usual. Not the shoulder roll / philly shelly but more of a austin trout / devon alexander stance.

Im a southpaw and wondering how to approach guys like this, I find it very hard to get combinations off since their main defense is built in there positioning (lead shoulder) also forces them to move their head a lot more and be "slick".

Anyone have any tips on fighting guys like this???


#2

I think Irish would probably know a thing or two about this due to being a Southpaw, I’d also love to hear Donnydarko’s answer.

Some general Southpaw tactics would be:

-As a southpaw you always want to try to keep your lead right foot outside (to the right) of your opponent’s lead/left foot. This takes you away from their right hand (which is the hand they really want to hit you with) and also puts you in a better position to land your left hand.

-if he really likes to use his lead shoulder, try throwing a left hook to his lead shoulder/chest attachment area. This won’t necessarily KO him, but it will start to wear on him, slow down his jab or lead hook, and force him to spread his defensive focus and take him out of his comfort zone defensively. Many fighters get very good at defending their heads, but seldom practice defending unorthodox targets like their lead shoulder, biceps, forearms/gloves, hip (BHop has a vid demoing this and Marciano liked this target a lot as well, just have to be sure the ref doesn’t see it), or lead thigh (if we are talking MMA or situations which allow attacking the legs).

-be the one who leads off and figure out his defense, or teach him to defend against a certain attack or combination and then throw something else that hits them where their defense leaves them open to. There are really too many possibilities to address here and I have never seen this/these fighters spar you, so it’s best to just figure this out for yourself or at least asking your coach how to exploit their defense if you can’t figure it out on your own

-don’t be a head hunter. This should go without saying, but if you are having trouble hitting the head, go to the body instead; opportunities to his the head will eventually follow.


#3

Pressure pressure pressure

Being something of a slick fighter myself, I notice ironically the guys I have the most trouble with are not necessarily the most technical fighters. Its the guys who aren’t deterred by the fact they just missed their best 3 punches and got hit back for it, its the guys who keep coming and before you know it you’re in a dogfight.

Echoing what sento said, don’t be a headhunter. Go to the body, it pays off. Much easier to slip a punch than it is to predict when a body shot is coming.

Also as a southpaw, it should be a very natural move for you to pivot to your right (i.e swing your rear foot around) which will take you outside of their lead hand and force them to turn towards you if they want to counter. This is very useful and you should try to do it often. So for example you might double jab, then straight to the body, pivot and start loosing off some hooks and uppercuts.


#4

Thanks for the input guys , I should have mentioned even though I said I’m a southpaw I am not really looking for any techniques as to that just a strategy to approach the hands down hit and move type fighters.

I like the idea what Sento said about attacking the arm and shoulder as that would be a lot easier then the head in this case but for amatuer fights with the point system and shorter lengths how effective would this be?


#5

I posted a thread about kind of similiar issues not so long ago, it focuses more on MT but there are a whole bunch of very informative posts by Sento and a lot of techniques, few of which I’ve made work for me pretty good. Might not be exactly what you are looking for, but like I said, there are more than a few very informative posts there so little extra knowledge never hurts (except for maybe your opponents/sparring partners).

Link to said thread: https://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_boxing_fighting_mma_combat/muay_thai_stances_and_strategies_against_different_stances?pageNo=0#5806213


#6

[quote]shs101 wrote:
Thanks for the input guys , I should have mentioned even though I said I’m a southpaw I am not really looking for any techniques as to that just a strategy to approach the hands down hit and move type fighters.

I like the idea what Sento said about attacking the arm and shoulder as that would be a lot easier then the head in this case but for amatuer fights with the point system and shorter lengths how effective would this be?

[/quote]

Kinda depends on how hard and accurately you hit them. It’s not meant to win the fight really, just take them out of their comfort zone, force them to change their defensive habits, and make them start thinking about defending their lead shoulder/arm (which isn’t likely something that they will have practiced nearly as well as defending their head). It’s meant to wear/break down their defensive system and allow you to start hitting them in more traditional targets (liver, heart, solar plexus, chin, etc…).

How long that takes to occur is going to depend on your proficiency in using the strategy to set up better targets, their ability to adjust defensively, and again how accurately and hard you can actually hit them. A few correctly placed solid left hooks to the shoulder (right around the Acromion process, Large Intestine 16 if looking on an Accupressure/Accupuncture chart) should get their attention pretty quickly. Also, since they like to roll with the shoulder you can sometimes get them to actually roll into the punches, making the impact even harder.

Eventually this should result in you landing some scoring punches or even a KO (again, depending on your skills and theirs), so it could be effective even in an amatuer setting.


#7

[quote]shs101 wrote:
Been sparring at another gym recently and a few guys there have a completey different style, not your typical hands up in boxing which im fortunate enough to spar with different styles. They have the lead hand down and rear up like usual. Not the shoulder roll / philly shelly but more of a austin trout / devon alexander stance.

Im a southpaw and wondering how to approach guys like this, I find it very hard to get combinations off since their main defense is built in there positioning (lead shoulder) also forces them to move their head a lot more and be “slick”.

Anyone have any tips on fighting guys like this???[/quote]
Pleased to meet you & compliments on a nice topic.

I have a few thoughts on boxing “slick” boxers, but first let us address your own personal approach.


  1. Consider this. You are a southpaw. You are the riddle that needs to be
    solved.
  2. Your OP enquires as to how you approach these boxers.
    Why not allow these sparring partners approach YOU. Box elusively, set
    the traps only a southpaw can and don’t be too anxious to land
    combinations. One punch at a time can open the floodgates. ____________________________________________________________________________

Slick boxers present a challenge that is as much psychological as it is physical. I believe that most boxers feel they must put pressure on the slick fighter because he is "more skilled."
In my opinion Slick is just the lick of paint on a boxers skill set. It is not a true reflection of his capabilities*
With this train of thought I propose the following strategies;

  1. Countering.
    Slick boxers become accustomed to fighters pressurising them, making mistakes and capitalising on this process. However, if you wait and force the opponent to make the first move, you have your first key. You are establishing his patterns - Does he lead with the jab/a hook/ the back hand.
    As we are not pressurising the opponent, we can sit back ourselves- deal with the opponents attack and counter**

  2. Isolation.
    When boxers use their front shoulder as a defence, this usually means their rear shoulder is withdrawn over the back leg, which will be kept to te rear slightly more than a conventional boxers. This “side on” stance is fantastic for defence, but not optimal for offense.
    We can use this to our benefit.
    What I would suggest is to move to your right. Technically this will line up his jab. In fact what you are doing is taking his straight right hand out of the equation. If you keep your lead foot outside his lead and control the rotation anti-clockwise you force him to use his jab as his primary weapon.
    As we have done this by design, we anticipate the Jab.
    It is fair easier to deal with a punch when you know it is coming.
    Control the rotation and range - you force him to jab… When the jab does come, pick your Favourite counter.

  3. Play on their flambuoyancy.
    These slick boxers often rely on more extravangent defences. I’m thinking the shoulder roll- the Mayweather-esque low slip or the pull.
    If we feint, it makes them uncomfortable and will either trigger a big movement- which is time consuming and may open doors- or they will freeze- unsure of what attack you are setting up***

  4. Double-Jab.
    The double jab can be a valuable tool. Although not carrying near the power of a solid single, the double movement can penetrate a tight guard, identify range and frustrate a cagey opponent.
    For a southpaw this is enhanced, as the right jab travel over the left shoulder of the orthodox opponent, this allows the southpaw to control the rotation of the engagement and get his lead foot outside the opponent - thus protecting themselves from the straight right and creating a position where more punching opportunity can be created.

*see Naseem Hamed vs. Marco Antonion Barrera.
Hamed the slicker fighter, was far from the more skilled.

** see Bernard Hopkins - career after RJJ before Pavlik.

***see Roy Jones Jr. vs. James Toney.
Toney - a superior technician - was exploied by RJJ’s nervy feinting
and explosive follow ups.


#8

Toney vs RJJ is a good one

Although Toney was severely drained and out of shape before the fight, I don’t think the outcome would’ve been different had he come prepared (and he REALLY should have, no excuse against that caliber of fighter), it would’ve been more competitive throughout. But yeah, RJJ utilized a lot of feints and never stayed in the same place after he punched, he was constantly moving off on angles, sometimes basically walking right over Toney.


#9

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
Toney vs RJJ is a good one

Although Toney was severely drained and out of shape before the fight, I don’t think the outcome would’ve been different had he come prepared (and he REALLY should have, no excuse against that caliber of fighter), it would’ve been more competitive throughout. But yeah, RJJ utilized a lot of feints and never stayed in the same place after he punched, he was constantly moving off on angles, sometimes basically walking right over Toney.[/quote]
We’re talking about two of my favourite fighters here actually.
I always rated Toney as the better of the two;
with Jones being the greater fighter because of his discipline and audacity.

James Toney could have beaten most anyone, but for his… well it can only be decribed as an eating disorder.


#10

[quote]donnydarkoirl wrote:

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
Toney vs RJJ is a good one

Although Toney was severely drained and out of shape before the fight, I don’t think the outcome would’ve been different had he come prepared (and he REALLY should have, no excuse against that caliber of fighter), it would’ve been more competitive throughout. But yeah, RJJ utilized a lot of feints and never stayed in the same place after he punched, he was constantly moving off on angles, sometimes basically walking right over Toney.[/quote]
We’re talking about two of my favourite fighters here actually.
I always rated Toney as the better of the two;
with Jones being the greater fighter because of his discipline and audacity.

James Toney could have beaten most anyone, but for his… well it can only be decribed as an eating disorder.[/quote]

I agree, Toney was the better fighter, but Jones was the better athlete.

Toney’s worst enemy has always been himself, his charisma is his pugnaciousness and bombast, but its also the reason he never listened to anybody that could’ve helped craft him a real legacy.

Still when it’s all said and done he’s got a great resume, beat some very talented fighters and even made good on his promise as a middleweight to become a heavyweight champion back when people were laughing at the notion.


#11

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:

[quote]donnydarkoirl wrote:

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
Toney vs RJJ is a good one

Although Toney was severely drained and out of shape before the fight, I don’t think the outcome would’ve been different had he come prepared (and he REALLY should have, no excuse against that caliber of fighter), it would’ve been more competitive throughout. But yeah, RJJ utilized a lot of feints and never stayed in the same place after he punched, he was constantly moving off on angles, sometimes basically walking right over Toney.[/quote]
We’re talking about two of my favourite fighters here actually.
I always rated Toney as the better of the two;
with Jones being the greater fighter because of his discipline and audacity.

James Toney could have beaten most anyone, but for his… well it can only be decribed as an eating disorder.[/quote]

I agree, Toney was the better fighter, but Jones was the better athlete.

Toney’s worst enemy has always been himself, his charisma is his pugnaciousness and bombast, but its also the reason he never listened to anybody that could’ve helped craft him a real legacy.

Still when it’s all said and done he’s got a great resume, beat some very talented fighters and even made good on his promise as a middleweight to become a heavyweight champion back when people were laughing at the notion.[/quote]

I think that is the Toney enigma. Even with his career it seemed like he should have done so much more. At 76-9-3-2 we are talking about how he didn’t realize his potential.

Regards,

Robert A