T Nation

Study on High Guard

What do you wiser folks in here think about an advanced/active high guard (boxing)?

Whats the most important things to do? Head movement and distractions come to mind ie canelo,tyson,starling…

But then you have fighters who dont pre empty move their head that utilize some sort of ear muffs, joshua clottey,ponce de leon, just to name a few…

Who do you think is a great example of someone with a high guard in boxing offensively and defensively?

Well no answers yet, I can’t believe nobody has anything. I’ll bite.
For me a active high guard is the only way to go. I use it exclusively in the opening minutes. Remember that anybody can get bombed on any given day and odds are it will happen in the first few minutes.

I feel as I warm up I will determine if they can hurt me or not very quickly. As the fight goes on I will become more active offensively and I will start to hunt them down. Having a good high guard technique insures I won’t be open when I am really working for a specific shot.

Always be in motion, random movements of the hands and head are the key. Also I think of elbows as different than hands ie ( if I want a southy that throws power lefts to think I am ready to counter him I would cock my elbow way up and leave it there and concentrate on jabbing the heck it of him over the top of his and hooking the heck out of him) this doesn’t mean the hand is not going to be moving the entire time. In case you didn’t notice I’m a little respectful of southpaw boxers.

As far as the best active offence high guard boxer, I would say Mayweather. Now before you go off think about how productive Mayweather is when he uses high guard. Besides I am from Michigan and my coach used to box with Mayweather’s dad and hang in the same gyms, so yes I am a little bias.

Best “Active” high guard?

A lot of boxers operate out of different guards depending the situation/style/opponent.

A “High Guard” is actually more common in the amateurs. Pros have lowers hands, rely on head movement, vision, and counterpunching as defense. But, since you asked I will give you two.

Amir Khan- Uses the High Guard very offensively.

Vasyl Lomachenko. Look at his amateur fights on Youtube. No one has done it better. No one.

amir khan high guard?

does he have ANY guard lol

dudes gameplan is to throw a million punches and hope none get fired back.

Anyway ill bite, I’m not a fan of high guards, if we define high guard as the hands up on your forehead and bridged/railtrack forearms. Mainly because if you notice, the most prolific users of a high guard are low level pros who never improve. They use the guard specifically usually due to a deficit in some other area of their game, i.e poor defensive skills, a craftmanship of which would seem to be slowly disappearing as old school boxing gyms get replaced by business orientated chains.

I dont like it because it is obstructive to your vision, which is already suffering from fighting tunnel vision under high adrenaline. It also means your hands are not in punching position - yes you could argue a low lead like mayweather suffers from the same thing, but the upjab benefits from coming from an angle people cant usually see it from, jabbing from your forehead does not have the same benefit. It also promotes over reliance on the guard and the illusion of safety - it is almost always better to avoid a blow than it is to soak one. If george foreman and tyson demonstrate anything, its that covering up your head doesnt mean you’re not going to get knocked out.

with regards to my comment about low level pros, obviously correlation is not causation. As brett pointed out, a fantastic boxer who utilizes a high guard consistently is Lomachenko. However Lomachenko also has excellent footwork, excellent sense of timing, good head movement and good control of range.

I think the hierarchy of defense should be = range > position > head movement > blocking/parrying/guard.

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
amir khan high guard?

does he have ANY guard lol

dudes gameplan is to throw a million punches and hope none get fired back.

Anyway ill bite, I’m not a fan of high guards, if we define high guard as the hands up on your forehead and bridged/railtrack forearms. Mainly because if you notice, the most prolific users of a high guard are low level pros who never improve. They use the guard specifically usually due to a deficit in some other area of their game, i.e poor defensive skills, a craftmanship of which would seem to be slowly disappearing as old school boxing gyms get replaced by business orientated chains.

I dont like it because it is obstructive to your vision, which is already suffering from fighting tunnel vision under high adrenaline. It also means your hands are not in punching position - yes you could argue a low lead like mayweather suffers from the same thing, but the upjab benefits from coming from an angle people cant usually see it from, jabbing from your forehead does not have the same benefit. It also promotes over reliance on the guard and the illusion of safety - it is almost always better to avoid a blow than it is to soak one. If george foreman and tyson demonstrate anything, its that covering up your head doesnt mean you’re not going to get knocked out.

with regards to my comment about low level pros, obviously correlation is not causation. As brett pointed out, a fantastic boxer who utilizes a high guard consistently is Lomachenko. However Lomachenko also has excellent footwork, excellent sense of timing, good head movement and good control of range.

I think the hierarchy of defense should be = range > position > head movement > blocking/parrying/guard.[/quote]

Pretty much how I feel. Tires your arms out faster and it’s tougher to throw with power. I don’t see the benefit personally.

I really think it has a place in everybody’s toolbox, as I said before Mayweather uses it very sparingly. When he does use it (in the mosley fight) it was to get him back in the fight, as I watched that fight and he went to high guard all I could think was FINALLY. As the rounds progressed he would transition from that to a lower flicking jab and back, offensive throughout. Confused Mosley greatly. I think the truly great fighters have all the tools in the box and use them at will as the situation dictates. Good points above

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
amir khan high guard?

does he have ANY guard lol

dudes gameplan is to throw a million punches and hope none get fired back.

Anyway ill bite, I’m not a fan of high guards, if we define high guard as the hands up on your forehead and bridged/railtrack forearms. Mainly because if you notice, the most prolific users of a high guard are low level pros who never improve. They use the guard specifically usually due to a deficit in some other area of their game, i.e poor defensive skills, a craftmanship of which would seem to be slowly disappearing as old school boxing gyms get replaced by business orientated chains.

I dont like it because it is obstructive to your vision, which is already suffering from fighting tunnel vision under high adrenaline. It also means your hands are not in punching position - yes you could argue a low lead like mayweather suffers from the same thing, but the upjab benefits from coming from an angle people cant usually see it from, jabbing from your forehead does not have the same benefit. It also promotes over reliance on the guard and the illusion of safety - it is almost always better to avoid a blow than it is to soak one. If george foreman and tyson demonstrate anything, its that covering up your head doesnt mean you’re not going to get knocked out.

with regards to my comment about low level pros, obviously correlation is not causation. As brett pointed out, a fantastic boxer who utilizes a high guard consistently is Lomachenko. However Lomachenko also has excellent footwork, excellent sense of timing, good head movement and good control of range.

I think the hierarchy of defense should be = range > position > head movement > blocking/parrying/guard.[/quote]

Completely agree with your hierarchy of defense.

Like was said above though, a high guard can be and has been used very effectively. Ali’s use of it to absorb Foreman’s punches and tire him out in their fight was one of the most iconic examples of how it can be used effectively by someone who does not have the natural speed and conditioning (by the Foreman fight Ali knew he was not the superior physical specimen he had been earlier in his career) to use head movement or footwork to run or counter punch and who you can’t afford to trade with.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
amir khan high guard?

does he have ANY guard lol

dudes gameplan is to throw a million punches and hope none get fired back.

Anyway ill bite, I’m not a fan of high guards, if we define high guard as the hands up on your forehead and bridged/railtrack forearms. Mainly because if you notice, the most prolific users of a high guard are low level pros who never improve. They use the guard specifically usually due to a deficit in some other area of their game, i.e poor defensive skills, a craftmanship of which would seem to be slowly disappearing as old school boxing gyms get replaced by business orientated chains.

I dont like it because it is obstructive to your vision, which is already suffering from fighting tunnel vision under high adrenaline. It also means your hands are not in punching position - yes you could argue a low lead like mayweather suffers from the same thing, but the upjab benefits from coming from an angle people cant usually see it from, jabbing from your forehead does not have the same benefit. It also promotes over reliance on the guard and the illusion of safety - it is almost always better to avoid a blow than it is to soak one. If george foreman and tyson demonstrate anything, its that covering up your head doesnt mean you’re not going to get knocked out.

with regards to my comment about low level pros, obviously correlation is not causation. As brett pointed out, a fantastic boxer who utilizes a high guard consistently is Lomachenko. However Lomachenko also has excellent footwork, excellent sense of timing, good head movement and good control of range.

I think the hierarchy of defense should be = range > position > head movement > blocking/parrying/guard.[/quote]

Completely agree with your hierarchy of defense.

Like was said above though, a high guard can be and has been used very effectively. Ali’s use of it to absorb Foreman’s punches and tire him out in their fight was one of the most iconic examples of how it can be used effectively by someone who does not have the natural speed and conditioning (by the Foreman fight Ali knew he was not the superior physical specimen he had been earlier in his career) to use head movement or footwork to run or counter punch and who you can’t afford to trade with.[/quote]

I agree with Davo, Irish, and Sento.

Only thing I will add is that I think a high guard can be a real good idea for those who are having trouble starting out, or as sort of a “default position” in combatives/self defense. Once someone decides to specialize/be an actual boxer though I think its negatives will outweigh its positives for most.

Regards,

Robert A

For me, the high guard is a decent defensive position, particularly for those starting out.

However, it has some distinct limitations offensively.
With the hands to the temples the glove must drop before It can be thrown with the shoulder behind it for an effective score.
With the gloves elevated the boxer is inclined to rely on the tricep for generating force; limiting the power of the punch and opening the arms to fatigue.

I feel that I can be used effectively however, the aforementioned Lomachenko is one great example. Winky Wright was a fantastic example of a guy covering up to huge merit.

It is my belief that this system of boxing can be used extremely well, but utilising some of the peek a boo philosophies.