White Collar Boxing – Fight Analysis

by Fran on September 3, 2010

Top Quality White Collar Boxing!

This white collar boxing match involves two relative beginners, both of whom are technically very proficient given that this is their first taste of competitive boxing.  It's an excellent contest where both boxers give their all and both should be very proud of their efforts.

In terms of this analysis, we should remember that this is a boxing match and the issues that I pick up here may not be as evident during a round of bags or pads.  A fight is tough and stressful and the adrenaline can often take over, especially with less experienced competitors.  These are small technical issues that are an absolutely normal part of a boxer's development.

OK, the combatants are Karl (in blue) and Bill (in red).  Karl is an orthodox boxer who is a regular visitor to this site. Bill is a southpaw with a very good jab and backhand.  Bill seems to like long range work and covers up very well.  This is a serious opponent who poses significant challenges for Karl to overcome.  The analysis I've produced on this match is quite high level and is focusing Karl in terms of identifying issues to work on.  The full analysis is below the video.  Be sure to drop a comment on what you see!

The Fight Analysis

The first observation is that Karl has a really good 'feel' for range.  At about 0.30 of the video, Karl uses small foot movements to move from the 'edge of range' to 'long range' (check out the article on Finding Range in Boxing for a further explantion.)  A further example is the excellent use of the lay back at about 0.38  This 'feel' for range is a highly valuable commodity and will stand Karl in very good stead for future matches, it's a really strong base to build upon.

As well as the feel for range, there's a coolness under pressure.  At about 0.47 Karl faces a real onslaught and responds perfectly, covering up and firing shots back with real venom.  He retains his technical discipline throughout, another real positive.  Oh, and another very practical thing to observe.  When Karl is sitting on his stool in between rounds, his legs are straight and his arms are relaxed and on his lap.  This aids blood flow and is good corner practice (credit Karl's coach!)

In terms of technical issues to identify and consider, the following are I feel enough to be getting on with:

1.  Karl's body weight often appears to be on the front leg and to compound this the back foot often goes flat.  I think that these 2 issues are related.  With the weight on the front leg, Karl's mobility and ability to throw the best possible shots is affected.  Some simple rules to note i) always stay on the toes on the back foot ii) always keep the body weight on the back leg and iii) the nose should never go past the line of the front knee; this will help with i) and ii).  If Karl decides to apply these suggestions during shadow boxing, bag work, pads and sparring, then his legs will suffer in the short term, but benefits will be achieved in a very short space of time.

2.  When Karl attacks, his front leg moves into range, but his back leg stays still (there's an example at about 1.29).  This results in the stance widening to the point where maximum hip rotation when throwing the right cross is prevented.  This reduced level of rotation as well as reducing power potential shortens the shot and Karl then 'reaches' for the target.  When moving in, always push off the back leg and seek to maintain a regular distance between the feet.

3.  In Round 2, Karl has significant success with his right hand and uses it a lot!  This is entirely sensible and is probably a good piece of advice from Karl's coach; the right hand works well against a southpaw.  In terms of the jabs, Karl could throw more and seek to make sure that they are solid shots and not just a set up for the right hand.  Karl's obviously a strong guy and could stop a Humvee if he throws the jab correctly!

4.  At about 5.40, Karl throws his first left hook I (slightly obscured because of the camera angle.)  This is a technically difficult shot and as Karl has throughout the contest been very successful with his straight shots, it makes sense for straight shots to form the bulk of his attack options.  Notice with the left hook though that Karl's back foot lifts off the floor and he's way off balance.  This is the result of the body weight going onto the front leg as the shot is thrown.  It's a common issue with the left hook (check out the video article on the mid range left hook).  Remember that when throwing the left hook, there is a drive from the front leg, the hips rotate and the body weight ends on the back leg.  This approach will ensure that Karl's balance is unaffected when throwing the left hook and will as such improve his confidence in the shot.

Karl finishes the bout extremely strongly, testimony to his fitness.  The right uppercuts to the body at about 6.48 demonstrate real technical aptitude.  On the whole a really good performance with so many positives on which to build!  If you've a view on this, leave a comment below!

Cheers

Fran

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

svenjamin September 14, 2010 at 9:49 pm

I’ll leave the critiques to those with a more experienced eye I than mine, but this makes me want to try my hand at a few amateur boxing matches.

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Fran September 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm

I’m sure your background in Muay Thai would work in your favour and there would be some transferrable skills there. The world is your oyster!

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Karl September 5, 2010 at 3:59 am

Thanks DTravis. Those laybacks and other move-outs come almost directly from Frans ‘Finding Range’ article. In particular, the example he shows in the Hearns vs Pipino video (0.23, 1.33, etc). I found that to be very useful and tried to apply it right away in sparring. Still needs lots of work!

And Thank You Fran for breaking down this fight and giving me those useful tips. I think you, me AND my coach agree that I need more balance in my stance. I’m going to concentrate more on my back leg so I don’t just drag it around behind me like an anchor. I cringe when I watch that video and my back foot comes off the ground completely. Or worse, when I throw a punch and it stops just short of the target. When performing that punch you are tempted to think the problem is in your fist, arm or shoulder. You think you need to stretch out more to reach the mark. But the problem is actually at the complete other end. The back leg is too far behind. Like a dog lunging forward and being jerked back by his chain. If I can carry both legs forward smoothly into the attack, it would have a lot more ‘bite’.

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dtravis92 September 4, 2010 at 5:19 am

Congratulations on the win Karl. It was very fun to watch, most amateur fights i see end up with two people swinging wildly, but you showed great technique. Your feeling for range was really impressive, that lay back then counter was beautiful. Hopefully one day ill have the level of skill you displayed there man 🙂

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