About Me

My name is Fran Sands.  I’ve been involved in amateur boxing since 1978, first visiting a boxing gym at the age of 6.  I was involved 60 amateur contests, winning regional titles, reaching national semi-finals and finals and representing my country at Under-19 level.  When I hung up my gloves at the age of 21 and after a short break from the sport, I moved into a coaching role.

Since 1996 I have coached amateur boxers, helping some amazing young talent to realize their potential.  I have worked with numerous national champions and international boxers and enjoy immensely the feeling of working on the technical and tactical development of boxers at all levels, always enjoying very positive feedback from my charges.

About the Site

In creating this site, I am hoping to use my coaching skills to provide a significant resource for those interested in boxing.  I intend to present a structured and rigorous method for people to either improve their existing boxing skills or alternatively learn new skills.  I guess that people who may find this site useful might include:

  • Practising boxers or other ‘combat’ sports participants (such as mixed martial arts) who may be interesting in developing certain aspects of their fighting style.
  • People who would like to become involved in boxing, but who would prefer the confidence boost of understanding some background on the sport before taking the step of visiting a boxing gym.
  • People who are seeking to keep fit, but who may wish to develop their fitness around a framework of learning a technical discipline.  This often helps to maintain an interest in keeping fit.
  • People who may wish to learn boxing with a partner or friend in the home environment (e.g. in a basement or garage).
  • People who may be partaking in one of the many charity white collar boxing events that seem to be quite common these days

The basis of the site will be the presentation of the full range of punches, from a jab to a cross, uppercuts, hooks, short/medium and long range work, parries, blocks, slips, ducks and a whole host of other good stuff; go to the Boxing Skills page to learn more.

Coupled with this we’ll examine the equipment and fitness methods used to underpin the skills, and you can find more information about this on the Boxing Fitness page.  The third piece of the jigsaw will be provision of a series of programs that will take elements of the skills and fitness and combine these to offer a full training regime suited to your requirements, be it skills focused, fitness focused or both!

A principle I am hoping to uphold is that the users of the site will play a significant role in how we should move forward.  I will provide an initial ‘learning platform’, based upon a series of short videos along with written guidance articles and e-books.  I would hope in the near-future to be able to offer some kind of true ‘coaching’ experience i.e. my being able to review user submitted videos and provide feedback in an on-line workshop environment.  This though will be very much dictated by site users.

Having said what I will be delivering through this site, I should also make it clear what I won’t be delivering.  I know that these days we have experts all over the place, and not just experts in one area, but experts in all areas, all of the time!

I, unfortunately, am a mere mortal.

My skills are firmly based the technical elements of boxing and the kind of fitness regimes used to support these elements.   I am not a nutritionist, I am not a weight training specialist, I am not a running expert, I am not a sports psychologist nor a sports physiologist nor any other kind of ‘ologist’!

If you as the users of this site decide that we should investigate more fully the areas of nutrition, weight training, running or anything else for that matter, then I’m sure we’ll be able come up with the answers that we seek.

In the meantime, I’ll be sticking to what I know best…boxing. If you would like to contact me for any reason at all, please email be at fran@myboxingcoach.com

Be advised:  Boxing, as with other contact sports, has inherent risks that even the most dimwitted of observers should identify and acknowledge.  If you intend to undertake boxing with another person (i.e. hitting each other in the head with punches), this needs to be done in a controlled gym environment with suitably qualified coaching staff present.  By reviewing the content of this site, you are doing so as a sensible and free-thinking individual, not a moron.  I can’t be held responsible for moronic behaviour, so try to avoid it will ya!

{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew April 2, 2017 at 10:51 pm

Hi Fran,

do you do any coaching/consulting over skype to personalize a boxing regimen? Would be very interested.


Fran April 5, 2017 at 8:10 pm

Hey Andrew

Very interesting that you mention that 🙂

In the next few months I will be be preparing some pilot work around this very thing. I have some quite clear thoughts on how I might do it and it is on my list. Once I am ready to go I shall get in touch.

Thank you for your interest.


Bill December 31, 2016 at 5:57 pm

How do I hold hook and jab pads when i want a person to throw a 1 or a 2 to the body please.
Happy New Year


Fran January 6, 2017 at 8:08 pm

Hey Bill

Sorry for the delay. I use 2 methods. First (in my stance) I use my lead arm bent at the elbow with the back of my hand resting against the point on my body where the shot should land (pad out). The other way is that I have my right hand up (forearm perpendicular) with the back of my left hand against the bottom of my right forearm – both pads facing the boxer. Make sense?


Mark July 30, 2016 at 9:37 am

Hi Fran,

I’ve just seen you’re video on “7 Boxing Footwork Tips to Avoid!”. Your summary of experience says it all! I know you are most likely not allowed to name and shame some of these other YouTube channels (which is a shame) but I must admit that when watching some of these McDisney Boxing sites you just feel something just isn’t right. I really like your no nonsense to the point advice and want to say thank you for helping this beginner get moving in the right direction.

If I’m allowed to make a request, will you ever be doing a video on Shadow boxing to back up your article? I hear that apart from sparing it’s one of the best techniques but for the life of me I just can’t get the hang of it – I feel silly and as if I am being cattle prodded whilst trying it. When watching the pros they always seem to throw half punches and I can’t work out why!

You’ve certainly got a new fan and keep up the great work 🙂


Fran August 6, 2016 at 11:35 am

Thanks very much Mark, I very much appreciate that.

See what I can put together


boxia SPORTS July 18, 2016 at 2:56 pm

i,m managing partner Haroon Bhutta form boxia sports .i want to talk
with your owner can i contact him?


David Barker Lombard January 22, 2016 at 9:02 am

Hi Franny

It David from gym, I have attached my email address

Appreciate your help on this


Fran January 24, 2016 at 8:37 pm

Sent you an email David.


Carl Hill September 28, 2015 at 9:00 pm

A wealth of information, for boxers and coaches alike.

Enjoying watching the Videos Fran, they are well presented and packed with some great information and helpful tips.


Fran September 29, 2015 at 7:40 pm

Top man, thanks Carl. Always very fulfilling when positive feedback comes from a fellow coach, makes my day mate.


Fran July 23, 2015 at 7:58 pm

Hey Fabian

Sent you an email.



Scott richman April 21, 2015 at 1:45 am


Not sure this comment goes public immediately or private. but :
1. Love your websit and YouTube channel and business and community. It’s truly an amazing resource. I am a huge fan as I have picked up learning about boxing very late in life.

Real quick – I couldn’t find a video or on your website where you talk about jack Dempsey falling step and using Gravity to increase punching power. Would really love your take and analogies and opinion on this concept/punch. I could use some clarification on some things. I don’t think I’m quite doing it as is suppose to be done.

Thx !


Fran April 21, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Hey Scott. Thanks for the kind words, very much appreciated. Not done anything on the falling step although I have a book in which it is mentioned. Will look at it and put together an article.


Fran March 24, 2015 at 9:36 pm

Hello Harry

Thanks so much for your comment, I really appreciate it and I’m glad that the videos are supporting your training.

Wow. I’d never come across those glasses. I need some time to process what I’m seeing there, very interesting but I need to try and understand options. Boxing of course is a reflex/reaction sport and we have methods for improving in that area. Could these glasses play a part? Really nit sure (although I’m all for trying new stuff). Leave it with me.


John February 24, 2015 at 11:16 am

Hi Fran

I love the technical analysis on your website, mate. It is spot on. I wanted to ask you about the application of boxing for self defence based on a recent and unfortunate incident where I had to use it to protect myself against an attacker on the street.
I have boxed amateur for 5 years up and had a technically sharp defensive style in the ring and in training, and can deal with may different styles.
When this guy attacked me on the street, a few things threw me –

1) Not having gloves on to block made me feel really open to punches

2) Unlike in boxing, where even aggressive guys measure you before you attack, this guy just came straight at me square without stopping, which threw my range off.

3) Wild punches with no timing. This guy didn’t know how to fight, but as he had no rhythm I actually found his punches harder to time, and though he missed most, caught me with a couple, of which I’m kinda embarrassed about.

I did the right thing using my jab to keep him off and get range until someone restrained him (no harm done), but I’m really annoyed at myself for the mistakes I was making that I never make in training or the ring:

1) I was leaning back
2)I had my chin up
3) I didn’t have room to pivot out
4) I didn’t tie him up

In this normal for a boxer when he encounters a street situation? That despite all the training and ring fight (20-2), his technique abandons him?


Fran February 27, 2015 at 8:43 pm

Hello John

Quite the situation. It really does depend upon a load of variables. I have had a number of instances when my boxing skills have been used outside o the ring, but more importantly it was the boxing mind in staying calm and being pragmatic about what to use and when. But, it’s never text book and will always feel ‘messy’ compared to two trained boxers facing off.

My basics – always try to maintain range by letting the untidy opponent come at me and be happy to push away whilst bombing out long range shots. When it does get up close I would use just about any means to keep me safe. Before now I’ve grabbed testicles and attempted to gouge eyes, granted this was in a very serious situation (a long time ago) but it worked!

Don’t fret it, entirely normal. You did the right thing and showed restraint. If the ‘situation’ went on you would have got your bearings no problem. Street fights are no fun at all mate, the ring is the place to do it 🙂


Marius February 19, 2015 at 5:29 pm

Hi Fran

First I would like to say I admire what you do here. You inspire alot of people to really get involved with boxing. Thats great! 🙂
I have been practicing with my mates for about a year. Having alot of fun, still just training techniqes and such.
Anyway.. about 6 months ago my calves got really bad after a long run i did. Its still bad today, I can barly jump rope 2 min before I get a bad feeling. Running or joging is also out of the question.
If i take it easy I dont feel anything, but as soon as I start running or jumping rope this irritating pain is coming back within one day.
Im really sick of this!
Please if you have any experience with this or know a way I can fix this it would be much appreciated!



Fran February 20, 2015 at 10:31 pm

Hi Marius

Sorry for the delay in responding, noticed you left a previous comment.

Thank you for the kind words, I really appreciate that.

I must admit, I have no experience of anyone having suffered the same type of injury that affects them for so long. It must be rare as boxers put massive loads through their calves, they are key muscle sets in the explosive movement and drive for punching. I’ve never encountered anyone with persistent problems in that area. Shoulders, hands, elbows – yes. Calves, no.

I am always reluctant to give out medical advice because I’m not a medic. I have no specialism. I could only advise basic stretching exercises, but more specifically I would encourage you to visit a physiotherapist. A session or two I’m sure would help you resolve this. Without that you are not going to be able to put in the kind of work required to improve as a boxer so it is worth investing a few dollars to sort.

Sorry I can’t be of more help. Do let me know how it goes.



Dan Bolton December 16, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Hi Fran

Havent been back to the site for a while. The new videos look great. Mate I seem to have lost my username and password to access the members area.



Fran December 17, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Hey Dan

I have sent you an email to resolve this.



vazz94 July 2, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Hi, I run a small community over at reddit.com named /r/thesweetscience where users share boxing analysis videos/articles. link here: http://www.reddit.com/r/thesweetscience

Your Wladimir Klitschko analysis article was missing the video, so i copied and pasted your article with updated GIFs onto a reddit thread. I did the same thing for the vitali klitschko article, after getting such a good response from the first one. I linked your website and did not take any credit for your brilliant write up.

A user suggested I check with you to see if it is okay that I am using your material. I will not gain any profit from this and i only did it so other boxing fans like myself could easily read and understand your concepts. If you are not comfortable with this, I will have no problem deleting them.


Fran July 3, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Absolutely no problem at all. Feel free to use any of the content on the site, I’m happy that you and others find the stuff interesting. There’s a whole host of articles in the fighter analysis category that you can use.



Fran May 1, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Thank you Nayan, that’s very kind. If you have any questions or need any help be sure to let me know.



Jerry Borunda January 3, 2014 at 12:14 am

I want to take advantage of the half price sale, but your site is not accepting my card. It says that it does not recognize the three digit code on the back of my card.

How can I take advantage of your offer?

Thank you


Fran January 4, 2014 at 9:34 pm


I have sent you an email.



Angelo Jaegger November 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm

hey coach. first of all thank you for your videos they are amazing.
I have a question can i download your videos from youtube? I live in portugal and here is legal, but since i am a person who values the work of others i would first like your permission.

I just want to download them to have them on my computer, and have them even if i am not at home so i can see them whenever i want.

Continue the great work


Fran November 19, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Hi Angelo

Obrigado 🙂 for the kinds words and indeed for asking permission to download. You can absolutely download the vids, I just hope that they continue to provide a source of help and motivation.

Thanks Angelo


Paddy Dwyer June 11, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Fran, I’ve just stumbled across your site and it’s brilliant! I’m looking to get back in the ring to do some white collar boxing once I’ve had surgury to fix a knee injury (snapped ACL playing five a side!) so reading into some techniques will certainly help pass the time!

I also write many boxing articles and a particular interest of mine is analysing fighters to try to predetermine particular game plans which would be succesful in various fights. Your piece on Mayweather matches my own thoughts (that to beat Floyd you need to be Tommy Hearns!) and Canelo is in for a tough time provided Floyd hasnt gotten old overnight. I look forward to reading more of your insights and I’ll be sure to see what you think of my various analysis in future articles.


Fran June 11, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Hello Paddy. Thanks for the comment and I hope that you get over the football injury sooner rather than later (bloody dangerous sport if you ask me!)

Glad you like the analysis articles, they do prove quite popular. I’ve got one on Rigondeaux’s contest against Donaire that I need to publish. Should be able to do that in the next week so keep an eye out. I’d love to get a look at your some of your writings, Feel free to post a link here mate.

Thanks Paddy


Mike April 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Hey Fran, was wondering if I could get some training for weight loss advice. I am returning to box after 2 years. The weight I want to box at is 66kg but my current weight is 80kg and I am finding it very difficult to lose those extra kilos. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Mike


frankie hartley March 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm

I’ve developed a hand held device that increases the snap in your punches. It is similar to heavy hands and works by the snapping motion of the punch dislodging a magnet. This then gives audible and sensory feedback when sufficient accelerating and decelerating force is used. It works on the notion that impact equals momentum divided by time. If someone is pushing through their punches the impact time slows and the arm acts like a crumple zone in a car thereby reducing impact. It also encouages good balance through the punch and straight punching as the device is set to resist motion that is not straight. The device can be adjusted subtly to allow you to slowly build up the snapping power of your punches. I designed it, yet i think the device is great at developing a feel for technique at the business end of the punch. If you would like me to send you one for free please e-mail me with your address. If you like it you could give it a small shout on your excellent website cos i’m going to start selling them on e-bay. All the best and cheers for the superb website and videos.
frankie hartley, Middlesbrough


Fran March 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Hi Frankie.

Sounds really interesting. I’ve sent you an email.



Alan Moss March 20, 2013 at 9:28 am

Hey Fran,
great site. I know first hand how much knowledge you have in the sport. Especially the technique!

This is a must for anyone wanting to improve in all aspect in the sport of boxing. You will not be disappointed!!!


Fran March 20, 2013 at 9:53 am

Hello mate.

I hope that you are well, especially with recent events 😐 Then again, I always knew you were made of tough stuff and determination as a young boxer, and that toughness follows through to real life.

Thanks for the comment, hope to see you around.


Adam March 17, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Hey Fran,

Really helpful videos. I noticed you commented about not pivoting the left foot when throwing a left hook to the body because it limits power. Is this only on body shots, or with any left hook you teach?


Fran March 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

Hi Adam

Checked out your site, really great. You’re passion is most definitely backed up with sound knowledge and a real common sense approach.

In terms of the feet pivoting/spinning when throwing the shots, I think the loss of power is true of the lead hand and the back hand shots. I cover it in the straight back hand video too. Thanks for the question Adam, and the compliment!


Craig February 8, 2013 at 5:22 am

Hi Fran,

I love the coaching videos and explanations. As a former fighter, I’m thinking of giving coaching a try; the only issue is my fighting experience was more than 10 years ago. Any other informational/coaching sites you can recommend (in addition to your own, of course)?


Fran February 8, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Hey Craig

Firstly, don’t worry about how long ago you boxed, it’s not an issue.

Any boxing clubs near you? Roll up and let them know that you’d like to help out with coaching and take it from there.

As for informational/coaching sites, apart from the Amateur Boxing Association sites (ABA England, US Boxing etc), I’m not really aware of decent coaching sites. There’s some good stuff on the strength and conditioning stuff (Ross Boxing and BrianMac are two in particular), but as for boxing coaching then generally the quality (unfortunately) is fairly bleak. They tend to be run by internet marketers who may have been in a gym for a while. The reality is you’d know more than them because you’d actually boxed before.

Hope you manage to get into coaching mate, it’s just brilliant working with young boxers who want to learn. Few things better!


philip January 8, 2013 at 6:24 am

great site Fran as a coach myself use your videos to keep my coaching fresh and try to cover all the aspects, keep up the good work


Fran January 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Thanks Philip. Always great when more coaches get involved. I’m very lucky that there are quite a few because is especially nice to be able to exchange the ideas.

Thanks mate, I really appreciate the comment.


Anonymous October 30, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Hi Mr. Sands,
I completed a lot of technics good punchs good shape thanks to you. I’m 1,71 metre, so not enough to win i guess. I think that the success during a real fight(against to bigger man than me) appertain to do good bobbing & weaving. In hause i do practice 3 times in week. I have punching bag, gloves and heart 🙂 I saw recently the match between Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye and schoked! Wladimir Klitschko could not punch throughout 5 Round almost to David Haye. Haye was really too fast and had gooood reflex. How can i get his speed?


Fran October 31, 2012 at 10:35 pm

You sound like you are enjoying boxing and if you keep building your skills the bigger guys can be beaten. Keep on practising.


Akın August 8, 2012 at 7:11 am

Hi Mr. Sands,
Firstly i must thank you for your all working, advices, videos or answers about question in boxing. All of these things in website is well constructed and instructive. Thank you!
My question is that in which order i must work on tab ‘‘boxing skills’’ to get most effective and as soon as possible. For example should i a work about first a footwork training (one video) and then a punching training (one video) in a day.
have a good day


Fran August 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Start with the stance, simple movement and straight shots. Even better, sign up for the free Mobility Drill videos, these will give you some good structure to work with.


Akın August 9, 2012 at 7:19 am

Thank you Mr. Sands,
You have a lot of things for us to learn.

Have great time 🙂


Roberto July 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Hi Fran,

Brilliant website!

Many thanks/ best wishes,



Fran July 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Thanks Roberto!


chris February 11, 2012 at 4:07 am

hey Fran,

thank you sooo much for all the videos and reports you put on this side. It help my a lot to improve my skills aside from training in the boxiing club.

much love and respect from germany


Fran February 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Great stuff Chris, thanks very much for you comments. Much love and respect from Liverpool, UK! 🙂


manuel January 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm

well fran I think this site is amazing and if this site is amazing of course has to come from an amazing person I sow some videos of you demonstrations on youtube and right away i went to the link of your site and wow!! congratulations bro,I really like it,you see i come from Cuba to Canada like 4 and a half years ago I’m 39 years old here i have not to much time to go to the gym even when i have a membership,back in cuba I use to practise some boxing,(20 years ago)you know cuba,who don’t know cuba when speaking of amateur boxing,i hope you have been there,in cuba if you don’t know baseball then you know boxing,and i don’t like baseball, your videos has teach me a lot they are very easy to follow,you are a great teacher bro thank you very much I hope to hear about the fear article I guess that’s is my mayor problem here,how control it in my case is always out of control is so intense to like you said to be hurt,to loss,to hurt that make me forget all my technics an as always turn my back not facing some challenges that later on will bring more problems,you know what I’m talking about do you bro? well once again thanks and hear from you soon


Fran January 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Hey Manual, thanks for taking the time to leave a message. It’s great that you are looking to roll back the years and work on your boxing again. If MyBoxingCoach can help you do this then that’s great.

You’re right, I’ve spent decades studying the best Cuban fighters. The way in which fighters are produced there is simply staggering. I suppose a main factor is the level of competition. I’d bet that the Cubans could send their 3rd or 4th selected team to the Olympics and still return with a medal total to be proud of.

You might be interested in the link, a recent BBC documentary on Cuban fighters (submitted by Karl, a long time friend of the site). It’s well worth a check:


As for the fear thing, it’s all normal emotions that we all feel, and the trick is to use some simple methods to control those nerves. The most effective is to be absolutely prepared, it gives the fighter a great reassurance. Thanks Manual, nice to hear from you.


Dan December 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Hey Fran I want to be taught by you, I live a long way away though Im from Ipswich, so it would be one off visits from time to time.

Basically I already do Muay Thai and MMA and Im not convinced they teach you to punch anywhere near as effectively as you teach technique wise.

So I wanted to take lessons here and there.

How much that cost and would I have to pay for insurance a start up fee etc even though I would only want lessons here and there?

Also would I be able to choose what I would like to learn for example if I wanted to learn how to uppercut properly would I be able to request that you teach me how/ point out what Im doing wrong etc in a lesson?

Thanks for your time mate!


Fran December 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm


Thank you very much for taking the time to contact me and thank you for requesting some coaching time, I can think of no better endorsement for what I am trying to achieve with MyBoxingCoach.

At this point in time, I am sadly not in a position to offer any one-on-one coaching outside of the “virtual world”. I would like to be able to take on this kind of request, but for a whole host of reasons my diary would simply not allow me to make the necessary commitment.

Sorry mate, and thanks again for the request. I hope that the site videos and articles continue to be of use. If there’s anything that I can help with, do let me know.



akeem November 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Dear Sir/Madam
I am the one in the red trunk with banage on my hand,this is the last
fight on jan 22 2010 i am a twenty one years of age man,after fighting
this fight i lost my dad who is my manager and coach so iwant to e my
career that is why i want to join your boxing academy, because i want to
be a world champion.
thank you.


marcus francisco October 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Dear Mr Fran Sands, I came across your videos by accident while checking out boxing videos on YouTube and have to say, you have got a beautiful thing here. It has been a pleasure and highly educational to carefully go through your videos. I wish to thank you for your selfless service to all of us boxing lovers and enthusiasts around the world. Much health and prosperity to you. Best Wishes, Marcus Francisco, Brazil.


Fran October 29, 2011 at 10:46 am

Mr Marcus Francisco. Thank you very much for taking the time to post your comment, I’m very grateful. It’s excellent that you find the videos and article so useful. I’m happy that you can at least get a good start on understanding the very technical nature of the sport. There’s lots and lots to learn, and I’m sure that MyBoxingCoach will continue to help as you progress.

Thanks Marcus


John mastro September 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Where are you located?
I would love to… have the opportuity to
work with you personally.


Fran September 9, 2011 at 6:30 am

Hi John

I’m in Liverpool in the UK. The time I spend coaching is on a voluntary basis at my community boxing club (the place on the vid and where I’ve been going for the past 32 years). I’m very flattered that you’d like to be coached by me, but I don’t really do personal coaching as such. Any money I make from boxing I’m trying to make via my on-line activites. I have a kind of strange personal rule that I’ll only ever coach in our gym and I won’t accept pay for it. Strange rule, but there you go.

Thanks for the comment mate


Mandi August 17, 2011 at 6:28 am

Hey Fran – I think Im in love!!!! soory – with boxing that is….Ive recently started exercise to manage my diabetes asfter years of sitting on my butt! I reaised i’ve always like boxing and decided to have a go..Ive now got a punching bag and it’s fabulous! I must say thank you for your generosity in putting out your videos, I couldn’t do without them and I would love to get to your gym one day (If i live that long!!!) Im 53 and short and tubby but Im finding the boxing skills something I can acutally do at some level – not fab but certainly I can feel the moves in my body when Im doing it right. After 5 weeks of various cardio workouts as well, Ive lost 5 humble kilos (12 whole pounds!). My biggest issue now is not to overdo it. So thanks Fran for everything! Regards Mandi from Australia/


Fran August 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm


My heart was all a-flutter for a moment there. That’s a great comment. We can all benefit from a good fitness regime, and for you it’s more important than for most (my sister has diabetes so I have some understanding your situation). You’re obviously doing a brilliant job, and if the site is helping in some small way then I’m really happy about that. By the way, there’s nothing ‘humble’ about a 12 lb weight loss over 5 weeks, sounds absolutely perfect. Keep developing your boxing skills and I’m positive that this will help maintain your interest in your fitness regime for years to come. Good on ya mate!

Take it easy Mandi, and thanks for your message.


Fran July 15, 2011 at 6:06 am

Hi Juan

Thank you for your comment. It sounds to me like you are taking exactly the right approach. Repeat the basics and gradually you will become more and more natural as you progress. Well done and I’m happy that you that the site has helped you along the way.


Nichole June 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Thanks for the resource Mr. Sands. I joined a boxing club about 4 weeks ago and I am a newbie (well to boxing I practice Muay Thai Kickboxing for a year, but I still have much to learn in both ). I just found your site and I look forward to reviewing the different topics. Once again thanks.


Fran June 26, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Hey Nichole, thank you for the comment. Feel free at any point along your learning journey to post any questions and we’ll see if either I or other site users can help; there’s some really good boxing people who visit the site and who offer some top advice, so try to make the most of it! Thanks again.


Ron March 30, 2011 at 6:10 am

I am interested where to purchsase the bag that is in the video? Is that the Maize Bag?


Fran March 31, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Hey Ron

That’s an angled bag, different from a Maize Bag. The Maize Bag is a tear-drop shape and is about as hard a bag as you get. There is so much resistance in a Maize Bag that it’s not really practical to use round after round (a ratio of about 1 in 3 would be enough.) An angled bag though is a great addition and is probably a bit more versatile than a conventional heavy bag as you can land hooks and uppercuts with a better contact. Hope this helps


Mo March 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Cheers fran appreciate the advice it was helpful.


Mo March 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Hello Fran

Is it compulsory for boxers to weight train? if so could you create me a weight training program for a boxer or alternatively refer me to a website that could help? thanks.


Fran March 27, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Hey Mo

Thanks for the question. Short responses: It is not considered compulsory for a boxer to weight train, but I believe it is essential that a boxer undertakes strength training. Strength training can usually be undertaken with a mix of groundwork/resistance work (ton-up, crunches etc) and/or weight training; many boxers do NOT weight train, particularly not heavy weights. I like weights, but I like to keep them light and fast. I am in the processes of developing some weight training advice, but this is likely to take a little time. I’ve not come across any sites that offer definitive advice on this, but I’ll put some time into looking and let you know.

Thanks Mo


Joe Damato January 24, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Fran, Absolutely fantastic site. I’m 47 yoa. I started boxing training about 5 years ago, unfortunately, I had to stop after about a year due to moving out of the area and work duties. I started up again about a month ago, but don’t have a trainer anymore so have to go on memory. I found my execution of punches had deterioated badly, as my right wrist started to hurt. I slowed down and realized i was not hitting correctly anymore. I researched numerous sites, books, and DVD’s; and have to say your site is extremely comprehensive, informative, and very well written. Again, thanks for your time and dedication to the sport. Joe


Fran January 25, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Hey Joe

It’s great that you like the site, but it’s even better that you are getting back into the sport. It’s entirely reasonable that you’re out of practice on punching. Hell, even practising boxers get into bad habits, let alone boxer’s who have had time out of the sport. The important thing is that you’ve identified some of the issues and are taking action to correct them. In terms of the wrist, make sure you’re wrapping it well and even consider using 10oz/16oz gloves in order to gain the benefit of the high wrist band.

Thanks very much for the feedback Joe, it’s really appreciated. If I can be of any help along the way, be sure to let me know.

Take it easy and enjoy the rediscovery of your sporting prowess!


Michael December 19, 2010 at 4:12 am

Hi Fran,

You site is very useful, than you. I appreciate that you are sharing your knowledge and experience with others.

Happy Christmas and New Year!

Kind Regards



Fran December 19, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Glad you find the site helpful Michael, and Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Tony December 6, 2010 at 11:39 pm


Where is your gym at?




Fran December 7, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Hey Tony

I’m actually in the UK. Hope you like the site!


Jeiteki November 28, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Fran, your website is amazing! The technical analysis of southpaw vs orthodox is one of the best I’ve ever seen, and the combinations you’ve listed work very well for me (even under MMA and K-1 rules). Your explanations are outstanding when it comes to illuminating key points of the techniques.

One question I’ve had is what your thoughts are on the differences between amateur boxing and professional boxing. Do you think the underlying principles are different? A lot of concepts you explain are familiar to me, but I often see pro boxers, including some with extremely technical coaches (like Pac-man / Roach), seemingly break these rules.

One example is the stance. You mention that it makes sense to keep the weight centered or on the back leg, and ensure that the head stays behind the lead foot. These concepts are familiar to me, as I’ve heard a number of coaches emphasize that these are important to maintain balance. However, on TV, I see pro boxers stand heavy on their lead leg all the time and their head creeping precariously close to their lead foot. Do you think this is a difference between damage-based pro boxing and point-based amateur boxing, or are pro boxers just sloppy?

Another example is the jab. It seems you prefer to push off the lead leg to twist the hips clockwise in order to generate power. Similarly, some coaches tell me that this creates a better, more whip-like jab. However, I often see pro fighters push off their back leg and jab as their lead foot hits the ground.

By the way, speaking from my own sports background, I personally find that under K-1 rules, staying heavy on the front leg while leaning every-so-slightly forward can work well, especially if you are a counter-fighter (a good example is Georgio Petrosyan). Additionally, it is less common to see fighters in K-1 push off their lead foot when jabbing; instead, they will often push off the back leg so that they can close the distance quickly and avoid a leg kick, which has ~2-6 inches more range than a straight punch. Muay Thai is a completely different story altogether, and in MMA you see fighters from every shade of the spectrum.


Fran November 29, 2010 at 8:44 pm


Firstly, thanks very much for you valued compliments! It feels good to know that that report has been of use as I was eager to capture the fact that once a fighter understands the tactical impact of whether an opponent is southpaw or orthodox, then their options for dealing with that opponent are greatly increased.

On to some of your other (very well made) points. I believe that good boxing technique is good boxing technique, whether the boxer is a pro or an amateur. The fact that amateur boxing has become more of a ‘fencing’ style over the last decade or so, and the pro game as you rightly say, has always been about smashing the opponent into defeat, this definitely leads to differences in execution. This said, I can’t help but feel though that when a pro fighter does lean forward, this is in response to the perceived threat presented by the opponent. If the boxer feels that they have the beating of the opponent, that the opponent’s hand speed is average, their punching power is limited, then they are happy to use this lean forward as a way of drawing a lead. If on the other hand they perceive their opponent to be a ‘clear and present danger’, then they will be far less likely to allow their weight to go forward. If they do lean forward then this in my opinion is more likely to be a technical flaw rather than conscious decision to draw a lead (there’s more on this in the Amir Khan – The Road to Roach article.)

On to your second main point (the jab), this is another interesting one. I’ve seen the description you offer on some of the forums (often referred to as the ‘power jab.’) My take on it is that the second variation you talk about (the push off the back leg) is a combination of 2 distinct skills; the boxing jab and the footwork move in. I always like to demonstrate the mechanics of a jab as a standalone skill. When jabbing and moving forward, I like to think that there is still a push from the front leg to provide the rotation of the body, but the push from the back leg propels the body forward (not too far, just a few inches). It’s very subtle and quite difficult to split, but it is worth doing. For more on this, the article on Range Finding in Boxing might help, certainly worth checking out.

On the final point, about those participants in MMA having weight on the front leg. I’ve read forum posts where MMA guys feel that boxers have their weight on the front leg a lot (something to which I and others offered an opposing view) and this would leave them vulnerable to a ‘takedown.’ Now, this sounds reasonable to me, but it’s interesting that you’ve offered an opposing view to this and underpinned this view with a reason (the counter-attack.) This allows me as a boxing coach to gradually increase my knowledge in this area…so thanks!

It’s a great comment, thanks again and I’d be happy to respond to any further issues you have.


Tom Everett October 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Well done Francis your web site is brilliant hope people relise how much work you have put in over the years WELL DONE


Fran October 29, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Mr Ev

Coming from a man such as yourself, that compliment means a hell of a lot. You’ll end up seeing over the coming months all of those exercises and stretches that you worked through with us all of them years ago! Thanks for visiting Tom.



Christian October 27, 2010 at 2:02 am


Thank you for the kind review of Hands of Stone.



Fran October 27, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Hey Christian

It’s a great book and all I’ve done is provide an honest appraisal. Congratulations on such a fine piece of work!


Jase October 17, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Hiya Fran,
Brilliant site which I found by accident looking for some articles on pivoting. Being a local lad I was wondering if you still coach your videos are fab but you can’t beat the hands on approach.


Doug .Williamson September 16, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Hi Fran
Thankyou so much for making such a fantastic site accessible to all.
When I was younger I attended a gym to try and learn boxing as a second sport.

Because I had to concentrate mainly on my main sport the trainers and coachs weren’t that interested in teaching me anything.I learn’t mainly from sparing (hard knocks)
There was no literature or other such information like this siteTo learn the technical aspect of boxing which are so important.

I wish you all the best from New Zealand kind regards
Doug Williamson


Fran September 27, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Hey Doug

Sorry for the delay in responding! I’m really happy that you like the site and you find it worthwhile. If you have any questions or need any clarification, please feel free to drop a comment or send an email and I’ll do my best to answer.

Take care my Kiwi friend, keep on visiting!


Sean August 28, 2010 at 11:42 am

Thanks for sharing. Good stuff!! I’m a coach and I find your information to be technically sound, insightful, and highly valuable to those of us trying to come up with effective and improved ways of teaching the fundamentals.


Fran August 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Good to have the involvement of a fellow coach Sean. I hope the site continues to be of use.


Frank July 22, 2010 at 7:53 am

Thank you Fran, and just for Trivia I’m 18 and from the United States but all certainly look into it. I had friends who had joined a boxing gym and complained about being ignored by the trainers but now that you’ve said that it makes sense. Honestly if you don’t mind me saying I saw your videos on Youtube and in a sense your inspiring there’s something about your hooks it’s really influenced me to try the sport Sincerely, Thank You Fran.


Fran July 22, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I’m really glad you’ve found the site enjoyable and useful. Keep me up to date on how things go if you decide to go to the gym.

Cheers Frank, and good luck!


Frank July 20, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Hey Fran I really admire this site, I think your doing a great job.

Maybe you could help me with this I’m very interested in boxing but I’ve never took to joining a gym is there any advice you can give me beforehand or anything I should essentially look for in a gym? and anything else I should look into?


Fran July 21, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Hi Frank

Thanks for the compliment, it all helps me keep going.

In terms of looking at a boxing gym, what I would do is check out your boxing association website. If you are in the UK, you can go to the Amateur Boxing Association website (http://www.abae.co.uk) where there’s a good club finder; there may be similar on the website of other nations’ boxing associations. Once you find a gym (not sure about your age, in the amateurs you can box competitively up until the age of 35), it’s about you going and showing committment. It wouldn’t be unusual for a coach to potentially ‘ignore’ you for some time until he/she knows that you are in for the long haul (they don’t want to waste time on someone who is likely to leave), unless you go for a personal coach on a one-to-one basis. My choice would be a communal boxing club and don’t, whatever you do, get embarrassed by your inexperience. Boxing gyms tend to be the ultimate in equality. Fellow boxers will help where they can. Take the step and just go for it mate.


Lawrence Horry July 17, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Hey Fran,

Love your site. I’ve been training Stand-up at several MMA gyms on/off for a few years. I’ve learned alot from your website especially Long Range attacks. I’ve been throwing my Long Range Hooks and Uppercuts like mid range attacks, and it’s no wonder they hardly ever land! I had a couple questions, though. Do you think the boxing stance could be adapted to MMA? And what’s your opinion on the “Classical” Stance as depicted by Charley Burley. Thank you and keep up the good work!


Fran July 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Hey Lawrence

Thanks for the positive feedback, it all helps! Onto your questions, firstly the MMA one. I think that long and mid-range mobility would be very effective in MMA. I believe that many MMA people feel that a boxing stance means putting your body weight onto you front leg. They feel that this leaves you vulnerable to being taken down through front leg sweeps, which I’m sure is accurate IF we did put our body weight onto the front leg! Well, our body weight is always on the back leg (or central), which helps with our mobility. So yes, I think a correct boxer’s stance and movement would be very transferable to MMA. In terms of short range work, my sense is that just before the clinch/grappling takes hold, you could fire a couple of short range hooks/uppercuts. These are very damaging shots when thrown correctly and may stun an opponent who is seeking to grapple. Once grappling takes hold, my sense is that a boxer’s stance would need to be dispensed very swiftly with in favour of a wrestling style (legs far back, you’ll know much better than me). It’s about context and timing I think mate.

Onto Charlie Burley. I feel that he, along with a number of of his contemporaries such as Joe Louis, Tommy Loughran and Ray Robinson, are responsible for modernising the sport’s stance and other skills. Burley has a style than is very much akin to our modern approach, as opposed to the ‘crouch’ style used by many of that era. His weight is for the majority of the time on his back leg, and his arms are held in a slightly peculiar manner; not unlike many eastern european amateurs who hold out their lead arm (left with orthodox) at almost full length for the majority of the bout. Burley undoubtedly approached his boxing with a very analytical, almost scientific, rigour. Yep, a very eye-catching exponent of the sport!

Hope this helps mate, and again thanks for your contribution!


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