Boxing Training Q&A Clinic #3

by Fran on May 28, 2017


Have you ever pondered upon the usefulness of the speed bag?

Have you ever attempted to define your favourite boxing combinations?

Maybe you have agonized over the kind of fight tactics to use against a southpaw?

What about the risks of using the long range right hook?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ then the short video that follows definitely concerns you.

This is the 3rd in the series of my Boxing Training Q&A sessions.

We pack lots into the 13 minutes so hit play on the video below and  jump right in.

Questions and observations below.



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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Mitchell May 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm

Our gym has a Speed Bag, and I’ve never seen it officially used. But do you have any hints about Floor-To-Ceiling Bags? They seem full of potential, but I can’t find much about them. They remind me of some kit described in Bruce Tegner’s Self-Defence book. I’m very interested in Self-Defence after being threatened by a Bogus Cold-Caller. I’m sure Mobility is important, partly because in some situations the sensible plan is to run away. And Floor-To-Ceiling Bags look like the kit to practice with.


Fran May 30, 2017 at 6:56 pm

Will see what I can come up with. For me, and I’m no expert, self-defence has always been about controlling the space around me, staying on my feet and being prepared to control that space with long range work. Key is stay on the feet – not everyone can stand-up fight but most people can play football, so being on the ground is not a good place to be.


Frank Mitchell June 2, 2017 at 11:16 am

I reckon just Fitness is the best resource for Self-Defence because it won’t vanish out of your head when a situation arises. The Bogus Cold-Caller seemed perturbed when I told him I worked out with weights, but I don’t believe he’d have been concerned if I’d told him I did Contest Karate 40 years ago. I know the Floor-To-Ceiling Bag can be used to practice Slipping and Ducking, which could be handy for dodging a weapon, thus leaving you in a better position to run away if you don’t need to defend anybody else.


MickeyG May 29, 2017 at 7:43 pm

Great stuff again Fran thank you !

Thanks for answering my question about southpaw tips. Funny thing, I had just finished a session with a friend before watching this, and we were doing the parry continue the jab you talked about as well. Cant wait to try the footwork move to the right slightly back and then fire. Great stuff and thank you again.
The gym i am associated with it took down their speed bag years ago for the same reasons you mentioned – noisy, limited usefulness, and misuse. Does look “cool” i guess lol.
Agree wholeheartedly with your suggestion for fighters to think thru their own combinations and see what works using boxing sense, mechanics, etc.


Fran May 30, 2017 at 6:54 pm

You are very welcome, really glad that this stuff has sparked some angles for you to take on in the gym, thanks for the feedback mate.


David Waterman May 28, 2017 at 8:29 pm

Hi Fran and Pug,

Of course I’m reading this comment, you answered my question and said nice things about me 🙂

Firstly thank you for answering my question, Fran. If either Tim Witherspoon or Joe Ham are reading this I think both are superb athletes and my observations weren’t criticisms…particularly if Joe bumps into me in Glasgow 🙂

I’m gonna go back and find the Tim Witherspoon interview to confirm my understanding of his advice. It was pretty straightforward and hard to misinterpret so I doubt I misunderstood. But I agree about the cocking of the forearm to turn the shot over- if done at long range it might signal the opponent and leave the target open; much like elevating the elbow while throwing the jab.

I enjoyed listening to your answers to the other questions too. I agree about the speedball- a great looking bit of kit with the right exponent demonstrating it but of limited use practically.

Regarding favourite combinations- my own Fran Sands favourite is the jab/step-in/right uppercut/left hook. I taught that with the accompanying break the guard/lift the chin/apply the finisher explanation at our gym in Battersea.

Laters, chaps.


Fran May 30, 2017 at 6:50 pm

Hello mate

It was plain to see that you’re observations were just that and not even in the realm of criticism so you can walk the streets of Glasgow without any ‘ducking and diving’.

Pug’s position made sense to me really mate.

Glad you liked the other answers, it feels like quite a nice format – I get the chance to blabber on about boxing but WITHOUT a pint in my hand.

Long live uppercuts followed by hooks!!!

Thanks mate, hope all is well with you and at the gym


Pug May 28, 2017 at 7:06 pm

Re: Long Range right hook – I agree with you totally Fran. Two reasons: 1) Saying you should ‘never’ throw a long range right hook is the same kind of thinking that says, there is only ‘one way’ to throw an inside left hook, ie. palm down. When, in fact,re some boxers prefer to throw their hooks thumb up! I’ve heard some coaches say that “it’s illegal to throw a hook with the thumb up”. In fact, it is perfectly legal. It’s all about individual body mechanics.
2) I believe there is some confusion the way Tim Witherspoon may be envisioning a long range right hook and the way that you teach it, which I prefer and have adopted. In N.A. mid and long range hooks tend to see the palm turning outward and there tends to be a cocking of the right or left forearms. The end result, in many cases, is that the hook ends up being a slap with the underside of the tip of the glove. If that is what the former champ was envisioning then I would agree, because the cocking of the forearm opens the boxer’s right shoulder exposing the boxer to a counter punch. But throwing it the way you teach there is no or very little opening for a counter punch. Moreover, it’s devious because it starts out looking like a straight right then suddenly turns into a hook shot. It’s like a pitcher throwing a curve ball at a batter. It looks good to start with, but in milliseconds it’s something entirely different.


Fran May 28, 2017 at 7:15 pm


I did wonder about whether Tim would be meaning what you, Dave and I might view as no more than a ‘swing’. You have confirmed that in my mind – hope Dave reads this comment haha.

By ‘cocking’ that arm you are then bringing in real risk of getting bingo’d by a short or mid range left hook. As long as it travelled inside the line of the right hook then it works.

Thanks Pug – confirmed it. Witherspoon was one fine boxer, real shame that he was promoted by Don King! I read once that from a $4m gross purse he walked away with less than $100k – shocking.


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