Boxing is an extremely nuanced combat sport with many layers that come into play in every fight. In the elite ranks, contests become high-level matches of human chess, where the winning participant is usually the one who executes their game plan better.
As such, it is so important to employ the right tactics and strategies in order to be an effective fighter.
When you just start out with boxing, you learn the basics — the fundamentals that make up your foundation. But that can only get you so far. If you want to take your game to the next level, you have to study and put boxing tactics and strategies into practice. This is especially true if you plan on actually stepping into the ring and competing.
If you already have ring time under your belt, then it’s time to step your game up a notch. We’ve come up with a list of advanced tactics and strategies to help you defeat your opponents. Recognizing when and how to utilize them can spell the difference between winning and losing.
Want to try them out? Today, Evolve Daily shares five advanced boxing tactics and strategies to add to your game.
1) Sit down on your punches
Ever wonder why your punches lack power? It’s because you’re not sitting down on your shots. When you sit down on your punches, you’re as solid as a rock and your shots carry more weight.
Amateurs often move too much. They stay too light on their toes, even when throwing their combinations. That’s why their punches lack steam. The pros know how to shift their weight and momentum properly, maintain their center of gravity, and punch with force. They can stay heavy on the ground comfortably, and can also be agile when necessary. This superior balance allows for more damaging power shots.
It goes without saying, in order to develop more powerful punches, you will have to strengthen your core. Having a strong core will help stabilize your center of gravity so that you can sit down on your punches, transfer power from your base, and deliver that knockout blow.
2) Use angles
One common trait found in amateurs is that they move too linear. It’s always forward and backward, left or right. If you want to take your movement to the next level, practice using angles to get in and out of range.
Pro boxers have unlimited angles. It’s never straight up, and never telegraphed. They can move off the x-axis while throwing their combinations, and these attacks can come from anywhere.
A jab can cut right down the pipe, or it can thread the needle diagonally. A right hook can go upstairs or downstairs, around the guard, under it, or at a 45-degree angle. It can come in pairs or trios. The bottom line is, pro boxers have endless angles of attack.
One thing to avoid is moving straight backward after a combination. You may think you are out of range and can’t get hit with a counter, but oftentimes you are, and you get clipped on the way out. To avoid this, always exit your combinations at an angle.
Never stay right in front of an opponent. Use your angles.
3) Lead right hand
The textbook way is to set everything up with the jab. But while that’s still an effective tactic to some degree, even at the highest levels of competition, it can become easily telegraphed. You have to learn how to throw lead punches with quickness and power, foregoing the jab and connecting with the element of surprise.
One of the best punches to throw as a lead is the right hand. Pro boxers have amazing lead rights. It’s a quick shot down the middle that has enough mustard behind it to stun an opponent. Best of all, opponents have a lot of difficulty reading and anticipating it. It’s fast and hard to read.
The two most important factors in throwing a successful lead right are positioning and technique. You have to first be in an optimal position before you launch the attack. That means you can’t be too far out, you have to be just within range. Secondly, the right hand has to be fired from the hip. Avoid cocking the elbow back, which usually gives it away.
4) Relax and walk
While amateurs usually take advantage of constant movement to stay elusive, calm and composed professionals can walk their opponents down without so much as flinching.
Pro boxers walk around the ring with confidence. They don’t have to waste energy and movement in the ring. They can stay flat-footed until they need to move. Furthermore, they have superior head movement which makes staying slightly stationary possible.
It’s scary how the most dangerous fighters can simply walk toward their opponents in a controlled and smooth manner. They will come up into range, throw their combinations and take a couple of steps out when they’re done. They never panic and are always collected.
Walking in the ring keeps your feet grounded, your center of gravity heavy so you can sit down on your punches, and your stamina preserved. That allows you to participate in firefights even deep into a 12-round war.
5) Touch ‘em up
Last but not least, you need to constantly touch your opponent. Don’t give them any room to breathe.
Pro boxers are often throwing combinations. They aren’t conservative with their punch output. As effective aggression is a major scoring category in the professional ranks, it’s important to keep busy every round. Never hesitate to throw your shots, because not being able to “pull the trigger” is a sign that you’re outgunned.
This doesn’t mean that every punch you throw has to have damaging intent behind it. You could touch an opponent for a variety of reasons. You can use it as a distraction, to divert attention away from what you really want to do. You can throw feints to elicit a reaction. Or you could touch the glove guard to close it ever so slightly, to open up your opponent for a crushing body shot.
It works the same on the defensive end. You could start touching your opponent just to interrupt him in the middle of a combination, or throw him off his rhythm entirely.
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