The corner of a boxing ring is the last place most boxers want to get stuck in, but it will happen from time to time. Getting trapped in a corner means your opponent gets to tee off on you while your options to score points are limited in that position. It allows aggressive fighters to land barrages of punches on you, which makes you look bad to the judges. Fighters often lose rounds due to getting trapped in the corner a few times during a round, even if most of the punches thrown at you don’t land clean.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Oscar de la Hoya is an excellent example of this. Mayweather dominated most of the contest fighting on the outside and landing counters, but de la Hoya was able to pin him against the corner several times during the fight, unleashing salvos of up to 15 punches at a time. The crowd loved it and roared whenever he unloaded on Mayweather, despite most of the punches missing or getting blocked. The barrages also influenced the judges, who scored the fight much closer than it should have been.
Getting stuck in a corner becomes an even bigger problem if you’re a taller fighter going against a shorter boxer. Generally speaking, shorter boxers tend to be more effective fighting at inside range, while taller fighters typically don’t enjoy the same level of success. A taller fighter might find themselves in serious trouble if they get trapped in a corner against a shorter fighter who is better at fighting at inside range.
Five Ways To Escape From The Corner In Boxing
Unless inside fighting is your specialty, you should always look to escape to open space whenever you find yourself pinned against the turnbuckles. The quicker you can do this, the less damage you take. Being good at getting away from the corners of the ring also gives you a mental edge since your opponent has to work hard to trap you in the first place by cutting off the ring and pushing you into the corner. All their hard work amounts to nothing when you can easily escape and work your way back to the center of the ring.
Some of the most effective ways boxers work their way out of the corners include:
Pivoting is one of the most effective ways to get out of a corner, and it can even put you in a position to fire off counters while your opponent can’t get to you. To pivot away from a corner, you simply pivot your lead foot and move your rear foot in the direction of your lead foot. For example, if you’re fighting out of an orthodox stance, you pivot off your left foot while moving your rear foot to the left.
Spinning out of the corner puts you in a position where you’re perpendicular to your opponent’s centerline. You can fire off hard shots from this angle, while your opponent needs to turn around before they can hit you.
Practice pivoting out of tight spaces often so you can execute the technique fluidly and quickly before your opponent realizes what you’re up to. Pivoting is also an effective way to get back to the center of the ring if you find yourself trapped against the ropes. Make sure you keep your hands up when pivoting and be ready to counter any punches that come your way as you start the movement.
Sidestepping is the second-best way to escape from a corner or the rope when you’re stuck there. It doesn’t matter if you sidestep to your right or left; just pick a direction and go for it. Use feints to confuse your opponents when sidestepping so they can’t predict which way you’re going. This makes it harder for them to catch you with a punch as you move away from them.
As is the case with pivoting, keep your hands up when sidestepping to protect yourself against incoming punches. Quality boxers expect you to try to escape when trapped against a corner, so they typically try to land one last punch before you get away from them.
3) Crossing Out
This is a more advanced technique that’s typically used by boxers with lots of experience under their belts. The technique is typically used when an opponent leans on a boxer trapped against the corner. The technique involves moving in the direction of your rear leg and firing crosses at your opponent as you create space and move away. The crosses distract your opponent while you get away from them.
For example, if you’re fighting out of an orthodox stance, you move to your right while firing crosses with your right hand. Do the reverse if you’re fighting out of a southpaw stance.
4) Hooking Out
Here’s another advanced technique used to escape from the corner. It’s a highly effective technique that’s also low risk. It involves pivoting out of a corner while throwing multiple hooks simultaneously. Throwing the hooks forces your opponent to raise their hands to protect their head, which means they won’t have time to throw punches at you as you spin away.
Don’t get sloppy with your technique while throwing the hooks. Fire off three or four hooks as fast as possible and immediately bring your hands back to your head to protect it.
5) Turning Your Opponent
A savvy opponent might push you or lean on you when you’re trapped in a corner, making it harder for you to throw punches at them. This is particularly true if you’re a taller fighter fighting a shorter opponent.
A simple trick you can use to get out of this predicament is by placing your hand on your opponent’s triceps and turning your body toward them. Since your opponent is already applying forward pressure on you, you can use their momentum against them. Their body will naturally move forward as you turn toward them with minimal effort on your part. When done correctly, the technique should reverse positions so your opponent is trapped in the corner or against the ropes.
It should be noted that it’s illegal to grab onto opponents in boxing, but referees rarely penalize fighters for using this technique when done quickly.
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