The art of pugilism, or otherwise known as the profession or hobby of boxing, has been around for centuries and has developed over the years into the form and martial arts discipline most people are familiar with today.
Also known as “The Sweet Science”, experts harp on its intricate and nuanced techniques. The full-contact combat sport, enjoyed and practiced by many since the early years of humanity, is a collection of offensive and defensive moves.
If you’re just starting to take up the sport, then you have probably heard of its basic punches, as well as its advanced tactics. You know your jabs, your crosses, your uppercuts, and your hooks. But when you reach the advanced stages of boxing training, the focus begins to shift from offense to defense, and a large part of defense in boxing is counterbpunching.
In boxing, there is a myriad of variations to the counter punch, with different combinations used in different ways. It is almost impossible to list down every single exact counter punch in boxing because there are just so many ways they can be utilized.
However, there are three general categories that you as a student should be aware of.
Today, Evolve Daily shares The 3 Different Types Of Counter Punches In Boxing.
1) Timing the punch
One of the most telling characteristics of a good defensive fighter is his ability to read and study an opponent’s movements before and during a bout. The ability to recognize patterns and habits which form an opponent’s style is essential to successfully utilizing the first method of countering, which is the well-timed punch.
After you have gotten comfortable with the idea of sparring and have put in a few rounds, you can start to experiment with counter punching. Mastering the art of counter punching is the next step in your evolution as a fighter.
Start off by paying attention to your opponent’s offense. Like any good counter puncher, you must be patient on defense. Bide your time and keep it safe. Notice any subtle habits that your opponent may be committing when he throws his punches. If he leaves himself open when throwing a jab, for example, try to find out which punch to counter with that has a high probability of landing cleanly.
The next time your opponent throws that punch and makes his mistake, capitalize on the opportunity and throw your counter punch. Pay extra attention to getting the timing down. A well-timed counter can catch any foe off guard and could even score you a knockdown.
One of the greatest counter punchers to use well-timed counters is pound-for-pound elite Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. Check out this clip of Mayweather using his well-timed counters to stifle his opponents in the ring.
2) Bait and switch
The next type of counter punch in boxing is the classic bait and switch. It is a very effective form of a counter punch that opponents find hard to deal with. It also deals a whole lot of damage because oftentimes opponents are caught in a vulnerable position when this technique is used.
In boxing, there’s an adage that goes: “Make him miss, make him pay”, and it rings true with this maneuver. Firstly, however, you must be very comfortable playing defense at this stage because the risk of getting hit is great when using this technique.
This involves giving an opponent a false target. Maybe lowering your hand a little to create an opening that your opponent will try to target. The only difference is, this is a trap, one that you have expertly laid. When your opponent goes for the bait, it’s time for you to slip the punch and counter with a big shot or combination.
It’s a little risky, but if you have good reflexes and you have read your opponent well, it can be a very effective way to score with some clean counter punching. One of the best ways to hone this skill is during mittwork with a coach. Make sure you time all of your counters though and keep your awareness heightened because if you’re not careful you can also pay the price.
One of the greatest examples of the Bait and Switch technique utilized in modern times is Featherweight World Champion Vasyl Lomachenko. The way he uses his body to bait an opponent before slipping and moving away from harm and throwing his counters, it’s a thing of beauty.
3) Catch and counter
The third type of counter punching in boxing is the catch and counter. This involves catching or parrying an opponent’s punches before unleashing your own punches and combinations. The key to this technique is to have good defensive awareness and to always have your guard up to catch shots.
Whenever a defensive fighter catches shots on the arms and gloves, they are placed in a natural position to launch a natural counter. For example, if a defensive fighter catches a left jab with the right glove guard, the natural counter to that would be the left hook which he should throw immediately.
If an opponent’s defense isn’t up, that counter will land flush and do great amounts of damage. If in any case, an opponent can catch that shot, then at least he is kept busy and on his toes. Knowing when to unload a counter punch is an essential skill in boxing. Most of the time, it is these counter punches which do the most damage in a fight.
The best way to hone your skills in a catch and counter situation is through extensive mittwork. Good, solid mittwork embeds counters in muscle memory, making sure you execute them without even thinking.
One of the best all-time great counter punchers in the sport is Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez. Under the guidance of renowned coach Nacho Beristain, Marquez has developed into a counter punching superstar over the years.
So, which of these counters will you be working on?