SKILLZ & DRILLZ-SLOWING DOWN THE SPEEDY OPPONENT
The quick and speedy puncher is a crowd pleaser and showstopper to the paying public. We
love the lightning punches and the quick avoidance of the punches, but for the fighter on the receiving end of his or
her skill, the match can be a nightmare.
Sooner or later, we will come across a fighter in whom the punches seem to be unstoppable, but
we have to keep our wits about us and prepare for the lightning quick opponent.
When facing a speedy boxer like Sugar Ray Leonard or Roy Jones, Jr., the preparation for this
type of fighter should always be in the fighter or trainer's mind. There is always the chance that you will face a fighter
that is quicker than you are.
Before you face such a fighter, think about the characteristics of the speed fighter. Here
are the types of speed fighters you may face:
A fighter with fast jabs but limited in speed with his other punching techniques. Holds
guard low and have slow to average speed on his foot speed.
A fighter with fast overall hand speed and is fast with all his other punching techniques.
Slow to average foot speed and keeps his guard low.
A fighter with fast hands and great with every punching technique. Holds his guard high,
but has slow to average foot speed.
A fighter with speedy footwork,an average puncher but hits and runs. Depends on a good
jab. Keeps his guard low.
A fighter with speedy footwork, an average puncher but punches accurately and flees.
Keeps his guard low.
A fighter with speedy footwork, a speedy puncher that depends on a fast jab, keeps his guard
A fighter with speedy footwork, a speedy puncher that punches fast and accurate with every technique.
Keeps his guard high.
You can see in the scenarios that fast fighters rarely are fast in every aspect of skill.
Most speed fighters are fleet of foot or fleet of hand. Most do not have the balance of the fast hands and feet.
The best way to defeat this type of opponent is to keep in mind the various types of speed fighters
listed above and prepare for them. Even if you do not have advance information or films on them. You have to keep
preparation for this opponent long before you face a speedy fighter. Your skill strategy and tactics should already
be mapped out.
In the first two scenarios, when facing an opponent with limited foot work and speed, but fast
limited jabs or a complete arsenal of fast punchingf techniques, you can counter him or her by using angles in movement, using
your faster footwork to counter the slow foot speed by your opponent and punching over his guard to his head because his guard
is low. Catching him as he pulls back his punches is the best counter because in most cases his hands will rest low,
unless you are very close to him, then he will pull up his guard for protection.
In scenario three, the fast fisted puncher with average footwork and a low guard. In most
cases, this fighter will move in the best position and set himself, usually right in front of you and punch away at any holes
he can find in your guard. He will more likely throw punches in bunches at any available hole he can find. He
can be countered by holding your guard up to deflect his attack but you can fight out of his flurry but using left and right
angles and punching out of your tight guard with jabs, hooks and uppercuts. It will limit his counters if you step outside
of his lead foot or hand. This will limit his use of throwing punches with accuracy with his backhand.
Scenario four and five, the guy with the fast footwork, who is hard to catch but an average to
good puncher with a low guard. Usually they aren't knockout punchers because they hit and run constantly. They
normally do not set their feet and do not get their weight into the punches, which negate power in their punches. Most
of the time the guard is low because they spend a lot of energy running, so the low hands help in quickness and balance for
These guys are pesky, but they allow you to think and set up your punches, The best strategy
against them is to continue coming forward at them, but using angles. You want to change angles on them, while
backing them into a corner. Your main strategy is to keep them cornered up in limited space. They do not have
to be in a corner but you want to back them there to have a chance to use your arsenal against them. If they to escape
to the center of the ring, clinch and push them back into the corner and fire away at the head and torso. Some of these
guys keep their guard low even while trapped in the corner. In most cases, their muscles are not conditioned to
keeping the guard high because of their reliance on running.
The last two scenarios are the hardest speed fighters to defeat. These are the Sugar Ray
Leonard's and Roy Jones Jrs of the world of boxing. Normally with their speedy but complete footwork with excellent
jabs and punches will not run but keep coming at you until their 200 plus punches and fast footwork wear you down. They
will knock you out. They usually vision you knocked out on the canvas.
Still they can be defeated. They normally punch with a limit of three punches in a bunch
because of the natural compensation for their footwork. If they punch with over three punches; They will have
to set longer in one spot, if they throw more than three punches, it can be dangerous for them.
The chief strategy is to hold your guard high but not so high as to not protect your stomach.
You will have to counter their hand speed and footwork with yours even if theirs are superior to yours. Varying your
angles, pivoting in the open part of the ring will keep them off balance and force them to punch at unusual angles. It also
keeps them from charging straight at you. The jab is the best weapon against these fighters and doubling up on
the jab is distracting to them. Double ups followed by an uppercut or a hook usually is very telling to the judges
and works to your favor. You have to find a pattern to these fighters and will have to estimate when they will punch.
This will have to be instinctive on your part. You cannot think about this or you will be hit often.
Most of these guys do not see the overhead punches off the backhand in your guard and they are
always caught by it when charging forward.
You will have to sucker them in to the overhead punch by bending, couching or leaning on an angle
as if you are hurt and as they charge, catch them in the face with the overhead punch off the back fist in your guard.
Fighters rarely see this punch coming.
But always remember with this fighter, you cannot remain stationary or you are in for a short night.
Make practicing for the fighter with superior speed a priority. If you have fighters like the
ones mentioned in this article in your club; work with them. As you move up in the amateur or professional ranks.
You will find more fighters with speed that may be superior to yours.
GOOD LUCK AND KEEP YOUR GUARD UP!