Floyd Mayweather’s slick boxing tricks, offensive and defensive boxing skills from his fight against Shane Mosley. INCLUDES VIDEO!
After getting a lot of good comments and success with the 10 Manny Pacquiao Boxing Tricks (article) and VIDEO, I decided to do one for Floyd Mayweather Jr. A solid breakdown of seemingly simple and not-so-simple boxing tactics by the still undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr!
Here they are: 10 of Floyd Mayweather’s awesome boxing tricks. Don’t forget to watch the video I made!
1. High Elbow Block
Floyd’s first “trick”, holding the high left elbow on the inside. Being that I copied this move from Floyd, I can’t help but notice every time he does it. What he’ll do is stick out his left elbow when he’s on the inside or wanting to march inside. The proper way to use this move is to have your hips high, your left shoulder high, and then your left elbow high. Having your hips elevated allows you to lean onto your opponent for maximum annoyance. Assuming you’re close enough (and clever enough), you can simply walk down your opponent and quickly render his right hand useless immediately. Once on the inside, throw your own right hand or just lean on your opponent all day long and tire him out.
The high left elbow is effective for blocking right hands on the inside since the right hand always has to come at a loop when you’re that close. All you have to do is stick that left elbow out and you can block all types of right hands along your forearm. It’s more effective than having your elbow down and hand up because the hand, which isn’t back by anything, can be easily pawed away or punched right through.
Having the left elbow high and left hand down also makes it easy for you to block shots aimed at your mid-section. If you think about it, it can be pretty hard to block shots coming straight into your belly if you’re using a high guard and have two elbows blocking the front of your stomach. Your elbows don’t really block in the center unless you’re consciously pulling them together–which can be more energy-consuming for bigger guys. Having a hand down there allows you to fully bar off more of the mid-section and decrease the chances of you getting caught with a big body shot in close.
2. Head Pull
Another inside-fighting trick by Floyd Mayweather. Constant head-pulling. He does it after missed punches or even when he lunges inside after a punch. Sometimes he uses his arms, other times he simply leans over his opponents and crushes them with his upper body. Mosley did complain after the fight that Floyd tired him out very quickly by always hanging on his head, which wore down his neck and shoulders faster.
The key thing to notice is that Floyd pulls down the opponent’s head as a aggressive-defense move. He does it immediately after he misses a punch so that his opponents aren’t able to counter immediately. This allows him to potshot all day long without worrying about retaliation. Floyd is forever forced to use this move because many of his opponents swarm on the inside since they’re not fast enough to potshot against him from far.
3. Shoulder Roll
How could I ever forget this? These are Floyd’s signature trademark moves. You’ve seen him do it on the mitts and countless of times in the ring. In tribute to all the highlight videos you’ve ever seen of Floyd, I present you with yet even more shoulder rolls.
Nothing special to look for, just notice that in some cases, he goes under the left hook after throwing his own right hand. In other cases, he rolls away from the left hook and catches on the back of his right shoulder (there might not be footage of this in my video). As for Mosley’s right hands, you’ll see Floyd chop it away by rolling his left shoulder into it OR block it by shielding his chin with his left shoulder. Naturally a counter-right hand always follows. Here it is again in all its glory–the Floyd Mayweather shoulder rolls!
4. High-Guard, Drop-Jab
There are 2 parts to this trick. The first part is understanding why Mayweather puts both his hands up. From the footage I’ve studied, he’s doing it to act as though he’s going on the defensive. This accomplishes 2 things: ONE, is that his jabbing hand is now even closer to his opponent and TWO, he is giving his opponent a false sense of security. Many of his opponents will ponder over the next few precious seconds about either of the following:
- What’s Floyd up to? Why are his hands up?
- Floyd’s on the defensive! Let’s attack him!
- Looks like I’m doing good, he’s putting both hands up!
But what happens next? It’s too late because this is where he performs the second part of the trick: the drop-jab! I made up this term, it’s kind of like a pawing jab but with a bit of power. It’s different from a regular jab in that it’s pawed out in a downwards motion with his arm and more emphasized on speed. To explain how it works and why it’s effective, I’ll briefly explain how most jabs are thrown.
Typically when a boxer throws a jab, the shoulder is activated and the jabbing arm is launched in a forward springing motion from the shoulder. So when you’re facing a regular jab, you’ll see a quick bounce in the opponent’s shoulder and then his whole arm springing straight at you like a snake. A pawing jab is lighter version of the jab where boxers will throw quick and light jabs at each other in a pawing motion–similar to how a cat will paw the air. Pawing jabs are meant for measuring distance and to basically start the fight off by being able to touch your opponent. Once you’ve established contact, you’ll move on to the harder, bigger punches.
Now back to Floyd Mayweather’s drop-jab tactic. What Floyd does is hold that left hand high into the air which elevates the left elbow high into the air minimizing the amount of movement he has to make to connect. When Floyd throws the drop-jab, there is much less detectable movement in the left arm because the shoulder is already elevated, which turn makes the drop-jab so much harder to detect. Since the arm is already almost extended, Floyd only has to claw downwards with his fist to fully extend his arm. Of course, Floyd is one of the fastest boxers ever and before his opponents realize it, he’s already slapped them with a lightning fast drop-jab. Combine that lightning fast drop-jab with his high-guard’s element of surprise and you have a surprise punch that keeps working over and over.
Mayweather gets away with this trick over and over and over again. Just watch him in any of his fights. As soon as the left hand goes up, it quickly comes down with a fast pawing jab. In some cases when his opponents begin to catch on, Floyd switches things up by going back to jabbing from the bottom…and so he launches the jab before it’s raised all the way. Real subtle stuff, you gotta look out for it.
5. Forearm Crush
Ahhhh, yes–the forearm crush. I’m seriously tempted about doing a whole movie on the forearm crush.
Sometimes I think Mayweather is grappling more often than punching. Here’s how this works: anytime Mayweather misses a punch, he’ll fall in with it and use the forearm of the punching arm to bar against his opponent’s neck and make it hard for him to counter. So if Mayweather misses a jab, he’ll shove the left forearm against his opponent’s neck to keep him from lunging back with a big counter. Same thing with the right hand, when Floyd misses the right hand, he’ll shove his right forearm against his opponent’s neck.
If you watch Floyd’s footage, you will notice him falling into his opponent’s after every right hand. He’ll throw a right, and then walk right in and crush his opponents with his forearms. I’ve seen him do it to perfection against Zab Judah and Ricky Hatton. It is for this reason that they seem helplessly unable to counter against his right hands. On many occassions, Mayweather will also use his other arm to grab his opponent’s arm as he’s doing a forearm-crush. Unfortunately for Mosley, he too was a victim of this tactic. Mayweather did this at least 10-20 times in every round against Mosley!
This is Floyd’s number one move. Perhaps even more devastating to his opponents than the shoulder roll, because this move quickly wears out his opponents and also minimizes their ability to attack him. In some cases, he’ll even pull on Mosley’s left arm sucking him into the forearm crush. In close, Mayweather doesn’t always lean into the forearm but he holds it there as a shield, keep Mosley from throwing a punch over it. The forearm holds down Mosley’s weight so he can’t explode into a body shot either.
Very VERY annoying tactic, as you can see. Mayweather doesn’t always have to lean, just leaving it there will activate Mosley’s muscle and occupy his mental focus on it. You just need to touch a guy for him to think about a certain area – you don’t necessarily have to apply force. You’ll see Mosley try to punch over that forearm but the problem is that the forearm doesn’t allow him to punch straight at Mayweather. Mosley has to throw a right hook or angled right hand over it, which Mayweather avoids easily by just pulling his head straight back.
6. Leaning Right (aka Pull Counter)
This is something Muhammad Ali use to do! The leaning right is another one of Mayweather’s favorite counter-punching tactics. He’ll lean his body forward which usually baits his opponent into throwing a punch. Mayweather then easily avoids the punch by pulling his head back, arching his back, and then come back with a right hand counter. He pulls only his head and upper body back, keeping his lower body close so that he’ll still be in punching range once he recovers his upper body. Whether or not the right hand lands, you can bet the forearm crush is on its way.
(The difference between Floyd’s leaning right and Ali’s “Leaning Right” is that Floyd does it from a stationary position, whereas Ali was able to do this while moving (how incredibly annoying, I know!)
7. Opening Guard
The opening guard is nothing new in the fight game. I’ve seen many slick boxers do it. The reason why you have to be slick is because it requires you to avoid a punch entirely by not even touching or blocking it. Slipping punches with your head is easy, but slipping punches with the body is much more difficult–requires a bit of footwork and good distance control. Assuming you’ve got the skills, all you have to do is open your guard and let the punch miss by hitting nothing but air.
There is ONE IMPORTANT DETAIL to the trick. The whole “trick” behind the opening guard is to SELL the guard. You have to make your opponent think that you’re actually going to stand there and block. Notice how Floyd has both hands up and looks fully committed to the guard. That’s the bait right there! So of course Mosley falls for it and commits to a punch but next thing you know–Floyd’s already jumped out of the way. Again, the trick is not in the jump–anybody can jump back out of the way, not hard at all–the trick is in making your opponent commit to an attack because he thinks you’re actually going to stand there and try to defend against it.
The opening guard is used for 3 reasons:
- Better Counter-Punching Opportunities: if you’re avoiding a punch entirely, that means you have 2 free hands to counter-punch with. The HUGE advantage is that your opponent is hitting air, which means his body is left vulnerable for a longer period as he’s still falling through the air over-committed to his missed punch which gives you more time to counter-punch him.
- Maintaining Mobility (especially for defense against body punches): There are several reasons why moving boxers don’t like to block body punches. One typical reason is that body punches are hard grounded punches. The only way to block a hard body punch without falling off balance is to properly ground yourself. It is for this reason that many trainers will tell their fighters to aim for the body when they want to trap a moving opponent. When you force a boxer to defend a body shot, he’ll have less chance of escaping since he has to stand his ground and block (because slipping a body shot is hard). Obviously, if you’re a boxer that likes to move around, grounding yourself is not something you want to do! If you block a body shot and get stuck in one spot, your opponent can now follow up with shots to your head. Hard punches to the head cannot always be fully blocked. Even if you cover up, the punching power can still penetrate your glove and force you to absorb partial damage. Worst of all, is that you’re still stuck in the corner or along the ropes.
- Distance Control/Trickery: A tricky advantage to the opening guard is to make your opponent lunge. They think they’re only an inch short and so they’ll lunge on the next shot which makes it even easier for you to counter-punch them back.
Nonetheless, I included some nice clips of Floyd avoiding body shots by moving out of the way entirely. Slick movement!
8. Push Tactics
Why is this even considered a trick?! Isn’t pushing so much easier than a punch? The answer is YES. I consider this a trick because Mayweather is using an outstretched arm to push instead of punch. Can you ever imagine a situation where you would take the risk getting caught by a fast punch while you try to push your opponent?
There are 2 places you can push an opponent:
- The Head – The head is a lever that controls the rest of the body. Pull a head down and all his punches aim at the ground, push a head up and all the punches fly into the sky.
- The Shoulder – The best time to push a shoulder is when your opponent is leaning back. Instead of trying to jab him and risk the chance of him countering hard (all his weight on that dangerous back hand!), you can just push his shoulder instead and he will fall backwards into a vulnerable position.
The concept seems simple enough but why am I calling it a trick? You just have to understand that although pushing is not allowed, nobody can really tell the difference if you make it look like a light punch or a slow punch.
Mayweather’s always looking for an escape. Instead of always punching his way out, he knows that all he has to do is push at his Mosley’s face at the right time and it will direct his punches harmlessly into the sky. At other times, Mayweather will pretend to throw a punch and then while Mosley is bracing for the impact, Mayweather will just push him into the ropes and gain some ground. There are times when I see Mayweather drop his hands and push his opponents at their waist—his head is open momentarily but his opponents can’t do anything since they’re falling off balance. It’s clever and actually pretty funny.
9. Head & Hooks
It’s all in the head! Mayweather drops his head for offensive AND defensive reasons. Dropping his head in puts an extra force on his opponents. Notice that Mayweather is pushing with his head but not leaning in (which is a critical mistake that leaves you open to uppercuts). Since their head is too high to push his out of the way, they have to sacrifice an arm to move his head. When the opponent lifts their arms to go for his head, his hooks to the body land. If you watch his training videos, you’ll see him practicing this move on the bag quite a bit. You’ll also see him practice this move against his big friend that wears the body protector.
In fights, I’ve seen Mayweather transition to this when he misses a shot. He transitions into a head push if he can’t get high enough to hold them down with his forearms. At other times when there’s no space, he puts his head in to make room for his hooks. I’ve also seen him combine this with an arm grab to spin his opponent. The move isn’t unique to Mayweather. I’ve seen Bernard Hopkins and Timothy Bradley use similar tactics. The top of your head is definitely more punch resistant and as long as you can fight a little “blind” and know how to feel your way around the inside, it’s a good move.
10. Slap Hook on the Inside (aka Check Hook)
The slap hook–another one of Floyd Mayweather’s favorites. Sometimes he throws fully committed hard-fisted left hooks (or “check hooks”) and other times he throws “slap-hooks” just to make some quick connects and disrupt his opponents’ rhythm. Against Mosley, you will notice 2 key moments when Floyd uses his slap hooks: one is when Mosley ducks The other is when Mosley tries to come inside. Mayweather also destroyed Ricky Hatton using this move over and over.
That’s all it is–Floyd throws some quick little hooks, disrupts Mosley’s rhythm and puts him on the defensive. Floyd then steps around him like a matador or connects with some bigger punches.
In the video, you can tell it’s a slaphook because Floyd isn’t fully committing his body and pivoting his whole body when the throws the hook. The first hook is just to connect and disrupt, the second one will be the one where he commits his body to it.
Conclusion: Floyd Mayweather CAN FIGHT ON THE INSIDE!
So what have we learned? Floyd Mayweather Jr is actually a pretty good in-fighter! Now doesn’t that make a whole lot of sense?! All these years, one boxer after another has tried to beat Floyd by pressuring him on the inside but did any of them come close? NOPE! The boxers that gave Floyd the most trouble were De La Hoya, Castillo, and Judah–and they all did it by chasing him down but boxing from the OUTSIDE!
Another thing I must remind everyone about Floyd, even though everyone already knows, is that Floyd relies very heavily on speed and accuracy. Many of his punches are backed only by the element of surprise and nothing else. He throws them without much power but they cause damage because of their brutal accuracy and perfect timing. It would be hard to imagine a slower fighter being anywhere near as successful with “drop-jabs” and pitty-pat “slap-hooks”.
If you’re going to beat Floyd, you’ll have to stay away from the inside where he’ll shove you around and lean on you with those forearms all day long. Shane Mosley complained in numerous post-fight interviews that his neck was worn out by all the grabbing and holding Floyd did on the inside. Ricky Hatton also mentioned in the post-fight interview that Floyd was very clever with his forearms. I hope you guys enjoyed this video and learned some new insight to Floyd Mayweather and the boxing fight game.
If you enjoyed this video, check out: 10 Manny Pacquiao Boxing Tricks
Thanks! I’ve been waiting a looooong time for this. Really great work breaking down Mayweather’s moves. I’ve been telling my friends for sometime that Mayweather is really an inside fighter disguised as an outside fighter. All his moves like the shoulder roll, forearm stuff, are needed because he stays in the pocket much of the time. Don’t know how he makes it seem that he’s a jabber-footwork guy though.
One thing that maybe was not too evident in the Mosely fight: his check hook, used to knock out Ricky Hatton. If you look at the Youtube replays, he did that hook, coupled with the fast head movement and quick sidestep, all done in a split second. Hatton did not hit him at all. It was perhaps the best exhibition of technical know-how in years.
Floyd Mayweather once said in the face off against Victor Ortiz, “Nobody has ever found a way to beat me. There is no way to beat me. Pacquiao, on the other hand, there are many ways to beat him.” I believe Floyd is correct. Mayweather proves to be the greatest because in all of is fights he won. In other words, there is no way that he wouldve lost them. Sure, they were a little close but in the end Floyd always came on top. Nobody has ever had a close fight with Mayweather except for a couple of boxers like Oscar De La Hoya. The reason why people cant figure out Floyd is because of his tactics and knowledge of the game. It goes back to the saying, “Knowledge is power.” Floyd definitely has knowledge and thats why he wins. Floyd has speed and strengh but I think his three advantages are his speed, tactics, and knowledge (also his defense.) Pacquiao on the other hand, is my favorite boxer, but I think their are a couple of ways to beat him. The only thing that he has that helps him win the fights is…well we all know his incredible speed and power. Many boxers dont know how to respond to that but when it comes down to someone like Mayweather, he might have some trouble with it but he’ll know how to handle it. Miguel Cotto gave Pacquiao a good fight in the first couple of rounds because he would throw back when Pacquiao would throw his combinations.
Floyd is a footwork guy, check out his early fights. Pot shots and combos before the hand injuries started, footwork galore. He doesnt do that so much now, it burns lots of energy to move around like that for 3 min and hes nearing 40.
hey I need some advice for fighting someone
Pacquiao’s chances vs. him?
Based on the videos above, it appears that Pacquiao is tailor made for this guy. Pacquiao is a devastating mid-range fighter with fast, unorthodox combos. He doesn’t fight on the inside as I think he needs to get into a rhythm with his footwork to be able to be at his best. From what I’ve seen, trying to muscle Mayweather on the inside is not a good tactic, as he was able to strong arm Mosley, a strong fighter himself, judging from his upper body development.
Pacquiao would then avoid the inside traps that Mayweather uses, and would just go back and reset to mid-range whenever he misses or if Mayweather gets inside.
On the other hand, if I were Floyd, I would try to avoid the big bombs early, and try to wear him down using the forearm and elbow in the throat stuff. Hopefully, during the late rounds, Pacquiao would have lost a little bit of his movement and be easy prey for the big hooks and fast lead rights.
I still feel the same I’ve always felt for a match between Pacquiao & Floyd:
– Floyd is much bigger and stronger. Taller, longer arms. Pacquiao’s smaller size and height is going to get crushed on the inside. He won’t be strong enough to shove Floyd off him. If Pacquiao is forced to fight at a distance, Floyd’s longer arms and lightning fast potshots will carry the day.
Nonetheless, I still think Pacquiao carrys one advantage – his southpaw advantage and his awkward style. Imagine a more consistent Zab Judah with an awkward busy rhythm. I refuse to believe that Pacquiao has the power to KO Floyd. Pacquiao hasn’t really KO’ed anybody at 147 and up besides knocking down Cotto, who got up just fine.
Floyd is also slightly older and I don’t know what’s left of his footwork. If he ages overnight and loses that footwork, it could be disastrous against a busy in & out fighter like Pacquiao. If Pacquiao can keep up his footwork all day and combine that with his southpaw stance, something could happen. I would compare this fight to the slick efficient moving style of Bernard Hopkins when he fought the busy stalker Joe Calzaghe.
Either way, both of these guys are pretty magical fighters. I say the advantage easily goes to Floyd.
Johnny N, do you not think though that Pacquiao would age faster though seeing as he takes much more damage in his fights? I’ve noticed that the boxers who have the greatest ability in minimizing damage seem to age a lot slower (e.g. McCallum, Hopkins, Sweet Pea etc). I could be wrong here, but I get the feeling that Pac’s punching output will not be as great against Mayweather.
Nice article. I feel like you would have gotten more tricks though if you used another fight like the Marquez fight and it show cases his pull counter more, his jab to the stomach and lead hook disguised as a jab
thank you so much for the break down of the moves and the video . your the best!!!!!!!!!!
Awesome article thanks. I hope you make a bernard hopkins, a james toney, and a pernell whitaker article.
This is a GREAT article. I’ve noticed a lot of these things from watching Floyd before. I think better than any other boxer today Floyd has learned how to use his ENTIRE body as a weapon either defensively or offensively. Something else to that I picked up on that Ali used to do that Floyd does (just a bit more tho) is that head pull. If you look at Ali whenever he got into a clinch he ALWAYS grabbed his opponent behind the head and PULLED it down. I have a cousin who did some work with Ali in the 70’s and he told me that Ali would do that to tire his opponent out by pulling the head down it made it harder for them to breathe and tired the neck out. Great Article, Keep em Rollin!!!!
Also in my opinion I think Floyd is far faster than Manny. I think a lot of people think Manny is faster because he throws more combinations than Floyd who pot shots.
@Latim – I definitely feel that Pacquiao’s style would age faster than Floyd’s. He relies a lot on constant foot movement and high volume punching. He’s at a disadvantage in all measurements of size, height, reach, and even power (I refuse to believe that Pacquiao hits harder than De La Hoya). The only advantage he has is speed. Mayweather on the other hand, has advantages in speed and reach (even when he’s the smaller fighter). Against De La Hoya, Mayweather still had an arm reach advantage.
@Zach H – I totally agree. I just didn’t want to take the time to go through all his other fights. It’s also hard to find nice HQ footage in his older fights.
@peter – thank you!
@Khalaf – You nailed it dead-on! Bernard Hopkins, I think is somewhat similar to Floyd. James Toney and Pernell Whitaker are among my all-time favorites. I believe both of them to be far slicker and far more naturally talented than Floyd.
@BillionDollaBoxer – I totally agree Ali was a clincher. If you don’t like fighting on the inside, you better at least learn how to do that. I’ve seen Manny train in person and I have to say, I think Floyd is faster than Manny when you compare single punches (punch for punch). But when you compare entire combinations, Manny is much faster. The simple reason for this is anatomical…Floyd has very long arms which are slightly lanky. Yes, Floyd has very fast punches but one at a time, not necessarily rapid fire. Floyd’s lanky arms slow down his recovery time to pull those arms back and fire them again so he relies on deadly accurate punching. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a training video of Floyd shadowboxing anywhere near as fast as Manny Pacquiao.
For best examples of rapid-fire punches, I would point to Yuriorkis Gamboa, Joan Guzman, and of course Manny Pacquiao. Of course, it’s not hard to believe that Pacquiao’s shorter arms would finish punches faster. Nonetheless this isn’t to argue that one boxer is superior to other. I just wanted to expand on your statement a bit and bring more technicality into the discussion.
Greatly apreciated,learnt some tips to teach my boys
Thanks a bundle-nice break down;-)
I was surprised to see on boxrec that Mosley actually does have a reach advantage over Floyd:
shane: 175cm height, 188 reach
Floyd: 173cm height, 183 reach
That s pretty long reach, wish I had the same rather than my 180cm/177cm reach!!!!
@Johnny I never even thought about arm length and that is true. I myself have arms that are considered long for my height (6’3). My reach is around 80 inches. I agree with that completely.
absolutely excellent videos –thanks 🙂
Next will be 10 Mayweather Ducking Tricks
Floyd vs Mostley arm lenght
Hola guys, you can see pictures which illustrate very well the arm lenght difference in this link:
@Jerome – Great picture! I’ve actually known about Mosley’s arm advantage, too. I think that was the big reason why he was able to blast out the taller Margarito whereas Cotto couldn’t keep Margarito away.
The fact that all these 10 techniques are from the same fight shows Floyd’s class.
@ Reach: I’ll let you in on a secret, Mosley has a greater reach than mayweather but that gives a false illusion. Mayweathers arm length is quite abit greater than Mosley’s. May’s arm length is 26 inches whereas Mosleys is only 23.5. If you look at the tale of the tape before their fight, you’ll notice the difference!
Mayweather vs. Paquiao
Okay Floyd, so get your as in the ring with Manny and use these skills you have to beat him!!! Stop backing out and fight!!!
@khalaf: Second the Motion on the Hopkins tricks
I also very much enjoy Bernard Hopkins tricks whenever he fights. He shows such good balance and nice fundamentals that are a must for every technical boxer. Can you make him the next video, or just a write up so it’s easier. Top suggestions:
Clinch – not really a trick but he uses it to prevent counters after he throws that right hand. Sure it slows down the fight (Pacquiao NEVER clinches) but it sort of cements the point he just scored in the eyes of the judges and allows him a reset.
Right hand over jab – He was doing this to Pavlik all night. He would wait for a sloppy jab, do a short back step and just nail him with a fast right hand to the temple/jaw.
Balance – agan, it not a trick per se, but he always seems to be nice and upright and never overextends his feet either backing up or moving forward. He always takes small steps but is always out of reach of his opponents and can go deep in the pocket when he attacks. Again, the Pavlik fight was a prime example. How do you think he does this?
I keep watching his fights on youtube, but those are all I can pick out at the moment. I’d really like to know what your eyes can isolate and how all of us here can learn from it.
Peace and more power!
@khalaf—lets do a trinidad tricks!!!
@JaketheSnake – I have to agree with you. His clinch tactics, the right hand, and footwork are a huge part of his success. He may be an old man but he certainly doesn’t move like one. We shall unravel the Hopkins mystery soon enough.
@sibtul – I should start a poll where all you guys can vote on which boxer gets featured next.
LOVED the article and video man! Any chance you could do a James Toney one? Or a Hopkins? Toney first 😀 thanks for all the advice on this amazing site!
@MattC – James Toney is one of my all-time favorites. I wish he fought in an HD era with better quality footage. It may not be for a while since I have so many techniques to share…but one day I’ll have the time and energy to start scraping footage again. Video editing takes so many hours! (30-40 hours per video).
I would like to see what a south paw can do with the philly shell guard, very very interesting tactics. I prefer south paw myself for the lead hand advantage, but that goes away with it low dropped right lead.
And in regard to Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, it really is the perfect match up. Both utilize speed and countering as their main weapons, with Pacquiao (now) preferring countering off the footwork to combos and Mayweather off the guard for big right hand shots. With both being the fastest in the game, it’d be interesting to see how they both handle it.
Felipe Maurer de Barros
Hi Johnny N, Any chance you could do a Sergio Martinez 10 Boxing Tricks? Please man would be great thanls man
@Felipe Maurer de Barros – I definitely would but there’s a few other boxers that would have to go first. I won’t forget your request, I promise!
ALL OF THESE (except 1) are old school moves! ppl just dont use them!
switching the left hand to high guard to jab, i dont think ive seen anyone do it like mayweather but toney does switched too except not to hide the jab so much as to change up things.
here’s are 2 im not sure i remember
the trip: when he misses with the right hand he puts his foot right behind the opponent’s right foot, just like when southpaws and orthodoxes fight and tangle up.
the southpaw: when floyd’s trying to turn to his right and the opponent is loaded up for a right hand shot floyd goes into southpaw stance as he backs away and to his own right, then switches back to ortho once he’s away from that cocked right hand or it has missed
a few other oldschool things only floyd does today:
* the forearm-parry upwards which he does with both arms-on hooks while moving inside in a downward stance with knees wide, throwing his left or right elbow up from under the punch to push it up.
* the forearm-elbow parry downwards with the point of the elbow against right hooks to the body coming wide and powerful but slow- he just pushes the hand down (i referred to both these parries in the comments on how to parry)
* parrying with one hand while punching with the other
* parrying with one hand and immediately punching with it
putting the elbow and forearm in the face of the opponent inside when he misses range on the left (tyson did this too, but rarely missed a hook due to range so u’ll find it only early in tyson’s career )
taking a step back diagonally, and keeping the weight a little on the back, allowing the opponent to fire, slipping and countering (maybe u referred to this in the `commiting to the block’ thingy). joe louis always did it, robinson actually KO’d fulmer without even moving forward from a backward step, but usually he’d step back then hit. same with SRL.
using the knees to cover distance. i have no idea why people dont seem to understand this, when floyd throws the jab to the body with the left leg under for balance, and immediately jumping backs its certainly not a trick, but i cant recall anybody but mayweather doing it today. when he throws his lead right his left leg is always going out to cover the distance, and if he misses he sometimes just spins the opponent whacks them with his left hand as they are crouched, and then the right which they cant see at all. floyd misses a considerable number of long rights but because his left knee’s in front he can get his balance back and defend, throw counters.
leaning to the left when throwing a right with the left foot out underneath to keep balance and stepping forward with the right foot (there is a problem with floyd’s move though often he doesnt have his left hand in place to stop a short right uppercut but his speed saves him, opponents just dont react or know what to do even with that flaw)
moving up and down, and leaning forward from the straight stance, just to hypnotize and trap the opponent a la roy jones jr, i love how fighters take the bait and throw a right hoping it will land (at best on the top of his head) or a hook which will take eternity to reach, and by then mayweather’s sucker punched them or thrown his left hook lead and started a combo before clinching or hip pushing with elbows high. its quite similiar to a bob and weave in someways but not moving forward. toney does it too.
throwing the hook at someone whose head is moving downwards as they come forwards or go into a slow duck or crouch. its actually easier and safer to hook a head that’s low because if they throw their right you will land first and if they are super fast they’re punching up and from long range the most that’ll happen is arms will collide or u can elbow parry their punch up and keep punching at the right side of their face.
not sure if its a trick but quite a few times every fight, floyd has since his featherweather days, and more since castillo I seemed to react and pull back from nothing…no attempted punch or anything, and he sometimes leans goes back sometimes steps back, sometimes just goes down on his knees. i think its a mind game he plays, because u’ll see in many of his fights since everytime he does it other fighters copy him too without any cause 🙂 like he’s snakecharming them!
Felipe Maurer de Barros
When the next 10 Boxing trick video is gonna be send? Who is gonna be the fighter great site and videos man
@Saber khan – nice breakdown
@Felipe – the next video may not be for a while. I have so many more techniques and strategies to release first. But soon enough. The lead choices are James Toney, Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones.
hey johnny best site ever I just wanted to know the name of the two songs that played on paquiaos 10 boxing tricks, they were dope!
hey eli, the songs are:
Bambu – Slow Down
Eighty4Fly – Like Planes
hey johnny, I should have watched the mayweather video as well his 10 tricks, so yea can you please name those songs as well I train harder when that vid. is playing lol !
Hi Eli, the song in the Mayweather tricks video is Capone & Noreaga – Invincible.
ty johnny dont know how you manage to answer all q’s on this site but it will suck if you ever do go on vacation thank you so much on the Boxing Knowledge. Last thing i wanted to get your take on NONITO DONAIRE and what are the things that he should work on as far as a boxer, whenever you get the time to take a look at him im curious to know and once again thank u Johnny!
LOL, it’s a lot of work but I love talking boxing so I’ll answer all the questions I can. I definitely have gone on vacation in the past and oh man, I came home to 100 emails/comments. Nonito Donaire is a solid fighter. Very intelligent and tactical guy. He’s very rangy, a little lanky, but still powerful and very fast. I wouldn’t dare say there’s anything for him to work on. I like everything he does and appreciate his style very much. I wouldn’t change him at all, even if he loses.
Actually, there is one thing I don’t like…when he switches southpaw. Hahahah.
@Johnny N – Great video and breakdown! Thanks for all of the effort putting this thing together. I look forward to more videos if you intend to put more out.
Definitely more on the way but I’m currently backlogged with so many more instructional boxing articles. Thanks, Al!
how do you think someone would get threw this kind of defence if they did want to go to the body?
Right hand to the head, left hookercut to the body while stepping to the right going around his backside.
is the head pull legal as in will a referee tell you something for doing it.. and is the forearm crush legal also because couldnt it be considered hitting the opponet with the forearm..????????
They are illegal but depending on how you do it, you might get away with it.
great video by the way..and whats the best way in doing them without getting in trouble???
Well, if you don’t want to get in trouble you can’t let it look obvious. I could write a whole page about it but the general idea is to let your opponent’s head fall under you instead of you trying to pull his head down.
yeah i know what you mean i was kinda thinking that
Hey Johnny, I was wondering If you could post an article on “MIKE TYSON BOXING TRICKS”. I started to grow in interest in his fights and would like to understand how such a huge person can still throw these wicked powerfully well placed fast punches… I appreciate it
I’m definitely going to cover him. There are so many fighters I want to do when I have more free time.
alright that’s cool, IDK many boxers( because I started getting interested recently) but I’D appreciate that…..and any other boxers I could learn a thing or two from, that I don’t know of yet, (that i could also check up on you tube and stuff..thanx)
Has anyone seen “Coach Rick” boxing DVDs that supposedly teach Roger Mayweather Mitt Work? It seems like he teaches set routines.
Is his stuff authentic for learning Mayweather style? I don’t want to have to undo bad habits. I’d like an honest opinion. Thanks
A lot of mitt work is routines. Coach Rick is definitely legit and teaches the popular Mayweather Mitts style well. Do know that the style has been around forever and isn’t some kind of secret invented by the Mayweathers. It just so happens that the Floyd Mayweather is the most popular boxer today so everyone likes to copy his training. There are many other boxing drills like Mike Tyson’s slipping movements that have also been around forever. It’s all part of typical boxing training really.
I second the motion on the Bernard Hopkins tricks! For 40+ guys like myself, its going to be very useful to see how he uses his tricks to save energy and at the same time look good for the judges. For me my top questions are:
1. How does he clinch so effectively without taking damage going in?
2. How does he use the clinch to wear down and sap the strength of his younger opponent?
3. How does he dictate the pace/rhythm of the fight?
4. Is his head a little bit off the center line? Maybe its a trick to bait punches. How do you put your head off center and still throw long jabs and fast right crosses?
I always seem to flame out in the 4th round or so of sparring ;(
1. He knows how to move and attack at the same time. Very few guys can do this. They rely on staying planted for having maximum power. Hopkins can hurt you without using much power, therefore he doesn’t have to be as planted as everyone else.
2. This is a technique and cagey experience thing. There are ways to put pressure without applying much effort.
3. Again, experience.
4. He’s generally balance but will move his head when it needs to be moved. The trick is that he LOOKS off center and off balance but actually he’s not. 😉
Hi Johnny, Great site mate! As a mid 30’s boxer Id also love a Top Ten Bernard Hopkins Tricks. I know that most of the them would be bending the rules but love him or hate him he has to be one of the most difficult opponents to get in the ring, he gets more crafty and better at conserving energy as he gets older. Even any insight to how he keeps himself at such a level at his age would be appreciated. Keep up the good work!
Thanks Johnny! Now I can stop sparring with my neck tilted to the left. (I’m a southpaw)
You write for rappler as well?
Actually I don’t but so many sites out there copied my stuff. Not much I can do but enjoy the flattery of imitation.
Johnny, are there any plans to do a slow-motion of these same tricks with your demo partner. It would easier to notice the subtleties if it were slowed down. Thanks.
I actually do demonstrate some of these moves in other guides. In time, I will have guides for all these moves. They each deserve their own instructional guide and detailed explanation.
great work bud ,keep it up
you ever thought about doing one of these for mike tyson too? these things contribute a lot to the boxing community. Of all the sources I’ve looked through online for help with my stand up fighting, your stuff is really beneficial and advanced.
It’s an HONOR to do one for Mike Tyson. I am waiting for when I have a little more time. It would be so much fun.
Awesome post and breakdown Johnny!
I don’t watch enough boxing, so haven’t noticed the “forearm crush” used in boxing, but I’ve long used it as a martial arts/self defense technique (pictured here for example: functionalselfdefense.org/techniques/blast). On the street it can be used as a hacking entry in addition to the way Mayweather is using it. But I LOVE how he uses it after a jab or cross to stay covered and launch attacks.
I really like your video highlights! Could you please share, which program do you use for creating highlights? It will definately help me to create a good video-lessons for boxing folks in my city in Russia. Thank you.
I use Pinnacle Studio but you can use any. There are many good ones out there. Pinnacle is probably among the most annoying to use.
johny, your floyd breakdown is probably the most used highlight video of the most famous boxer on earth. people i know have taken up boxing not seriously but as exercise because of it, and one girl is trying to get seriously into boxing. i sincerely ask you to break down more of his tricks. i read the article again, and im seriously working on mastering his tricks and my own on the inside.
i think you might understand how a guy like me who had crap advice in his career feels seeing all this knowledge.
slugging away against bigger competition and taking considerable risks in the pocket without knowing the science except what we saw in tyson and frazier and chavez. those guys were incredible but guys like benton, mayweather, hopkins are a different level.
we all did many of these tricks ourselves but i didnt understand how to combine and adjust them. forearm crush a shorter guy or one who’s ducked down, put your head in the chest if he’s taller or higher uo, and put yourself on the shoulder if you cant find either. ive had so many old fighters sit around the gyms as we sparred but they dont know this stuff or how its used tactically.
im sparring now southpaw with 2 special drills. one is pinning my arms against my sides so i have t-rex like short arms and letting partners throw fast but not stiff shots at me, trying to get in and out. trying to replicate how to use short reach and move both inside and outside with occasional clinches to mess up opponent’s timings.
the other drill is using oldschool elbow/low guard/parry/head/shoulder tactics inside on the ropes and staying there for 4 rounds. yesterday i got whacked at least 20 times despite seeing the shot, it is so difficult to master. but im glad to say, for the first time in my life i feel like im successful moving backwards and landing counter shots like a mayweather or toney. now these guys are my contemporaries, i coulda learnt from them back then but.. we didnt have the internet except as text and pictures (and realplayer/quicktime lol). and we didnt have things like expertboxing.com and youtube’s million styles boxing.
i think mayweather is now the meal ticket for getting more fans in the sport, getting them to take up boxing. even poor kids have access to the internet and can look at your new mayweather tricks video and learn what to do. it is up to guys like you now bro. all the great trainers are dead or dying out. name 3 great oldschool trainer out there other than hunter & roger mayweather. we have to take the footage of the greats and break down the techniques, what they did.
what floyd does fighting from the outside or what he does to move into range is not technically correct. it is speed and the quality of his opponents that allows him to do so. he isn’t going to beat any of the great boxers of the past with this stuff.
what he does on the inside or in the clinch is amazing, it may be spoiler techniques but these are the techniques that create the style matchup, requiring opponents to step up their game. are they illegal ? the greatest in history like jack johnson, pep, dempsey, benny leonard and ali have done it. i say make it part of the game, expand it. youre not supposed to hit with elbows but the hook should be such that if the fist misses the elbow hits.. so one shouldnt attempt proper hooks ? as long as eye gouging and thumbing isnt allowed other stuff is fair play when two guys know what to do.
mayweather has a lot more `tricks’ that im sure people want to see, kids would learn from. and for God’s sake bro, watermark http://www.expertboxing.com on every frame of the video this time with some of your commentary voice over for the techniques so at least they pay tribute 🙂 ive got all the boxing manuals ever written, and yet no one breaks it down like you or barry robinson. there may be great trainers out there, im sure nazim richardson or roger mayweather would kick everyone’s ass when it came to dropping knowledge. but i dont see them doing that. i also bought jeff mayweather’s training thingy 2nd hand, it’s stuff everybody knows none of the advanced techniques the sport needs. we need to stop creating robots who go 1-2-3 and 1-1-2 without understanding the subtelty the way it joins together. in today’s OCD world it requires videos not text to get these points across.
i know youre building your own stable off the internet and thats the best thing trainers can do; and one has to walk before running and most videos are about that. at the same time, no one’s motivated to take up 100m sprinting watching some high school kid with perfect form. they want usain bolt broken down, see how he does it. then they come around and learn the basics. a combo break down of mayweather, toney and roy jones would make people in their late 30s to early teens want to take up boxing. let’s make use of mayweather’s unique gifts while he’s still out there.
https://www.youtube.com/user/millionstylesboksing?feature=watch Look at the videos on this website it breaks down mayweather fights and many other fighters and fights into slow motion. I just keep learning from it.
i love barry he does a great job. and i appreciate his work. but he breaks down things which are more one-off situational exhibits. coach johnny in my opinion does a better job with succint short explanations and demonstrations. barry’s pretty longwinded-but i want both of them to show us their skills
We still have hope left because there are actually still many great trainers out there. They’re just not getting the big name recognition because they didn’t train a world champion pro fighter to a title. Some are only working on developing kids whereas other big trainers are brought on as ghost trainers (I know of one personally) and others simply don’t get the credit because their star fighter got a new big-name manager and switched trainers (even switched entire teams) and/or relocated.
With some more time, I don’t see why the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. couldn’t come around again.
btw johnny, a great article using floyd and the recent berto fight would be to show stance changes that fighters should start to have as they become intermediate fighters. its overwhelmingly the opinion of armchair boxers that floyd is the master of the philly shell, the michigan defense.
its quite wrong he has the defensive guard on the ropes, a changeup for throwing his jab (u talk about it), a changeup for walking opponents down, a low hand guard for fighting from the outside with weight on the lead foot, a keep-away guard he uses to move around the ring. he can play the conventional guard for throwing at opponents who are now punch shy. his infighting guard/tactics/strategy goes back to the ancient masters like pep and blackburn.
floyd does a great job showing almost every guard in boxing. that makes him so much more useful to study its not just one form. the switching of guards, the way he is waiting for the next natural shot that should come (pull counter right miss, then go under the expected left hook.
floyd and hopkins use so many tricks they’re virtually the only textbooks we can find in HD boxing. im enjoying that elbow walkdown much more than i should, but its NOT EASY TO MASTER. there’s a matter of timing distance and judging the height and momentum of the opponent.
i have a young friend who is an intermediate boxer and is working on mastering the style, ive tested my theories on him. because i have about a billion hours of experience on him and he’s quite a lot slower its not fair to say this will work on floyd-but it does work on a philadelphia shell user and a pretty technically correct defensive minded fighter not just a floyd copycat (he also looks closely at how pernell whitaker, toney and benitez fight). the elbow pull is much easier when youre a fast teenager and i have been punched when i got too busy wrestling with it.
You’re right on the money. There’s no single best form or defense or technique. You need to have a full range and to transition smoothly from one to another. I’ll definitely come up with a list of intermediate boxing skills. I won’t bother teaching them on the same article but at least I can start opening up people’s minds. Great idea, Saber.
floyd mayweather or manny pacquiao?who wins
Mayweather would be my pick. If they were the same size, I wouldn’t pick for that one.
Do you have any advice for beating a fighter who stays in the cross-guard/Shell and waits to counter? I’m orthodox (I’ve always heard southpaws are better against this defense).
Use the jab! The easiest time to hit someone is when they open up to counter, not when they’re closed up.
can i ask u …whos ur favorite boxer..of all time
I’ve got many favorites. Tough pick.
Why aren’t you making any more of these
Because they take me a very long time to make. Around 50-100 hours of work to create one 5 minute video.
Hey Johnny, I love your site.
What would be your analysis about the upcoming fight between Mayweather and Saul Alvarez?
I’m very interested in your take on this fight.
This is a great question and one I might have to answer in a video post. Mayweather would be my favorite but Canelo also has a good style, size, and skills.
Great! I’d be glad to watch that video.
After reading your post I found interesting how, although most people think Canelo might increase his chances by ‘swarming’ Mayweather imposing his size and fighting on the inside, that may be a strategic mistake. The answer may be to ‘box’ him (as ridiculous as it sounds for him to box Mayweather) from midrange, jabbing a lot (although he doesn’t have a reach advantage), attacking when he is off balance and going out again.
It seems Alvarez is Intelligent enough to adapt his fight plan and do unexpected things. Trout was expecting a brawler and he found Alvarez out-boxing him.
Am I reading your posts correctly or I’m completely lost with that strategy?
You’re right on the mark. It’s best to box Mayweather. If you’re going to brawl, you have to be faster and smarter about it than he is. But if you box, it’s much easier I would say. Of “boxing” doesn’t always mean being at long range and not being aggressive. It simply means to be smart about what you do.
es cierto es el campeón. pero sus peleas son muy aburridas y sin emociones.
Thank you so much for your explanation and video compilation. I watched Mayweather fight for the first time on Saturday and was impressed with his technique. I’ve been trying to compare his strategies in boxing to research strategies I teach in my classes. It’s helpful to have this kind of breakdown. Plus, I have a new appreciation for boxing.
“Plus, I have a new appreciation for boxing.” – this is why I love writing for ExpertBoxing. You made my day, Jill. 🙂
M Lawrence Pineda
I hear people saying Floyd is unbeatable ( even though Castillo beat him all around the ring at lightweight and a washed-up DeLahoya have him all he could handle. You are only as good as the people you beat. For example, compare Floyd’s vanquished opponents to Sugar Ray Leonard’s. Leonard beat Hearns, Duran, Hagler, Benitez, and a big power puncher and champion LaLonde. All of these guys, except maybe LaLonde were all Hall of Fame legendary status fighters. What about Floyd’s list of beaten opponents can even compare. Answer: he’s the best of today, but is overly defensive, has a suspect chin ( see Mosely fight and watch closely hi reaction after taking the couple of right hands he took from Alvarez. Also, he cannot even floor welterweights ( or really even stagger anyone ). He has no punch at 147 or 154. He landed a million left-rights flush on Canelo’s jaw and Alvarez never even buckled. How to beat him: like Norton did to Ali-punch while Floyd punches, body attack ( hit him on the biceps if you need to ), step slightly to the left and forward before throwing the overhand right over his flashy shoulder roll, it’s been shown the left jab throws him off, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone throw uppercuts at close range with him.
What your saying is all easy to overcome if you punch at the same time as me ill start timing you you punch me on my biceps haha what you think i train for step slighty left or forward all i have to do is jump back or use my high gaurd all of wgat your saying is easy to overcome especially if your floyd
Awesome post! From what I see, Floyd Mayweather is not just a dirty fighter but he is a very, very, very dirty fighter.
Great post, Floyd mayweather Jr. one of my fave boxers.
Could you post one like this also for Bernard Hopkins and maybe Roy jones Jr. ?
They’re techniques and maybe their conditioning regimen ?
I’m watching Bernard Hopkins vs Joe Calzaghe right now, and it looks like Hopkins trained at titleboxing because he has Freddie roach in his corner, if that helps.
I would love to cover the other fighters but I’m prioritizing my time elsewhere right now. Maybe in the future someday, I may get to my other favorites but that’s not in the cards now. In the time I spend to edit one video, I could have easily written 5-6 guides which are far more valuable in my opinion.
Amazing, could do about Canelo Alvarez next, please
These videos are brilliant mate, looking forward to the next one!
I love your analysis, however on #4 you must also know that floyd does put his hands up against fighters that are southpaw and or fighter with more speed than him. ex: judah,corley, ortiz, you are right in alot of what you say, im just pointing out that floyd fools us all with alot of what he does, not just the fighters.
Absolutely… Floyd uses many tactics, not only the ones that he’s known.
How do i fight like floyd how can i get the aspects of his style nail down everything he does and copy it perfectly ok it might not be perfect but how can i get there
Some tactics can be developed in mitt drills. Others require several years of sparring.
Liiikkkee care to elaborate woth detail please jhonny i have to know what mitt drills ? And what requires serveral years of sparring
Have you seen the Mayweather mitt drills on Youtube? You were asking how to get his techniques down perfect, and I said some things can be learned on the mitts but others will take many years of sparring. Things like inside-fighting tactics or moving around opponents. You need a live person for that.
Out of all of your articles on this site how many do you see Floyd mayweather doing wich ones does he do most , give me pins to the ones he does also if he does it differrently
What should i do to be able to compete a full 12 rounds without tireing completly i mean mosley has boxed a whole 12 rounds before why did he get tired in this fight besides floyd hanging on his head
Getting tired is normal. Mosley can get tired for many reasons: maybe Mayweather has better endurance, superior skill, or a style that tires out opponents. All you can do is improve your physical endurance as well as your skills and mindset to keep you as calm as possible.
Why does floyd leave his elbows out in his high gaurd instead of tucking is there something better or what beacuse he did this against corley to i know he open his gaurd but why does he leave his elbow out
Jhonny this is a good one
Who do you think wins floyd mayweather when he was fighting demarcus corley or errol spence
What is floyd head movement pattern
When he was young i.e (pro debut)
A little hard but assuming they’re the same size, it might be a pretty even fight. I’d have to think a lot about that one. After seeing how Spence performed against Brook, he might be a little sloppy to take on Floyd around that era. As for his head movement pattern, I’d have to think about that, too. When he was younger, he lunged his head in and also pulled it straight out a lot.
I’m back !! This is another one him vs lomachenko Is love to hear your word if you detailed it would be better because watching Floyd for so long and sparring and trying things out I can really see what he does and it’s so simple but complex (Floyd when he was around 25)
-What kind of tactics would he use
-who do you think would take the most ground
-win the most rounds ?
-maybe domination ?