Boxing questions about fighting shorter opponents, taller opponents, the day before the fight, boxing equipment, when I will make some boxing tutorial videos, and more!
1. I don’t have any punching bags so is just shadowboxing and explosive exercises enough? – Bry
- Will shadowboxing and explosive exercises be enough to develop improved punching ability? Yes. Will it be enough to prepare you for competitive fighting? No. Anything you can do will help. Ultimately, you need something to give you resistance so you can develop a better punch. Hitting a solid object also re-inforces your form and bones, it’s not just a matter of muscle.
2. What advice would you give to a near-sighted boxer? – Mark
- Wear contacts but even if you don’t, you should be ok as long as you’re not fighting in the dark. I’m actually near-sighted myself. Both my eyes are about 3.50 degrees. On days that I feel more blind, I tend to avoid opponents that wear black clothing, black gloves, and black headgear. All the blackness makes it hard to see my opponent, my target, and his punches.
3. How do you fight a shorter fighter? – Sibtul
How to keep a shorter fighter at bay if they are a lot quicker and always try to get on the inside? I have longer reach as well! How can you chase down a shorter opponent? Whenever I try to attack he just moves out of the way!
- Start and finish your combinations with a jab. It doesn’t have to end with a hard jab, can just be a soft jab or a pushing jab to keep him at range. Because you have the long arms, you can try countering their jabs with your left hooks. Try some left uppercuts as well. Don’t throw it with such a low arc, try to think of them more as upside down jabs. That will really throw off your opponent. If your left arm is long enough, you can hold it out more to always be able to threaten with the jab.
- If you want to chase him down, aim at his chest more. That way he has to block since it’s too hard to slip. If you aim for his head too much, he can escape cleanly with slips. Try to hold your left hand out and try to touch him a lot. Touch his shoulders, his gloves, his chest, whatever you can. You’ll see that he’s no longer running from your punches, he’ll be running because he hates the feel of you being able to reach him with your longer arms. By now, you should have a rhythm figured out and can start landing to his head.
4. How do you fight taller aggressive boxers? – JezHogg
My issue is this. I am 6 foot tall and regulary spar with a lad who is 6 foot 7, I find it difficult to get in range when boxing him and attempts at bodyshots just seem to leave me reaching for the target. Can you please throw some advice my way on how to cope with taller and aggressive boxers. Thank you for your help.
- Lateral movement. The trick is not to circle when he’s not punching. That’s only going to make you run out of energy while he’s calmly plotting his next attack. Right when he attacks is when you move laterally. What you want to do is move to your right when he throws his right hand. And then you move to your left when he throws his left hand. What this will do is get him to stretch more. Now all you have to do is switch directions and you will be able to hammer in his stretched out and exposed body.
- EXAMPLE: You want to move to your right when he’s throwing his right hands. This way he has to stretch his right hand really far to get you. Now that the right side of his body is stretched out, you simply have to take a small step to the left and you can hit it while he takes longer to recover. It’s important to notice that if he’s stretched out, it takes him longer to pivot over and throw a punch with his other hand.
- Stand your ground a little more and move only when absolutely necessary. Don’t just run away from him entirely, this will tire you out faster. Block his first two shots and then back step so he misses his third shot (probably has more power dedicated to it), then step back into range and blast him with 2-3 hard shots. Then step out and hold your ground again. The only way this works is if you stay calm. Also when you back step out, you want to be just SLIGHTLY out of his range, don’t jump so far back that you’re too far to get yourself into range.
- Have you read my article on how to fight taller boxers?
5. How does a boxer counter fast, continuous blows? – Austin
I’m a martial artist, but I mainly use boxing techniques when I spar. I was wondering how a boxer would counter fast, continous blows. Whenever I try to sidestep or pull back, he follows me and continues to pummel me.Can you give me some advice?
- The easy answer is…if you know he’s going to throw continous blows, lean to counter his second punch. For example if he always begins his combos with a 1-2, learn to block his jab and then counter his right hand with whatever the hell you want. Learn to watch for whatever signature move he has that he commits the most to, and then just have a nice deadly counter for it. If you know how to watch for his signature move, you’ll be able to disrupt any combo he throws at you.
- The hard answer is…stick your front arm out a little more and try to touch him with a lot of small *weak* jabs. Push him around a bit with the front arm. The moment he gets past your front arm, smash him with a big cross. You don’t have to move too much, keep making small pivots and small backsteps as you move away from him. Try to stick your left arm out there and see how he gets around it. If he goes under, then lean on him a bit and crush him. If he jumps over, then drop your hips and fire hard punches. Your lowered hips should allow you to push him back with some punches.
- Also if you don’t want to get pushed back by his punches, learn to drop your hips when he attacks. Block the first two, then back step a little as he misses the third shot. Come back at him with 2-3-2, finish with a jab and walk away calmly.
6. Do you have any good training methods as to building up your calf muscles? – Neal
- Building up the calf muscles: do lots of jump rope. When you run, you should always be running only on the balls of your feet, never let your heels touch the floor. Lots of uphill roadwork will build the calves. You don’t always have to sprint uphill, even jogging uphill will help.
7. Will there by any benefits for fighting a taller opponent if I adjust the double-end end bag to my head height (instead of chest)? – Neal
- Double-end bags are typically set to chest height. For preparing for taller opponents, I just aim higher on a heavybag to make sure my shoulder muscles have the endurance to punch at a taller target.
8. How do you get inside for bodyshots? – Sibtul
How do you get in to punching range…..when I am sparring I usually use my jab but I can’t get on the inside for my bodyshots.
- Great question, Sibtul. (I’m actually writing an article on this right now as we speak.) Many beginners practice their hooks all day long but can’t figure out how to get inside to use them. The trick is to get your opponent to throw longer punches so that you have more time to cut in and chop into their body. Lean your head to the right side so your opponent has to throw a really long right. When he does, pull your head back to the left and dig that left hook to the body.
- Get them off balance. If an opponent is off-balance, that gives you a free chance to throw anything you want at them. You can get them off balance by pushing them with lots of punches at chest-height (to push them over if they block). You can also just lean on them. This is what a lot of amateur fighters do.
- You can also raise their guard. This is real easy. Just aim for their forehead instead of their chin so they really have to raise their guard. Or you can throw 2 really fast weak punches up high to make them jerk their guard back up, and then you can walk in and bang to the body twice before getting out of the way.
- The other option is to walk past the long-punching range so you can dig to the body. This means giving up some easy jabbing opportunities. It may not be smart but if you really want to get into body-punching range, here it is.
9. Can cigarettes and boxing mix? – Mingsy
My friend is a smoker and he still boxes at the gym. He claims that it makes him stronger. He puffs one stick before entering the gym and smokes after working out. And he runs longer than me. He was a track and field player before joining a boxing gym.
- I have never heard of any scientific claims to prove that smoking does anything other than to negatively affect your physical performance. Some people at genetically superior athletes. That doesn’t mean smoking improved his performance. I don’t think you’ll ever meet a boxing trainer that recommends smoking while boxing.
10. How can I do my cardio if I cannot use my legs? – Mingsy
I recently injured my feet and cant do any joging and skipping ropes.
- Swimming is a great cardio exercise that doesn’t put pressure on your joints. It’s commonly used for rehabbing injured athletes.
11. What headgear should I buy? – Paul
I want to start sparring and need to buy headgear. What headgear should I buy?
Most of the headgear that I see online is sized one size fits most or regular and large. How much should I spend? Is it worth buying the top of line head gear? Is it worth buying Winning headgear FG2900 or something like Warrior Pro Training Headgear or Fighting Sports tri-tech full training headgear?
- I would recommend Rival. They are my favorite. I don’t know Winning but I a lot of professionals respect that brand. As for Warrior, my friend had that one and it wore out really fast. The cushion became too soft and didn’t feel like it absorbed hard blows as well any more. Rival makes the best headgear in my opinion. Easily worth the $130 for the protection and comfort.
12. How to practise on speed ball (double-end bag). It keeps moving when I try to hit it. – Vivek
- Stand closer to it and don’t hit it so hard. Hit it light enough that it doesn’t bounce back more than 1 foot. Keep using small, slow, and relaxed punches. 2 to 3 punches at a time. And then move, and then try another 2 or 3 punches. Again…hit it lightly so it doesn’t bounce too much that you lose track of the timing.
13. Got any tips for weight loss? – Hashar
I been boxing for like a year! And I want to start my amateur fights at 140lb but it’s so hard dropping weight no matter how less i eat! got any tips! Thank you.
- A proper boxing nutritionist or somebody with experience can help you with this. You have to eat 5 to 6 small meals a day and eat the proper food. Stay hydrated and run regularly. Workout with sweats on so that you sweat more. Typically, boxers eat and train properly so they don’t gain fat. After that, dropping weight is a matter of shedding water weight.
14. Would you make videos showing the tactics you explain in your articles? – John
I love the website. I started training with my friend, and keep track of most of your articles as we train. I am a south paw and he is orthodox, and we have tons of fun as we develop our skills. I subscribed to your youtube channel, but was wondering if you would make videos featuring yourself showing the tactics and counters you explain in your articles. It would be tons of help for me and my friend. Website looks great. Please keep up the good fight (job).
- The instructional videos are coming soon! I can’t wait because I’m excited to really be able to show the techniques that I write about.
15. What is boxing for you? – Adam
- Boxing isn’t my whole life, but it’s definitely my passion, my hobby, and even my lifestyle. Boxing’s always been a very good part of me and it means more to me than just a fighting sport, or physical training. When I first started, I did it to prove something to myself. Now I do it because I love it and I love meeting other self-motivated individuals through boxing.
16. Do you think you could put up some good workouts? – AB
- Yes, I can. I’ve been so lazy about putting together a fully-written out workout but I think I’m just going to have to do it. I mix up my workouts from week to week and my workout is different from many of the other boxers at the gym. The official boxing training workout varies from gym to gym. It’s all the same, yet all different. Different workouts but generally geared to developing the same muscles and physical movements. But yes, I promise to put together an amateur fighting workout very soon!
17. What are realistic goals for beginner boxers? – Frank
Hi Ì’m 22 and I want to start boxing….is it a realistic first goal to want to get my first amateur fight within 6 months time…or should I settle for a smaller goal first?
- 6 months is enough time if you train everyday and don’t let pride or stubborness get in your way of learning anything new. You should definitely set smaller goals along the way such as learning different things.
- When I first learned how to box, my trainer kept it REALLY slow. He never let me think months ahead. All he would say was, “This week, you learn the jab!” and then “This week, you learn how to roll some punches.” My trainer never worried about making me a champion next month. All he cared about was that I did the best I could today. Looking back, I appreciated him not letting me psych myself out with really long term goals and getting disappointed when I didn’t meet my own expectations. The only thing he cared about was that I met his expectations, and he made it easy for me with his no-nonsense guidance.
17. Got any good tips for in-fighting and out-fighting? – Shand
I’m not sure which style suits me… Also, thanks for all the hard work you put into this site!!
- In-fighting: Throw fast shots and pull your head out. Hold your elbows in and tight. Move your from your opponent’s left shoulder to his right shoulder. Try mixing up 2 lefts, and then a big right. Or 2 rights, and then a big left. If your opponent ducks under a lot, you can hold down his forward by using your forearm or just leaning over his head with your chest.
- Out-fighting: Don’t snap your front arm back too fast to defense. Keep it out so you can land more jabs. When you jump in and out of range, take smaller steps so you only have to move forward one inch to get yourself in range again. Get real good at making small movements. Try to finish with the jab more to re-establish your range again.
- Don’t worry about your developing your style. Just get good at everything and your style will develop itself naturally without you having to decide for it.
18. What is the smart thing to do the week leading up to a match? What should you do 2 days before, the day before and the day of? – AB
- Lots of stretching! Eating lean. Keep up your running. Stretch like 1-2 hours a day minimum. Shadowboxing, lots of warm-up exercises.
19. What should I do the night before my fight? – Sam
I am training at the moment for my first amateur fight. Can you give me some advice on tapering down my training before fight night?
- Do a lot of stretching the night before. You can spar the week before but make sure it’s pure speed and very little power. Again, lots of stretching and long warm-up routines. Really take time to make sure your body gets warm. Keep doing your runnings. Don’t eat junk food. Nothing comes to mind except the usual common sense you already know.
- Mentally, keep yourself busy so you don’t sit around and freak out about what’s going to happen tomorrow. I’m the type that gets nervous as hell. Stay focused and meditate but don’t over-think things. No panicking allowed, you’ll have plenty of time to do that later.
20. What fighters are you planning to do a top 10 tricks on next? Any chance of felix trinidad? – Sibtul
- Really tough question! I do love Felix Trinidad but there are so many others I would prefer before Trinidad. Such as Roy Jones, Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins, Joe Calzaghe, and many more. I also prefer using fighters that fought in the more recent era and have HD quality footage. I might not do another one for a little while because of how long it takes.
21. I always get rotator cuff pain when I hit the bag with full power. Am I doing something wrong or do I just need to build my shoulder up to power? – Leo
- Make sure you’re rotating so your punches land with the palm facing down. I think I will have to see a video of you punching to see what’s wrong. I have a feeling it has more to do with form than building up your shoulder. Also make sure you are wearing a good pair of gloves with sufficient padding.
22. What’s the best way to develop a philly shell defense? – Russ
- Get a trainer who knows how to work the Philly shell defense with you on the mitts. When you’re first learning the Philly shell defense, your trainer should be able to feed you the mitts in a way that makes the Philly shell feel natural. Once you get the hang of it, then you can start practicing it in more realistic fighting conditions such as in the ring.
- The best Philly shell defense I’ve seen is James Toney. Everybody loves to watch Mayweather but what Mayweather does is sometimes Philly shell and sometimes a bunch of athletic stuff (only he gets away with it because he’s so gifted).
23. Can’t you write some articles about advanced boxing techniques? – Adam
- Believe it or not, I do get a little bored writing basic boxing tips, too. But I do it because there are still so many basic boxing techniques that need to be shared online before I can even consider sharing the advanced stuff. Some techniques are so much easier to teach on video than to try and type in a million words and still confuse the readers. The moment I start getting more involved on my Youtube channel, you will definitely see more advanced boxing techniques. There’s so much cool stuff I know how to do that I can’t wait to share with you all! Advanced boxers, stay tuned for the sick tricks and techniques!
thanks for such explaination.
i am tring to fight like prince naseem style.is it ok .or i should chgange it.
in fight i cant buse my right cross.what to do.
How do you fight taller aggressive boxers? – JezHogg
Superb ! Thanks for the advice on fighting a taller boxer. I shall attempt the stepping to the right/left advice next time we spar. I am fighting in a Muay Thai show on saturday and this advice may just help against my opponent. Again many thanks for taking the time to answer my question. Jez
Thanks for the reply Johnny! Can’t wait for the videos.
@vivek – You should fight to whatever style your body prefers to move. Use whatever style is easiest and natural for your body to perform at its best. Have fun and try some new things but don’t limit yourself to just one style.
If your right cross can’t land, try moving your right foot up and stand slightly more square instead of sideways.
Those workouts would be GREATLY appreciated 😉
your the best
hi .. and thx for ur interesting artcile .
my eyes r 5.0 5.0 both ,, and it’s a big problem for me when it comes to sparring or goin to the ring .. what can i do to fixs this .. can i fix this by wearing soft contacts , ?? if they hit me in the eye ,, it will be harmful to play with contacts ro not ??
@Gia – thanks for being patient. I’ll have it up soon enough.
@mehran – soft contacts are great for boxing (my optometrist told me this, and I experienced it myself). Even if you get punched in the eye, the contacts are soft so they won’t stab your eye.
thx man ..
during sparring i use my all left punches very well but cant use my right.please tell me any drill exersise or something to improve my right.
@vivek – what do you mean you can’t use your right? I’m guessing it’s too slow or not long enough to reach your opponent. Don’t stand with your right foot too far behind your left foot. This makes the right hand too far back to reach your opponent quickly. If you realize the right hand has no power, then keep more weight on the right leg when you throw it.