[Boxing] Problems with covering up

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by Combat Squirrel, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. Combat Squirrel

    Combat Squirrel Blue Belt

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    While it seems to be the primary defensive move among most European boxers, for me it has always been more of a last resort when I'm exhausted and cornered.

    Problems I have with covering up:

    1) Can't see shit.
    2) Open to body shots.
    3) Opponent can comfortably pick full force shots, which are likely to either split the guard or just rock you through the gloves, especially if he's stronger.

    Because of this, I use lateral head movement and active parrying as my main defensive tools.

    Any advice? Am I the only one with this problem?

    Clarification: I'm talking about hands on the forehead, not just generally keeping your hands up.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
  2. shpboris

    shpboris Blue Belt

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    Great fight where Clottey used high gurad very well against Margarito. Especially effective his mixed defense of high guard + elevation changes + occasional pull backs.


    [YT]TaSaepAlW_0[/YT]
     
  3. TheFinerDetails

    TheFinerDetails Orange Belt

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    It's a last resort defense mechanism IMHO.
    I found it crazy you said it's the "primary defensive move" of the Europeans. I rarely see this type of defense.
    There is a different between a high guard, and just covering your entire face (including your eyes), as shown in that photo.
     
  4. roventu

    roventu Brown Belt

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    for high guard, do you guys like to keep your glove palm on face, or palm facing outside?

    I notice a lot more kickboxers rotate their hand to face outwards. (i watch more kickboxing than boxing so there might be equal occurence i wouldnt know)

    the palm in makes it easier to slip and slide punches off your glove. the palm out is more for parrying. any other differences?
     
  5. Sano

    Sano Red Belt

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    First guy that comes to mind is Athur Abraham. He went pretty far with that style. Maybe he is thinking about some of the dutch k-1 stylists who utilize a tight high guard as well.

    Other than that, Europe is a big place with a lot of different styles.
     
  6. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Meh, this fight also demonstrates Clottey's greatest downfall, when his opponent doesn't go away, he tended to look for a way to himself. He didn't injure his hands in this fight (he said he broke both of them, but never had surgery or a cast). When he couldn't get rid of Baldomir he headbutted to disqualification. He turned in a non-effort against Pac, and was always a front-runner. What made Clottey effective was not his heavy bag impression, it was his combination attacks. He just had a tendency to unleash them early at a pace he could never maintain.
     
  7. TheFinerDetails

    TheFinerDetails Orange Belt

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    A tight high guard still allows you the vision and counter potential that the picture he showed does not.
    I love that high guard in K-1 style, but it most certainly doesn't get so much as to close your vision and open your body so much.
     
  8. PivotPunch

    PivotPunch Red Belt

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    he still managed to have a pretty close fight with a pretty good version of Cotto
     
  9. cheesus

    cheesus Silver Belt

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    If you're getting hit by a volume puncher, you should throw something just so it disrupts their rhythm so you can use it to get out of their range, don't just sit there covering up either cover up and try to catch him with an opening and use head movement.
     
  10. shpboris

    shpboris Blue Belt

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    What about Clottey's defense ? Quite a lot of tricks that he uses in this area. Besides the high guard itself (which alone make him very hard to hit and is the core of his defense) , he has the following :

    1.
    Draw an opponent in while retreating + using the guard ---- in that scenario opponent only able to "touch" his guard as all the power is taken from his punches.
    No real damage is done.

    2.
    Changing the elevation and closing the distance while still maintaining the guard - my favorite technique from him. After that, he either attacks with short uppercuts or clinches which totally prevents the opponent from landing anything.

    3.
    After his own attacks (especially right hand), he is using his forearms to control an opponent and exit safely - similar to Floyd.

    4.
    Some good lateral movement (with misdirections and head movement) when he uses it - check latest rounds vs Margarito.
     
  11. Sano

    Sano Red Belt

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    True, but some of them as a tendency to shell up in resemblance to that picture(does anyone really cover their eyes like that?) when they are trapped in a corner or on the defensive. In their regular stance it's not like that.

    But to be honest, I'm thinking about K-1 a few years back and disregarding the lighter weight classes. Glory now a days seems to offer a bigger variety.
     
  12. shpboris

    shpboris Blue Belt

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    About his attacks - I like them also. Especially his 2-3-4 left hooks in a row - looks very impressive. Also VERY short uppercuts. Quite a good timing on his counters as well - either after drawing opponent in or after slipping under his punches.

    Look at his fights with Margarito and Cotto - both are quite close fights. Some people argue that he won both. Cotto was stopped vs Margarito while Clottey did very well.

    P.S.
    Mentally - yes, he looks like not the most stable fighter, I agree with that.
     
  13. Combat Squirrel

    Combat Squirrel Blue Belt

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    I'm talking about hands on the forehead, not a normal hands up stance.

    Arthur Abraham is a good example. I think Marco Huck and Firat Arslan too.

    Well, maybe it's somewhat specific to German boxers.
     
  14. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    His defense was okay, bit I think it's being made to sound much more exceptional than it actually was. Clottey HATED getting hit, even if it was on the guard, it was just something that disturbed him, which is why you'd see him become very agitated in long fights even in fleeting moments. Those tricks he developed over time were work-arounds. Did he make the most of them? Absolutely. But I wouldn't put him in a class of good defensive fighters if his defense didn't even allow him to feel very secure in the ring.

    Here's a hint about Cotto, lots of heart, only so-so durability. Clottey is the exact opposite, good durability despite mental weakness. Not a lot of will to fight through pain. If you combined what Cotto has with what Clottey has, you'd have a fighter that would mop all 3 of those guys you mentioned granted they have any speed or stopping power.
     
  15. PivotPunch

    PivotPunch Red Belt

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    Abraham and Huck fight with their hands at the side of their head not like in the pic I don't think many good fighter would hold their hands like that permananetly.

    Abraham is also a good counterpuncher and everyone is afraid of his offence and when he has to he can move his head at least a little bit it's not like he stands there and only blocks punches without doing anything.

    Huck has a decent sense of distance and he is awkward but a ntural fighter he does a lot of things instinctively he also doesn't just stand there and block punches.

    And Firat Arslan fights on heart, strength and conditioning alone he's a super physical fighter but one of the least skilled high level fighters I have ever seen.

    He throws awkward arm punches and he has pretty bad defence he gets hit a ton.

    He really sometimes just bulls forward with his hand sinfront of his face but he also gets hit a lot and he just powers through to the inside where is the only place where he does have decent skills and goes to work.

    I really don't think anyone could aim for Firat Arslan defensively.

    The good defensive fighters with a high guard either all have headmovement, counterpunching, control distance or do a little bit of all of that on top of their high guard.

    And none of them simply holds their hands high in a passive guard they all have active guards. That's the difference between a Winky Wright or even Arthur Abraham and a Firat Arslan who does absolutely not have good defense.

    And even Abraham got wrecked by Stieglitz in their first fight when he did really just stand against the ropes with his hands up without punching back or moving.
     
  16. shpboris

    shpboris Blue Belt

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    My feeling about his defense is somewhat opposite - i.e I feel it is underrated. Clottey is usually compared with other fighters who also use high guard defense - Arslan or Abraham. But they are more simplistic about it. Clottey IMO is much more tricky guy than them. Though he is definitely not Floyd or Whitaker ))

    About him not feeling comfortable when getting hit (even through the guard) - yes, I also paid attention to that. But, IMO, this fact doesn't make his defense less effective. It just proves that not everybody in top level boxing has balls of Froch or Margarito (or even Cotto for that matter) )))
     
  17. TheFinerDetails

    TheFinerDetails Orange Belt

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    Yeah true, I think I've just misinterpreted the picture :).
    I don't know if it's such a good thing that a lot of guys like to hold their hands down or drop them when they're striking lately TBH.
    Dzhabar Askerov just KTFO'ed Enriko Kehl on Sunday when he noticed Enriko dropping his hands when he threw knees. I remember Tyrone Spong crediting this exact type of mistake that lead to his knockout of Remy Bonjasky. Josh Jauncey also ate a few back hands when he threw his knees against Sittichai because he dropped the hand and didn't pull it back in time. Mwekasa also got romped by that headkick in a recent Glory event as well that knocked him out and lost him the 4man tourney (which came from lowering hands as he throws).

    I think, the typical Dutch and Western styles are very good at picking punches when hands are down. But as we've seen in the recent Glory event with Sittichai, the display of a lot of Thai guys being able to utilise body shots and low kicks more effectively against this "high guard" is a testament to the different styles in the game at the moment (Sittichai absolutely tore apart Josh Jauncey all over the ring, it's a great fight to watch). Also, Thai fighters are almost notorious for throwing kicks relentlessly, even at the arms (Yodsanklai), which seems to be something that Dutch/Western guys don't do as much.

    Also, please don't think I'm simply splitting apart the fight styles here, obviously everyone in every culture and of every race can fight differently, just on the general from what I've seen lately, the high guard guys are doing well at picking shots when the hands are down, but the more elusive/guys that carry low hands are great at picking shots at the body and legs.

    If the OP likes high guards of K-1 style fighters, definitely check out Dzhabar Askerov. That dude has a very tight high guard that I absolutely adore. He almost never drops his hands, even when he's out of range he keeps them relatively high. Always retracts them back to his forehead. Great, GREAT high guard for K1 style.

    EDIT: I'm sorry OP if this post was solely about boxing.
    PPS. I'm touting Sittichai as the next Buakaw (K1 dominant Thai guy)
     
  18. shpboris

    shpboris Blue Belt

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    BTW, on the side note, what do you think about hypothetical Floyd-Margarito fight ?
    I always thought that this would be super tough fight for Floyd. But some rounds of Clottey vs Margarito make me think, that it could be not THAT hard for Floyd. I.e rounds where Clottey was moving actively.
     
  19. Orni

    Orni Purple Belt

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    First off, I'm training thaiboxing not Boxing so i might be wrong here but what seems to work for me when people corner me and i cover up is to either parry their hands to lock them from throwing a big hook while im walking out on either side OR just look for openings to throw a quick counter to disrupt their confidence / or even land a hard counter when they think they are safe.

    Basically just try and either get out or throw counters when they overcomit because if you just stand and cover up they will build up confidence and keep on teeing of on you if you land a hard counter hook or uppercut they usually realize they are not completly safe teeing off on you so they will be more cautious next time they get you on the ropes.
     
  20. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Feeling comfortable and safe in the ring should NEVER be about "balls." It should be about education. Like I said, Clottey had a lot of work-arounds for his deficiencies, but that doesn't mean that his defense was excellent, or even underrated. If someone referred to it as pretty good, or alright, that'd be rated just about right. He wasn't exceptional at not getting hit, or even controlling distance. He was clever about making you pay for it if you didn't hurt him, which, IMO...doesn't rate your defense high. BTW, I don't rate Abraham or Arslan very highly either. There are/were excellent high-guard fighters out there. Roman Gonzalez uses a high guard, Winky (in his prime) used it and had excellent other defensive measures, all of the peek-a-boo guys, they didn't just have their hands tight to let you bang away at them. They would deliberately draw your fire, and evade or control distance via positioning. Clottey does that SOMETIMES.

    Floyd would have beat the fuck out of Margarito.
     
  21. shpboris

    shpboris Blue Belt

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    Lots of boxers use that as their primary defense - to add a few to already mentioned -
    Clottey, Sturm, Sylvester.

    Interesting fight related to the discussion:

    [YT]RjXxd_2Rhy4[/YT]
     
  22. tehmvp

    tehmvp WBA Super Neighborhood Champion Platinum Member

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    But, but dat pressure and stamina doe!
     
  23. j123

    j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

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    Let me bang mang
    Just curious, what would be a good move to interrupt using hands? Uppercut? Usually in Muay Thai I'd interrupt with a leg chop then to heavy hands.
     
  24. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    And dem cement wraps!!
     
  25. MuayThaiDude

    MuayThaiDude Yellow Belt

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    No, you are definitely not the only one with this problem. I made a post similar to this a few months back. At the first Thai gym I trained at they didn't even train us to use the double arm block like the picture, more just parrying, long arm block or slipping and countering. When I went to my new gym the double arm block was what they pushed more and I kept getting nailed; couldn't see shit.

    What I think works best is not placing the gloves on the forehead but by the temples so I can see. What gets me about that though is that straight shots come right in and pop you on the nose, hence the tendency to mistakenly cover up your whole face. Now if I am doing the double arm block I keep it on the temples and just turn my head in the respective direction to block a jab or cross. To me this block is either a last resort OR a way to get on the inside or as the primary defense if you are really close because your elbows can block uppercuts. Taking shots can hurt like hell so I prefer to move out of the way or parry.
     
  26. tehmvp

    tehmvp WBA Super Neighborhood Champion Platinum Member

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    That too!.

    In all seriousness, I always ask what tools Margs has to beat Floyd, and the only response is always he never stops coming forward. As if that ever meant anything to Floyd. He would have been considered another "cherry pick" for Floyd had they fought.
     
  27. cheesus

    cheesus Silver Belt

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    IMO a stiff jab is the safest bet
     
  28. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Yeah, it's all about hype and timing. At one point Ricky Hatton was the guy with "the style" to beat Floyd. Cotto was, Mosley was, Margarito was, etc. People still won't forgive Floyd for not fighting the guys they thought could beat him WHEN they thought they could beat him. And due to that (driven by the reality that Hatton turned down Floyd twice at 140, and Tszyu turned him down, Gatti was the only Title-holder left, and Shane turned him down in his return to 147 to fight Collazo), people used the timing of when he fought most of them to say he picked moments when they were lesser. Margarito draws mixed responses, some damn him as an eternal cheat, others claim he was this scary whirlwind Floyd wanted no part of. Reality is when Arum was touting him as "most feared"...his biggest accomplishment was stopping Cintron. Rather than lift the meaningless WBO strap from him, Floyd fought the two guys who exchanged all other 3 titles between them. Sounds like a cowardly move to me.
     
  29. Celestial Kid

    Celestial Kid Banned Banned

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    Up your bootay!
    There is no problem if you use head movement and active parrying. Just don't use the the covering up defense as a primary one. Its only used when you're out of position as a last resort.
     
  30. shpboris

    shpboris Blue Belt

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    IMO, the interesting point in fight vs Margarito is if Floyd could make Margarito somewhat respect his punch. Because without that the whole direction of the fight can change.

    So far, i haven't seen any of Floyd's fights where his opponent wouldn't care about getting hit by him. That helps him to keep the fight technical and lowers the tempo of the fight. In Margarito fight that could be different.
     
  31. HookRight

    HookRight White Belt

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    I have a bad habit of using it too much, I've developed a tight guard but guys just tee off on my body when I use it. The trick is to only use it for a second, you don't stay shelled up waiting for them to finish.
     
  32. shpboris

    shpboris Blue Belt

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    Still IMO even in this scenario, Floyd could do well due to his footwork and huge speed advantage.
     
  33. roventu

    roventu Brown Belt

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    nieky holzken definitely uses this as his primary defense, just watch his fights. he'll catch punches on the glove then fire back with a counter in the middle of their combo

    he uses the high guard pretty effectively. allows him to stay in the pocket without taking too much damage and staying in range for counter. ofc there's downsides to every defensive mechanism

    -for ppl that primarily use heavy head movement, i find their hands are usually lower. you just move your head faster if your hands are lower than if they're covering your head

    -for ppl that primarily use parrying, you can get more of a reaction out of them. fake a jab, they try to reach out for it, switch it into a hook. they are usually focused on parrying the first punch, can get overwhelmed by an immediate cross behind the jab.

    -for ppl that like to slip and duck a lot, you can catch them leaning off balance more often than other defensive mechanisms. also you could be slipping right into a kick or ducking into a knee if you get timed

    yes you're right. never shell up completely and wait for them to blow their load (although i guess it worked for weidman and alistar in their last fights lol). the trick is always to block, watch their punches coming in, then try to counter as soon as you can when you see an opening.

    also if you're getting really blasted but you dont see an opening, a lot of ppl dont switch to moving away. just gotta know when to move away or stay in range to counter.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
  34. shpboris

    shpboris Blue Belt

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    I am not aware of historical perspective, but why Floyd haven't fought Margarito after Margarito vs Cotto fight ? Was he retired then ?

    My Floyd dream fight would be against quality taller outfighter who is also fast. Say, somebody like Lara. I wonder which approach he would use in such a fight.
     
  35. tehmvp

    tehmvp WBA Super Neighborhood Champion Platinum Member

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    The Lara question is a good one. I don't know if Lara's activity level would allow him to outbox Floyd. Also, Floyd's lateral movement and broken rhythms would give him fits.
     
  36. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Yes, that was during the year or two he wasn't around. But then remember, Margarito got monkey-stomped by Mosley. Floyd fought Mosley when he got back. Usually Floyd will go after a guy who beat a guy he was thinking of fighting. He went for Castillo just after he beat Casamayor. Judah was SUPPOSED to beat Baldo, when he didn't Floyd went after Baldo in his next bout. Lara...well, Floyd fought and beat Canelo. Not saying I completely agree, but that's his pattern.
     
  37. flyingweelkick

    flyingweelkick White Belt

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    Spot on. It gets a little hilarious hearing people constantly discredit Mayweather's competition. People don't appreciate his style or whatever but he missed very few important fights. Marvelous strength of competition.

    If we're talking MMA, Robbie Lawler had some nasty counters off of an earmuff-ish defense in the 1st Hendricks fight. He switched his defensive stance constantly and would occasionally go earmuffs when he would start to get backed up and often a clever hook came right after. He was somewhat flat footed in that fight compared to his most recent fight but he made great use of subtle positioning and his entire arms/shoulders to deflect and lessen shots.

    Sinister - would you agree that the "earmuff" hand position tends to be even less reliable with the 4oz MMA gloves? Seems to me a clever hook might be able to sneak thru "the hole" even if your timing is good. Then again I suppose anything can work for a second if you have a crisply timed counter waiting....
     

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