Is punching power the strangest, most unexplained phenomena in sports?

Discussion in 'Boxing Discussion' started by DannyNL, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. DannyNL

    DannyNL The King is BACK, baby! Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    4,362
    Likes Received:
    9,932
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    Has there ever been anything more mysterious and unexplainable in sports than punching power? You hear so much bro science and misinformation behind it because it's such a strange thing.

    You'd think it was pure strength, but there are so many strong guys in MMA and boxing who were pillow handed. I remember Julian Jackson (for my money the hardest p4p puncher of all time) citing Francisco de Jesus as the physically strongest man he ever fought and he had a 29% KO percentage.

    Body type gives no hints. There are guys chisled out of stone who can knock you out with either hand and then you have a musclebound guy like Tim Bradley who couldn't bust a grape. You have tall lanky guys who can't punch through a piece of paper, then you have tall lanky guys like Hearns and Arguello who can knock your head into the 5th row.

    It's not simply speed, because you have a ton of fast guys with mediocre power (Floyd, Whitaker, Camacho, Maligaggi, ect). It's not simply proper technique, because who had better technique than Floyd or Sweetpea?

    Then you think size, but 7'0" 300lb Valuev had mediocre power.

    We can't figure out why people have it and, according to every great boxing trainer, it's a "god given" thing that can't be learned. What a strange phenomenon!
     
    Rimbaud82 and Sano like this.
  2. Confucamus

    Confucamus Last of the V8s Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    11,500
    Likes Received:
    6,418
    Location:
    Beantown
    Form, technique, and leverage explain just about all of it. Accuracy too I suppose. But it is freaky when guys like Hamed, Jones, or Pacquiao can hurt or KO guys while extremely off balance. Whereas a guy like Hopkins, who is almost never out of proper position and has terrific technique, was never really known as a KO artist.

    Also, some fighters' power doesn't translate well to higher weight classes when they move up.
     
  3. IndyCovaHart

    IndyCovaHart Gold Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Messages:
    22,452
    Likes Received:
    24,045
    Considering placement of the punch matters, it's hardly that mysterious.

    Too many variables involved to turn this issue into a black or white issue.
     
  4. DaveDave

    DaveDave Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2016
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    944
    This is a great thread & a fantastic discussion. For my money, like the dude above says I think it's mostly physique (fast-twitch muscle fibres) allied to a lot of technique (proper bodyweight placement & follow-through to generate torque).

    If you think about a guy like Duran, as a lightweight he was a killer but even fat & as a middleweight he had beautiful form when throwing the right hand, decking a big middleweight like six-foot Iran Barkley late in the fight. If you watch the series of right hands that Duran drops him with, it's like a fuckin' masterclass of foot placement & precision.

    Then you got freaks like this:



    Sometimes, he sat right down on a shot & you could see he loaded up on it enough to punch through a wall, but sometimes he kinda grazed a guy or swatted at them way outside the natural extension of the punch (i.e. outside the range of motion where your leverage is greatest due to the position of the fulcrum vs moment, before or when the lever is no longer transferring all the force to the target; in practical terms, if you stand too close or too far from a heavy bag & try & throw bombs you'll get what I mean) & still guys dropped like there was a motherfucking sniper in Row 3.

    So. Yeah.

    PS: Slightly off-topic but Mayweather could bang & so did Whittaker. It wasn't Hearns-like, true, but they could stop you in your tracks & buzz you with one shot, which stopped people walking through them & running them out the ring.

    Both very good body punchers, too (though Whittaker was better at it & had a greater range of body-shots).
     
    danny23 and LangfordBarrow like this.
  5. DaveDave

    DaveDave Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2016
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    944
    First minute of this:




    Basically, Hopkins never puts enough on it to hurt you, 'cos he never ever wants to get hit back. Ever. So there's literally nothing on it, just enough pivot to snap your head back & give him a chance to maneouvre you into something else or get away.

    Kinda the same thing with Floyd & Pernell as I was saying earlier: it wasn't that they couldn't hurt guys, often it was that that would open them up to return fire that they did not wish to take.

    PS: BTW I can remember when Hopkins was coming up, before the Don King/Tito tournament. Back when he first fought Roy Jones & just after, when he'd won the IBF title, he was known as a puncher back then. But he slowly turned into more of a cutey as time went by & he realised he was going to have to extend his longevity at his already advanced age.
     
  6. Hi-Tech

    Hi-Tech Slavic Fighter Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Messages:
    4,939
    Likes Received:
    7,552
    Location:
    Eastern European takeover of boxing
    It's down to style too. Some fighters have power but simply don't go out looking for KOs and just use their power to establish respect from the other fighter and then fight defensively (Floyd, Rigo). While some powerful punchers would rather just go all out in kill or be killed fashion and get a lot of KOs to their name, especially if they have good chin. The boxing public then considers these brawlers as hard punchers while defensive fighters are often seen as "pillow fisted" while in reality there often isn't that much of a difference.

    A lot of it is also down to technique, precision and timing, eg. Golovkin.

    I don't think that there's that much of a genetic difference.
     
  7. fightingrabbit

    fightingrabbit Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    13,204
    Likes Received:
    3,861
    GGG is a recent one who has that type of 'put you to sleep off a grazing punch' power.
     
  8. makedansure

    makedansure Green Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    418
    You should check out the "best I ever faced" series. They're all very interesting. Punch power and strength are different categories, and the boxers themselves actually quite frequently name different people for both categories.

    For example, best punch for Hatton was PAC but strongest was Tszyu. The list goes on.

    Also, apparently Hearns was a bit of a feather fisted boxer before getting with Steward who I guess taught him how to sit down on his punches or something like that.

    It does come down to too many factors and styles too. Some fighters are super squirrely and move and punch well, and others prefer to sit in and throw bombs.

    Also, I think Macallum wrote that though Julian Jackson had crazy punch power, it was the speed of the punch that was the most brutal element of his punch. You just really didn't see it coming, and it had the stopping power.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
    Sano likes this.
  9. stuff jones

    stuff jones Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,628
    Likes Received:
    1,939
    Force = mass x acceleration.
     
    Sonny Qc likes this.
  10. mozfonky

    mozfonky We oughta be fightin' a bottle of Geritol.

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    11,114
    Likes Received:
    3,288
    Location:
    x
    I knew I wouldn't be able to post before somebody came up with the physics equation. Someone always does and it explains nothing. Not even the best minds in the sport really understand power. It's not strength because some physically weak guys are the best punchers in their divisions,and some guys who have huge muscles and lots of strength can't punch, it's not speed because lots of fast fighters can't punch. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for who has the gift of power, the only thing you can say is that it's a gift when a guy has the power of a Hearns or a Tyson or a Foreman, the work that goes into it only exposes the gift. I've thought about it a lot and there are many factors, timing, skill, leverage, delivery, but I think that some guys just have something that happens when there hand connects that is so explosive that it distorts the brain waves of their opponents in an unusual way. Look at Edwin Rosario, one of the greatest punchers I've ever seen, watch how his opponents react when he lands, no one did it better. It looked like he wasn't even putting anything into it and those guys looked like they were shot, that's just an inborn gift, nothing can be done to get that if you weren't born with it. The other factor is what Tyson called "bad intentions", it's true that a fighter who strikes with the idea of hurt is gonna be using more of their power than a guy like an ali who often was content to just dance around and slap his opponents into submission. so, it's part mental, part physical.
     
    Rimbaud82 and Sano like this.
  11. mozfonky

    mozfonky We oughta be fightin' a bottle of Geritol.

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    11,114
    Likes Received:
    3,288
    Location:
    x
    Hearns was always with steward, he boxed as an ammie, only had 11 kayoes, then he turned pro and changed his game up until the middle rounds of the first leonard fight when the roles were reversed. Steward explained Hearn's power by saying that the fist is totally relaxed all throughout delivery but clenched like a piece of steel right at the moment of impact.
     
    cocksure likes this.
  12. wilddeuces

    wilddeuces Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,957
    Likes Received:
    1,338
    Location:
    Canada
    At its simplest level it's f=ma. Then there's the position and quality of the man taking the punch. Flush? Deflected? Where does it land? Moving forward or backward? How dehydrated is the one getting hit. Lots more to consider.
     
  13. Sano

    Sano Red Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Messages:
    8,873
    Likes Received:
    16,874
    Location:
    Denmark
    Explaining nothing in this context.
     
    LangfordBarrow likes this.
  14. rshawneecarbon1

    rshawneecarbon1 Green Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1,297
    Likes Received:
    384
    If you ever been in a sport where your technique is the best judge of your success then you would understand better.

    I threw javelin in college at the top level. Not all that different below the arm on technique. It's in the feet and most importantly the hips.

    If course other natural factors have a play. But technique is number one.
     
  15. Popsaregood230

    Popsaregood230 Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    859
    Likes Received:
    385
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I think the receiver of the punch has more influence on the outcome than the puncher. Some guys can get punched all day and be fine, because they see all the punches coming. They've been in hard sparring sessions and are used to being punched. Chin genetics also play a factor. Confidence is at play as well. A nervous fighter won't be able to take a punch as well as a fighter who already understands they are going to being punched and is mentally in the fight.

    Obviously every fighter has his limits and can only be hit so many times. And the one throwing the punch is definitely a part of the equation. I just feel like whenever these conversations come up, people are forgetting that half(more than imo.) of the variables are in the hands of the one being punched.
     
  16. stuff jones

    stuff jones Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,628
    Likes Received:
    1,939
    It's an immutable law of physics. It explains everything in this context. You just have to be smart enough to figure it out.
     
  17. mozfonky

    mozfonky We oughta be fightin' a bottle of Geritol.

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    11,114
    Likes Received:
    3,288
    Location:
    x
    ok, and I don't disagree but how do you explain the horrible technique of young foreman? His punches were everything wrong and he still put em down.
     
  18. mozfonky

    mozfonky We oughta be fightin' a bottle of Geritol.

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    11,114
    Likes Received:
    3,288
    Location:
    x
    no it doesn't, when that formula is refuted someone always says "oh you're just uneducated" or whatever. The human body is a lot more complicated than a lump of travelling mass. I think it's more about what happens at the point of contact within the punchers body that creates the concussive effect, the formula cannot account for the explosive contraction that happens when a punch lands. Your formula is like comparing a dud missile that weighs the same as a missile that functions explosively, no comparison.
     
  19. Sano

    Sano Red Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Messages:
    8,873
    Likes Received:
    16,874
    Location:
    Denmark
    Theoretically yes, practically no. Even in theory it is extremely vague. Are you a physicist?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  20. mozfonky

    mozfonky We oughta be fightin' a bottle of Geritol.

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    11,114
    Likes Received:
    3,288
    Location:
    x
    there are a million tricks to lessening power and that's got to be why a great punchers ability also has some skill to it because at a high enough level, fighters know a lot of tricks to take all the power of a punch, so getting past that is a skill. I've seen lots of super punchers undone when they couldn't land their sunday punches.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.