There is a sparring clip making it’s way around social media. One athlete lands quite a few power shots; the other’s slip technique is called into question.

In amateurs, we’d distinguish the boxers by glove color. Red gloves is red corner. Blue gloves is blue corner. If you’re smart, your jersey top, if not your whole uniform, will match you corner color. These guys here don’t exactly follow those guides but let’s call one red (red shorts) and the other, blue (blue shirt).

Let’s assess their strategy. At first impression, red looks to be a slugger. How good of a slugger, it’s hard to tell with this limited footage. A good slugger should have one punch KO power. With so many clean shots landed, he should have dropped blue if he had that type of power. However, this is sparring so it’s likely he’s holding back. The top end of his power and slugging ability is thus inconclusive.

Blue is clearly a boxer-stylist because he is not pressuring and not slugging. By the process of elimination, that makes him a boxing style of a guy.

In this limited exchange, red dominates by landing clean power punches. What could blue have done, strategically, to improve his performance?

If we recall our strategic matchups, boxing should have the advantage over slugging. By default, blue is “boxing”. He needs to do a better job of boxing. What is boxing? Boxing is the jab, the lead hand, lead hand combinations, good footwork, footwork to step out of range, footwork to circle, footwork to move laterally, pivots, so on and so forth.

Let’s look at the first big punch red lands.

There is some criticism on blue’s slipping technique here. I’d agree with those criticisms.

However, I think his biggest mistake, aside from not using his feet for defense, is not using the jab. Instead, he opts for a right cross.

Unfortunately for blue, red beats him to the punch. Blue eats a right cross.

The hard part is doing. It’s easy to say things after the fact but I would have liked to see other choices. And there are many.

I would have liked a plain old jab here. Maybe a double jab. If he’s good, maybe a hook off the jab, or in the parlance of our times, a 1-3 combo.

A step back would have been good. Step around also, but I don’t think he could do it.

What blue did was an attempt at a pull counter, I think. His movement was sort of like a hybrid pull and slip. A slip would have moved his head more outside. A pull would have moved his head more backwards. Using the right hand was a little premature.

Some other times blue could have used the jab.

Another jab opportunity but he prefers the left swing (note the difference between swing and hook).

In closing, blue, by default, was operating under the boxing paradigm. If we were being less charitable, we could say that blue was not boxing at all. He was “throwing hands”. The strategy needed here was better boxing or a better selection from the boxing toolkit. More jabs. More footwork. Better boxing. Better control of the boxing range.




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