Techniques for punching a taller boxer
Boxing a taller man can be a challenge if he knows how to take advantage of his height. Big guys often have a long reach or wingspan. And reach is a huge advantage in boxing.
But there are punching techniques that work very well against a big guy, so if you know how to set them up and use them, you stand a very good chance of holding your own.
Getting past his jab
The number one weapon used by tall boxers is a good jab. Watch Lennox Lewis fight Mike Tyson, or watch Wladimir Klitschko fight anybody, and you’ll see how effective a well-developed jab is.
Unless you can get past your opponent’s jab, you won’t be able to touch him.
Here are some things you can try:
- If he’s lazy about bringing his jab back, try to counterpunch him. Make him afraid to commit to the jab.
- Learn how to parry the jab. This is especially useful if he over-commits to the jab or jumps in with his punches.
- Develop an effective feint. Feinting to make him throw the jab gives you an instant in time when you can step in past his outstretched lead hand. Throw a hook to his body.
- When he throws a punch, you throw a bunch. Never try to potshot him with only one punch. Always string your punches together in combination. You can’t hit him if you don’t throw punches, and odds are he won’t be able to throw back against a smaller, more agile opponent.
The overhand right
This is a good punch to throw against a taller opponent. The only problem is that it’s difficult to actually hit him with it early in a fight. You have to set it up by getting him accustomed to your left hook. From your opponent’s point of view, your overhand right looks just like the initial part of your left hook. It’s a deceptive punch when he’s expecting the left hook.
Don’t stay on the outside
Obviously, the best way to neutralize his reach advantage is to fight inside. When you are in close, you are not in danger from his long-range straight right hands.
So, if you’re a shorter boxer, work on your uppercuts (to the body) and your hooks.
Always try to keep him moving backwards
Big guys often have coordination problems. Through no fault of their own, they’re just not as agile as smaller fighters.
If you keep him moving backwards, the odds are he’ll be out of his comfort zone. Lots of tall fighters need to get set in order to punch. Don’t give him that moment he needs to set his punches.
Always keep the pressure on a taller man. You want to get inside so you have to move forward.