Dirty Boxing Introduction (diary entry)



My regular teacher consultancy lesson later on Tuesday evening took a stronger physical turn tonight as we began work on Dirty Boxing. In essence, this in-fighting and clinching, the use of trapping and standing grappling techniques whilst striking. Tonight we covered a general introduction, began laying the foundations and covered a simple drill.


The lesson began with a short warm-up on the mitts as we went through some simple Western Boxing combinations. I introduced the pawing jab and the slap-down parry as points of entry into a clinch. Next we looked at three famous Western Boxers who provide us with a lot of use material:


Jack Johnson

The Galveston Giant is covered in my podcast “The Heel Fighter”. Without going into Johnson’s incredible story or discussing this larger-than-life personality, his style of fighting is particularly significant. Johnson was a superb outside and inside fighter. Coming from an age that had not long switched from Old School Pugilism, Johnson was clearly adept wrestler. We drilled his early outside flurry that was designed to prompt an attack he could smother. Johnson had a preference for the over-hook (also known as a whizzer in wrestling) to control his opponent.


Joe Frazier

Smokin’ Joe was the fighter who, along with Coach Eddie Futch, worked out Muhammad Ali’s key weaknesses and had a style that proved to be the nemesis of The Greatest. Amongst his tools Frazier used clinching techniques similar to a wrestling. We used a lot of Frazier’s head movement and hip positioning.


Roberto Duran

The Hands of Stone was one of the “Four Kings” of the 1980s Middleweight division in World Championship Boxing. He was known for his underhand tactics and dirty fighting. However, what was often overlooked was the way he used techniques that had largely fallen out of favour in Boxing since the days of Sullivan, Corbett, Fitzsimmons and Johnson. Duran turned uppercuts into under-hooks, made use of the collar tie and added to clinching methods previously seen by Frazier, timing counter-punching by closing with the hips.

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