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The Sweet Science on Display

I recently came across the two videos below. Each is a testament to the skill required to excel in the sport of boxing. The first is dedicated to defensive mastery, while the second highlights some of the most effective counter punchers in recent times.

These skills are often overlooked by casual fans. Such spectators instead focus on physical qualities such as power and endurance. There is much more to the sweet science however. Fighters learn quickly that skill must accompany their physical attributes.

Anyone can get in shape, but it takes years to master the finer points of the sport.

The take home message for young fighters is to focus the bulk of your attention to the sport itself. Much of your work should take place with the gloves on. You will learn by doing. Everything else is secondary.

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Rhythm is everything in boxing. Every move you make starts with your heart, and that’s in rhythm or you’re in trouble. – Sugar Ray Robinson

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9 comments

9 Comments so far

  1. Homero July 8th, 2012 12:36 pm

    A maybe lesser known defensive master was the great Nicolino Locche. A true talent and a great performer aswell. And I say this with proudness because he is Argentinian (as am I), and we haven’t had too many great Argentinian boxers throughout the years to be fair. But he was really something :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LEKHMUCh8k

    check him out!

  2. Phil July 8th, 2012 1:00 pm

    Amazing clips. Extremely inspirational and gives credit where credit’s due—tremendous hard work and development of skill. Cheers.

  3. Hal July 8th, 2012 1:16 pm

    Boxing is one of histories greatest martial arts. People tend to think of boxing as something different than what it really is: one of the most powerful, effective, and skillful art of hand to hand combat. Kung fu, karate, Muay Thai, MMA, all pale in comparison in hand skills compared to that of traditional boxing stylists. Not to say that the aforementioned martial arts don’t incorporate other aspects (i.e. kicks, knees, elbows, wrestling etc.) but boxing should get more credit as a legitimate martial art in its own right, as opposed to that of JUST a sport and spectacle. In fact, traditional martial arts qualities (respect, tradition, mental and physical toughness, dedication etc.) are more readily found in boxing gyms across North America than most traditional martial arts gym.

  4. RossTraining.com Blog July 9th, 2012 7:40 am

    [...] long after posting yesterday’s entry, I received an email from an individual who questioned the significance of skill if one possessed [...]

  5. Eric July 9th, 2012 3:07 pm

    One of the greatest defensive masters of all time was probably Gene Tunney. Tunney is always ranked behind Jack Dempsey by most boxing historians and writers even though Gene whipped Dempsey soundly in both fights, some even say that the only round Dempsey won was the round in which he knocked Tunney down. Granted Dempsey wasn’t in his prime and had been inactive for quite some time, but still for Tunney to basically pitch two shutouts against the feared Dempsey was something. Some even say Tunney, who was little more than a blown up light heavyweight, was probably the greatest light heavyweight of all time, or at least on par with or slightly behind another “small” heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles. “Anyone can get in shape,” yes that is true, but how many are willing to train like a Tunney or say a Rocky Marciano? The kind of determination to push yourself to get into THAT KIND of condition is a rare SKILL indeed, and most just aren’t willing to push their bodies to the absolute limit.

  6. Eric July 9th, 2012 4:55 pm

    Greatest defensive fighter of alltime = Willie Pepp 229 wins 11 losses. Won a round on all three judges card and never threw a punch. Other defensive wizards are Wilfred Benitez, Pernell Whitaker, Tommy Loughran, Muhammad Ali, Jim Corbett, Gene Tunney, Jersey Joe Walcott, Jimmy Young etc.

  7. admin July 10th, 2012 4:34 am

    Any defensive discussion should also include Marlon Starling. He was a master. I was fortunate to spar and train with him back in the 1990′s for some time. Winky Wright actually patterned his style after Marlon’s. It wasn’t as flashy a style as those such as Pernell, but still quite effective.

  8. cody July 22nd, 2012 12:05 am

    Hiya, those videos were awesome. Actions speak louder than words. Many of the guys in both videos were showmen in and out if the ring but don’t listen so much to what a man says but watch what they do. Awesome.

    Btw does anyone know what the music tracks used are called?

  9. paulo September 13th, 2012 8:01 am

    Marlon Starling was a brilliant fighter. Ecstatic to know people havn’t forgotten him.

    Gene Tunney gets short changed because America has always had disdain for smart fighters with good manners.

    We like savage heavey weights like Liston, Tyson, and Dempsey. We also sometimes will root for the civil American hero such as Holyfield or Joe Louis.

    American tend to not care for the more intelectual and analytical fighters such as Lennox Lewis and Tunney, both of whom were publicly depicated as being chess players. Lennox was marekted before his fight with Bruno while enjoying tea time. Tunney was meticulously well mannered and focused (also he was a Marine). Vlad Klistko has a PHD and speaks a few languages fluently. He isn’t very marketable in the west.

    Perhaps boxing history will be rewritten as America has clearly lost it’s status as the boxing hegemon.

    I heard the middle weight champ is a Argentine with a bicycling/soccer background.

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