Boxing Mailbag 11-30-11

November 30, 2011 November 30, 2011 by Johnny N Boxing Basics, Boxing Mailbag 95 Comments

Your boxing questions answered! Questions about punching technique, training, over-training, incorporating different styles, and more.

1. How do I improve my hook? And what should I do to make myself stronger and tougher? – Lina

Hey Coach,

As I told you before about how hard to box as a girl, i always tray hard to get to the gym and join boxing class, and i play even harder to be a good boxer. Am tough on my self and thats how my life is in general,Although my face shows the oppisit. My jab is good and strong and i like that but i dont know how to improve my hook, and i sometimes skip it and do uppercut instide..My componant is from Germany and she is taller and stronger , she always punsh my face and head and i reach her chest and body . I get used to pain BUT what do you think i should do to make my self stronger and tougher? And i use Everlast gloves,are these suitabl for my hands? I wanna be a strong fighter and challenge those who say I can’t because I’m a girl.

Thank you


  • Hooks are probably the most difficult punch in boxing because of how far the elbow is from the body while it’s thrown. Regular practice on your form and technique during shadowboxing will teach you how to throw it with balance. Some people pick up the left hook naturally whereas others have to practice it for years.
  • You get stronger and tougher by training hard and not letting yourself get too beat up everyday in training. Strengthen your mind as well as your body. Challenge yourself but don’t go so far that you see how weak you are. Don’t break yourself everyday in training.
  • Everlast makes cheap gloves and good gloves. If yours cost less than $50 US, they are probably the cheap ones.

2. How can I do aerobic training without losing weight?

Hi Johnny,

I have been training for around 6 months now and recently started sparring. After a few weeks of it I have decided that I want to improve my fitness further as I think my sparring would benefit from more aerobic endurance. I have started running 3 times a week along with my normal boxing routine to improve this fitness aspect, however the weight now seems to be falling off me. I am already in a shape and weight I am happy with so this is starting to annoy me.

Would you have any tips for adding more aerobic training without it affecting my weight so much ?

Ps the website is great and has seriously helped with a lot of pointers on how to improve technique !

Keep up the good work.

Regards from across the pond in the UK !,

Graeme B

  • Graeme, the simple answer is that you can’t. Your body will adjust itself to fit your type of physical activity. Doing aerobic exercise will tell your body it needs to transform into a shape and muscle type that performs better aerobic activity. Maybe you can tone down the intensity. Otherwise, let your body adjust itself so that you will perform better in physical activity.

3. How do develop muscles to take rib shots better? – Gerry


While sparring, about once every 4 months I seem to take a shot to the ribs that will put me out of commission for a week or two. I have worked on my defense and feel as though I am doing a much better job of blocking these shots, but no matter what they are going to sneak through once in a while. I can take a shot to the gut but the rib shots do me in. I am pretty thin and my ribs are pretty exposed so I feel as though the best thing I can do is build up my chest muscles. Reading different articles seem to make all kind of recommendations for building up the chest, but they are not really aimed at a boxer s needs. What would your recommendations be to build up the chest muscles and become better at taking rib shots?



  • I’ve heard of muay thai fighters that develop their lateral and oblique muscles to build the muscles around the ribs. The muscles don’t cover the ribs but they pull the ribs in tighter. I’ve also been taught that strengthening the lateral muscles will squeeze the ribs tighter to the core so that shock is transferred faster to the core and down to the ground instead of only dispersing across the ribs. For stronger obliques, lats, and core muscles I would recommend more sit-ups, crunches, and pull-ups.

 4. Should I fighter at cruiserweight or heavyweight? – Kam

hi mate

just like to say firstly brill site, very usefull.

just got a little question, im 19 and im an amature boxer in the uk, the last fight i had was back in jan this year fighting at heavyweight, however, i had a lot of exams i had to retake and prepare for, and was extreamly stressful thus i lost waight along with not training.

iv just moved away from home to university, and i am training at the local boxing gym, the main trainers have left the country for a while due to a competiiton, although they have put me on a program (stregnth and conditioning) as expected im sparing cruiserwaights, who are much faster and quicker than i am used to fighting heavywaights.

what would you recomend, should i adapt my style of fighting so that it suits the crueserwaights im fighting, but also to highlite the previouse fights iv had at heavy iv enjoyed and found i was at my comfort zone to fight and prepar as i wasnt a really heavy heavywaight i stayed a couple of pounds over the limit of heavywaght devision, i had a heavywaight stength but was much more sharper and quiker and light on my feet.

so what would you recomend, should i adapt and fight a cruserwaight and gradually build up to heavy again which will take long or should i concentrate and gettin back to heavy .

once again thanks for time and the effort


  • From everything you just said, stay at cruiserweight. Get in superb shape and see where your weight falls. Why fight bigger/stronger opponents when you don’t have to? If you’re truly a cruiserweight, stay at cruiser and become the most amazing cruiser the world has ever known.

 5. How do I move with better flow and rhythm? – Fernando

Hey I enjoy reading and watching all the articles you and your team have written about. I have just a new at boxing and well I am on and off with it but I love how much of a great workout I get out of it. My deal is that I move too stiff, such as when I roll I don’t look like if I am in rhythm, hence too stiff. I am also terrible at dancing and following the rhythm. Is there any advice or techniques I can use to be able to move more freely or with a better flow?

Thank you,

Fernando C

  • Relax and box at a slower pace. Don’t jerk around so much and don’t try to be so powerful. Move slower, move more relaxed. Don’t pick up the intensity so much that you can’t relax anymore. It also helps to stretch and do a lot more shadowboxing. Minimum 30 minutes a day.

6. How many workouts should I have per week? I’m getting married and want to be in the best shape of my life. – Scott

Hi there and greetings from the UK.

Firstly congratulations on the great site and YouTube channel, I’m finding it my first reference point for my training.

I’m just getting started boxing training my first session was yesterday. I’m 29, 5′ 9″ and in pretty bad shape. My main motivation is I’m getting married at the end of March next year – so the clock is ticking to get in the best shape of my life – and stay that way.

I’ve had read through your articles and I’m already hooked.

After my first session yesterday, it’s pretty apparent I’ve a long way to go. I just wanted to know a few things:

– How many sessions should I be training p/week for the best improvement. And how long should each session last?

– Should I do a mixture of boxing specific training and general CV conditioning and what ratio?

– From where I’m at now (rock bottom), how soon should I notice results?

Sorry for all the questions, but you being the expert I can think of no-one better to ask.

Kind regards,

Scott G.

  • 3 workouts per week is all you need. Any more than that is overkill and doesn’t offer too much results. Stick to 3. Even 2 workouts per week is ok. Warm up is about 30 minutes, the intense part is about 45 minutes. You don’t need any more than that. Eat 5-6 small meals a day, I’m serious about this. It will take as long as it takes, I think you’ll see results in 30 days if you eat right and follow the instructions to the “t”.Enjoy being in the best shape of your life.  Congrats on the marriage, Scott!

7. What style is best for me? – Robby


I was reading your site for tips about form, how to begin, and basically almost every beginner article you have. I recently started training in MMA, (I decided to wait for the craze to die down, and for me to actually start as soon as I lost all the weight I wanted to so when I started lifting again I could rebuild muscle for function.) and I’m actually enjoying it a lot. Being someone who’s never really sat down and watched a fight, or expressed interest in fighting, I was told on my first day that I did exceptionally well for a beginner, and learned basically everything they taught me immediately. Since then I’ve asked two people to train me, and started going to a gym to learn. I’ve been trying to refine my punches, and kicks, and I’m hungry for more. As soon as I learned the techniques I was ready to spar. I do have a habit of correcting myself mid punch though. I think too much in the technical realm, and if its not perfect when I execute, I berate myself immediately. One night I just decided to say screw it and stopped thinking about form, and I did so much better. I guess the main reason for my email is to see if you had any time to help me understand myself. I’m not sure if I’m offensive or defensive, my left hand is dominant, but my right hand is slightly stronger. My left kick is stronger, but my right has better form, and I kick right whenever I play football. I prefer southpaw, just as when I skate I’m goofy footed, but I keep my left in the back and push with my right. Both sides are comf to me when fighting, and I can move back and forth between stances. My elbows are much more powerful and faster when striking, but I’m heavy footed, so my speed when kicking or bringing my knee up is kind of slow.

I don’t know, I’m trying to figure out what style is best for me to learn, I’m comf with anything I learn, and I’m very passionate about learning. If you need any info from me please let me know and I’ll be more than happy to answer.

Thank you for your time,


Robby Dishman

  • Judging from what you said, you only have a collection of natural skills right now. Some movements feel more natural than others. You have no style, you’re a developing fighter. Learn everything. Give yourself a chance to learn how to use your body. Develop the coordination and muscle control everywhere. Many great fighters are actually great at EVERYTHING, it’s just that they prefer to use a certain style. So do the same, learn how to do everything and your style will show itself even when you’re not conscious of it…just like your sparring performance.

8. If you were to improve your footwork on dancing which type of dancing classes would you take? – Eduardo

  • I would do ballet. Hands down, it’s probably the most brutal dance if you ask me. If you can handle that, boxing footwork will be easy for you.

9. I’m a woman. Should my trainer be a man or a woman? – Kristen


My name is Kristen  and I like your site and I am new to boxing. I was just wondering if my trainer should be a man or a woman? I am currently looking for gyms in Colorado. I am a little nervous about men thinking women shouldn’t box. I want to get into amateur fights and hopefully go pro. 

  • Your trainer should be anyone who truly loves boxing and will share his or her knowledge of the art without discriminating the student. I will say that having a woman trainer with previous fighting experience can be very helpful because she understands more about the human body.Male boxing trainers are more common, though. Choose a trainer you feel comfortable with.

10. I got a black eye in a professional gym. How can I tell a good gym from a bad one? – Miguel

Hey hobby

I love ur site. From the bay area in California.Been checking out the articles about finding a good gym n trainer. I came out a professional gym as u say n experienced more bad things than good. They had a lot of amateur fighters. Some hard sparring and some light but I was a beginner n walked out with a black eye more than once. I had to ask for help n most of the time they said they were too busy. Sounds like a bad gym but I still learned alittle. I wish there was controlled sparring so I could see the punches coming. Anyways I left I don’t think they cared for me personally. I’m looking for another gym n u suggested to look for a.gym that has more women n children if I don’t want to get hurt I found (boxing for health) is the name of the gym one but looking at the website it looks like u call it a fat camp. Did some research n the owner is a pro fighter. I called n he said they had amateur n pro fighters n he said if I’m interested in competing they will assign a trainer. It seems like a lighter boxing gym so this way I won’t get hurt but at the same time it looks like a fat camp. Any advice u can give me or signs to look for whether its a good gym. Thanks


  •  This is a tough call. I can’t really blame the gym because some gyms have multiple trainers and it all depends on who you get. A good trainer will really understand and know how hard you want to spar without putting you on the spot and making it uncomfortable. From what I’ve seen, almost no one will back down out of sparring. It’s something about most guy’s having too much ego to say “no”.
  • You have to decide what you want out of boxing. If you just want to have fun and not get hurt, then going to a commercial “fat camp” boxing gym will be more fun for you.

11. How can I enjoy sparring more? – Chris

Expert boxing i need some advice

I have sparred twice once with my friend who i joined boxing with 3 weeks ago and that was ok and then yesterday to bigger fellas that are around 63.5 and im only 53.5 there a bit taller than me aswell i got a bad hiding in sparring and didnt enjoy it one bit i love boxing i like hitting the bags skipping i didnt mind sparring the first time against a more fairer person but my experience yesterday really turned me of sparring any advice how to make me feel better on it? thanks.

  •  Stop sparring with guys that want to hurt you. It’s like playing basketball with Michael Jordan and all he does is dunk on you instead of moving around and giving you a chance to shoot the ball. Spar with guys who are willing to give and take and match your level of intensity. Box more instead of brawling. That’ll make sparring more fun because you’re both working with each other and learning something instead of trying to knock each other out.

12. How do I throw a corkscrew blow? And should I use it? – Samuel

 Hi Johnny I was wondering on how you do a corkscrew blow and if i should use it?

I’m 6’0 with very long arm reach

  • A corkscrew blow? I’m guess you’re talking about punches where your rotate your arm so your palm faces the ground when the punch lands. It’s standard practice for all traditional straight boxing punches. It’s sound technique so yes, please use it. It decreases the chance of wrist injury and also rotates your shoulders up to protect your chin.

13. How do I clean and take of boxing gloves? – Jonathan


I’m a big fan of your website, as I started boxing (and Muay Thai) almost a year ago. Your articles and product reviews have helped me immensely, so thank you. I haven’t seen any articles on your website on how to clean/take care of boxing gloves, and when I run a Google search I have been getting a lot of conflicting information (put them in a plastic bag in the freezer, spray lysol inside of them, put cedar chips in a sock in them, etc.). I was in Thailand over the summer and bought a pair of 16oz. Twins gloves, so I’m looking for the best way to take care of them. So in addition to cleaning inside the gloves, do you have any recommendaitons on how to keep the leather soft as well? Thank you in advance for your help.


Jonathan N

  • Gloves that are being used everyday will stay soft from the sweat and constant moisture, so don’t worry about that. I do know of leather care products that can help. The same ones you use for car seats or furniture. As for the smell, some people wash the gloves or purchase the little smell thingys that you put in the gloves so they smell nice. Here are some links for boxing glove products…
  • You can also buy the products that people put in shoes to keep them from smelling.
  • Most gyms I see, wash the gloves maybe once a month IF THAT. The gloves are being used everyday so they just leave them hanging around the gym.

14. How do I condition my upper shoulder muscles?

I’ve got a fight on 2nd oct ! What’s best way to get my top of shoulder boxing fit ? As I think I’m going to struggle !!! It’s only 3 rounds of 2 mins Any help would be gr8

  • Keep working the speed bag! Constant speed bag work will burn and condition those upper shoulder muscles. It also helps to aim higher when you hit the heavy bag. Try aiming at head level instead of chest level.

15. What is your opinion of training or sparring with a cold? – Billy

  • If you feel up for it, go ahead. It’s a bit hardcore when you should be giving your body a break so it can come back stronger. Squeezing a workout in when your body is weak is not going to do anything but feed your ego.
  • My opinion is to be considerate and don’t get other fighters sick before their fights that weekend. Stay home and don’t spread the illness.

16. How do I develop more power and speed in my left hand? – Mike

How do you work on your less dominate hand. I was wondering how to develop more power and speed in my left had. ( I’m naturally right handed) But in an interview, I saw Freddie Roach talking about developing Manny Pacquaio’s right hand. What exercises and techniques did he do to make his other hand more effective.

  • I don’t know of any special exercises or techniques to develop the weak hand. I imagine coordination drills and constant practice will do it. If anything, it helps to be more aware of the hand. Be aware of everything it’s doing instead of focusing only on your dominant hand.

17. Will doing 1-arm push-ups, handstand push-ups, and pull-ups help me punch faster? – Malik

  • I would prefer clapping push-ups because it’s more explosive whereas the exercises you mentioned seem to be a bit too slow. Unless, you’re so strong that you’re doing explosive handstand push-ups…I think there are far better exercises for building hand speed.

18. How can I box like Winky Wright? I keep backing up during sparring. What should I do to stop that habit? – Javier

How can I box like Winky Wright? and I keep backing up during sparring what should I do to stop or replace that habit? and for my last question what boxing techniques should I use for a street fight and what shouldnt I use? thanks for taking the time to answer.

  • If you’re falling off balance, just make sure you drop your weight when you block so you don’t get pushed back. If you’re intentionally running away, then STOP THAT! Many boxing techniques can be used for a street fight. Be careful, though.

19. How do you become a boxing expert and how to become a boxing promoter thank you for your time. – Porter

  • Tough question, I don’t have any straight answers for this. I would start by trying to get a job with the promotion companies.

20. Is it ok to use other martial arts style of punching in a boxing match? – Leo

Is it ok to use other martial arts style of punching in a boxing match? for example using a karate style straight punch in a ring and a wing chun style of punches?

  • You can use whatever techniques are legal by boxing rules. As long as you’re hitting with the knuckles and not the palm or the back of the hand or the bottom of the hand, I think it’s ok. Realistically though, boxing does have punches you see in karate style and wing chun just that they aren’t used commonly because they’re not as effective. You’ll find out for yourself soon enough which ones are useful and which ones are not.

 21. Is it true that if a boxer lifts weights, it makes him slow? – Srinivas

I heard that if a boxer lifts weights that makes him slow. Is it true???? I know Ali didn’t use weights but tyson used weights and he is fast. I got confusion please clarify my confusion.

  • It’s not the weights that makes you slow, it’s how you lift it. If you’re using the weights to mimic a speed exercise, then you will be fast. If you use weights to mimic a slow, muscle-heavy exercise, then you will build muscle (perhaps at the cost of losing speed).

 22. How difficult is it to train myself to switch stances?

I have a question about fighting stance. wats up man…i just found out about ur site and been reading for the past cuple hours lol great site with alot of good info….i had a question for u tho….i recently started training and since i was young i always fought with my strong hand in the front…so my feet are used to it and body movement is to……what i am basicaly asking is how difficult is it to train my self out of 22 years of fighting with my strong hand in the front lol…..thanks for any info and pointers as well

  • If you’ve spent your life doing something a different way, then yes it can be very difficult to switch your stances. You might even fight less effectively and hate it. If it’s worth the effort, then you’ll do it. If you really want to fight better, you have no choice. Thousands of fighters were trained the wrong way and then ultimately had to change the way they did things because they wanted to improve themselves. It’s not easy to keep improving…which is why a lot of people suck. Constant improvement will require constant change.

23. What are your credentials? – Jesse

Johnny, first off I would just like to compliment you on your site…you must be very passionate about boxing w/ all the info. on it….and I have just come upon the site but am already finding a lot of useful tips…my question is a basic one…what are your credentials? I didn’t see any bio about you on the site in relation to your boxing creds…just curious…no disrespect intended…thanks…


  • My credentials are that I’m really passionate about boxing, did it for a really long time, and did it with other people who did it for a REALLY long time. Some of the coaches and fighters I trained with won national and international titles.

24. Can you explain the mechanics behind whipping punches? – Aaron

In one of your other articles you mention tall fighters (Tommy Hearns) punching in a WHIPPING motion could you explain the mechanics behind those punches if you can?, Im 5’11 fight at Welter and have a 76″ reach, some times i throw rights with a slight loop that feel as if my waist is ‘flinging my shoulder into the punch is this the same principle?

  • I was going to save this for a full blown article but I’ll explain it in just one sentence since you asked…… Relax the chest before you throw the punch. That’s your whip right there.

25. What weight gloves are for super, heavy, light heavy, and middleweights? – WI

Hi Johnny Im Wi from New Zealand,really like your site very helpful,question about sparring,what is the best weight gloves for super and heavy weight and light heavy and middle weight and weight unders,24 oz? 20 ,18 or 16 and 16 oz for lighter weights?

  • Anywhere from 18 to 24 oz is a good idea. I’m assuming you’re talking about sparring.

26. How can I fully extend my straight punches? – Bobby

I’m having difficultly with stiffness and fully extending my straight punches what can better these mistakes.

  • I didn’t really understand your question. Are you saying that it hurts to extend? Or that you have a bad habit of not extending?
  • If it hurts to extend, make sure you warm up your joints, especially your elbows before you begin punching hard. It helps to shadowbox slowly.
  • If you have a bad habit of not extending…well, you can start extending your punches more. Do it slowly and make sure you feel your arm fully straighten out before you pull it back. DO IT SLOW.

27. How do I keep my shoulders from getting stiff? – Jack

My shoulders get very stiff and sore from over use, my left especially (jab). I incorporate foam rolling and stretching with therabands into my training, but just wondering if there are any specifics that might help keep them healthy?

  • Stretching and all that will help. I get massages and do stretching myself. Ultimately it comes down to how you use the shoulder. Ultimately, you have to keep it as relaxed as possible. The pros use good relaxed punching technique that allow them to workout all 5 days of the week.
  • Try to use less power, especially on the jab. Also when you’re not jabbing, be more aware of your shoulder and see what you can do to keep it relaxed.

28. How do you condition your core to be able to withstand punches? – Ainsley

Ali had abs like steel! You could hit him there all day and not even faze him. I’m not looking to get hit, but if I do I want to be able to withstand it, rather than double over with the wind knocked out of me.

  • Tons of ab work. Sit-ups, crunches. It helps to exhale and contract your core muscles when you’re taking punches. Protect that solar plexus, never let yourself get hit there.

29. What weight class should I fight at? – Alex

I’ve been boxing overseas for about 6 months now, I want to fight but I don’t know what weight class would I could fight competitively in, I’m 5’4 and walk around usually at 155, I’m a power puncher so that gives me an edge but I still want to fight intelligently.

  • 5’4″ should not be fighting any higher than 147. At your weight, I think you can make 136lbs if you really wanted (assuming you’re not already super lean). Many guys do it.

30. Am I working out too hard? – Sven

Hi Johnny, I’m in the gym 3 times a week for 2 hours (Mon/Wed/Sat) and road running 7km Tue/Thu.

Is that enough / too much for a 37 year old, back after a loooong time without boxing?

My calves are suffering but other than I feel ok. Should I increase or decrease either the road running or the gym time? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all the good advice you post – please keep up the good work!

  • If you have to ask, the answer is yes. That might be a bit much. Start slow and give it a month before you ramp up the intensity. Sounds to me like you’re super athletic and will be ok regardless.

31.  Can you give me some tips on breathing during a fight? – Joe

I breathe out when punching just fine, but I’ve noticed that I’m getting tired in fights because I’m not deep inhaling, I’m guppy breathing in the first round. I know this and I still can’t seem to master it. thanks!

  • Here’s a good drill: walk around the ring while having a partner punch at your elbows. You keep blocking but focusing on breathing as best you can. Of course, you might tense up when blocking but catch your breath when you get the chance. It’s really a relaxation drill so you can maintain YOUR PACE during the fight.

32. Do you have any tips for getting in shape, gaining mass, strength training, workouts, etc? – Gordon

Hello. My name is Gordon. I am a 19 and begin MMA/ Boxing training tomorrow at my local gym. Since this is all relatively new to me, i was wondering If you have any tips or information that could be of help to me regarding getting in shape, gaining mass, strength training, workouts, diet..etc..

The only prior experience i have is working out with friends and using a punching bag at my house.

 I weigh around 165, am 6’0″ tall.

 This has been my dream for awhile and Its finally happening. Any help that you could give me would be great Thanks!=

  • You’re asking for thousands of years of knowledge…I suggest reading

33. Why is it that you never go back in a straight line? – Kareem

Hi Johnny:

I’ve been commenting in your forums about styles (nerds vs. brawlers) and defense (shoulder rolling). I have a question for you that I’ve never heard a good answer for.

I hear trainers say, “you should never go back in a straight line”. But exactly why shouldn’t you? I don’t do it but I see several pros do it and I’m not sure why. Is it that if you go back in an angle you’ll present a harder target to reach for the counter of your opponent??

Btw, if you want to see me in action go to youtube and type “marzblkman”. My videos (and one of my students) should be there.

Love to get your thoughts on this though. Thanks and keep up the awesome work.

  • You never go back in a straight line because it’s assuming you’re using distance as your defense. It’s a faulty way to fight because you never know if your opponent will jump in and catch you. Relying on distance is like relying on speed, relying on space. A fast guy might catch you, an aggressive guy might catch you. The only way to be really sure is to pull all the way back…which means you have to spend a lot of energy and take yourself out of distance…AND, you never know for sure that you’re really in the clear.
  • Instead you should use an angle, so that you can avoid all punches with just a few inches of movement. You’ll save energy, be far more elusive, and still be in position to counter. Think of it this way, you can waste a ton of energy bouncing back and forth to avoid everything. Or you can just slip side to side by a few inches. At the elite levels of boxing, you might not be able to back up faster than a punch travels…in which case, using an angle is the only way to really escape.
  • Your videos are awesome, btw. Fun to watch.

34. Why do some coaches teach the vertical fist jab instead of the horizontal fist for jabs? – Ian

I have recently begun training at a gym in Seoul, South Korea. The coaches here have been instructing me to use a vertical fist jab instead of the orthodox, parallel fist jab. Due to language barriers, I haven’t been able to figure out why, but I am curious as to whether this method of instruction is standard for newbies, unique to Korea, or if anyone has encountered this sort of thing before. Thanks for any and all help and input.

  • I don’t know too much about martial arts, but I’m guessing the vertical fist style of punching comes from martial arts. My guess is that they punch that way because it’s much easier to throw fast combination punches with vertical fists than with horizontal fists. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well for boxing because using vertical fists doesn’t rotate the shoulders up to protect the chin and doesn’t carry as much power as horizontal fists.
  • Vertical fist punching to me is very weak, especially the way many martial artists throw it. They seem to drive the elbow forward, leaving it down for as much as possible whereas the boxing style of punching lifts the elbow high right away. Also, it’s easier to injure your wrists with vertical punches because your shoulders rotate the punch in from the side which makes it highly likely for your wrist to bend sideways upon impact.

35. Do cross dominant/lateral fighters (those who are right handed but left eye dominant, and vice versa) have any advantages? – Wil

I read one of your articles to keep your more powerful hand in the back so that your dominant eye is also in the back. However, since I’m cross dominant, I feel that i will have a disadvantage. Is this true? Do you know of any well accomplished boxers who are cross dominant/lateral.

  • I don’t really know the answer to this and I don’t think it matters too much. I’m cross-dominant (in your words) myself. I am left-eye dominant but right-handed, and I fight orthodox. I don’t feel it hinders me at all.

36. What are the benefits to body shots? What is the best (most effective) body punch to land? – DKL

  • The number one benefit to body shots is that they can end the fight. It doesn’t how tough or how strong your opponent is, if you can target his body…you can potentially end the fight. This can be a great tactic especially for a guy with a good chin. The second benefit is that the body is a muscle, so it gets bruised and the pain lingers internally. It affects his legs and overall body movement. He will throw weaker punches because it hurts for him to use his core.
  • The most effective body punches are to the solar plexus, the liver, or the kidneys. Getting hit right will hurt like hell. Everyone I know would rather take a head punch than be hit there.

37. Can you recommend some good training videos to watch? – Eddie

I am training my 9 yr old son he is showing Interst in boxing I am looking for training videos for beginers and dos and donts on training. Can you help.

  • Kenny Weldon, Freddie Roach, Roger Mayweather, Russ Anbar. All these guys have some great boxing instructional videos on youtube. Look them up and copy what they do. They have different ways of doing different things.

38. How do you move your feet when throwing punches moving forwards? – Wil

For instance, how do you throw a 1-2b-1-2 moving forwards and other long punch combinations? I’m confused as to how to position my feet when moving.

  • Great question. So many guys do this all wrong. For beginners, you move only when you throw the jab. If you’re more skilled, you can move with the right hand. Try not to move your feet with every punch. The problem most fighters have is not the moving part, it’s the stopping. They know how to move but then they don’t know how to stop their body and ground themselves to hit with good follow-up punches. They leave their bodies un-grounded and their opponents counter back with harder shots.

39. How can I get started in some amateur fights? There are no boxing gyms in my town. – Shane N

I’m from a ok size town but it has no boxing gyms, i have been trainning for about 6 months now and just wanna know how i can start to get in some amature fights, im very well in shape just got out of basic training.

  • See if there are some MMA gyms that do boxing fights. Otherwise, it looks like you might have to move. I’ve gone to basic training before for the military and I must say it’s not tough enough to prepare you for amateur boxing. The guys fighting in the amateurs are monsters.

40. Can you write some articles of the basics of good footwork – what I should and should not be doing with my feet? – Matt

  • On the way, Matt. There are so many basics that need to be put out.

41. Does anyone actually throw different jabs? – Lou

You have an article with different types of jabs and I’ve also seen other articles n interviews with people showing and talking about different jabs. But to be honest does anyone actually throw different jabs? I mean maybe 1-2 fighters but is it uncommon or useless….. because it seems to me that people just throw there arm out there like a power jab…. is it always good for me to train other types? Thanks!

  • The jab is the #1 weapon in boxing, thrown more than all other punches COMBINED. Yes, there many different ways to throw it and every fighter amateur or pro will throw it in different ways. Since you can’t tell the difference from watching videos, I recommend the best way for you to find out is to box with someone experienced and you will see how many ways they throw it.

42. What’s your opinions on alcohol, it’s effects. I mean like prefight. what and/or why do we have to avoid alcohol? – Genius

43. Why dont you write a artical about ring generalship or bout progression in how to control a adversery with skill and experience? – Curtis

  • It’s on the way. So many articles to write!

44. How do you deal with injuries and training? – Laura W

Hey Johnny,

I was wondering how you deal with injuries and training. Recently (five months ago) I was involved in a serious motorcycle crash where I was hit head on by a mobility van (out of all things!). I broke the bones in my lower leg clean in half, to make matters worse I also caught a flesh eating disease in which large amounts of tissue were removed (I was lucky not to loose my leg).

Being recently turned 21, I was looking forward to doing my first amateur fight. My age hasn’t put me off, but my injuries have been getting in the way. My doctor says that I won’t be able to spar for a few more months until the swelling and everything else has settled.

What would you do in this situation?


Laura W.

  • Those are serious injuries so I would listen to your doctor and wait it out. Give your body all the time it needs to heal before you put it through the stress of boxing training. It sucks but it’s not safe to fight before your body heals.

45. Is there any other way to beat a taller fighter other than just being a puncher using bob and weave (i.e. joe Frazier, Mike Tyson style)? – Jack

  • Oh yeah, Jack. It’s possible to beat taller fighters even without slipping at all. Sometimes I like to walk down tall guys with a high guard and let them punch themselves out. Instead of slipping, I’ll jerk my head back so their arms swing at air and get tired faster.
  • Other times, I throw lots of body jabs to push the taller fighter off balance, then I rush him for the kill. Sometimes, I’ll stand right in front of him and trade right hands with him. I’ll block all his jabs but the moment I see his right hand, I trade mine with his. (I do this intelligently, of course. Slipping my head slightly outside his as mine lands.)

46. Will gaining knowledge of other martial arts convert your style into a more unique boxing style? – J

Do you feel that gaining knowledge of different types of martial arts will convert your style into a more unique style? obviously wing chung hand-trapping seems like a bad idea in boxing, but rather to use the knowledge of different martial arts to take more unique angles and throwing punches in a more unique way to make your style even more different than others?

  • Excellent question, J. Ultimately, you have to expose yourself to as many styles as possible to learn more. The key is not to let the styles limit you. It should open your mind and make you think of new ways to approach fighting, but when the style doesn’t fit the situation you have to be willing to let it go.
  • Regarding martial arts and different striking styles, I suggest you learn all the different styles of boxing before you go into entirely different fighting arts. Other arts have alternative mindsets and combative objectives that are vastly different if not entirely conflicting with boxing. The point of being a great fighter is not to be unique, it’s to fight the way your body was made to fight. If you’re boxing, you should box the way your body wants to box. Taking techniques and principles from another art might not be such a good idea…I’ve seen other guys try it and with disastrous results (using wing chun in boxing ring).
  • Either way, a true student always seeks more knowledge. You’re well on the right path.

47. What are the steps to being a pro aka a paid boxer ?

  • Find a gym where professional boxers train at. Come in there and talk to the owner, tell him you want to go pro. He’ll introduce you to some trainers and managers and they’ll check you out. If you’re willing to train hard and put up a good fight, they’ll pay for your boxing license and medicals and off you go!

48. How do you avoid getting sore after a workout? – Boxer

Hey, can you tell me how to not get a sore body after a boxing workout please.

  • Stay relaxed when you workout. If you feel your body tense throughout the entire workout, that converts into soreness. When you’re not punching, your body should be relaxed. Many beginners are still 50% tense when they’re not punching. Try to decrease that to 0%. When you punch, don’t contract your body for longer than a split second. Any longer than that and you’re probably just pushing your punches or adding unnecessary tension that will contribute to your soreness later.
  • Try to punch using the least energy possible. Think of a quick explosion, not a long explosion.

49. Do you know of any exercises that will replace running? – BD

I do a little running as a part of my boxing workout. I’ve seen different opinions about distance running and amateur boxing. I have shin splints and flat feet but I normally run a mile before I go to the gym for a 2 hour workout.

I’m 33 years old and female and my teammates are males in their 20’s. I want to be competitive for them and for myself. My coach said that I will be sparring soon.

And he doesn’t want me running before I get to the gym because of the fatigue factor. I want to make sure I am properly conditioned in case I actually do get a chance to compete in the ring other than sparring in a controlled environment. My questions are: 1. What is your opinion of distance running for an amateur boxer? (I believe we do 3 rounds that last 1.5-2 minutes) 2. In addition to jumping rope and the heavy bag, are there any exercises that will replace distance running? I dont want to gas out in a match or during sparring.

  • Hi BD, typical running distance for boxers is 3-5 miles a day, 3-5 days per week. There are few exercises that replace running…because it all depends on how you do it. Some people try to replace running with swimming or the jump-rope. Ultimately, there is something about running and moving your body with your legs that makes it a great workout. You have to understand that humans were made to run. It’s one of our most natural actions. Our anatomy makes running one of the most efficient ways to move (and exercise) our bodies.

 50. How do I land combos without taking a random wild punch? – Mac

I have a question about my boxing. Last night, I sparred for the first time in 2 weeks, and I went with someone with a lot less experience than me. The wierd thing is though, it felt like my defense actually got better than before, even though I haven’t sparred in two weeks. Im glad about that, but my offense just felt horrible. Everytime I went in to attack, he would throw some wild punch and land it while taking my shot, so I just ended up defending pretty much the whole fight. Even though I landed more shots than him, and he barely hit me, it was just difficult to land many combos on him so I had to pot-shot him. I just wanted to know how I can throw my combos without taking his random and wild punch. 

  • Mac, learn his movements. If you’re sparring someone less skilled, just know that he’s going to be jumpy and panicky when he fights you. See if you can get him to tire out. Don’t try to chase him with combinations if you know you can’t hit him. See if you can throw a faster chain of weaker punches as opposed to loading up on big punches that have too much time in between. Put some feints here and there to make him throw his wild punch first, then counter him.
  • You did say that you were forced to fight with potshots. Well, maybe you can try more of that if you feel that counters him best.

51. What’s the difference between MMA and boxing gloves?

Hey Johnny,

I started doing MMA (boxing, kickboxing, jujitsu) almost a year ago and since I found your site I go to it atleast once a week. Great site, great info. Has helped me so much with my footwork, stance, and drills. Sometimes we use boxing gloves for sparring and I’m ready to buy my own. Your review of the gloves above was very informative. I’m curious about what you think of some of the MMA companies that have their own boxing gloves (Fairtex, Hayabusa, etc)? I don’t mind spending a little more on a pair of gloves since I know they will last me a long time. Specifically I was trying to decide between the Rival’s and the Haybusa Elite. They both look really nice and from the reviews I ready have good quality as well. Any feedback you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance. Keep up the good work on the site.

  • If you’re using the gloves for boxing, stick to the boxing brands. In my opinion, the MMA gloves don’t compare. They might look the same and feel the same but they don’t hold up for as long. I’ve used and also been hit by Hayabusa gloves and they’re good quality but they don’t compare to Rival and Ringside. I don’t know what it is but MMA gloves are usually way too hard and terrible for sparring. I imagine this is because they are filled with inferior padding and so they have to make it hard so it lasts longer. Boxing gloves have great padding that stays strong throughout years of abuse.

52. How does Miguel Cotto throw left hooks without being countered by a right hand? – Sicnarf

hey johnny as i watched miguel cotto box.still dont have any idea how he moves and throw multiple left hooks without being counter with a right hand..all i know is stop the lefthook as you throw it and slip right..any advance tips johnny?

  • It’s very funny that you asked this. I asked one of my trainers this very same question a couple years ago. The answer was to see where he plants his feet and where he places his head. Imagine the perfect line of where you should place your head if you wanted your opponent to punch you with his right hand. Now place your head on the side FURTHER from his right hand. This baits the right hand to come far at you…making it easier to slip and come in on him. Of course, it helps to have superior timing and practice and good slipping technique but essentially, that’s the trick. I have a guide on this coming out.


Now it’s YOUR turn to ask me something….


boxing ebook Advanced Boxing Techniques 30 Day Fighter's Diet Advanced Boxing Footwork Drills
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IRON BOY November 30, 2011 at 8:45 am




Johnny N November 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Hey Iron Boy, does the corkscrew shot end with the palm facing inwards? or outwards?


sid November 30, 2011 at 3:06 pm

johnny it ends with the palm facing upwards


Johnny N November 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Palm facing upwards…yes, very common shot. You stick your head to the outside, bait your opponent’s jab, then slip inside and throw that shot. Follow with straight right down the inside, left uppercut, and another right hand.


IRON DARK November 30, 2011 at 3:03 pm



Johnny N November 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm

DEFINITELY! I’m writing a guide on that right now. Hahahaha…funny, you asked.


IRON DARK November 30, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Even better, throw combinations of punches, or throw jabs?


Johnny N November 30, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Throw jabs and then if they’re really connecting, then you move up to combinations.


Gordon November 30, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Holy cow! There’s another Gordon! Anyhoo, that question about fighting taller opponents without bobbing and weaving actually reminds me of Manny Pacquiao when he fights taller opponents. Most shorter fighters try to close the distance and turn it into an infight with tons of tight hooks and uppercuts. Pacquiao seems content to get in the danger zone and fight at his maximum range with straight punches and slap hooks (to open the guy up for more straight punches) before escaping with lateral movement or overwhelming the guy with more punches.


Johnny N November 30, 2011 at 3:43 pm

That’s another way, too!


Jacob December 21, 2011 at 4:10 am

Hey Johnny, I have a question. I have realised that my arms are alot shorter that people of my height. It’s not short vs tall. it would be more of short with longer reach vs tall with shorter reach. What styles of fighting do you recommend?


Johnny N December 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm

That’s tough to answer because skills can still make the ultimate difference. An example of a tall fighter with relatively short arms is Lucian Bute. He’s got a short arm reach but does very well, I would watch him. Or watch how short fighters box.


Gordon November 30, 2011 at 3:50 pm

For the other Gordon, has a chart that shows which rep scheme are conducive for size (under sarcoplasmic hypertrophy), strength, or power (fast strength).


Jkdwarrior3 aka "fightrguy" November 30, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Number 12. I believe he means the corkscrew blow from a manga called Hajime no Ippo. Its a Boxing manga. The punch is described in the manga as a cross punch where the hand spins all the way around and lands with the thumb facing down and palm facing outwards. The Dempsey Roll, Gazelle punch and Patterson’s Smash punch are also described in this series. The author was a corner-man in Japan for some Japanese boxers. and here is the corkscrew blow described


Johnny N November 30, 2011 at 5:14 pm

OHHHH, ok. If THAT is the case, there are guys I know who call that the “cut”. That punch is used to split through an opponent’s guard. Especially when he’s using a high guard.


Gordon November 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Hajime no Ippo is awesome. I think the gazelle punch was Patterson’s punch. The smash was Razor Ruddock’s.


Laura November 30, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I’m impressed Johnny by the time you take out of your schedule to reply to our questions, its very much appreciated! Half of them aren’t exactly easy questions either.


Johnny N November 30, 2011 at 11:23 pm

You’re welcome Laura! I love boxing so I forget it’s hard work. 🙂


Travis December 1, 2011 at 10:23 am

Just a quick word of support for your great blog and fantastic advice. I’m working towards my first amateur fight (at 41 years old) next year and am absorbing as much as I can. What you preach about pushing… PRICELESS!! Thank you.


eli December 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Wanted to get ur take on these two fighters who do u think will win out of the 2 saul canelo alvarez or julio chavez jr. And what techniques do u suggest to become a better off beat boxer any examples would help me thank u johnny.


Johnny N December 3, 2011 at 4:29 am

Canelo is definitely more skilled in my opinion but Chavez Jr is a pretty cagey fighter himself. The best way to become a better off-beat is to learn how to punch when your opponent is in the middle of breathing. Sometimes, you don’t know when he’s breathing…so you punch off rhythm to your own breathing.

Suppose you breathe like: IN…..OUT……IN……OUT

Try to punch like: IN…..punch……IN…….PUNCH…..punch-PUNCH!

Try to punch when you’re opponent is breathing in. Or punch a split second after you punch. Not right after, but have a split second pause and then punch. You’ll catch him off rhythm. Like: punch…….punch……..punch—PUNCH!


sicnarf December 2, 2011 at 1:00 am

hey johnny in your opinion who do you think will win Pacquiao or Mayweather? Also heard that Bob Arum wont make the fight happen because he knows and Freddy Roach knows Pacquiao wont win..What do you think? Is that just rumors you think to make it exciting and hype the fans…


Johnny N December 3, 2011 at 4:31 am

I think Pacquiao will always be the better fighter and Mayweather the better boxer. As for a fight between the two, I give the edge to Mayweather mainly because of his size. Yes, Mayweather’s a great boxer too but it’s kind of sad that Pacquiao isn’t the same size. Mayweather uses a lot of oozing inside game which heavily favors the bigger guys. Pacquiao has the better style advantage but oh well, we’ll find out soon enough I hope. It’s a fun fight to watch regardless of who wins.


andrew December 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm

somewhat true eli…..arum is the one most responsible for fight not happening


eli December 2, 2011 at 1:00 pm

@ sicnarf the fight. Between. Pacman and mayweather won’t happen because arum won’t do 50/50 he wants 60/40 and don’t count pacman out just yet if he decides to get a better agility/speed coach he still has a chance so long as he adapts to a margarito/alvarez sorta style not to mention his distracting entorage who begs him for money to go to the bar. Not excuses actual truth qoute me on it. Just so u know i give mayweather the fight based on space, jabs and mobility.


J December 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Johnny, if a fighter loses do you feel its based off the trainer or the fighter or both?


Johnny N December 3, 2011 at 4:35 am

A grown adult will blame himself, forgive himself, and then improve on it. When I lose a fight, I can blame it on endless factors: my trainer sucks, my sparring partners sucked, my shoes sucked, my handwraps sucked. There are so many variables that can happen….but I only need to worry about the most important variable which is myself. As long as I do the best I can, I trust that all the other stuff doesn’t matter.

While it’s true that a trainer holds a high influence on your fight outcome, you have to take responsibility no matter what. After you lose, look at yourself.. do the best you can. If you need a better trainer, then go get another trainer. Improve wherever you can but don’t blame anybody but yourself. You have to respect your trainer for at least getting you into position to lose that fight.


D-Man December 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm

As a guy who just sparred with a dude wearing Hayabusa’s, I have to agree with Johnny that those gloves are way too harsh for sparring. They are hard as hell and totally unfair to use against my Ringside IMFs, which are like frickin’ pillows. Be cool to your sparring partners, buy a real pair of boxing gloves. I hate sparring with that guy b/c I’m afraid to try anything new when he’s got those rocks on his fists.


Johnny N December 3, 2011 at 4:37 am

I’m in the same situation, D-Man! One of my southpaw sparring partners wears Hayabusa’s and makes me run every time. My other partner wears the Ringside IMF and they’re much softer!


Adam December 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Hi, nice article. This is an unrelated question, but I’m pretty new to boxing (been doing it for around 2 months now) and I am sparring for the first time tomorrow. The people at my gym are friendly and have all said they will take it easy and help me out, the only potential problem I have is that the headgear I bought is open face ( Since I’m going to be with guys that are taking it easy on me will this be okay for now? I lost the delivery docket so I’m gonna have to keep it either way now, but I can get a different one down the line if needs be.


Johnny N December 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Wow, that’s competition headgear Adam. Aside from the open face, it has much less padding than normal training headgear. I guess you’ll be ok depending on how easy your sparring partners go.


Adam December 4, 2011 at 7:32 am

Yeah, guess I made a bit of a blunder! I thought competition headgear had a bit less padding towards the chin? This one goes all the way down with a small gap where the hook and loop is on the chin. Maybe I’m just thinking of the ABA ones. Either way, I’ll look to get a more padded one in the new year when I start sparring harder. Thanks for the advice and all the great articles – any news on the double ended bag post?


Johnny N December 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Competition headgear usually has less padding everywhere. The double-end bag post is ready but it’s not in the queue yet. There are other ones to take priority.


J December 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm

The reason i asked if it depends on the fighter or trainer. james kirkland is 30-1 and his only loss he got knocked out in the first round. i told a friend (spectator) about how he got knocked out in the first round and he blamed it on the fighter. any great athlete accepts their actions and decisions. i just would like your opinion


J December 4, 2011 at 6:08 pm

excuse me he did not blame it on the fighter but rather Kirkland’s trainer


Johnny N December 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I believe the trainer does carry a high influence. So yes, you could point out that it was the difference in the fight.


Gil December 6, 2011 at 7:07 am

Johnny..Thanks for replying a few days back. I have to ask..why are crunches and sit ups given a bad rap? Many say they are bad for the back, etc. I haven’t done either in my routine for years. Instead, I have been using my ab wheel and planks, but would like to include them again. What is the proper and most efficient way to perform crunches and situps for the maximum benefit? Thanks!


Johnny N December 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Gil, crunches and sit-ups are given a bad rap because many people do them improperly. They’re bad for the back if you keep yanking on your back. The right way to do them is to crunch using your entire core, which means contracting your abs as well as your back. You also don’t need to jerk your body, contract slowly, squeeze and release. When you do sit-ups, try to keep your back straight when you come up. Don’t yank on your back to get your head up.


ahmad December 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Hi , i couldnt find the way to send u my question cause this site is changed a bit. so i decided to put my question here. what is shdowboxing and how to do it?


Johnny N December 7, 2011 at 1:58 am

The contact link is in the bottom of the website. Shadowboxing means to throw punches at the air. You work on your form and technique by throwing punches and combinations at the air. It’s also a good way to develop by moving around in between your combinations.


Omar December 8, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Hi, I want to take your opinion about my weight division, I am 15 years old and weights 93 Kg , I also has so much power and speed in my punch ,but the problem is that my height is only 173 cm. which is very short for the heavyweight division. I am intending to go Pro few years later and I dont think I will even make it to 180 cm. So what do you recommend for me,

Thank You,


Johnny N December 9, 2011 at 4:30 am

Omar, if you’re too short for the heavyweight division then just lose weight when you go pro. Do keep in mind that you only have to “make weight” and then you can be closer to your natural weight afterwards. There’s no other way unless you want to be a very short fighter, which isn’t impossible by the way.


Chris December 9, 2011 at 6:34 am

Dear Johnny,
I would like to thank you for your articles, as they really helped me in winning the bronze medal in the recent Romanian martial arts tournament held in Constanta. After only three months of EXTREMELY acute practice, I’ve managed to shock everyone, including myself, by winning against much more experienced fighters!

Keep doing what you’re doing right now, it helps keep all of us motivated and excited!


Johnny N December 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Chris, I’m really excited to be a part of your victory. Congratulations, man! Hopefully you can share a video so I can brag about you on our facebook! A few days ago, another reader won his fight, too.


Anna December 9, 2011 at 8:29 am

Hey Johnny,
just came by to tell you that your site is great and how i admire your patience to reply to all these questions and that ur articles are all wonderful. 🙂 But, as i said before is there any article coming up for woman boxing because i suppose there are a lot of girls on this site that are boxing just like me so they would like some articles about it too. So, if you write some please tell me.
Greets 🙂


Johnny N December 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Hi Anna,

That article is in the works. I’ll release it as fast as I can. Thank you for reading!


Bobby December 10, 2011 at 11:59 am

I have a problem with the angle of my upper body angle if I’m to sideways my jab is fast and my left hook is great but when I decrease that angle my jab is shorter and slower and my right is heavy what’s the best torso position?


Johnny N December 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Bobby, the right angle for the upper-body allows you to feel like you can reach your opponent easily with both hands without feeling like the body is too square (too exposed).


Bobby December 10, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Thank you


curtis c December 11, 2011 at 9:14 am

why dont you write about how to find a good promoter, manager, cutsman, or goveninging body or company to join like golden boy promotions or don king enterpirises – writing about the choices you have to make on the business criteria of boxing and making a honest days wage and a livlihood at it. just a suggestion, what do you think, hope to here from your soon


Johnny N December 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

I don’t know all these things actually. I never went pro. Most established fighters have trainers who help them find managers and promoters. When you start winning amateur tournaments, local promoters will approach you anyway.


Dexter December 13, 2011 at 12:18 am

Can you write about on how to move or how to use the ring. 😀


Johnny N December 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

Yes I can.


curtis December 13, 2011 at 5:33 am

what is fighting out of the pocket and hw do you do it? i have seen floyd mayweather do it can i do it as good or better then he can. hope to here from you soon


Johnny N December 13, 2011 at 10:15 am

Fighting in the pocket generally means fighting at close range. Don’t quote me on this but I would expand on it to say it includes fighting intelligently by moving the head from one side to the other instead of just standing square on head-to-head.


curtis December 14, 2011 at 8:08 am

how do i improve on my ring generalship/ bout progression? I’ve heard on coxes corner “how to score a fight” that its about controling the fight with ring brains and totally boxing clever to out-think your opponent. what are your top tips to being a good ring general like Oscar Della Hoya and all the rest of them? Hope to hear from you soon.


Johnny N December 14, 2011 at 1:45 pm

A good tip would be to control the exchanges. You fight only when you want to fight. This requires good timing, distance, and footwork so you know how to move away right when your opponent wants to punch…and also the opposite, which is exchanging punches when your opponent doesn’t want to fight.


Jkdwarrior3 aka "fightrguy" December 21, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Hey Johnny, quick question. look at this Thai Boxer. Is it me or are this guys ideas about how to throw hooks all wrong. The demonstration partner seems to throw them better than Rob. doesn’t all the power come from spinning of your feet accompanied by a drop-shift. Also are you a believer in the drop-shift or the weight shift from leg to leg? or perhaps more sinister energy transfer through the kinetic link?
Thank you in advance, I’m a huge fan of the site. Can’t wait for the E-books to start coming.


Johnny N December 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Hey JKD,

I’m happy you’re excited because this has been a very serious project for the past year and I can’t believe it’s almost done. The moment he said “drive your weight up”, I stopped watching the video because I don’t agree with it.

Anyway, the power comes from the rotation of your body. You rotate your body by shifting your weight DOWN towards the back leg, and not onto the back leg. So don’t shift from leg to leg, shift TOWARDS leg to leg.

I’m going to tell you a little secret and see if you can figure this out…. put a ball in a cup and spin the cup so that the ball rolls around the edge of the cup. Imagine your hooks giving that kind of power. Your body’s frame is the cup, and your fist is the ball. Have fun!


Jkdwarrior3 aka "fightrguy" December 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm

So basically fight on two legs at all times. Using the drop shift while still remaining within the inner part of your Balance triangle. I don’t see how a great deal of force could be generated without at least a little shift onto either leg. I understand the mechanics of centripetal force in regards to your cup analogy. But does all this power amount to the principal of ”summation of speed”? surely more significant weight transfer must occur or else all you have is muscular effort plus drop shift. I may be way off base here. When i say shift to either leg i mean from 60-40 to 40-60 roughly speaking. Thank you for your time and advice in advance, you can email me too if you would rather.


Johnny N December 21, 2011 at 7:19 pm

YES! Fight on 2 legs! Wow…you’re a freaken genius. I wish everyone was as smart as you.

Ok…here is the deal… you generate force by moving your spine. And the spine is the true center of movement for your power. The reason why people shift weight from one leg to the other is ultimately to move their spine (and also the hips, because that’s where the “weight” of the power sits). But if you can move the spine while standing on both legs, you will have more power (and control).

Already, I feel like I’m going into too much detail. Keep thinking of that ball in a cup visual I gave you. Put a ball in there and keep whipping the cup in a circular motion to keep that ball moving. Now keep imagining your body as the cup and your fist as the ball.

Ultimately, the “weight shift” is to displace the spine thereby starting the momentum of power somewhere. The true power comes from the rotation of the body, the shifting of the weight is simply to aid this rotation. What you should do is find a way to shift your weight without losing control or power….which is why it’s best to shift weight and rotate while still having BOTH legs apply force. That’s all I will say for now…any more than this and I’m going to confuse everybody. Hahahaha.


jkdwarrior3 aka "fightrguy" December 21, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Many thanks Johnny, This has been bugging me for some time. I should have a short video of me shadowboxing or maybe bagwork for you in your “shop” section. I will definitely be getting your E-book as well. one last question. are there any boxers that exemplify what you were saying perfectly? Manny pacquiao ect …..


Johnny N December 24, 2011 at 2:14 am

There are actually many boxers that do it correctly. My high-level pros know the technique…some choose to use it, some choose not too. Whether they all know how to explain it is an entirely different matter.


GoGeTa December 23, 2011 at 5:50 am

hello, that way you can tighten the knuckles? Thank you.


Johnny N December 24, 2011 at 2:22 am

Make a tighter fist? The way you wrap you hands or the kind of gloves you use can help you make a tighter fist.


GoGeTa December 25, 2011 at 11:34 am

HELLO, I missed the other question, perhaps wondering, how can harden your knuckles, OSEA, have calluses on the knuckles? THANKS


GoGeTa December 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm

WHEN YOU SAY YOU DROP FOR HIPS UPPERCUT, you referring to flex the knee, so the hips are CLOSER TO EARTH?? Thank you.


james December 25, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Hi when I spar I feel like I land alot of jabs and even left hooks but my right hand seems so far away that it is so hard to land. what can I do to land my 2? And if I land my 1 why is still hard and feel far away to land my 2. Thank you


Johnny N December 27, 2011 at 1:16 am

Point your front foot at your opponent at all times, James. (That frees your hip so you can rotate further and have longer reach with the 2.) And don’t stand so sideways. Follow the toe-heel alignment line.


Joe December 28, 2011 at 7:50 am

At what age do boxers normally become proffesional? I am planning to become a pro boxer when im 21 or 22 as I want to serve in the military first, is that too old?


Johnny N December 29, 2011 at 4:23 am

Everyone I know turns pro between 18 and 22. Those are an athlete’s peak years. It takes many years of training to be a successful pro fighter. Some of these 20-year old pros have already had 5-10 years of boxing competition experience on you. Not only that, but they’ve been trained by fathers and uncles who have been boxing for over 20 years. I’m not saying it’s impossible but it’s very hard to catch up to these guys.


Joe December 29, 2011 at 6:02 am

Thanks for the advice i will train as hard as I can to try and catch up with those guys.


Said January 6, 2012 at 9:05 am

Hi Johny,

I love your web site.

I am going to buy a speed bag and a hanging punching / training bag for home.
There are different shape designs of punching bags (Tear Drop Bag, Angle Bag, Muay Thai style Bag, Double End Heavy, Angle Bag, etc).

Could you please recommend which shape / type is more universal and can be used for both boxing and MA. I would be grateful if you could review manufactures as well.

Thank you in advance.


Johnny N January 9, 2012 at 9:48 am

If you have to ask, the regular heavy bag is fine for you. Get one made out of leather since it makes a nice smack sound when you hit it. You can also get one that has a slight angle at the middle so that you can work uppercuts. The manufacturer doesn’t matter as much since a heavy bag is a pretty simple piece of equipment. Most bags will outlast the boxer’s career.


curtis c January 9, 2012 at 1:05 am

doubling up on the left or the right: Is it best to double up on the same punch to the head and body? And if so, should it best with two different punches? Or two of the same punches but to two different areas?


Johnny N January 9, 2012 at 10:14 am

You can do anything you want as long as you set it up. I’ve been able to do both.


don January 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Mr. Johnny can you make a guide on how to use boxing as self defence? because in a street stituation it is different compared to a ring. thanks


Johnny N January 11, 2012 at 7:21 am

Yes, I can… I’ll put it in the queue.


J January 31, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I was wondering if you can explain why he got hit obviously he had a lazy hook but is that how you use an opponents aggressiveness against him?!


Johnny N January 31, 2012 at 11:10 pm

That wasn’t so much a lazy hook. They traded punches and he got caught.


J February 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm

how can you prevent that?


J February 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm

from getting caught


J February 3, 2012 at 1:00 am

I was moving around in the ring and i put myself in the corner (i was in the ring by myself) but i noticed the corner is like a death trap it feels like im a human punching bag if i were ever to get stuck there live, how do i get out of the corner? or what are some ways to get out?


Johnny N February 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm

You get out of the corner by defending yourself as you walk out. It’s easier to escape if you make your opponent throw to one side as you run out there other.


Rnd February 5, 2012 at 11:47 am

I used to do a quick Clinch? But now i prefer to bait my face, and when he throws, i slip then pivot then throw some jabs to get a more space, get in the middle, relax, shake the tension off, and whisper in my head ” holy crap!! Thank God i got out”… But that depends on my opponent’s ability, whether i will slip-pivot or not

I got the courage to do that because this site gave me the guts to try things i didnt know i can do…. And the first time i did that, i discovered a new style that im better in…. My sparring partners and trainers are amazed and it gave me more confidence inside the ring

Now im trying to better by adding counters on slips

Very big thanks Johnny


Johnny N February 5, 2012 at 11:49 am

Excellent discovery, Rnd. It’s a big stepping stone for defense.


Rnd February 5, 2012 at 11:58 am

Oh we’re just boxing for fun and fitness…. But hey its more fun when you do a bit of the “sweet science” as many people call it


Arthur March 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm

What is the best form of dfense like parry, block or slip? what works the best in general.


Johnny N March 16, 2012 at 4:08 am

There’s no straight answer Arthur. I have a guide on Boxing Defense Techniques that explains the benefits of different defense techniques.


Jason November 3, 2012 at 3:40 am

Hi Johnny,
Mate at present I am 39 yrs old and have been boxing training for years but am thinking of getting in the ring again. I am still training at least 2.5 hrs a day 6 days a week (if work permits) but am only training with one other. My snap is back and I feel fit but do you think I am a little too long in the tooth to mix it up again. Great sight too, excellent work.



Johnny N November 6, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Not too old, especially if you feel great.


Seth May 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Hey Johnny, great site!

I recently started boxing and I wanna get some boxing shoes but not sure what to get. Are you wearing the Nike Lo Pro shoes? Im debating between those and the Machomai. Any suggestions or is there a shoe review coming soon?



Johnny N May 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm

The Machomai are more expensive so I imagine they’re better. But I’ve been using the Nike Lo-Pro and I’m happy with it.


Jojo August 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I am a member of a gym that is split between boxing/MMA and your regular gym, with weights, elliptical and such. I’ve never “worked out” with the items found in the other gym. As a matter of fact the only two sports I’ve ever done competitively is swimming and boxing, and in both cases I used a lot of cardio to stay in shape.
Well with the rise in popularity of MMA, the boxing side of the gym is going to be down for a week to make up dates for the increased membership. I think this will be a good thing, but no sparring, no bags, I can do cardio at home, but I have this membership that gives me access to the whole gym. Any ideas on what I could do on the weight side while I wait for my side to re-open. To reiterate, I’ve never ever lifted a bar bell and wouldn’t even know where to start.


Johnny N August 27, 2013 at 11:27 am

Use lighter weights and look up some basic exercises. There are plenty of things you can do with weights and even with your own bodyweight. Try some calisthenics and medicine ball exercises.


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