Speedy boxers and defensive fighters are frustrating if not impossible to chase down.
The faster you run, the faster they run away! They never sit still for you to hit and they always seem to squeeze out of the corners. Worst of all, some opponents are even landing punches on you as they’re running away!
The answer is to cut off the ring. Your opponent won’t have anywhere to run to if you know how to cut off his space.
*** Watch my video for a live demonstration of me cornering an imaginary opponent.
1. DON’T CHASE (common mistake)
Running directly into your opponent is the worst thing you can do. It’s tempting to be aggressive when you see your opponent is running away but you’ll never catch him by following him around the ring.
The closer you get, the easier it is for him to run away from you. Going forward into your opponent allows him to escape around the sides. Instead of following him around the ring, it’s better to cut off his space so he has nowhere to run. This is why you hear boxing coaches yell, “Don’t follow your opponent, cut off the ring.”
You cannot trap your opponent by taking his space,
you trap him by not giving him anywhere to go.
2. MOVE SIDEWAYS (to cut off the ring)
The easiest way to cut off the ring is to move sideways. This keeps your opponent in front of you. He can’t run around you so he can only go backwards. By cutting off the ring, you will eventually be able to trap him along the ropes.
If he goes left, you go left. If he goes right, you go right. Every time you follow him sideways, he will feel the pressure because he can’t get around you. Your presence is there and he feels like he’s always in front of you, always in your spotlight. Eventually, he’ll try to get farther away and end up going backwards where you can easily cut off more of the ring.
It’s best to trap your opponent towards a corner. Once you’ve have his back facing a corner, keep cutting off the sides as you pressure him into the corner.
You cannot trap an opponent by following him,
you need to take away his space.
3. BACK UP (to keep him in front of you)
Once you’ve got him in the corner, keep him in front of you! This means maintaining the space, don’t get too close and don’t pivot with him. If he tries to escape, take a step back to keep him in front of you, and then push him back into the corner again. The slick guys will try pivot out and slip to bait you into throwing punches (so they can escape) but all you have to do is step back and they won’t be able to get past you.
The common mistake is to get over-aggressive and to jump on top of him. The closer you get to him, the easier it is for him to squeeze around you OR grab you and spin you into the corner.
Don’t jump into the corner with your opponent,
maintain some space to keep him in the corner.
How to AVOID Getting Trapped Along the Ropes
1. Never take a back-step
Go forward, sideways, or circle around him. Try to build a habit of never going backwards. You can practice this rule on the heavy bag. Always go forwards, sideways, or around. Going backwards takes away your space and isn’t necessary if you have the defensive skills to protect yourself while in range.
2. Get close and pivot
The more aggressive he is and the closer he gets to you, the easier it is for you to pivot around him on the inside. If he’s keeping a distance, you can make a quick duck into him and then pivot yourself. Even if you can’t pivot, you can clinch your opponent and spin him around you (great for putting HIM in the corner).
3. Escape around the big shots
The big punches give you the biggest opportunity to escape. Duck under and slip through those wide swinging shots or slip out the sides and jump away. If he doesn’t throw anything, you can use that opportunity to clinch.