How to Shoulder Roll

November 6, 2011 November 6, 2011 by Johnny N Boxing Techniques, Defense Techniques 129 Comments

What if you could defend against punches without using your hands? How much faster would you be able to counter if your hands weren’t so busy blocking punches? You don’t need Floyd Mayweather’s reflexes to do the shoulder roll. I’ll show you the technique and teach you how to roll with the punches!

How to Shoulder RollIt’s time you learned one of the oldest defensive techniques in boxing

The Shoulder Roll

The shoulder roll is a defensive move where you deflect a punch by rolling your shoulders away from it. The punch lands harmlessly on your shoulders as your opponent shoulder is loaded to come back with a hard counter. When used in rapid succession, the shoulder roll is quite effective in neutralize entire combinations with little effort. It’s a simple move to learn yet used by even the most skilled boxers.

One of my all-time defensive favorites! JAMES TONEY!

Why learn the shoulder roll?

Easier Than Blocking!

The shoulder roll is ridiculously easy to do. You can block entire combinations just by rolling your shoulders back and forth. No more worrying about perfect hand placement or seeing every punch that comes at you. As long as you know which side the punch is coming from, you can roll away from it easily. The shoulder roll takes all the complication out of boxing defense.

More Effective Than Blocking!

Here’s a little secret: it’s not really possible to block HARD punches with just your hand. Would you ever block a hammer with your hand? Neither would I. At some level in boxing, all punches become power punches; and just sticking your hand in front is not going to stop it. Rolling away from the punch effectively deflects the power! The shoulder roll will minimize the punch impact EVEN IF IT LANDS!

The shoulder roll if you think about it, is a natural progression from the parrying defense technique. With parrying, you learned how to deflect your opponent’s punches with your hand and counter. The shoulder is a step up using your shoulders to parry so that your hands are free to counter. The shoulder roll, once you learn the timing, can be easier than parrying.

Have you ever blocked a punch only to have your own glove smash your face?

Deflected punches that land,
have less impact than
squared punches through the glove.


Frees Your Hands For Countering

Seriously, who blocks punches with their hands anymore? Only noobs do that! (kidding). But really…the shoulder roll will use your body rotation to deflect punches so you can use your hands for something more important, like punching back!

How to Shoulder Roll

Start in your basic stance

Shoulder Roll stance

  • Stand in your regular boxing stance.
  • You don’t have to drop your left hand to shoulder roll!

Shoulder Roll Away from Right Hands

Shoulder Roll away

  • Rolling away from the right hand as I lift my shoulder to cover my chin.
  • Keep your back straight and don’t lean backwards.
  • Roll just enough to avoid that right hand.


outside shoulder roll

Sometimes the right hand is blocked from the outside…


inside shoulder roll

Sometimes the right hand is deflected to the inside.

  • Wide right hands are typically blocked from the outside.
  • Straight right hands are typically parried by your shoulder to the inside.
  • Just roll your shoulders, don’t worry about where the right hand goes.

Countering the Right Hand

Shoulder Roll right cross



Shoulder Roll right uppercut


Shoulder Roll Away from Left Hooks

Roll away from left hook

Roll AWAY from the left hook…


Roll into the left hook

Don’t roll into the left hook.

  • Roll AWAY from the left hook, not into it.
  • Don’t roll away so much that you get hit in the back.
  • If you roll into the hook, you risk getting hit or pushed off balance.

Countering the Left Hook (after the shoulder roll)

Shoulder Roll counter jab

Counter #1 – JAB


Shoulder Roll counter left hook

Counter #2 – LEFT HOOK


The Left Hand Can Be Up

Shoulder Roll outside

Shoulder roll with the left hand up, blocking from the outside.


Shoulder Roll inside with the left hand up

Shoulder roll with left hand up, deflecting the right hand inside.

  • You don’t have to drop your left hand to do the shoulder roll.

Shoulder Roll Video

Helpful boxing instructional video demonstrating the shoulder roll technique and basic drills to help you learn this effective boxing defense technique.

Practicing the Shoulder Roll

Shoulder Roll Drill

Shoulder roll drill

Stand at arm’s length with a partner.


shoulder roll right hands

shoulder roll left hands

Partner throws lefts and rights non-stop as you keep rolling away.

  • Your partner shoulder be swinging at shoulder level.
  • Have your partner randomly mix up straight rights and wide rights.
  • Exaggerate the roll, rotate your shoulders all the way during this drill.
  • Put the hands down, so you focus on the RHYTHM instead of covering your face.

Keep it slow using NO POWER; you’re just touching each other and learning the rhythm. Keep going LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT. Trade places after 1 round. Each fighter can do one round of this as a warm-up everyday. YES, I know the drill seems unrealistic because nobody’s aiming for the head. The point of the drill is to focus on developing the rhythm, not on covering your face. Once you have the technique down, the application comes naturally.

Shoulder Roll & Counter Drill

shoulder roll the right hands

shoulder roll the left hands

Same drill as before but this time, you throw counter-punches.


Shoulder roll with counter left

Shoulder roll with COUNTER LEFT


Shoulder roll with counter right

Shoulder roll with COUNTER RIGHT

  • Start off with the same LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT shoulder roll rhythm.
  • To punch during the shoulder roll, just release a punch from the shoulder going forward.
  • Don’t focus on his punch or your punch,Β justΒ feel the rhythm and release a punch anytime you want.
  • Aim at your partner’s chest; don’t hit hard. (This is just practice.)
  • Try countering several times in a row and return to just shoulder rolls without losing rhythm.
  • Take turns! Switch after each round.

Push & Shoulder Roll

pushed into shoulder roll

Have a trainer push you into the ropes during mitt work…


shoulder roll

…and surprise you with 3-4 punches. You know what to do!

  • As long as you know what side the first punch is coming from, the rest is easy.


The shoulder roll’s essence is IN THE ROLL!

Don’t worry about the shoulder.

  • The secret is in the ROLL, not the shoulder! Don’t focus on blocking the punch with your shoulder. Focus on deflecting the punch as you turn away from it. Even if the punch goes over your shoulder, a good roll will still deflect the power off your head.

The shoulder roll teaches you to move with your opponent. You learn read his movement and roll at just the right time to deflect his punch. Roll too late and you get hit; roll too early and you’ll telegraph your movement or leave yourself vulnerable. Do the shoulder roll drills with a pure focus on rhythm. Keep it slow at first, and don’t speed up until you both have the perfect rhythm.

You and your partner must match each other’s rhythm.
Don’t try to surprise each other.

When you practice the shoulder roll, try to be in sync with each other like a dance. Keep it slow. Once you match your opponent’s punching rhythm, focus on other things. Calm your breathing, relax your body, pay attention to your feet, pay attention to your balance. Start looking around the room, try to have a conversation with other people in the room! What have you realized??? YOUR DEFENSE HAS BECOME AUTOMATIC!!! ((( HELL YEAH, CONGRATULATIONS! )))

You have mastered the shoulder roll when it becomes automatic. Try to feel your opponent’s rhythm without having to look for his punches. Now take this time to study your opponent. Look at his feet, or his body. Is he leaning in? Does he throw punches with bad form? Where would you like to counter punch? When I do the shoulder roll drills, I don’t worry about defense, I’m looking for openings!

Do not be discouraged if your shoulder roll does not come off smooth the first few times you try it in a fight. Like any move, the shoulder roll takes practice. Realistically, it’s hard for the shoulder roll to be effective when you’ve only practiced it a few times compared to the hundreds of times your opponent practiced his punch.

Masters of the Shoulder Roll

Study some of my favorite boxing masters of the shoulder roll. I’m sure everybody has their own list but I highly recommend watching these guys.

  • James Toney – ultra-natural talented fighter, old school boxing skills, my favorite defensive fighter. (Have you ever seen anybody fight without getting in shape?)
  • Pernell Whitaker – he uses more slipping than rolling but so ridiculously talented! One of my all time favorites. If you thought Floyd Mayweather’s defense was good, watch this guy fight with his hands down the entire time.
  • Joan Guzman – excellent defense, very flashy defensive fighter. You have to watch a full fight to appreciate.
  • Guillermo Rigondeaux – incredible defense, it’s a shame he counters so well you never get to see him on the defensive much.
  • Floyd Mayweather – very effective, precision shoulder rolls.
  • Kevin Johnson – defensive heavyweight. (Proof that big guys can shoulder roll too!)

Using the Shoulder Roll

The shoulder roll is simple boxing skill that should have been taught to you from day one. It’s not just a defensive move, it teaches you boxing rhythm to help you attack, counter-attack, as well as defend. Rolling the shoulders defends you against attacks while loading up your counter punch on your opponent’s weak side. The moment you figure out your opponent’s rhythm, just start rolling his punches!

The shoulder roll uses RHYTHM as your defense.

The real trick to using the shoulder roll is not to think about the shoulders. Think about it. It’s not about blocking the punch with your shoulder or your arm or whatever. In a real fight, punches are going to get through. As long as you roll with the punches, you will be fine! Because you’re using rhythm as your defense, your mind will be free to think about other things. Instead of focusing on blocking or slipping punches, you just let your body’s natural rhythm run your automatic defense. The shoulder roll makes your defense automatic so you can focus on punching.

The shoulder roll is effective no matter what your opponent throws. You don’t have to be balanced, you don’t have to really use your eyes. The simple action of you turning away from the punch will deflect its full power off you. Rolling punches is more effective at defending power punches than just blocking. Many advanced boxers roll with every punch; they’re not just blocking.

Try a slight shoulder roll with every block.

Last but not least…PLEASE throw counters! Do not sit there trying to roll everything. Quickly find your footing and come back immediately.

Even Floyd Mayweather, as great as he is, most also throw a counter or else he eventually gets hit by a punch. I saw a fight not too long ago where Jason Litzau did a good job of rolling Adrien Broner’s punches. Unfortunately, he either didn’t have the cognizance to come back with a counter or chose not to…he ultimately got caught and knocked out in the first round. The shoulder roll can avoid punches, but it won’t avoid a fight.

Shoulder Roll Tips:

  • Don’t over-rotate. Rotate just enough to avoid the punch.
  • Don’t get faked out, your opponent might punch with the opposite hand as you roll into it!
  • Keep your eyes on your opponent the whole time.
  • Try to add a pivot when you roll the front shoulder.
  • The shoulder roll is ineffective against lighter punches.

…think you got the shoulder roll down?

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VIVEK November 7, 2011 at 12:07 am



Johnny N November 7, 2011 at 3:52 am

Yes, shoulder roll is useful for amateur boxing. It’s a great tactic!


Joe January 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Love all these tips,have my first fight coming up in march, so many thanks for all the info,a lot of training to do,will practice the shoulder roll among other things you have discussed.Thanks again for the info!


Johnny N January 11, 2012 at 7:28 am

Good luck, Joe. Come back with a fight video!


ben March 21, 2013 at 1:04 am

i love james toney he’s so efficient


Chris Fox August 27, 2014 at 9:52 pm

I use the shoulder roll frequently as you’ve described however i’v recently begun sparring someone who comes forward throwing jab after jab after jab. I usually catch jabs with my right hand but it seems to force me off balance and backwards when they string a lot of jabs together. All the fights i’ve seen when people use it are usually just avoiding the usual left hook-right hand-left hook-right hand. I realise they are throwing their power punches but if they are stringing jabs together with right hands thrown in how do i defend the jabs – with a kind of roll? PLEASE HELP!!!!!


Johnny N October 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm

The shoulder roll is not effective against jabs.


juan May 13, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Hi Johnny, one question: jOHNNY, when can I use the shoulder roll? jabs?, hooks? I think is not with jabs, is it? I realize if a jab is coming I HAVE TO MOVE MY SHOULDER faster than the punch making it very difficult to block it. thanks
juan from mexico


Okei November 7, 2011 at 3:09 am

So for the southpaw, is slipping and countering better, compared to shoulder rolling with stances mirrored? I’ve not tried it, but against the orthodox, would it be asking 4 trouble? Again, a valero tactics was arm/shoulder banging, can i nullify an opposing southpaw or orthodox opponent shoulder rolling?


Johnny N November 7, 2011 at 3:53 am

You can definitely shoulder roll as a southpaw. Zab Judah, Pernell Whitaker are some notable southpaws that used it with great success. I think Anthony Dirrell does it, too. And let’s not forget, Floyd Mayweather (an orthodox fighter) uses the shoulder roll successfully against southpaws, too.


okei olive November 7, 2011 at 5:15 am

ok i was not clear on the last question johnny, thanks for the answer too. The last question was (though dirty as a tactic)if it would be effective punching elbow or arms a’ la’ marciano and valero on fighters who shoulder roll, at least taking their offense away gradually breaking them down.


Johnny N November 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Yes, Okei. It’s definitely effective punching the elbows or the arms. I punch the arms to keep my opponent’s arms trapped. I also punch his shoulder to push him back off balance.


nrizzle July 19, 2012 at 8:03 am

good point… /\ Hey johnny, wanted to let you know I won my first amatuer fight the last weekend..(tournament actually) and I owe alot of my success to your acticles That being said – Ive yet to explore every article on the site, but I was wondering if you had anything on how to transition smoothly between speed/power shots. Like how to harness the power for the first two punches of the combo, and then unleash for the big shot, In my fight last week I threw nothing but power shots which were effective but EXHAUSTING! I know alot was the pressure, but I HAVE to mentally train myself to chill before I fight again.


Johnny N July 23, 2012 at 9:58 am

Great job on your victory. Transitioning between speed and power is a matter of arm punch or body punch. When you need only speed, you use your more hand and foot to place it. When you need power, you put a little more twist with your body. It was only your first fight so keep working on it!


Spaniardguy November 7, 2011 at 8:23 am

Guaauu, excelent explanation. Great job of summarize this effective and spectacular boxing movement.
Then, one question… Is easier to perform this movement from Joe LouisΒ΄ stance?… Weight over the right leg, head off-center, the right side being sunk and the left shoulder raised naturally! (*)
What do you think about this stance and head center off-center against head in the center?
(*) Note: Interesting video (Charley Burley):

Thanks for your amazing site!


Johnny N November 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Hi Spaniardguy, I love the video. The principles taught are indeed effective yet well known with many experienced fighters. From my opinion, it’s not about keeping your head off center. It’s about “flirting with the center line”. You keep your head at center but keep shifting slightly off center so that it’s ready to move away should a punch come in.

There will be other moments where your head stays at center and you move by using your legs. The idea is nothing new: KEEP MOVING YOUR HEAD. Either by using head movement or foot movement.

Where you put your weight is your preference. From what I know, the point of moving effectively/efficiently is to stand on two legs! If you shift weight to one leg, you do it only enough that you could barely call it “being more on one leg”. So if you’re going to shift, just 51/49 is enough….not 80/20. If your body is precise and sensitive enough (through training and ring experience), it will shift giving you the raised left shoulder as you suggested.


Spaniardguy November 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Thanks for your excelent answer. I think about these interesting suggetions!


Johnny N November 8, 2011 at 3:06 am

You’re welcome anytime.


Kareem('Reem) November 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm

This is yet another excellent piece. I loved how you referenced the Bonner v. Litzau fight also. Sometimes people can get “ROLL HAPPY” and (despite him saying there was an injury) James Toney is an excellent example of that also if you see his fight with Lebedev recently.

The shoulder roll unfortunately (as James found out) doesn’t stop body shots but it’s an awesome defense (one i use myself). But again as you mentioned, you better counter and make them pay.

Let me lastly add a boxer whom most aren’t familiar with that I recently learned of that employed not only the shoulder roll but every other type of defense. He’s literally the best I’ve ever seen (and that includes Pep, Whitaker, Benitez). Go to youtube and look up Nicolino Loche. Argentinian fighter in the late 60’s early 70’s.


Johnny N November 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Nicolino Locche is one of my favorites! I can’t even put him in this guide because his defense is so far beyond “shoulder rolls”. Hahaha “roll happy”, thanks for the word Kareem.


BILLY November 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Dimitry Pirog seems to like it alot too.


Johnny N November 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm

WOOOHOOOHOOOO!!! I love that fight. One of my favorite displays of switch-stance fighting.


John Taylor York November 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Johnny the only thing that don’t get is how do you deflect punches with your shoulder that are coming to your head. In the video it looks like he is throwing them at your shoulder rather than your head


Johnny N November 8, 2011 at 3:09 am

Again, the focus is not on blocking the punch. It’s about rolling away from the punch. Focus on that first and then later you can lift the shoulder if you absolutely need. If you had your knees slightly bent at first, then high punches will still be blocked easily by shoulder rolls if you straighten your legs just a bit. Or you can also lean away slightly. IT WILL work, if the shoulder can’t stop it completely it will still take off some power. Of course the shoulder roll might be easier for taller fighters or guys that stand tall and fight tall.

Watch James Toney, even landed punches have little effect because he rolls his head. The deflect is caused by rolling, not by lifting your shoulder. In the drill, I have the partner throwing to the shoulder so that you get a chance to learn the shoulder roll without getting whacked in the head.


JaketheSnake November 8, 2011 at 4:05 am

YESSSS! Been waiting for this for awhile. Again, you come up with the most “inside” stuff for us students. Really appreciate your taking the time to explain this. Most trainers just dismiss me with “its just for quicksters like Mayweather” or “rolling is too difficult for beginners”. With these pics and especially the video on rhythm, I think I can finally do my best Mayweather impression next sparring!


Johnny N November 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I hope it was worth the wait. THANK YOU! And do put up a video of your best (and worst) Mayweather impression, hahaha.


Brett November 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm

So if you are not blocking the punch, you still are getting ‘touched’ by the shot, leading to a point with the ametuer rules? I think in the ametuers its difficult if you roll and dont have the lead hand up since although the shot won’t bother you, the judges will count it as a point. And I think that if you are shorter than you opponent, it compounds the problem, since an overhand right or a chopping shot can still catch you on the temple when you roll. Johnny, what do you think about rolling and using the back hand as defence against the right hand? Sort of what Floyd does alot. He moves it from the right side of his face to the left so he dosent have to raise that left glove to disrupt his vision. Nice article as usual.


Johnny N November 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Hi Brett,

Amateur boxing scores clean hits….so depending on how well you roll, it may or may not be counted as a point against you. The rolling technique isn’t for everyone and every situation. Nonetheless it is still useful and good to know.

You can definitely use the back hand to block the shot but that’s compounding the skill needed and I’m just trying to teach the pure shoulder roll in this guide. The problem with sticking the back hand in front is that many people do it wrong. They screw up and lose their shoulder roll rhythm. They start rolling INTO left hooks or rolling simultaneously away while bringing the back hand up. This is highly vulnerable against the left hook. You should only bring up the back hand if you absolutely need and IF YOU DO, then it must be immediately brought back to the right side of your face again. It only goes momentarily to the front of your face and then returned in case a left hook follows.

Some boxers bring up the right hand because they rolled too early and don’t have any more room to deflect the right hand. I would say it’s best to leave the back hand in the rear so that it’s cocked for a counter. Putting it in front of your face takes away your counter right.

Either way…learn the shoulder roll technique in its purest form and new opportunities will present themselves to you. Mayweather’s method is only one of many ways to use the shoulder roll. If I were you, please watch James Toney. He’s far more talented at it in my opinion.


Smiling Assasin November 9, 2011 at 8:05 am

GREAT! I will use this next time my opponent starts punching my arms. Are you going to show the defenses against the 1-2?


Johnny N November 10, 2011 at 11:02 am

Defenses against the 1-2? To shoulder roll that, you block the jab, and roll the right. You mean like that?


Q November 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I was wondering when the amateur boxing workout is coming out?


Johnny N November 10, 2011 at 11:03 am

I replied to your other comment. The amateur boxing workout won’t be ready for some time. It’s a super long guide.


Khatai November 10, 2011 at 4:25 am

Hi Johny.

What do you think about Chris Bird defensive technique? This guy wasn’t grate puncher but he was one of the best defensive boxer. Wasn’t he?


Johnny N November 10, 2011 at 11:03 am

Chris Byrd is a solid boxer and definitely one of the smaller heavyweight champions. His defensive techniques are solid for sure.


Gonzo November 10, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Freddie Roach “La Cucaracha” has nothing on you. Read “Bare Fists: The History of bare-knuckle prize-fighting” by Bob Mee.


Johnny N November 15, 2011 at 2:51 am

Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll have to check that out Gonzo.


saber khan November 12, 2011 at 12:21 pm

hey coach J! long time, thanks for showing the roll some love. i find it weird that so few fighters use this in actual bouts. it was a lifesaver specially late in a fight, or if one has to defend against a combo with hands out of place. im sure many ppl have gotten in with a bodypuncher who in late in rounds starts landing headshots because its so hard to keep the guard up all the time. there seems to be popular opinion that only the slickest and fastest boxers can pull if off which is stupid. its easier, less timing focused than parrying and has a similiar motion.

i got 2 questions coach,, do you like keeping the weight even on your legs when rolling or prefer to shift weight to the opposite-side foot ? i find rolling to be more natural theres bending of the knees like a slip. i also do the roll shifting weight to the foot opposite the roll. i like how it improves the power of a counter, and the next hook can be ducked easier. also, i know rolling the backhand shoulder against headshots is often used by guys who roll, but whats ur opinion of it ? i dont think i use it much in the middle of the ring because it feels more uncomfortable to me than ducking. and i liked to stick to one move to drill in so there was no confusion. how do you see the pros and cons of the right shoulder roll vs. the duck on a lead head hook ? looking forward to your response coach. nice update on the site btw


Johnny N November 12, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Hi Saber!

1. keeping weight even on legs VS shifting to one foot – the secret to effective body mechanics…always stand on 2 legs. Always move on 2 legs, do everything on two legs. When you roll, shift just enough that you could call it a shift. Anything more than that leaves you vulnerable to being off balanced. The more sensitive, better calibrated, precision fighter can move his entire body by coming just SLIGHTLY off the center line. The beginner, crude, off-balanced fighter…has to displace his body so far off the center to move….which then leaves him more off balanced than the guy who kept his body weight near the center line. I hope this makes sense.

2. rolling the backhand shoulder – I only do this when rolling hooks. If you roll from the backhand shoulder against the cross, your opponent easily cuts out the side and ends up behind you forcing you to take blind hooks.

3. ROLL vs DUCK against the left hook – many pros (Floyd Mayweather & James Toney, especially) do like to bend away from the waist against the left hook. It’s a valid move which I’ve seen used in 2 different ways: one is to lean straight backwards, the other is to turn your body away (almost facing backwards) and then bend at the waist.. You have to use more waist because if you duck by bending your knees, you will throw yourself into the hook which is silly.

The trick with bending at the waist is that you have to drop your hands to counter-balance your upperbody leaning back. So for example, if you watch Floyd Mayweather bend back at the waist to lean away from left hooks, you’ll see him shoot both his hands forwards to counter-balance his upper body. When you’re doing fast movements and bending at the waist, you have to throw your gloves in the opposite direction to counter-balance. That’s why a lot of guys who slip will put their hands to their waist. Definitely high level skills and very useful but very risky for beginners who will only end up leaving themselves exposed. One day, the mainstream ExpertBoxing readership will be ready for those advanced skills–I suspect many will learn this naturally anyways. For now, we’ll get everyone up to speed with the hard basics!

Good to see you again, Saber.


saber khan November 13, 2011 at 7:43 am

hey coach, liked the points. yeah i do get what youre saying about the unbalance aspect and thats why i asked, maybe its just the style i use that favors weight shifts. i do practice it without the shift, but it decreases the quickness of the next punch. needs an extra split second to set up a counter. after a subtle (im not talking of standing on the opposite leg πŸ™‚ shift the counter lead or uppercut are heavier shots. i should have clarified coach, its similiar to planting the feet after being on your bicycle so one foots favored not shifting as in offbalance. but im going to do some drills the normal way see if it gives similiar benefits.

by ducking i meant what toney tyson sweet pea do, bending at the waist or from the knees. pea uses the knees more, toney bends at the waist. and toney doesnt avoid hooks as much as he takes the sting out of them coach he turns away from the fighter so the shots land poorly. i bend the knees more like pea but in a tight place the toney/dempsey style duck is faster. and it allows for weaving, angles, its awesome in the pocket and the counters are harder to see and land with more dynamite. its obvious im in favor of ducking (or bobbing weaving or whatever ppl want to call it) against hooks but how does u think it compares to shoulder rolling against hook or even a slower jab thats loaded up ? i cant see any advantages over ducking myself. its good to be talking boxing coach, i know some stuff i read here will never get into the ring but its just fun to imagine myself as a slick fighter pulling off awesome power hand shoulder rolls and ali like bendin back and counter phantom punches πŸ˜€


Johnny N November 14, 2011 at 3:49 am

Generally, people shift weight in order to load power to one side of the body. But if you can load power to one side of the body WITHOUT taking your weight off the center line, you carry a huge advantage. At the highest levels, nobody really shifts weight. It’s really advanced stuff I’ll explain later. But if you can figure it out, good for you!

Ducking or shoulder roll against hook completely depends on your style and size versus your opponent’s. If your opponent has a long arm, it may be better to go under his hook so you take advantage of his long recovery time. If you’re shorter than your opponent, it may be easier to go under.

If you like escaping through your opponent, then rolling under is a great way to sneak under his armpit (ala Miguel Cotto style). But if you like staying in front of him and countering with straight shots, then maybe the shoulder roll is better for you. Rolling under usually means countering with hooks and uppercuts. Doing just a stand-up shoulder roll usually means countering with crosses and uppercuts. If your opponent is good at crushing you, then it’s probably not a good idea to keep going under him. If your opponent likes pushing you off balance, then it might not be a good idea to stand right in front of him with the shoulder roll defense. There’s a million variables such as how your opponent holds his hands and how he reacts to specific movements.

The easy answer is, I learn how to do it all. Come fight time, I’m prepared for anything. I don’t particularly like any specific move, I just like winning.


Spaniardguy November 14, 2011 at 7:41 am

Generally, people shift weight in order to load power to one side of the body. But if you can load power to one side of the body WITHOUT taking your weight off the center line, you carry a huge advantage. At the highest levels, nobody really shifts weight. It’s really advanced stuff I’ll explain later.

Please, explain it!!!!!! πŸ˜‰


saber khan November 14, 2011 at 9:44 am

my feelings exactly, the roll is better if one wants to fight without angles and has an equal or superior jab or maybe a hell of a right overhand he wants to land, one cant duck and punch exactly at the same time as the roll. i also agree its better to be proficient at both, now that im not fighting competitively it’ll be a good project to work on. when people doing a sport find themselves plateauing it can get boring. the advanced shift, from my experience and oldtimers’ teachings i dont know how to not shift some weight if one wants to throw the best shot they can without cocking back for a haymaker. getting planted, a little lower it helps but to me the lead long hooks and lead uppercut are heaviest when the weight is more on the front and the short hook and cross,and the right hook are about the back leg initially holding the weight. love to hear about a more balanced approach that works just as well. from footage im sure guys like hearns, marciano, frazier, tyson all had to load up. and pac is virtually one legged when he is throwing his bombs.

another thing coach, while im an orthodox sometimes i do get into southpaw stance in the middle of a combo or when overshooting, and i like to throw a left overhand sometimes. i was on the heavybag today, and found that my left fist lands a little awkwardly towards the smallest knuckle. i hook horizontal on short punches and vertically on long ones, and its never been a problem there. and its clear that its landing different from the right straight. too much on the smaller knuckles definitely makes a guy afraid of putting full power into those punches. any advice ? the trainer i have now, isnt really that good (hes just 8 years older than me and he has never fought as a pro) so wondering if this issue can be fixed so late in my boxing. thanks for the help


Johnny N November 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I can assure you that Pacquiao is not a one-legged puncher. He might throw himself off balance here and there to land a tricky shot but he’s usually a very balanced puncher. Watch his videos of him shadowboxing and you will see literally no weight-shift when he’s throwing super fast combinations. Now that I think of it, I do notice that Tyson and Pacquiao do have some things in common. Both of them have this thing where instead of shifting weight from side to side, they take tiny steps from side to side…which is moving their entire body off the center line as opposed to leaning off the center line.

About landing punches on the small knuckles, OUCH! There is a simple fix for this. When you throw a straight punch: imagine yourself stretching the distance between your index knuckle and your shoulder ,instead of the distance between your pinky knuckle and your shoulder. Some people get too focused on throwing a cross with too much angle that they forget to stretch that inside distance which straightens out the arm to land on the big knuckles. Some guys would also say to aim for the middle knuckle, but personally I like the first adjustment I gave you.


eli November 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm

sorry bro to be off subject but please tell me how amir khan could lose to such an unworthy bietris or whatever when I felt he had the fight in the bag this past sat. against alvarado but lost! also what do u judge for the pacman marquez 3 fight, I honestly saw a draw. please give ur expert input. most analyst were judgeing on pacmans past performances I thought I saw a more conservitive boxer sat night.


Johnny N November 15, 2011 at 2:09 am

Eli, Amir Khan lost to Breidis Prescott because he got caught with a big left hook early in the fight when he wasn’t even warmed up yet. It happens. I remember John Ruiz getting caught cold the same way in the opening seconds against David Tua.

As for Pacquiao vs Marquez, I saw the same fight everybody else did. Pacquiao was more aggressive, took more chances, threw more punches, and landed more. Marquez waited around and landed big punches when he had the opportunity. If you like aggression, you’d say Pacquiao won. If you like fewer but more effective countering, you’d say Marquez won. Either way it was a tough fight for both. Regardless of who the judges or fans think won, both made a tough fight.


Radd November 15, 2011 at 6:54 am 9 seconds of shoulder roll from mayweather. Focus on rhythm clearly seen.


Johnny N November 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Thanks for the great video, Radd! I think I need to post this video into the article.


saber khan November 15, 2011 at 10:13 am

whoa! manny didnt land as many clean punches coach, he threw more but who cares how many a fighter throws. marquez put on a boxing clinic for quite a few rounds, my scorecard was 8-3 and 1 even for marquez. pacquiao is the harder puncher and threw more and much harder punches, and he was the aggressor but it was ineffective aggression-like an oscar de la hoya against floyd. ive stopped listening to commentary in fights, its absolute pigswill. pac looked looking confused in this fight, and he got so wild in the later rounds he got desperate, his performance reminded me of when he was a one fisted fighter against that african dude and in morales I. i cant see how anyone knowledgeable in boxing sees that as a win for pac. im not even sure about compubox anymore, it just doesnt agree with observation.

a little point that makes me more sure of this, is a friend of mine watched some the fight with us. now she could even name the fighters, but she thought marquez won. in fact her observation was marquez probly couldnt hit hard because pac was getting tagged but not going down. on the flip side marquez was stepping on pacquiao’s foot a few times, we know it happens when fighting southpaws but its never so noticeable that all sorts of laypeople are putting it up on news sites. i noticed it 2 times myself during the fight, on YT its seen clearer, and shows marquez stepping forward while slip without any reason, getting on the tiptoes of his backfoot. i dont see any reason a fighter is moving forward while slipping, and going back without throwing a shot or using the closer range for sidestepping or something. there were other times marquez stepping on pac but they looked more unintentional.

also, awesome work on various defenses, you’re dropping some serious knowledge. i think an article on timing the opponent’s jab and power shots should be next, its an indispensable topic but coaches are SO full of **** when teaching it, im truly surprised anyone manages to learn. they make it sound like its a zen master trick-maybe it is, but id like to see u take at a stab at it john-john.

im not sure what `stretching index finger and shoulder’ meant, are you talking about the angle or landing the punch trying to hit with the forefinger-area ? like a super slow shadow boxing exercise ? please clarify that bit kindly.

and where be that vid on power punching man ? looking forward to your answers


Johnny N November 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

There are so many people that felt the same as you did, Saber. Maybe we’ll see another tie-breaker fight!

I’m actually in the works of releasing a defensive article on how to see the right hand. You’ve got impeccable timing! πŸ˜‰

As for stretching the index finger to the shoulder…. do this, hold your arm STRAIGHT OUT and make a fist. Now tilt your fist sideways so that your index finger is closer to your opponent. When you punch, try to imagine that motion. Did that help?

Power punching article & videos. I wrote over 100 pages. I think this has to be released as a book or something because the principles are so far out there. I started off with simple concepts, then I realized I would have explain the simple concepts because they’re not “simple” to many people and somewhat backwards of what people have been taught. What started as a brief 10-page article, became 100 pages with 15-20 sections.

When everyone is ready…I will share little by little. I am slowly progressing towards the advanced stuff. With little questions, small curiosities at first, subtly implied throughout my articles. In due time, we will all be ready…and I will have finished writing it.


saber khan November 15, 2011 at 10:39 am

nah thats unfair in my mind was 4 rounds to pac, 2 even, 6 to marquez. pac did `throw’ more punches and power shots in 2 or 3 rounds but almost none landed cleanly and some barely touched ground, according to the rules referees give less importance to shots that land glancing. anyway it was a closer fight overall than some marquez fans and some neutrals are screaming, but for a few rounds marquez was making manny look like a charging bull. i felt the the foot step at least a few times was definitely odd, odd enough for us to notice which none of us do in tons of previous ortho-southpaw bouts. marquez getting so front heavy seemed very unlike his normal movement-but it could have been a side effect of a new tactic for marquez to work on the outside of pac’s right foot


saber khan November 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm

much clearer coach, i tried the exercise, and it makes good sense, o boy its going to be a pain to keep practicing this cuz u know theres just a natural rhythm that fighters get into after lots of years. but its a great suggestion, thanks im definitely using this.

and i just saw the fight again, its 8-4 or 8-3 and 1 even marquez. clean, effective punches and MAKING THE OPPONENT MISS. which few fans seem to notice and i think judges had alzheimers on. pacquiao lands 10-15 clean power shots the full fight. if i was marquez i would have gone berserk on air man that guy showed inhuman patience. manny did win some rounds by a teensy weensy margin, marquez won most of his rounds by a clear margin and 2 rounds by a more narrow margin (only because pacquiao did land 3 or 4 more glancing punches in those rounds). and there were times, id say rounds 4 to 9 where marquez was clearly frustrating and tagging manny, nearly at will.

hey if u want to use a fight where 2 HOFers are fighting and one is putting on a clinic, timing his opponent’s punches, messing up the opponent’s timing with LESS speed and reach, this is a fight u cud use.
the biggest thing, was how marquez was messing up pac’s timing. pac was forced to land flailing punches that were so badly timed and overshot they were arm punches. and we all know pac hits like a mule. marquez MADE pac’s shots lack any kind of impact with his defense. thats defensive timing. and he did an amazing job of timing manny coming in, he was tagging pacquiao at will in the mid rounds. offensive timing. i think this is bout can be a CLASSIC GUIDE on how an ortho should fight a southpaw who has all the physical advantages over him

soudns like ur prepared with the power generation thing, 100 pages is massive. i absolutely suggest u take ur time. how to hit with power, how to take a punch, how to jab well and how to punch fast-i think these are probably the most common questions every one asks and its so hard to answer

and i hope this site will have the best publicly available explanations on those boxing topics on the net, in books or anywhere else πŸ˜€


Johnny N November 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I actually wouldn’t use this fight because Pacquiao is so awkward that I wouldn’t use him as a common representative for southpaws.Thanks for the support, man. The power punching guide will definitely be the absolute best out there. I’m talking to body mechanic experts as we speak.


Radd November 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Johnny; 100 pages πŸ™‚ when will we see your novel’s film adaptation on theatres πŸ™‚

Saber; What a fight !! there is a lot of stuff to study on that match i guess. Especially on the speed and timing subject. Maybe there will be 4th fight who knows. What do you think about the Marquez – Mayweather fight bro ?


Johnny N November 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm

LOL, Radd! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I think I’ll put my film on PPV, see how well it does.


eli November 15, 2011 at 8:41 pm

god I love this site… im ready 2 buy the book/film, tickets now.


Johnny N November 16, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Thank you, Eli. The book is almost ready.


travis k November 16, 2011 at 7:51 am

This is just in response to the posts that marquez was basically robbed by the judges. First of all lets gets this clear.. Marquez is one of my all time favorite fighters. I feel he beat pacquiao the first fight 114-111. So now for this last fight, pac won the fight hands down. He was aggressive, came forward, landed more punches, threw more punches, had more power. How can you score marquez the winner?? He countered beautifully and fought a good fight, but you cant win rounds going backwards all night. He fought a very careful fight because he knew the knockdowns from the last 2 fights were the difference in the scores, so he wanted to make sure he wasnt knocked down this time. He also coasted the last few rounds because nacho told him he had the fight in the bag. Big mistake! And it doesnt matter if the rounds marquez won he won more convincingly or bigger than manny. He still gets a 10-9 score for the round. A lot of people dont realize or understand how a fight is scored. Its 12 separate rounds that are scored, if no knockdowns or crazy complete domination in the round, then the winner gets 10 pts and the loser 9. Marquez did not win enough rounds to beat manny. No way! And a lot of people feel marquez won the fight just due to expectation. Everyone expected manny to knock him out.. No one gave marquez a chance, he was a 9-1 underdog.. So when he performs way better than expectations it appears he won to some people. Make sense? Well thats my rant. Just wanted to clear that up. Btw i scored the fight live, pac the winner by 2 points


saber khan November 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm

hey travis, id like to point out a few things bro. a pro fight is not scored based on who threw or landed more punches. the problem is popular opinion among viewers thinks that way. some people think the more punches a fighter throws the better he is doing. this absolutely is not what happens. the other popular idea is whoever lands more punches and nothing else, wins more points. thats wrong too. its amateur boxing that scores touches and doesnt see how effective they were. PRO boxing judges look for who had effective punches and punches that landed clean. effective aggression, ring generalship and skilled defense win points. if u watch the fight please turn the commentary down because i dont know what fight the hbo announcers are calling.

heres what happens in the fight. ill watch it and type.

round 1, theres a lot of posturing and searching at the start, both throwing range finding jabs and punches blocked. very little done. but marquez did land a few body shots, pacquiao misses or grazed all of his shots. pacquaio hit on a few more marquez landed a nice shoeshine and clean body shots. but it could be judged a draw.

round 2, both boxing, mostly circling and looking for the opening. throwing jabs to make some contact. marquez trying to throw 1-2s hard, one lands poorly and one better. pacquiao begins coming forward more. marquez blocking, slipping, stopping pacquiao’s offensive incursions pretty well. a few jabs landed for both. marquez had a great counter that landed clean and a 1-2-3 combo, did a great job counterpunching. another right at the end for marquez. clearly his round.

round 3, marquez controlled the ring with movement, pacquiao began moving in a lot, he got pacquiao with a few and manny was looking for big shots. marquez landed to the body, missed a hell of a lot of uppercuts. marquez was also getting unbalanced on some power shots which he missed. lots of blocking. 3-4 combo and body punches. again a LOT of circling and looking for openings. marquez got in a shot to the kidney, pacquiao landed a clean right hook, a very clean 1-2. while marquez threw more clean punches, its all about the cleanest most effective punches and pac’s hook and on the button 1-2 i think it gave him the round.

in round 4 manny was running in, and throwing shots. fast hands and 1-2s. pacquaio lookad like he wanted to get a knock down punching full out. marquez boxing but not throwing clean shots. marquez got a body and kidney shot in, hard clean shots. pac was creating angles, marquez got more body blows in and at the end marquez hit with clean rights and a hook. replays show how clean marquez had landed id say he won some may say it was a tie. but for ring generalship and defense clearly it was marquez, manny landed touch punches that didnt have an effect.

round 5 manny was looking aggressive but getting strafed. marquez began timing manny’s charges and he started landing counters. threw combos that landed and manny was just throwing fast but hitting arms and air and grazing. a double jab for manny, a clean right by marquez. a armpunch right for marquez and a few lefts and rights totally reaching. a left hook and the best 1-2 in the fight by marquez. and another clean hook and another combo all rocked manny. manny still came forward and got hit by a combo. another combo. marquez made pacquiao look like margarito fighting pacquiao in that rount. mannys chin got tested big, i thought thats the worst pacquiaos been hit since morales and far more than marquez ever put on him. big big round. marquez sent manny back on nearly every clean shot, as compared to what pacquiao was landing which a backtracking marquez negated.

round 6 pacquiao began throwing more punches but looking for one punch and reaching like HELL. he was really reaching on power shots. when they did touch they were ineffective. pac did touch ground on some shots, swinging shots and jabs. and marquez hit him with left hooks counters things were heated. pac landed some more reaching shots. more body shots for marquez. pacquiao did throw more and land more but they were just swinging and past the peak of the punch and marquez backing up. pacquiao scored on quite a few slipped punches that touched marquez grazing and some long stretched punches. questionable but marquez was cleaner and more effective.

round 7 a big punch landed a right hook. marquez was landing counter combos shots and pacquiao was missing combos swinging for the fences. he landed jabs and those reaching blows as marquez was going back so they were not effective. they touched gloves probably a mistaken shot, and marquez counterpunching and boxing and manny looking befuddled. absolutely making manny crazy who was almost hopping more clean shots for marquez and pacquaio was leaping in to reach on punches. clearly a marquez round.

in 8 manny coming forward marquez going back and bounding forward strafing a couple of big rights for marquez lots of feints. marquez throws the final punch in an exchange. marquez was landing when charging forward. manny scored a lead left and marquez scored 3 or 4. marquez won a flurry and manny landed a few jabs, fainting. marquez circling and a body shot, jabs for manny and a 1-2 for manny that landed but didnt seem to do damage or push marquez back. marquez’ shots moved manny’s head and were cleaner. a closer round than the previous one but marquez took it

in 9 marquez charges forward more, both fighting, and both are throwing glancing blows. arm punches. flurries nothing landing. a tie up, manny missing HUGE haymakers, marquez scoring. fluries and exchanges on the ropes and a tie up, both landing grazing shots a big shot for pacquiao and one cleaner punch for marquez. pacquiao forward, countered, marquez throws a big shot, pacquiao looking just out of control. just look at the way he is being turned and is trying to run in for a shot, he is totally confused unable to land unable to impose his will at all in the ring. marquez round.

round 10, pacquiao lands a few marquez slipping ducking and countering. marquez throws a big right and then pac was so unbalanced coming forward marquez slipped a punch as pacquaio came in, and pacquiao was so out of control coming in, he knocked marquez over. complained about a butt, countering by marquez no lands, circling. marquez landing at will both countering and stepping forward. pacquaio coming forward throwing everything landing not much and some grazing shots do land. pacquaio cut over the right eye i think. marquez round.

round 11 marquez boxing, tieing up pac missing. lead left for pac. a 1-2 for pac. clean shots. uppercut for marquez, marquez circling, nothing landing, a right lead for marquez but not clean and a 1-2 missing or grazing. manny swinging like hell, coming forward, waiting and circling, hitting a right and missing the left. circling, manny comes forward and just going over marquez. strafing, marquez lands a jab and manny lands a left straight, marquez lands a right lead. this is the clearest round pacquiao took.

round 12 circling jabs, touching shots thrown, manny is completely forward, marquez swings and missies counters. backing up waiting for hard counters. marquez throwing combos doesnt land. more combos thrown nothing landing except a few for many. manny so offbalance almost goes over marquez as he slips. still feinting, both throwing poor shots but marquez landing and manny hitting air. both throwing big shots all blocked by the other. circling, marquez passive, manny in bursts, both offbalance and not landing. i dont know who to give it to because none of the punches landed were of any quality. but marquez did better ring generalship and pacquiao again looked like he didnt have a clue.

compubox scores anything that touches, refs are supposed to look at how clean the punches landed are, and how effective they were in hurting the opponent, and who was controlling the fight. pacquiao won rounds 1 and 3 and 11 and a few rounds were questionable (even round 1 is questionable because they barely did a thing and marquez landed the body shots). judges scores a boxing match based on clean effective offense skillful defense and ring generalship. marquez did better on all counts and rounds 5-9 pacquiao got a beating. he could have gone down from the number of flush rights he took to the chin coming in the way he did. if manny fought floyd, mayweather would have a way easier job picking him apart. just how it is man


travis k November 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Well i obviously know how a professional fight is scored. I just didnt go into full detail and break it down. I was simply stating that most people dont understand that a fight is scored by rou d, and once a round is over, its over. U dont let a round affect the next ones. And vice versa. Since marquez did 10 times better than expected people thought he won the fight. It just doesnt work that way. You certainly have your opinion as to who you feel the winner was. If you ask 10 people who won that fight u may get 5 that say pac and 5 that say marquez. People who score it for marquez are people who like pure boxing and counter punching. I love a great technical boxer, but you just cant score a fight for someone that back pedals the whole fight and counters. And by his own admission coasted the last rounds. I honestly think its funny you gave round 12 to marquez lol… His corner told him the fight was in the bag so he coasted.. And there are still people out there that gave him the round! Reminds me of de la hoya vs trinidad, de la hoya coasted the last rounds and rnd 12 didnt throw a punch.. Yet one judge scored him a 10-9 round.. Its ridiculus. From what i gathered, most people that think marquez won are pac haters and maytweather fans. U have to be unbiased. Answer me this, whens the last time you have seen a fighter win a fight while being walked down for 12 rnds, just countering when his opponent punches??


King Lion November 16, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Good points are being made by both Travis and Saber Khan, but in my opinion, any fights winner or loser is determinedt by who hit harder, or who was bleeding more, or who got battered, bruised and knocked down more, and finally, who got knocked out. Seeing as no one was knocked down, or out, but most agree Marquez gave the harder punches and had the better ‘hard punches landed’ percentage, I thought he should have been declared the winner.
Just because Manny was the ‘aggressor’ doesn’t automatically make him the better fighter imo .Many good fighters welcome that type of behaviourin their opponent. It’s a basic principle of good martial arts or any fighting form to hit the agggressor as they are moving in towards you, because they have bridged the gap and made the work that much easier for you to strike and make contact.
Marquez did that admirably against Pacquiao. He hit him hard and often when Manny would come into range!
I don’t dislike Manny at all, but the way Jim Lampley was bag-licking him, made me disgusted. Max Kellerman was no doubt feeling the same way as me, but Lampley and the guy scoring for HBO were far from being impartial in their love for everything Manny did and they missed a lot of what Marquez was doing, or just plain ignored it. Many times Lampley would gush over a punch Pacquaio threw that didn’t even connect – while Marquez would land a hard counter punch which went unmentioned because the commentators only had eyes for Manny – WTF was that about???
I also really don’t know how Manny can be regarded as “pound for pound the best fighter in the world” if he has been defeated more than once, while Floyd Mayweather has fought and beaten some of the best champions in the sport and has never been defeated – ever!
Wazzup with dat?
When I think of Manny Pacquiao, especially after his trilogy of fights with Juan Manuel Marquez, I remember what the rap group Public Enemy once said – Don’t believe the hype!


Johnny N November 17, 2011 at 12:04 am

The beauty of boxing is that there is more than one way to fight a fight and more than one way to win it. Regardless of who the judges choose, deep down, the fans and fighters know in their hearts who won. The most important thing is that both fighters gave it their all and that we were able to see it.


saber khan November 17, 2011 at 2:11 am

still no love for the prox huh ? i love internet debating, only time i dont have to wear pillows for gloves πŸ™ travis i wasnt implying you didnt know how to score man, just stated it to say `hey travis this is how i scored it and this is how its supposed to be scored’ no offense meant compadre. weird enough i never liked marquez before the decision went again him. i was pissed at manny for fighting so sloppily until they announced it, everyone has prejiduce, and im a barerra 2.0 type boxer myself. i used to rate marquez 2nd after barrera and ahead on morales its hard to enjoy someone thats fighting going back unless its dominating like floyd. and i was watching the hbo telecast with that moron lederman and manny steward whos hallucinatin. but i later got to hear the version with max kellerman and amir khan, as kinglion said theyre the only ones calling it as it is (including the accentuated foot stepping). anyway pro boxing has clear rules that need to be followed for it to be called pro boxing and here are some descriptions.

why is it the internets best info is on sites created so long ago they didnt even hear of javascript or flash ? well except this site of course πŸ˜› all of these sites define the 4 criteria and clean punches are right after putting some one down in terms of priority. ring generalship and defense have to be counted. effective aggression, coming. compare those site to the ones below which are popular ones and full of crap.

a quote: “Clean Punching (25%), Effective Aggression (25%), Ring Generalship (25%), Defense (25%).

Effective Aggression means landing punches while moving forward. If a fighter is aggressive but not landing punches, that does not count as effective aggression.
Ring Generalship means who is controlling the action in the ring, using strategy and skills beyond straight punching power. Is one fighter using agility and feinting to throw his opponent off guard? Or setting up his opponent for effective combinations? When one fighter moves the other around the ring at will, that fighter is displaying ring generalship.
Defense refers to a fighter’s success at avoiding blows. This can be accomplished by blocking, bobbing, weaving, good footwork, and/or good movement. Each of these criteria is supposed to be given equal weight (25%), although there’s some dispute as to whether that actually happens.”

the reason manny lost, is his aggression wasnt “effective”, it didnt affect the opponent or hurt him. and marquez had him on everything else clearly.
since in round 12 neither landed anything clean, and pac didnt have effective aggression going for him, its defense and ring generalship i scored.

but your mileage may vary, we all have the rights to our opinions. great fight.


saber khan November 17, 2011 at 4:01 am

oh i didnt point out why i mentioned the overwhelmingly marquez dominated rounds, i thought some refs would have given round 5 to marquez 10-8, and yeah that does happen in pro boxing. now some people maybe pac hates felt round 9 was 10-8 but that just isnt sensible.

who won fights backtracking… hmm heard of guys called floyd mayweather ? pernell whitaker ? pre-70s ali ? roy jones jr ? winky wright ? floyd sr did it too but who cares πŸ˜› the de la hoya-trinidad fight was DLH’s win i am a HUUUUUGE tito fan. tito simply coudlnt cut off the ring that fight. theres even the legend where willie pep won a round without throwing a single punch, he simply avoided all of his opponents’ shots and showed greater defense and ring generalship.

and pacquiao wasnt walkin marquez down, he was catching counter rights as he came forward and he had to stop in his tracks. that is NOT walking down that is getting touched up. compubox, lederman and certain HBO announcers that seem to be snacking on certain boxers’ n*tsacks are making boxing look really bad and confusing fans. as kinglion said lampley was talking about when manny was grazing marquez, i was confused. and then while the counterpunches and rights landed theyre talking about other crap. i had to turn the commentary off. the way lederman talks about compubox a casual fan would think it was an official statistic or foolproof. judges dont use it at all, its not an official measure used by hbo and espn not the boxing associations. its not even computerized or proven accurate-and funnily enough the last fight marquez outlanded pac by compubox, and pactards and marqtards were arguing about that at my workplace for a week! and when anyone tried to tell them compubox didnt matter-well it got ugly.

Expertboxing(TM), learn some stuff, read some blow by blows, its dropping the knowledge every which way πŸ˜€


gangaraj December 2, 2011 at 2:59 am

i am tall 6.2 if i use shoulder roll will it be effective .because i am slow in throwing punches ,i hav my university match ma oppanents r very speed i play for light weight category ,should offen use shoulder roll r oly sumtimes ………thank you master for teaching such gret technique i will surely practice this thank you………….


Johnny N December 3, 2011 at 4:41 am

The shoulder roll is one of many boxing defense techniques. Even if you don’t use it all the time, it is still very important to know and will be useful in some situations. It will be effective so make sure you learn it, gangaraj!


gangaraj December 4, 2011 at 6:34 am

Thanks master, everyday i spare in the ring i try to reach my punch on the opponents face but i am not able to land atall ,most of ma seniors tell i hav to do foot work and keep runing and jab but i am not able to do that master.i only play a standing game i get hit badly what exactly i have to do to play well master .


Johnny N December 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Start running more often to develop the conditioning in your legs. Get use to moving while fighting. Even if you can’t do boxer steps, at least walk around your opponent. Don’t just stand there.


Rich December 20, 2011 at 5:01 am

Thanks for such the informative, effective and yet simple technique. Its given me a new found confidence in working out my rhythm, and learning how to practice defence realistically.

Big Respect


Johnny N December 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I’m happy for you. Good luck to you.


curtis c December 29, 2011 at 1:48 am

just a quixk question im a little curious. I read on wikipedia a hile back that to defeat the shoulder roll techique all you have to do is jab the shoulder to demobilize the arm. if this is true what should i do? hope to here from you soon.


Johnny N December 29, 2011 at 4:47 am

That’s one way to do it. I wouldn’t say the jab demobilizes the arm, but I use that tactic to push my opponent off balance.


curtis December 30, 2011 at 8:37 am

i’ve heard of the shoulder roll (but on wikipedia as to which i have refered to much often before) i have become much aware of the shoulder lean which can also be combined with the shoulder roll to dip under a opponents punches whilest simultainiously shifting postion. according to wikipedia or somewhat similar to that. what is the shoulder lean?


Johnny N January 3, 2012 at 1:47 am

The shoulder roll is the technique I explained in the article. If you bend you’re knees while rolling INTO the punch you will roll under it. The “shoulder lean” as mentioned in wikipedia is basically what I explained as the shoulder roll.


curtis c January 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm

so can you exsplain a little further how do i roll under punches?


saber khan January 17, 2012 at 9:57 am

the shoulder lean according to wikipedia could be a roll, or roll under, or even a slip and counter. (rotate, bend, and counter could mean any of these). i knew of it as shoulder rolling while pulling back or leaning back. i dont think the term is that frequently used anyway.
however they misidentify the philly shell as being synonymous with the crab guard. some of my friends and me used to call the philly shell the boston crab to differentiate it from the crab. of course there is no boston crab its either called the philly shell or the michigan defense. the crab guard is the cross-arm position used by norton and foreman v2. i think hopkins comes in with this guard sometimes (not sure at all abt that). even roy jones at times. wikipedia isnt always accurate and boxing needs visual guides.


alex January 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm

hey my name is alex and shoulder rolling is hard for me cuz i dont have big shoulders so keep getting hit


Johnny N January 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Don’t try to use your shoulder as a shield…use your rhythm to deflect the punch off of you. This move takes a lot of practice.


Ali January 31, 2012 at 2:35 am

Hi Johnny,

Just wanted to say am a big fan and I just love surfin through this site almost on a daily basis to keep reminding myself over and over again with some of the fundamental boxing basics.

I have one observation though, in your shoulder roll tutorial video with your partner, I cant help but notice that the punches he is throwing at you to shoulder roll doesn’t seem to be quite realistic, as in no one really swings punches like that as opposed to straight jabs and and proper hooks, my only concern is that during application it would be fairly be different to the video.

Cause when I tried to apply this it seemed that I really need to twist my waist severely or actually pull back slightly to the back (i.e. Mayweather), do I make any sense?

Thanks man!


Johnny N January 31, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Hi Ali, your question was addressed in the article. The drill has the punches going low because the drill is to DEVELOP THE RHYTHM. If fighters drill using higher face-level punches, they start to worry more about covering the face with the shoulder instead of developing the rhythm.

I understand other boxers or pro-boxers you see on TV might do things differently. Nonetheless, I recommend my drill for beginners because it helps them develop the number one thing — the shoulder roll rhythm. Once you have the rhythm down, it’s easy to move on to other things like going under punches or rolling against face level punches, etc.


FlyShumel February 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Found this website about a week ago and ever since I been coming on here everytime I want a dose of some Boxing knowledge. Love this website and love this article its pretty good at explaining the technique.One thing I was wondering though was that, you should the shoulder roll on hooks and the right straight, but is the shoulder roll worth doing against jabs?


Johnny N February 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I don’t recommend the shoulder roll against jabs. It’s ok to use it from time to time because you might not be able to tell between a jab and a left hook (especially with tricky long-armed opponents). There’s also the risk that you’re being set up for heavier punches by rolling the jab.


Lawdog February 29, 2012 at 4:13 am

I recently saw Freddie Roach teaching counters using the shoulder roll against the straight right where “the right hand is deflected to the inside.”

I’m having trouble getting my head around the techniques. One is the Virgil Hill counter, another is the Lucia Rjicker (sp.) counter.

In the Hill counter, the defender deflects the punch with the shoulder, then throws a Left hook over the top. Similar to how Pacquiao counters an orthrodox opponent’s jab.
In the Rjicker counter, the defender rolls the shoulder and throws a body to the uppercut.

Both moves are supposed to be in one fluid motion.

My question is, how are you supposed to deflect with the shoulder FIRST, and then land the punch?
If you’re twisting your hips, and your torso+left arm is moving as a single unit, wouldn’t your punch land before your shoulder comes across to protect your face? How is it possible to deflect first, and then follow with the punch?

If I shoulder roll first, I’m turning my hips, so am I just following up with a weak arm punch? How can I deflect the punch with the shoulder and maintain punching power?


Johnny N February 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm


For the counter hook, the deflect and counter is a simultaneous motion. The act of you turning over your body will launch the hook counter while deflecting the right hand off of you (if it even touches at all).

For the counter uppercut, what hand are the countering with? If it’s the left uppercut, treat it like you would with the counter hook. If it’s the counter right uppercut, then you roll first and THEN come back with a counter. It might feel more like a shoulder block than a shoulder roll in that latter instance.


Lawdog February 29, 2012 at 4:16 am

oops “….throws an uppercut to the body.”


Marvin Espera May 10, 2012 at 7:54 am

I really like those Rival gloves, where can I buy those pair and how much? Thanks!


Johnny N May 17, 2012 at 8:00 am

Hey Marvin, you can buy those gloves from


Kevin L June 2, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Is that Bryan Lee as your sparring partner?


Johnny N June 4, 2012 at 10:47 am

Yes, Bryan Lee as my lovely demonstration assistant–LOL!


J June 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm

so is the concept to shoulder rolling like a parry with the shoulder? if thats the case how does someone avoid a high head shot? roll and partially duck?


Johnny N June 22, 2012 at 3:40 am

Yes, it’s kind of like parrying but with the shoulder. If you can deflect the head shot with your shoulder, great. If not, you’ll have to roll it off your head directly (like James Toney) or even roll under it.


sore guy July 27, 2012 at 9:51 am

Hi Johnny.

Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but after trying shoulder rolling today, most punches hit my left arm. The result : I had a hard time jabbing with my left arm because it started to feel numb (my biceps has purple spots all over now!).

Something that has kept me thinking after the end of the session was wether I was just lacking the skill to execute the shoulder roll properly, or if my opponent was actually hitting my arm on purpose as a countermeasure against the shoulder roll. Was he looking to take away my lead arm so I couldnt counter some of his attacks?

Thanks for your opinion!


Johnny N July 27, 2012 at 11:41 am

Great question. The goal is to defend the punch by deflecting it which is to knock it out of the way when it comes in. If all you’re doing is covering up with your shoulder then yes, it will take a beating. Also, hitting the shoulder is one way of trying to nullify the shoulder roll.


curtis c October 15, 2012 at 11:21 am

how do i shoulder roill under punches and once i have learned this what should i do next/ how should i put this into practice best? I am asking this question becuase i am a learner who learns best with writing, pitures, and images.


Johnny N October 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Yes, learn everything. Practice after you learn. And then learn some more, and practice some more.


curtis carpenter October 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm

when will you write the guide on rolling under punches i cant wait im so exisited and what is rolling under a punch?


Johnny N November 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm

I will do it later.


Zombie November 30, 2012 at 2:49 am

Hi Johnny,
My friend pointed out your website & your tips are invaluable as I am boxing in my first event in less than 2 weeks! Looking at your site I wish I had more time as I have so much more to learn. The shoulder-roll looks great but the question I have is how can this be useful to defend against head-shots? Am I mis-understanding ?
Also any tips for a short guy pleases? As I’m very short nearly all my opponents are taller/have a longer reach, I seem to spend most of my time trying to get inside.




Johnny N December 2, 2012 at 8:43 am

The shoulder roll is all about the roll, not the shoulder. You can see examples of short guys using it successfully such as Stevie Forbes, or James Toney, or Pernell Whitaker. If you rely on blocking with your shoulder, then yes, you will always feel like the shoulder can’t cover up high.


Euro Boxer January 29, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Hello to evryone!sorry guys but i am full of doubts about this “shoulder roll”do you think it can work by tall people(1,97 meter) and for boxing style with the same rules by olimpic boxe?
and don’t you think that the referee could call you by taking up the elbow?


Johnny N January 31, 2013 at 10:52 pm

The shoulder roll is definitely very effective for taller boxers. And definitely very useful for Olympic boxers. I will say the reason the reason why you don’t see it as often is because Olympic boxers usually fight at very far distances instead of staying up close where points might count against them even for blocked shots. You will not get penalized for blocking with your elbow.


left cross of doom February 26, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Too be honest that is not the best way to do the philly shell I’m a south paw and ima explain it this way my chin rests on the back of my left hand and my right arm is right across my belly button area good concept but wrong hand placement


Johnny N February 28, 2013 at 1:01 am

This is a guide to learn the concept of the shoulder roll. Once you get the roll, you can do it from whatever position you want.


huck August 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm

so can you stay in shoulder for hole fight because i want to master it


Johnny N August 27, 2013 at 11:26 am

Not really. The fight will change and you’ll have to adapt accordingly. You can rely on one trick for an entire fight…especially when your opponents are using multiple tricks to attack you.


Daniel December 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Why is the shoulder roll Ineffective against the jab?


Johnny N January 8, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Well, it was meant for rolling off power shots that come from the side or come from the angle. The jab comes straight at you making the shoulder roll too much work to block a small punch.


alp December 27, 2013 at 3:38 am

Hi, could you write a section on how to get through the shoulder roll, side stance defence? I find it difficult against fighters who stand sideways raise their lead shoulder and lean back slightly when i attack. if i keep moving in close with a combo, they back away using footwork, its very frustrating.

Thank you


Johnny N January 9, 2014 at 1:00 am

Noted. Thanks for the suggestion, Alp.


Roger December 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm

hey johnney…. man u speak the truth and also helps us out to be a better fighter…. shoulder roll i love dat move….


Roger December 29, 2013 at 12:50 pm

i am really studying that move everyday and also practice it….. thanks for the tips


King February 3, 2014 at 11:12 am

Once again preciate the article. Ur my second coach. I’m a southpaw and I study guys like Guillermo Rigondeaux who is an absilute defensive master do u have any advice for us south paws trying to perfect the. The shoulder roll against right handers…. and also something else I noticed about Rigo is he can piviot both clockwise and couter clockwise wich I have only seen in a couple boxers ever most can only to the side of their jab hand. Any tips on movement to the side of your strong hand?


Johnny N February 12, 2014 at 3:29 pm

More mitt drills and sparring practice. As for tips for moving to the side of your strong hand. Try to do it when your opponent throws, this creates more counter-punching opportunity. If you do it when he’s NOT throwing, he will probably just move in on you and take your ground away.


Cristian February 11, 2014 at 5:20 pm

How can I use the shoulder roll when fighting an agressive opponent?


Johnny N February 12, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Use the technique in the manner that I explained up above and counter him.


mike March 19, 2014 at 2:51 am

mayweather is not using the shoulder roll anymore…because it has already a weakness…to put mayweather in the rope…so what he’s using now is ”punch & step back all night” ..that’s gameplan to gurrero and canelo…maidana will be a very easy fight 4 Floyd …he said on may 3rd same gameplan like what I did to guerrero ….I know that cause im a janitor at mayweather boxing club…im 45 yrs old…hey johnny ur very smart….good trainer


humble March 19, 2014 at 3:00 am

who wins? heavyweight welterweight????? ….they said boxing is just a sport of punching and it’s being swallowed by ufc….but ufc I like kind of homosexual on the ground….and for me boxing is better….higher prize…its kind of business….


Johnny N March 23, 2014 at 6:42 pm

I don’t understand the question.


chuck March 19, 2014 at 3:13 am

sir, im a heavyweight my height is 6 feet…im from los angeles my pro record is (5-0-0 by ko 5) black guy .. my idol is mike Tyson….actually im just copying him….do you have any advice…?


Johnny N March 23, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Mike Tyson learned from watching many different fighters. You should do the same.


jjjjj April 13, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Hmmm. That makes no sense. Why would the opponent aim your shoulders with his punches ?
Can you make a video how you shoulder roll when the opponent actually aims at your chin or head


Johnny N July 13, 2014 at 7:18 pm

This is a video to help demonstrate how to train the technique. It’s to help stress the importance of GETTING THE RHYTHM and not so much about “lifting the shoulder” which is what all the noobs are doing. If you want to see a shoulder roll work against head punches, go watch videos of James Toney or Floyd Mayweather. Even if Mayweather’s mittwork, you can see his uncle purposely aiming for his shoulders.


Peter May 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Hi Johnny, great article. Just a quick question, I have fairly long arms and tends to raise my elbow & shoulder and I roll (or defend), any comments?


Johnny N July 13, 2014 at 7:21 pm

It’s a not problem. Sometimes, Mayweather does that, too.


Ryan February 18, 2015 at 11:11 am

Did jack dempsey basically use a shoulder roll in a offensive manor to create the dempsey roll? & if not how is it you can learn the dempsey??? I’m very interested in learning & using it if i can make it work for me.
Thank you for all the information on the site it is all very helpful


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