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In Praise of the Majestic Left Hook

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David in MN:
For those who have never boxed the left hook is the punch that requires mastery. My favorite boxer Joe Frazier almost didn't have a right hand in terms of power. Miguel Cotto redefined the left hook as an almost uppercut body shot. I'm Ok with arguing Tyson, Frazier, and Morrison (but Cotto deserves a mention).

Here's a fun video that unfortunately neglects Cotto:

What every boxer knows is that your straight right only works moving forward. The left hook can be mastered moving forward or back or most frighteningly slipping or rolling. Once my trainer saw I had a good hook he would throw a medicine ball at my head which I would slip to my left foot and use that torsion power to come back up and hook the heavy bag.

It's not for everyone. But you train and it becomes the most violent part of some of our boxing arsenal. Do a little search and realize you could drill to get Cotto's masterful scooping hook and then follow with a Frazier over the top hook. Same punch. Same out of position.

It's the punch that gets no respect but wins fights.

I spent years in martial arts, did some MMA, and also got in a lot of fights before I grew up. I knew, that I could throw a punch...well then when I was like 26, I started to learn some boxing. Boy was I wrong. I don't know how I went all those years without proper technique. My coaches picked my form apart.
I still remember the day I learned to really turn my hips and throw that left hook. I wasn't even trying to throw it hard, but the power that you can produce, it's amazing. Definitely my favorite punch. After my next comp, I am going to focus a couple days a week to getting back to either some boxing, or grappling. I miss it, and my oldest boy is 3 1/2 now, so I want to get him started early.

David in MN:
I spent years studying the 2 big left hooks. You either went straight and hard to the body which was the George Foreman masterpiece or went full hip rotation and sung to the head a la Smikin Joe Frazier. When you get Frazier's punch all the power comes from the body. It really is something.

Then comes this Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto and he does it totally different...

He drops the shoulder and does kind of a half hook half corkscrew half uppercut that looks so wrong but lands so good. I spent days just drilling that punch. And it can work even if it just feels wrong.

That's the amazing thing about the hook. We all do it different. Freddie Roach used to coach that it should be so tight if you missed with the fist you should hit with the elbow. Frazier used to scoff that he knocked out Ali with a long looping punch because Ali had a bad habit of retreating straight back.

As the old saying goes, we go to the heavy bag not to work out but to think.

Mr. Bill:

David in MN:

--- Quote from: Mr. Bill on April 11, 2019, 11:23:11 AM ---

--- End quote ---

Haha. It's actually an apt joke on more ways than one. Boxing was an ancient Greek sport (so much so that we who practice it are slangly called sons of Apollo because he was the God of boxers). Then the sport fell off until it found its revival with British navymen who were eager to prove their ship boasted the strongest men. It was routine to limit the fight to 40 rounds and the men literally beat each other to a bloody pulp.

In fact I believe it was bareknuckle champ John Sullivan who fist adopted Queensbury Rules and the use of gloves and the modern glove wasn't even made until Cleto Reyes got pumelled and realized he needed a glove to protect the wrist.

That's why we call it the "sweet science". Ever evolving. But perhaps I've explained why Sylvester Stallone writing the opponent "Apollo Creed" was the best name anyone could come up with for a boxer.


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