Canelo Alvarez is considered to be the best boxer in the world right now, and watching him in the ring is a thing of beauty. The way he is able to move just outside of his opponent’s punches and retaliate with vicious counter shots is the pinnacle of boxing’s number one goal: hit and don’t get hit. But how does he do it? While there is a lot of nuance to what he does, and some of those concepts are impossible to explain outside of a boxing ring, there are some key techniques that he uses that anyone can learn to incorporate into their own ringcraft and boxing training.
Punch Off The Center
Punching off the center is the idea that when you punch with correct form, you should get in the habit of moving your head away from the center line (the line drawn between two boxers' heads) at the same time. If you watch Canelo, any time he throws a punch, his head moves. Whether left, right, or ducking, his head never stays stationary while he’s punching. This makes him much harder to target with counters.
Dynamic defense is a boxing technique of using punches to block other punches. For instance, when you jab with a tucked chin, your shoulder rises and naturally protects your chin and jaw from punches. Your arm will help deflect and weaken incoming punches from outside of the arm. Alvarez does this a lot with both his jab and his left hook to the head, using the momentum of his punch to knock an incoming punch off balance and deliver one of his own at the same time.
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
You’ll notice that many good boxers including Canelo seem to want to keep their opponent’s entire body in view, even though threats can only come from their hands. The reason for this is because it is much easier to read what punches an opponent is preparing to throw if you can see most of their body. Some boxers feint with their eyes, some with their shoulders, and others with their knees or their feet. No boxer does a full body feint – that’s an overcommitment. So if a boxer’s entire body is sending the same signal, it's time to get out of the way.
Efficiency of Movement
Boxing is about small, precise movements in rapid succession, not wide sweeping commitments. “Train Small” is the idea that when you train, you should allow yourself as little ‘fat’ on your movements as possible – the goal is to dodge by just a hair. Boxing may be fought in three minute rounds, but results are decided through interactions that usually only last a few seconds each. Canelo understands this, and if you watch him, he very rarely swings with wide punches or gets far out of the way of a punch. Usually he only moves enough to barely avoid being hit.
Duck, Dodge, Slip, You Got This!
Canelo Alvarez is an incredible boxer to watch work in the ring, and his craft wasn’t honed overnight but through years of practice and dedication. If you want to up your own boxing game or just get a great workout in a fun and exciting way, FightCamp has all the tools you need to reach your fitness goals.
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