Muhammad Ali. Mike Tyson. Two of the best, if not the best, heavyweights to have ever laced up boxing gloves. In their prime, critics would argue that each was unbeatable, which is why so many have fantasized over a hypothetical bout between the two.
Stylistically, they were complete opposite fighters. Muhammad Ali was swift, suave, long and rangy–moving like poetry in motion. Tyson was built like a brickhouse, and the speed and explosiveness he had in his gloves was like no other. Ali fought in the long range, while Tyson was in close, utilizing the short range.
Today, FightCamp Co-Founder and Trainer Tommy Duquette will explain the difference between the two fighting styles: long range vs. short range. As a fighter, it is necessary to know how to do both boxing techniques, inside fighting (short range) and outside fighting (long range), because you never know how your opponent will fight or push the pace. Even if you never enter the ring, having the ability to switch between the two can help make you an overall better boxer.
Long Range Boxing
Tall, upright stance
Positioned on the balls of your feet, ready to quickly move directions
Arms-length away from target
Tip: Cheat your weight back a little bit onto your rear leg and keep your hands (especially your lead hand) out a little further from your guard–this is optimal for counter punching
Punching from the long range stance is primarily done through 1’s and 2’s (jabs and crosses)
These punches help keep your opponent away from you
To throw hooks and uppercut punches from this stance, you must step in closer to your opponent
Long Range Combo: Jab - Cross - Lead Hook | 1 - 2 - 3
Assume a long range boxer’s stance
Power for the jab is generated by pushing off the ball of your rear foot and shifting your weight forward
Step forward 2-inches with your lead leg and throw your jab
As your lead foot hits the ground, you should be making contact with your target
Once your punch hits, retract your lead hand back to guard
Follow up by immediately throwing your cross (2), while simultaneously bringing your rear leg back to your initial stance
Finish off the combo by throwing a lead hook (3), rotating at your hips to generate power
Short Range Boxing
Weight is more evenly distributed with a slightly wider than normal stance
Less than one foot away from your target
This is a slightly more vulnerable position, so sit down (bend your knees a bit more) in the stance with your gloves up at eyebrow height–sometimes called the “peek-a-boo” guard position
Tip: Make sure your elbows remain “glued” into your body to help block body shots that may come from your opponent
This stance is ideal to land power and body shots on your opponent, however, it is also easier to get hit as well
With less distance between yourself and your opponent/target, punching combos can be a bit more difficult
Incorporating a drop step will help you separate and gain the space you need to land punching combo
Short Range Combo: Rear Hook (Body) - Rear Uppercut - Lead Hook - Cross | 4B - 6 - 3 - 2
Assume a short range boxing stance–less than one foot away from your target
Begin your punching combo by throwing a rear hook (4) to the body of your opponent
Quickly retract your punch back to your guard and immediately follow-up with a rear uppercut (6)
As your lead hand makes contact and begins to retract to your guard, perform the lead hook (3) and simultaneously take a 2-inch drop step with your rear leg
As your lead hook (3) punch lands, your rear foot should be landing with the drop step
As you retract your lead hand back from throwing your lead hook (3), your lead foot should hit the ground, bringing you back to your original stance and balance
Once balanced, finish off the combo by throwing your cross (2)
These explanations and different punching combos from Tommy will help you master your long range and short range boxing stances. With any punch combo, practice often and use a mirror, shadowboxing, so you can correct your form and technique. The key to learning anything is to start slow and steady, and increase the speed only once you have gotten down the movements.
Stay Strong and Grounded
As always if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to any of the trainers in the FightCamp Community. Ready to step your game up and take your at-home boxing training to the next level? Check out our YouTube Channel and Blog, and get ready to elevate your boxing routine!