The art of inside slipping almost disappeared from modern boxing, but it’s slowly making a comeback thanks to Soviet/Cuban-style boxers like Lomachenko. It’s a slick defensive movement and it can create openings for you to exploit.
Inside slipping has been a part of boxing from the beginning, and many old-school boxers used it routinely. However, modern boxers typically only slip to the outside. Many of them aren’t even trained on how to slip inside.
Slipping is a defensive head movement that is used to evade punches by moving your head to one side of your shoulders. You slip to the outside when you move your head away from your opponent’s body and to the inside when your head moves toward them. Slipping to the outside is generally safer since it limits your opponent’s options while putting you in a position to attack their head or body.
Many factors led to inside slipping almost disappearing from boxing, but one of the main ones is the amateur boxing scoring system. This encourages slipping outside and using hit-and-run tactics. It’s the perfect style for point fighting since it’s easier to see when a fighter evades a punch by slipping outside than it is when they slip inside. Slipping inside makes it harder to score fights since you can’t always see what type of work boxers are doing on the inside.
Amateur boxing favors outside fighters so many amateur boxers have long lanky frames that are ideal for this style. However, things change at the professional level where fights can last up to 12 rounds, compared to the maximum of three rounds allowed in amateur boxing. The longer format of professional boxing fights favours shorter, inside fighters since that style requires less running around inside the ring. It’s a more energy-efficient style than picking opponents apart from outside range.
Slipping to the outside uses more energy than slipping inside, but it’s easier for judges to tell that you evaded the punch. Slipping inside saves energy, but it’s often difficult to tell what’s going on. How you slip punches determines if most of the fight will be spent inside or outside.
Mike Tyson’s reign is another significant reason why many boxers today favour slipping to the outside. Tyson’s dominance in the 80s and 90s changed the way many boxing trainers trained people. Tyson was known for slipping to the outside and countering with powerful punches. Old-school boxers who jabbed and slipped to the inside didn’t have any answers for him.
Many of the boxers who dominated in the 90s and 2000s were outside-slipping fighters who emulated Tyson’s style with lots of success and nice knockout ratios. Tyson’s style was popular with fans, it was good for business, and people wanted to see flashy movements and spectacular knockouts. Slipping to the outside is an effective way to set that up.
A lot of things have changed since then as we find ourselves in the aftermath of the Floyd Mayweather era. Now, it’s almost as if every boxer wants to drop their hands and use the Mayweather shell defense. Mayweather’s use of the shell was so effective many boxing trainers now consider what was once seen as a bad habit to be a sound boxing technique. That’s just how boxing goes. The best boxers typically have a lasting effect on the sport.
Five Reasons To Slip Inside In Boxing
Ready to find out why slipping inside should be part of your boxing game? Let’s jump right into our list:
1) Easier To Master
Slipping inside a punch requires less vision and technique, making it easier than slipping to the outside. The technique starts with you turning your torso toward the inner part of the punch. For example, you can slip to the inside of a cross by turning your torso away from it and bending at your waist and knee. Turning your torso away from a punch comes naturally for most people since it’s instinctive to turn away from punches.
To slip outside of the same punch, you would need to turn your torso toward the punch, which feels counterintuitive. It often takes boxers some time to get used to turning in to punches.
2) Requires Less Energy
Slipping punches to the inside isn’t just easier, it also uses up less energy. Slipping to the outside of punches requires lots of movement. Only the very best boxers can slip to the outside while using little movement.
Slipping inside puts you in a safe spot inside your opponent’s range, with their arms too overwhelmed to throw effective punches. Many old-school boxers preferred slipping to the inside of punches for this reason. They used the slip to close the distance and force their opponents to engage in a phone-booth-style fight. Slipping to the outside leaves you further away from your opponent, forcing you to fight more on the outside and use up more energy.
3) Safer Than Slipping To The Outside
Slipping a punch doesn’t guarantee you won’t get hit, which is why boxing trainers typically advise keeping your hands up as you slip. However, you take less damage when you get hit while slipping to the inside. Remember, slipping inside requires you to turn your torso away from your opponent’s body. This means your body and head move in the same direction as the incoming punch so the power in it is rolled off a bit.
Now, compare that to slipping to the outside which requires you to move toward the punch. You absorb a lot more force if you end up getting hit since you moved into the punch, multiplying its effect.
4) Effective Way To Close Distance
If you prefer fighting up close and personal, inside slipping will help you to close ground on opponents and prevent them from moving away from you when you slip their punches. Your body mirrors your opponent’s body when you slip inside, while your bodies cross away from each other when you slip to the outside.
Since slipping on the inside requires you to mirror your opponent’s body, every movement and punch you throw gets you closer to your opponent.
5) Makes It Easier To Roll Under Punches
Rolling under punches by bending at your knee while staring at your opponent is a lot more difficult than it looks. An easier way to roll under punches is to turn away from them and bend at your waist (aka slipping inside). Try this out if you’re having difficulties rolling under punches the conventional way.
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