Range fighting is one of the different styles used in boxing. Most outside fighters are people with longer frames, allowing them to reach opponents from distances they can’t return the favor.
Most tall, rangy people who start training in boxing are typically advised to fight on the outside. Their physiques give them a natural advantage over shorter fighters, so they might as well use it. That doesn’t mean all outside fighters don’t know how to fight up close. Many of them can since they spend lots of time training to fight on the inside since that’s what most opponents try to force rangier fighters into.
Range boxers often have good straight punches since those are their most used weapons. Straight punches like the jab and cross cover more distance than your other punches, making it easier for you to stay outside your opponent’s range while attacking.
Examples of some of the best range fighters in boxing include Floyd Mayweather, Terrance Crawford, and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. This article will examine the skills these boxers have mastered to make themselves some of the top range fighters in boxing.
Five Boxing Skills You Need To Master To Be An Effective Outside-Range Boxer
Here are some of the things most effective range boxers are good at:
You’ll have difficulty keeping opponents off you if you don’t know how to use your feet inside the ring. Your opponents won’t just wait on the outside of your punches while you outpoint them from range. They’ll lunge at you, throw combinations, and use forward momentum to trap you against the ropes or corner so they can unleash powerful punches on you.
Effective range fighters typically have excellent footwork that makes it easier to manage the distance. They also use their footwork to pivot out of unfavorable positions to minimize the damage they take during fights.
You’ll have difficulty finding successful range boxers with slow or plodding feet. That’s better suited for aggressive fighters who want to dig their feet into the canvas and unleash powerful combinations.
Most effective inside fighters have powerful jabs that deter opponents from crowding them during their fights. Their jabs are typically used to gauge distances, break up opponents’ rhythm, and score points.
Floyd Mayweather is an excellent example of an outside fighter who uses his jab to keep opponents at outside range. He uses many different types of jabs and throws them from varying angles to keep opponents guessing. Some jabs come from below, while others are thrown horizontally. Some are thrown with full power, while others are merely used as measuring sticks to set up another punch.
That’s one of the keys to being an effective outside fighter. Your jab should be sharp enough that you can use it to manage distance while reminding opponents you have some power behind your punches.
3) Punching Power
It’s common for people who don’t follow boxing or are new to it to assume that aggressive brawlers are the only fighters who should be concerned about how powerful their punches are. That couldn’t be farther from the truth since brawler types often win off their aggression and punch volume, not their power.
Knockout power is more important when you’re an outside fighter since that’s the only thing preventing opponents from running right at you to close the distance. Having power in your punches makes opponents more cautious about closing the distance on you since they know you can end the fight with one punch. Their reluctance works to your advantage since it gives you more time to work on the outside.
One of the worst situations an outside boxer can find themselves in is going up against an opponent who has no respect for their punching power. They walk forward with absolutely no concern and force the outside boxer to fight on the inside for most of the fight.
Make sure you develop your punching power if you plan to spend most of your time fighting outside as a boxer. Even outside fighters like Floyd Mayweather, who aren’t known for heavy punches, hit pretty hard.
The best example of this would be Mayweather’s super fight with Manny Pacquaio. Floyd came out in the first round and landed several power shots on Pacquaio, making him hesitant to close the distance during the opening rounds. Another example would be Lennox Lewis’ fight against Mike Tyson. Lewis used his jab to keep Tyson at range, and when that didn’t work, he fired brutal uppercuts that slowly chipped away at Tyson’s aggression.
Keeping your opponent at the end of your punches makes them more likely to make a mistake as they look to close the distance. That’s when you hit them with a counterpunch. Catch them while they’re moving towards you, and you might be able to put them away with it.
Many of the best outside boxers around are excellent counterpunches. They sometimes even bait their opponents into throwing ill-advised punches by dropping their hands to create counterpunching opportunities. For instance, Mayweather used a modified version of the Philly shell during his professional boxing days, so he would often drop his lead hand by his waist without leaving himself vulnerable to punches.
This accomplished two things: It allowed him to throw his jabs and hooks upward, which made it harder for opponents to see them coming. It also baited opponents into going for head punches only to get hit with a counter. His fight against Ricky Hatton is an excellent example of this. Floyd kept his lead hand down as Hatton pressured him into a corner before sending Hatton to the canvas with a check hook. That was the beginning of the end for Hatton. He made the count but ended up taking more of a beating before the referee stopped the fight.
You’ll have a hard time fighting on the outside if your cardio is subpar. Fighting at range involves moving all over the ring to maintain your comfortable range and keep up with the pressure your opponent puts on you. You won’t be able to fight outside for long if you get gassed quickly.
Effective outside fighters are typically cardio machines that never seem to get tired during their fights. Everyone becomes slow-footed when tired, making it hard to keep opponents off.
You may also like: