Archie Moore is without doubt one of the finest boxers the sport has ever seen. Moore fought across a range of weight classes that spanned over four decades in the sport. A veteran of over 200 fights he is the only man to have fought heavyweight greats Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali and is widely considered as one of the best light heavyweight boxers of all time, some would say the best ever even ahead of Ezzard Charles. Moore was still defending his light heavyweight title into his mid 40’s!
But that’s the problem, pretty much all of the footage we see of Archie Moore is when he is well past his prime, fighting in his mid 30’s to late 40’s where he has obviously lost a step or two yet he still fights like a great and holds the record for the most number of knockouts – which will likely never be broken given how often the fighters from previous generations were fighting.
Imagine my delight then when a user on YouTube sent me a link to footage he had found of Archie Moore fighting in 1940, which would make him early to mid 20’s depending on which date of birth we are led to believe, either way this is a prime Moore and despite the clip being only 2mins long he displays plenty of skills we can learn from. On another note according to the video the owner only requested a short clip be used which is quite annoying because clearly there must be people out there who have lots of unseen footage of many greats from that era and are keeping it to themselves. Anyway lets have a look at some of the skills on show from Archie Moore in the clip below.
The Lead Forearm Block
This is an old school move I have seen going back as far as Bob Fitzsimmons from the late 19th Century and something I have seen a lot of greats use so it’s no surprise Moore employed this method too and it looks like around this time Moore was not using the cross arm guard he made famous as much as he did later in his career. The lead forearm is used in a horizontal fashion to block the opponents punches, there is space between the forearm and chin(or your fist and chin) and its purpose is to deflect the trajectory of the opponents blow so it misses the target.
Very smart move from Moore here – the pivot can be used for a variety of reason, whether it is so set up your attack by changing the angle or as part of your defence to avoid a blow. Moore uses it here in a defensive manner, as the opponent gets ready to throw the left hook, Moore pivots away to step away from the line of fire, notice how he also gives the opponent a helping hand to using his arms to push the opponent on his way out of harm.
The Push and Shoot
I have made a video on this in the past named the push and shoot which looked at how boxers would use their lead shoulder to push or shove their opponent on the inside in order to create space. Moore would use his lead shoulder to shove the opponent and then use the same hand to throw punches having created the room with his shoulder shove. Another smart move from Archie Moore.
Moore would get his head under the opponent of his chin, by doing this he is now able to control the body of his opponent. Moore can also get his hands on the inside because this means with his head under the opponents chin and his hands on the inside, there is literally nothing the opponent can do, if he tries to throw a punch Moore can simply from a punch from underneath. With Moore’s head under the opponents chin and his hands on the inside this means the opponents head is up in the air and his hands are on the outside, not a good position to be in, all they can really do is try and initiate the clinch.
So there’s four little old school boxing tricks you can pick up from a young Archie Moore. To read more about Moore you can read my book Forgotten Legends of the Ring which is available with the buy one get two free offer here on my site.
Boxing Coach Strength and Conditioning Coach Boxing Author of: The Boxing Cheat Sheet - Your Ultimate Guide to Ring Survival Strength and Conditioning for Boxing - Work out Hits to get you Fighting Fit! Forgotten Legends of the Ring - Ten Past Masters of the Squared Circle *Any videos or images used on this site to support my articles that are copyrighted are used in accordance to the fair use act and are not my own - all credit is due to the respective owners. No copyright infringement intended.
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