Bernard Hopkins vs Winky Wright
When Bernard Hopkins fought against Winky Wright, the one thing Hopkins had to do was try and take away the jab because Wright was a very efficient fighter – fighting out of the high guard and covering up, Wright could creep up on you and just pick you off all night with a technically excellent jab. Wright didn’t go looking for the knockout and he was prepared and calm enough to consistently work behind the jab.
The first tactic Hopkins used against the jab of Wright was to use the touch jab and then take a step back. This was used because Hopkins was wanting to make Wright counter the jab but force him to over reach for the jab as Hopkins was stepping out after. When Wright would follow him, Hopkins would catch him on the way in by surprise, often using his right hand to score on Wright. Sometimes Hopkins would stall Winky Wright walking forward by using a foot feint and then follow up the foot feint with an attack.
Another method Hopkins used to cause Wright to reach with the jab was the pivot. By pivoting off to the side when Wright jabbed, Hopkins was making Wright miss and almost lunge in with his jab. After the pivot Hopkins could then launch a counter attack from the change of angle afforded by the pivot.
Hopkins would also use distance to tease Wright into jabbing and into a trap of counter punching. This was done by Hopkins using his head to lean in closer to Wright making it appear he was within distance to be hit, when Wright took the bait and threw the jab, Hopkins would pull back and counter with a punch of his own.
The jab is the most important punch in boxing and the most used punch in boxing, if you can take away the jab and consistently counter this jab, the battle is already almost won. Bernard Hopkins was one of the most crafty technicians we’ve seen and the video below shows how he was able to control the jab of Winky Wright.