How to use the feint by Muhammad Ali
Feinting is an extremely important art in boxing. The better you become as a boxer, the more important it is to learn boxing feints in order to open up your opponent. A skilled opponent would have been drilled in defending the basic punches and punch combinations, you are not going to be very successful if you are just throwing the standard punches as your opponent will pick them off all day long. In order to be successful you must learn how to use feints, as one of boxings best from this century Andre Ward said – feinting is your key to unlock the door of the house. That is a good way to think of feinting.
I have previously written an article more extensively on Boxing feints, which you can read by clicking on the following link How To Use Feints
In this article though, I will only discuss the video below which demonstrates just some of the feints Muhammad Ali used. Now Ali was more known for his fast hands and fast mouth, but Ali really was a skilled boxer in every sense of the word. Yes Ali was a natural athlete with freakish reflexes which allowed him to throw some of the boxing technical handbook in to the rubbish bin, Ali could carry his hands low and walk back from punches but his reflexes, instincts and fast feet got him out of trouble but Ali also possessed skills that were right up with the best we have ever seen – his jab for example was one of the best ever, his chin was also one of the best we have ever seen. Ali’s speed was another natural trait but his ability to feint was also one of the best I personally have ever seen.
The main reason I believe Ali’s boxing feints were so good was because of his outlandish speed for a heavyweight. When you have someone with Ali’s speed, it is already hard enough to defend against his punches, when Ali would add in the element of feinting, it made him a real nightmare to come up against – especially the younger Ali before his ban from boxing, this Ali was so quick and he used feints to take advantage of his speed even more.
In the video we can see just a few of the feints he used, the double jab feint is a move I love, due to Ali’s speed he could stall any opponent who was worried about Ali’s hand speed and once the opponent had briefly reacted to Ali’s feint, Ali would fire one of the best jabs in the business right through them. Ali never was known as a body puncher but in the clip below he takes advantage of this by throwing body jabs, the opponent, in this case Cleveland Williams likely knows Ali doesn’t throw many shots to the body but know Ali is throwing and landing body jabs, the feint to the body followed by the jab to the had becomes much more effective. Ali’s jab was so good and quick that opponents were often looking for it before it was thrown, making Ali’s feinting an effective tool in opening his opponents up.
Another skill and lesser used boxing feint we see from Ali is the head feint – Ali would move his head in one direction, such as to the left, making it appear he would throw a punch with the left hand, instead he would catch his opponent out who was now expecting a punch with the left by throwing a punch with the right.
Boxing Feints are an essential skill, learn to use feints in the way you box, start by adding it to your shadow boxing if you haven’t already and then slowly add it in to your sparring. You will without doubt notice an improvement to your boxing, create indecision in your opponents mind, if you opponent has to account for your feints and worry about what your next move is, you are controlling the fight.