How to Jab a Taller Boxer
The Camden Buzzsaw was a fan favourite in the late 1970’s through to the 90’s and serves as an inspirational story on overcoming the odds. I won’t go too deep into his background here but will mention a few key points. Qawi served time in prison, had no amateur experience, is generally listed between 5’6 and 5’7 yet he would lead a hall of fame career which saw him win world titles at Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight and compete in the Heavyweight division – now these are all weight classes where pretty much every fighter is over 6ft tall yet the much shorter Qawi was able to triumph and become a boxing star.
Fighting a taller opponent is hard, I don’t care what people think – if the opponent has a height and reach advantage they already have one foot in front of you because you are at a physical disadvantage and now have to overcome this. I would put taller fighters and pressure fighters as generally the most difficult opponents to come up against. An example which immediately comes to mind is Thomas Hearns. Hearns was often the taller man in the ring and he let you know about it because he would attack you, he didn’t sit back and keep you on the outside, he was coming to knock you out!
Dwight Muhammad Qawi fighting in a division where practically everyone was taller than him would use the body jab to get and negate the height and reach advantage. Now the way Qawi used the body jab was different in that he would combine the body jab with an outside slip – so Qawi would do this simultaneously. When the opponent threw a jab, Qawi would slip to the outside and jab to the body(you want to be aiming at the heart area) at the same time, often catching his opponents.
In the video below we see Qawi up against another excellent fighter and fan favourite of the time, Matthew Saad Muhammad. In this fight Qawi would use the body jab to set up his overhand right to the head and he continued to mix up this combination on the way to winning the fight. At times the body jab would draw the guard down of Saad as he looked to protect his body and then Qawi would throw his overhand right over the top of the low lead hand.
The outside slip jab to the body is my number one tool to go to when fighting a taller opponent, the body is a bigger target so look for it when facing taller fighters, it’s a two for one offer here, not only does it help you out jab taller guys as Qawi often did but you’ve also done something to help you close the gap, going low then high is also a useful strategy against taller opponents. Watch the video below to see Dwight Muhammad Qawi in action using the jab to the body.