Taking Away the Legs
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad fought in a period which can be defined as the greatest era of Light Heavyweight Boxing. Alongside Mustafa there was Dwight Qawi, Matthew Saad Muhammad, John Conteh, Michael Spinks, Victor Galindez, Marvin Johnson and more – an extremely deep pool of talented fighters.
In this article and ensuing video I am having a look at how Mustafa broke down Marvin Johnson by targeting the hips. By punching the hips Mustafa was slowing Johnson down because by hitting the hips the legs will not be able to move as freely which means you now have a more stationary opponent in front of you, this is of course very beneficial if your opponent is someone who likes to dance around the ring.
We can see how Mustafa first targeted the hips with the slip and counter to the body – with Johnson forcing the pace this was a good strategy to slow him down as Mustafa didn’t have to go looking for him. Mustafa would target the hips and eventually forced a knockdown when the legs of Johnson simply gave way from taking too many punches to the hips.
From there Mustafa had hit the hips so much it created openings elsewhere. Mustafa could hit the hips with the hooks opening up the guard of Johnson and then slide an uppercut up the middle, he could also feint a shot to the hips and then punch high to the head and of course after suffering so many punches to the body Johnson looked to cover up the body allowing Mustafa to then target the head – this is also because when someone looks to protect their body they tend to stop their head movement.
This was one of the best demonstrations I have seen at effectively slowing down an opponent, the body punches and hip shots were brutal and these punches stick with you for the rest of the fight so it just built up over the course of the following rounds serving to slow Johnson down and Mustafa was able to almost surgically take him apart and finish him off.