Inside Fighting is in my opinion one of the lost arts of boxing, sure there are guys fighting today that are great at the inside game but it seems there has been a definite drop off when it comes to boxing on the inside when you compare that with previous eras.
The video below looks at Ezzard Charles and some of the tricks he used to fight on the inside. Now Ezzard Charles was one of the very best boxers we have ever seen. Charles was great in every weight he fought in, as a young fighter he was a quality middleweight who even managed to defeat the legendary Charley Burley. As a light heavyweight there are plenty who will say Ezzard Charles was the greatest light heavyweight ever, it is certainly close between Charles and Archie Moore. Then at heavyweight Charles was able to become the heavyweight champion of the world, starting off as a middleweight and going on to win the heavyweight title, that is some fighter!
Ezzard Charles was mostly trained by the great Ray Arcel – from looking at the way Charles fought on the inside I could easily have made this video on Roberto Duran as some of the tactics were very similar, now this is no coincidence, Duran was also trained by Ray Arcel.
The first move we see Ezzard Charles use is getting the head under the chin of his opponent – who in this case the ageing legend Joe Louis. By getting his head under the chin of Louis, Charles can easily manoeuvre his opponent and control their movement, it also means that he is safe from Louis’ attack as his head is safe and tucked in. By getting the head under the chin and if you can. the hands on the opponents chest, whatever punch the opponent tries to throw you can easily attack them by simply hitting up such as short uppercuts.
Charles likes to use a bit of wrestling here, he tries to control his opponents arms by pulling them down, this is a little different to what we are accustomed to which is the under hook to tie an opponent up, instead Charles pulls the arms down and creates the window to throw his short punches and short hooks over the top of guard. Charles will pull down the guard of his opponent when placing his head on the lead shoulder of Louis. The lead shoulder is preferred because you are away from the back hand, which tends to be the more powerful hand so you want to protect against the cross.
Another inside tactic Charles uses is when pulling the arms down with his head on the lead shoulder(and the chin down) he will slide his rear uppercut to the opponents chin in the space he has created by pulling the guard down, this is a very crafty move and very effective. What you will also notice about Charles is that every time he gets inside, he will touch to the body, doesn’t matter if it is an uppercut or a right hook he will make sure he is getting something on the body as these shots will add up as the fight goes on.
So that is inside fighting from Ezzard Charles, watch the short video below to see him put it into practice.