Recently I put up a short video on Sugar Ray Robinson. The footage was taken from his middleweight bout with Carmen Basilio. I’ve spoken in the past about the need to be unpredictable when you box, if you can get your opponent thinking more about what you are going to do, as opposed to what they are going to do, then you’ve gone a long way to winning the battle.
In the video, it showed five different ways Sugar Ray Robinson used his uppercut – and this wasn’t during the course of the fight but from a single round. In just one round, Robinson used five variations of his uppercut, if that’s not being unpredictable I don’t know what is. For those of you who don’t know, Sugar Ray Robinson is widely regarded as the greatest boxer of all time and his style of boxing influenced the likes of Muhammad Ali. Robinson did pretty much everything well, I can’t really think of any weaknesses in his game and when it comes to the hook and the uppercut, he was again one of the best ever.
In the video Robinson used the uppercut in the following ways…
1. The outslip slip, followed by the uppercut.
2. Block a right to the body, counter with the uppercut.
3. Lead Uppercut(this simply means the first punch you throw is the uppercut).
4. Jab, inside slip, uppercut.
5. Jab, Uppercut.
Now the uppercut is a dangerous punch, for anyone who has been hit with an uppercut they will know it doesn’t even have to be a hard uppercut to stun you, because of the angle it is delivered, from below the eyeline you often lose sight of it and that makes it hurt that much more. Imagine having to face a fighter who was slipping in uppercuts the way Robinson would, it would be a nightmare to face.
The important thing here is learning from Robinsons variety, throwing the same punch in any number of ways will prevent your opponent from picking up on any patterns and that makes for a very difficult opponent. You can apply the same tactics to your other punches, especially the jab or even the hook. Practice throwing these punches off slips and rolls for example and it will make you a handful to come up against.