Defending the 1-2
Joe Louis is rightly regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time, some would say he is the greatest heavyweight of all time too whereas that can be debated, what isn’t up for debate is that Louis was technically one of the greatest boxers ever – the punching technique of Louis was perfect and he is economical and efficient in his movement. Louis never wasted energy in the way he moved – of course his coach Jack Blackburn was one of the best ever and he was a boxer who fought in an era where you might have to box 20, 30, 40 rounds or more so it is understandable he taught Louis a style where you would need to conserve energy but no one punched like Louis, he was able to generate a massive amount of force despite using tight and compact punches.
But Louis wasn’t just punch perfect, he could also use his ring smarts to take away the punches of the opponents and in the video below we see how Louis would do that by taking away the 1-2 or jab, cross.
One of the methods Louis used to block the jab was when he was jabbing himself he would ‘check’ the lead hand of the opponent by extending his rear hand. By jabbing and blocking your lead hand, Louis was ensuring you couldn’t counter punch him with your jab, your rear hand was already occupied by trying to defend against the jab of Louis. Just in case you did manage to squeeze in a counter punch, Louis used pro-active defence by ducking after he had thrown his jab so he would avoid anything which did happen to come back.
Now if the opponent decided they would try to counter Louis with the cross instead of the jab, Louis would roll under after throwing his jab, by rolling after the jab he was avoiding any right cross counter and you can also see how he never came back up in the same position when rolling which ensured he was out of harms way. By checking the lead hand when jabbing and rolling to the left off the jab Joe Louis using two very efficient yet simple moves had taken away your 1-2.
Watch the video below to see why many view the technique of Joe Louis as the best of all time.