When it comes to boxing, speed kills and when it comes to the heavyweights, there was no one with more speed than Muhammad Ali. Ali of course was known for his fast hands and quick feet and this enabled him to do a number of things by taking advantage of his speed, such as getting away with his hands low and pulling back on punches from his opponent.
Speaking of pulling back from punches, Ali was also extremely good at using the pull counter to counter punch his opponent, Floyd Mayweather Jr tends to get a lot of credit for the pull counter but Ali was doing this over 50yrs ago in his bouts.
Another of the moves Ali employed was very similar to the pull counter, and that was the cross counter. Again, just like Ali used the pull counter before Floyd Mayweather Jr, there were others who used the cross counter well before Ali did but Ali was very proficient with it and perhaps the best I have seen at using the cross counter?
With the pull counter, the fighter is generally pulling back from the punch by leaning backwards, they may also take a half step or full step back before they counter with the right cross too but with the cross counter, the way Ali used it anyway – instead of pulling back he would lean to his left, pretty much like an inside slip and from this position, as the jab sailed over his shoulder, Ali would counter with a snappy right cross over the jab.
The cross counter is an excellent punch to use for two reasons, firstly by countering the jab with a power shot such as the cross, it really effects the mindset and game plan of a fighter – if your most oft used punch results in you getting hit with a hard shot, you need to think of different ways to use it. As the most commonly thrown punch, taking away the jab puts you firmly in control of the fight and in a much better or ‘easier’ position of winning.
Secondly, the cross counter is great against a fighter who is not pulling the hand back after throwing the jab, this makes it easier to go over the top with the right cross. As a fight wears on and the fighter becomes more tired, the hands may not snap back into position as quick and the hands may start dropping, this makes the cross counter an excellent counter punch to use at this time. Have a watch of the video below which shows Muhammad Ali putting the cross counter into good use.
Boxing Coach Strength and Conditioning Coach Boxing Author of: The Boxing Cheat Sheet - Your Ultimate Guide to Ring Survival Strength and Conditioning for Boxing - Work out Hits to get you Fighting Fit! Forgotten Legends of the Ring - Ten Past Masters of the Squared Circle *Any videos or images used on this site to support my articles that are copyrighted are used in accordance to the fair use act and are not my own - all credit is due to the respective owners. No copyright infringement intended.
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