I’ve written about both boxers extensively on my website, Foster was one of the fighters I included in my book Forgotten Legends of the Ring and Ali is, well Ali is Ali – and I have written about their fight but in this article, as I am always intrigued by how boxers handle certain styles, I thought I would see how Muhammad Ali fought against the guard of Bob Foster which was more of a shoulder roll style. Foster utilised the low lead hand shooting the up jab with the rear hand under that chin so it would be interesting to see how Ali got around this extremely popular stance.
From the video we see Ali’s main method of attacking the jab was the lead left hook. This is something I have seen in my other studies on attacking the shoulder roll or philly shell(these involved Sugar Ray Leonard, Roy Jones Jr and Floyd Mayweather Jr) and I assuming this is because of the position of the rear hand under the chin which at times can be vulnerable to the lead hook when expecting the left jab. Ali was often throwing the lead hook and often doubling and even tripling the lead left hook in order to get around that rear hand being placed lower under the chin.
Another tactic Ali used was pivoting or shifting off the right cross, so Ali would throw the right cross and then shift to his right to set up the left hook again. With Foster holding his feet in the shoulder roll, it allowed Ali to create space for yet another left hook over the guard of Foster. Ali did use the lead right as well against Foster, perhaps because of the low lead hand Ali felt this would be more of a scoring shot but Ali did use the lead right hand against everyone regardless of which guard they were fighting out of. The video below demonstrates how Muhammad Ali boxed against the shoulder roll.
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 for educational purposes and 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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