If you follow my main Instagram account @fayz_boxing you have probably heard me say there is nothing new in boxing. Take a look back through older boxing videos and you will come across skills that were used many decades ago that are almost spoken about today as being something new. Lomachenko has superb footwork but take a look at Orlando Canizales and you can see the similarities, Mayweather and the Shoulder roll or as some refer to it, the Philly Shell(something I have discussed here on both YouTube and my site) but the Philly Shell was used decades ago by fighters such as George Benton and the Shoulder roll is as old as boxing itself.
Some tricks from the old school we don’t see as much any more and one of those techniques is something called the slide. Now the slide can be combined with other defensive moves but the standard slide involved sliding under the right hand and then sliding out under the left hook(a left hook often follows the right cross). So why would you use the slide? By sliding in under the right cross you are trying to close the distance and smother the opponent so they do not have the space to free their arms after the cross, you then slide out to avoid the hook which is generally a punch used in closer range as commonly you will expect a short punch incoming if you have closed the distance. An example of an old school fighter who used the slide was the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson. Now in the clips below, Robinson used the slide in and slide out(also can be referred to as rolling under the punch) in a straight line, you can rightly say well if you go back in a straight line you might end up in the line of fire and getting caught by your opponents punches, Robinson got around this by going into the clinch – another fighter in the video below did something slightly different to Sugar Ray Robinson.
Nicolino Locche was one of the fighters featured in my book Forgotten Legends of the Ring and was nicknamed El Intocable – or the untouchable so it is important to note that he did have amazing reflexes and defensive skills. Locche would slide in and slide out under the right hand and left hook but the difference with his sliding out was that he would step out to the side, usually to his right and this ensured that Locche was well out of harm’s way for any potential oncoming punches coming after the hook.
Another fighter who yet again added a little twist to the slide is another fighter in my book, Wilfred Benitez. Just like Locche, Benitez was a master of defence with Spidey senses and was named El Radar for his ability to avoid punches. Benitez would slide in under the right hand but instead of sliding out he would pull back and make the left hook miss. Now it is important to note if you want to pull off the slide and pull back you need great reflexes and have plenty of experience fighting/sparring. You should also keep your rear hand high to protect your chin incase you get caught with the hook whilst attempting the pull back. Benitez was supremely skilled and experienced which allowed him to be a little loose with this technique but in the last clip you can see he keeps his rear hand high – he was after all in there with another giant of the game, Sugar Ray Leonard.
Have a look at the videos below to see Sugar Ray Robinson, Nicolino Locche and Wilfred Benitez pulling off variations of the slide.
Credit to Sayf Carmen of Ummah Fight Camp for making me aware of this move.