Muhammad Ali was without doubt bigger than boxing itself, a supremely gifted fighter there were many things he did, mostly this was down to his blinding speed which was extreme for a man of his size fighting in the heavyweight division. Remember Ali wasn’t just a heavyweight, at the time he was one of the biggest heavyweights – standing 6’3 tall and around 210lbs depending on which point of his career you are looking at, so not only was he one of the biggest in the division, he was the fastest. Ali was so athletically ahead of his competitors it was almost unfair.
One of the things Ali did so well was his right hand, many will remember Ali for having a lightning fast jab and his fleet footwork, sting like a bee and float like a butterfly after all. But Ali was also very crafty with how he used the lead right hand. It was Ali’s speed which enabled him to be so versatile with his right hand, Ali would lead with the right hand but he would then start doubling up the right hand lead. This achieved a few things – no one really expects a right hand lead, most boxers will expect a jab to come at them first. By then adding another right hand to the right hand lead you further upset the rhythm of an opponents defence, most fighters will almost always expect a left hook after a right hand, if you fall for this it means you are turning inwards to protect against the left hook leaving you exposed to the right hand if it is thrown, by doubling the right hand lead you can disrupt a boxer’s defence and catch him clean.
Ali could also add a right hand feint to the mix, faking the right hand and causing a pause or reaction in the opponents defence and then actually follow up with the right hand lead. This can get very confusing for an opponent because the natural reaction or natural instinct is to shift into defending the left hook after the right, again leaving them open to Ali’s right hand.
The video below is a quick breakdown of how Ali used the right hand lead to double it up and also start feinting it.
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