‘How to Box’ – Season 2, Episode 5 – ‘Dealing with a Constant Mover’
When sparring, at times there can be nothing more annoying than a sparring partner who constantly moves about and doesn’t allow you any shots.
Regardless of whether you fight off the front foot (attacking) or off the back foot (defending/countering), everyone needs to learn how to deal with a mover. It has been said that “styles make fights” and this is a very true statement. With 2 attacking boxers (both preferring to fight from the front foot) you can expect a war, with the fighters going at each other toe-to-toe. But if you have 2 defending fighters (used to fighting from the back foot) this can sometimes result in a boring fight with very few punches being thrown. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case – some of these such fights can turn into epic chess matches, but only when the fighters know how to deal with fighters just like themselves.
The key to dealing with a constant mover is learning how to use the ring and learning how to cut your opponent off (and stop their escape). For this you will need excellent footwork and be able to pre-empt your sparring partner’s moves – hard skills to master and takes a lot of practise.
In this video clip I show you a quick example of how to do this. Using little steps and angles, you can make your opponent move to exactly where you want him. Whether you want to stop him from moving so you can throw some of your own combinations, or corner him to make him panic and throw punches, allowing you to retaliate, my tips will help you.
The best way to master this technique quickly is to spar with as many counter punchers as you can. Keep working on your technique, use feints and quick steps side-to-side, so you can see how different fighters react and how they move. Novice fighters (and some pros) generally have a favourite way to move (either to the left or right). Cutting off their favourite side will put them off their game because it will make them feel uncomfortable.
To make yourself a better mover get you need to work on your footwork. Try not to fall into the trap of moving the same way – make sure you practise moving both ways until both sides feel natural.
In boxing when you move away from your opponent, you should technically be moving away from their power hand. So if you are fighting a right-hander (orthodox) you should be moving to your right and vice versa, against a left-hander (southpaw), you should move to your left. That said, I have seen plenty of fighters completely ignore this rule and do incredibly well, but such fighters are normally very sharp, very quick and masters at cutting off the ring from their opponent. If you work hard on your moves and your footwork you will always give yourself an advantage in the ring. Enjoy the video and please get in touch with comments or questions, thanks guys.
former BBBofC British Super-Middleweight & WBF World Middleweight Champion