Boxing is not just about throwing punches and knocking your opponent out; it's also about avoiding those punches and staying on your feet. The art of defence in boxing is an essential skill for any top-level fighter. It requires agility, speed, and a solid understanding of your opponent's tactics. A good defence can make the difference between winning and losing a fight. In this article, we'll explore some of the heavyweight boxers in history who had the best defence.
When you think of heavyweight boxers with a great defence, one of the first names that comes to mind is Muhammad Ali. Known for his quick feet and lightning-fast reflexes, Ali could avoid punches like no other. His strategy was often to let his opponents tire themselves out by throwing punches, while he danced around them, avoiding their hits.
Ali's defence wasn't just about avoiding punches though. He was also a master at 'rope-a-dope', a technique where he would go to the ropes and cover up, letting his opponent throw punches until they were exhausted. Then, when they were too tired to defend themselves, he would come back with a counter-attack. This strategy was a key part of his victory over George Foreman in the famous "Rumble in the Jungle".
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is another heavyweight boxer who is renowned for his defence. Floyd's defensive technique, known as the 'shoulder roll', is one of the most famous in boxing history. The shoulder roll involves using your front shoulder to deflect your opponent's punches, while your other hand is ready to counter-attack.
Mayweather's defence was so good that he was able to go his entire professional career without being knocked out. His ability to avoid punches was almost supernatural, and he often made his opponents look clumsy and slow in comparison. Mayweather's defence was a big part of why he is considered one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Joe Louis, also known as the 'Brown Bomber', was a heavyweight boxer who was known for his powerful punches. But what many people don't realize is that he also had a solid defence. Louis was a master at blocking and dodging punches, and he used his defensive skills to tire out his opponents before going in for the knockout.
One of Louis's most famous defensive maneuvers was his ability to 'slip' punches. This involves moving your head to the side just as your opponent throws a punch, causing them to miss. Louis's ability to slip punches was a key factor in his long reign as heavyweight champion.
Mike Tyson, one of the most feared heavyweight boxers in history, was known for his aggressive style and powerful punches. But he also had a unique defensive technique known as the 'peek-a-boo' style. This involves holding your gloves close to your face to protect yourself from punches, while keeping your eyes on your opponent at all times.
While the peek-a-boo style left Tyson open to body shots, he was quick enough to dodge most punches thrown at him. His speed and agility, combined with his defensive skills, made him a formidable force in the boxing ring. Tyson's defence was a big part of why he was able to dominate the heavyweight division for so long.