How to Use the Boxing Ring to Your Advantage

“Boxing Ring Generalship” is one of the four factors used to judge professional bouts — along with clean punches, effective aggressiveness, and defense. The term “ring generalship” is somewhat subjective in nature, but generally refers to a boxer’s ability to dictate the pace and style of the fight. Also, as the term implies, the boxer who uses the ring more effectively is rewarded in this category.

Skilled boxers know where they are in the ring at all times, and they use their positioning to their advantage. Amateur boxing doesn’t formally take into consideration ring generalship in its scoring system; although, a close fight often goes to the boxer who appeared to demonstrate better knowledge of ring space. This guide offers tips regarding ring generalship and ring space.

Backing Him onto the Ropes

Most boxers prefer staying away from the ropes at all times during a bout; although, some fighters enjoy counterpunching possibilities when they find themselves against the ropes. In any case, you’re in prime position to score when you put your opponent in a corner or against the ropes. Few novice boxers understand how to do this, though.

Hot Tip: Practice with a Partner

In order to master the ring, you must work in a ring. And in order to master the skills of a ring general, you must practice your movements with a training partner.

Effective Aggressiveness

Effective aggressiveness is necessary if you want to pin your opponent against the ropes. Use your jab to set up combinations, and be sure to close the distance each time your opponent backs up. When closing the distance, don’t over commit or move forward too quickly — this is the key to being “effective.” You’ll set yourself up for a counterattack if you fall forward or race in too rapidly.

Continue to circle as you move about the ring. Bounce in-and-out and side-to-side, but always be aware of your position in the ring. Keep your distance with your straight punches — jab and cross — and cut the ring off whenever possible. Cutting the ring off means you control the majority of the ring. In essence, the center of the ring is behind you. Move a little to the left, then a little to the right while continuing forward. Although you should continue to circle, do your best not to circle too much. You don’t want to end up with your back against the ropes.

Continue to be effective and disciplined even when you put your opponent in a desired area of the ring. Newer boxers tend to crowd their punches as they close the distance. Make sure you give yourself enough space to throw crisp punches at all times.

Stuck on the Ropes

Even the best boxers find themselves against the ropes on occasion. Learning how to get off of the ropes is just as important as learning how to put your opponent on the ropes. Do your best to use the ropes to your advantage if you get caught. Lean against the ropes prior to each bout and measure how far back you can lean if you get caught. Defense is invaluable when you’re stuck, and leaning back can help your head movement and deceptiveness if you know how to use the ropes properly.

Keep your hands tight to your head with the palms of the gloves toward your face. This lessens your vulnerability. In addition, keep your elbows tight to your body to avoid body shots, and try to use your counterpunching techniques whenever possible.

Try to circle out if your opponent comes forward too aggressively. His aggressiveness can potentially bail you out if you find yourself in an unfortunate position. If circling and counterpunching appear to have little or no effect, then use your last resort and clinch. Carefully take a step forward and try to tie up your opponent’s hands or elbows with your gloves. Protect yourself at all times.

Hot Tip: Sucker Him In

More advanced boxers can use their ring knowledge to trick their opponent. Purposely back yourself toward the ropes or into a corner and quickly pivot or circle so that your opponent actually ends up with his back against the ropes or in the corner. This maneuver is difficult to implement, though, and should only be tried once you have a quick pivot move and experience in the ring.

Body Shot Opportunities

Powerful hooks and uppercuts are ideal for action on the inside. Implement your power punches at close-range, but ensure they’re tight and don’t leave you open for an extended period of time. Tight power punches can be effective whether you’re on the ropes or backing up your opponent.

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