Alternative Boxing Stances 3. The Long Lead
Long lead To clarify the Long Lead isn't a guard as such as few boxers if any utilise this guard all the time. Its more of a pattern that you will see come up especially in taller fighters and amateur fighters. Rather than a guard its more a continual use of the pawing jab (which we will examin in detail in the next series of posts on punching).
The advantage of the long lead is that the jab has very little distance to cross as the hand is constantly held at a distance and can thus accumulate points rapidly. Taller boxers often also employ the long lead as it acts as almost a barrier preventing the smaller opponent from entering their range and accentuating the taller opponents reach advantage. A modified long lead is sometimes also employed when a boxer has their opponent against the ropes or in the corner as a way of setting up their cross. You can often see a boxer hold out their lead hand to either clear away their opponents defense, cover a swollen eye to further block vision or simply to line up the target for their power shots.
Another advantage of the long lead is that the lead hand can also be used somewhat as a probe to gauge how your opponent will react to certain shots without having to commit unnecessarily. It also allows the jaw to be effectively covered by your lead shoulder.