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  • Ian Streetz

Alternative Boxing Stances 3. The Long Lead Common Mistakes

1. Extending the lead hand too far

A common mistake that occurs when using the long lead is to over exaggerate the length of the lead hand. While it should be held out in front of you, it should still be possible to generate power on your jab which cannot occur if your arm is too extended. Your lead arm should also not be too far from your face as it will lose its defensive capabilities and leave you open especially to the angles created for overhands, 45 degree jabs, body shots and uppercuts 2. Using it if you have the wrong physical attributes

As mentioned earlier the long lead is a good way to accumulate points off the jab, frustrate your opponent through constant contact with their face and as a way of creating distance to accentuate your reach advantage. However, if you are the opponent with the shorter reach and/ or height advantage your method of fighting, approach and guard will be drastically different. If you are the shorter opponent or lack at a reach disadvantage you would generally be ill-advised to use the long lead. The reason for this is that you will generally rely on creating angles through switching levels, head movement and explosive footwork to cross distance if you are shorter than your opponent. The long lead does not cater to this style of fighting and is as a result rarely seen in in-fighters, brawlers or shorter boxers. By attempting to wait on the outside scoring points through the jab or aiming to setup the cross from the outside maintains your disadvantageous position where you can be hit without being able to hit. 3. Standing too upright Some people use the long lead on occasions where they subconsciously appear to want to keep a more powerful puncher away. When this happens they sometimes appear to take on 'prey' mentality whereby they stand upright, occasionally slightly turn their head away and leave their lead arm out to keep the opponent as far away as possible in every direction.

The problem with this is again that it ironically usually leaves the boxer even more open to attack. As a shorter boxer will usually lose a war of jabs, they often slip and use inside techniques such as hooks and uppercuts where reach is not an issue. A looping hook that lands over the long lead hand can cause substantial damage especially of the person in the long stance is also standing too tall and exposing their chin.

4. Using not just long lead but extended rear hand

If you watch old fight footage you are more likely to see this than in the modern era. Back when gloves were barely padded and fights went far longer than 12 rounds fighters who were clearly hurt but would never give up would extend both hands as a way of keeping their opponent away. Nowadays it is most likely seen in beginners who are experiencing pressure and are new to getting hit. In both instances the double edged sword of this defence is that while it may feel like it creates space so that you wont be hit, it actually gives your opponent space to spot the many holes in the defence and score more effective shots. The jaw is also far less covered in this position as neither the rear hand nor shoulder are in a position to guard the jawline when extended.

When Corrie Sanders knocked out Wladmir Klitschko in 2003, Klitschko was both extending the long lead too far, standing too upright and on occasions extending both arms out as a way of attempting to prevent the oncoming attack.

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