View Full Version : Is Alis lean back, or lay back a controversial way of defence?


hugh grant
10-12-2010, 02:36 PM
Im not sure if im mistaken but in the past i have read that Ali was unorthodox in that he would lean back from punches which you are not supposed to do or something like that.

But in the boxing books ive read, a lean back is legitimate way of getting out of the way of punches so im confused?

Cassius Liston
10-12-2010, 03:20 PM
Im not sure if im mistaken but in the past i have read that Ali was unorthodox in that he would lean back from punches which you are not supposed to do or something like that.

But in the boxing books ive read, a lean back is legitimate way of getting out of the way of punches so im confused?

its unorthodox....Prince Naseem,Roy Jones...Ali all unorthodox fighters they lean back...hands down throw punches from weird angles...all unortho:grumble:dox things

Joachim
10-12-2010, 03:59 PM
As a noob, dont do it. just because It worked for them doesnt mean it will work for you, I see guys trying to do it at my gym, then I throw again and knock them down.

bernardotelo
10-12-2010, 04:02 PM
its unorthodox....Prince Naseem,Roy Jones...Ali all unorthodox fighters they lean back...hands down throw punches from weird angles...all unortho:grumble:dox things

yet you don't expect what their about to trow while they expect every move you make...well exept ali......

ScottDBA
10-12-2010, 04:19 PM
Ali, Jones, Naz were all incredible athletes and had crazy reflexes. Most people don't and it's a good way to get put on your ass either because you'll get hit clean, or you'll be off balance get knocked over.

One more round
10-12-2010, 04:43 PM
Ali, Jones, Naz were all incredible athletes and had crazy reflexes. Most people don't and it's a good way to get put on your ass either because you'll get hit clean, or you'll be off balance get knocked over.

This.

We have a guy at our gym, one of my sparring partners, who does some of that stuff. He is very fast and has good reflexes so he can use it. Still though, Alot of the time me and other guys are able to tag him by doubling up as he leans and drops back.

You should always try conventional means of doing things before trying a different way.

hugh grant
10-12-2010, 05:32 PM
But the instructional book i read "the art of boxing" by jim burns, advocates its a good defense move which you can use to counter.

You dont move your rear leg, but just keep your stance a little wider, lean back and when you become more upright you can counter with your own punch combination.
But it does say that a step back is probably better.

Darkstranger
10-14-2010, 05:15 AM
But the instructional book i read "the art of boxing" by jim burns, advocates its a good defense move which you can use to counter.

You dont move your rear leg, but just keep your stance a little wider, lean back and when you become more upright you can counter with your own punch combination.
But it does say that a step back is probably better.

Like the others have said, I wouldn't recommend it. Many of us probably tried it when we first started sparring and I'm pretty sure we all paid for it with an ass wooping!

Ali was incredibly gifted and the biggest mistake anyone can make is to try and copy him.

Same thing applies to copying Floyd and his Philly Shell.

Spartacus Sully
10-14-2010, 05:37 AM
nah its a great technique that will only fail you if you dont understand it.

you dont lean back on hooks or swings. thats it. the rest of the time leaning back is fine.

people who lean back alot and dont understand it will get used to allways leaning back and invariably lean back in to a wild haymaker or a hook that the oponet opened up as soon as he saw you going back.

and even people that understand this and lean back alot still tend to lean back into hooks and haymakers just from doing it so much.

so really it should only be a last resort that most beginners should ween them self off using but in mastery of it it can be very useful, of course mastery of it requires a diffrent style closer to that of the old masters then modern boxing with most the weight on the back foot and the back foot pointing to the right.

Bullrush
10-14-2010, 06:28 AM
it got ali in a lot of trouble plenty of times. got knocked down a bunch of times because of that habit

so yeah just stick with the basics. if ali gets knocked down using that technique then you wont stand a chance being successful at it. you might look good doing that against some idiot in your gym that doesnt know anything about boxing but when you fight somebody who knows what hes doing you will get dropped prety quick id assume

Sugarj
10-14-2010, 07:27 AM
it got ali in a lot of trouble plenty of times. got knocked down a bunch of times because of that habit

so yeah just stick with the basics. if ali gets knocked down using that technique then you wont stand a chance being successful at it. you might look good doing that against some idiot in your gym that doesnt know anything about boxing but when you fight somebody who knows what hes doing you will get dropped prety quick id assume



Ali only got knocked down three times legitimately in 21 years as a pro and they were all from left hooks (there was a clumsy body shot from Chuck Wepner too but its not relevant here). Non of the knockdowns involved him leaning back, not Banks, Cooper or Frazier. They all related to him having his right hand too low.

But I agree that for the newbie, leaning back from punches with your hands down is a crazy idea.

One thing that hasn't been touched on is pulling back to avoid a punch with your guard up (for as long as its not an exaggerated movement leaving you off balance). There is nothing wrong with moving back a few inches to avoid a punch with your guard up. You cant avoid everything with lateral, side to side head movement, bobbing and weaving.

Spartacus Sully
10-14-2010, 07:52 AM
You cant avoid everything with lateral, side to side head movement, bobbing and weaving.

thats why theres blocks parries and glance offs, and with them you can avoid or atleast stop everything.

Bullrush
10-14-2010, 08:14 AM
Ali only got knocked down three times legitimately in 21 years as a pro and they were all from left hooks (there was a clumsy body shot from Chuck Wepner too but its not relevant here). Non of the knockdowns involved him leaning back, not Banks, Cooper or Frazier. They all related to him having his right hand too low.

But I agree that for the newbie, leaning back from punches with your hands down is a crazy idea.

One thing that hasn't been touched on is pulling back to avoid a punch with your guard up (for as long as its not an exaggerated movement leaving you off balance). There is nothing wrong with moving back a few inches to avoid a punch with your guard up. You cant avoid everything with lateral, side to side head movement, bobbing and weaving.

frazier clearly dropped him with a left hook where ali stepped back. every decent trainer and especially the best coaches out there will tell you that leaning back is not something you should do because its stupid. you cant even counter if you lean back like that and have your guard up. you are off balance, theres no power in those shots. and if you do counter while leaning back you drop your guard and you can be caught with a left hook the way ali did. its silly. just use those other techniques that are way safer where you can actually throw something back while being attacked.

and for the record ali took so many shots right to the chin because of him leaning back all the time. even with cooper, he hit him with some left hooks right on the chin but there wasnt much power behind those. so argue all you want that ali never got dropped because of that "flaw" in his technique (i dont agree btw). he took so many shots because of that and if you dont have that same chin he has you wont be succesful at any level doing that

Spartacus Sully
10-14-2010, 08:25 AM
and for the record ali took so many shots right to the chin because of him leaning back all the time. even with cooper, he hit him with some left hooks right on the chin but there wasnt much power behind those. so argue all you want that ali never got dropped because of that "flaw" in his technique (i dont agree btw). he took so many shots because of that and if you dont have that same chin he has you wont be succesful at any level doing that

ali didnt have that chin...he had a normal chin, well a normal pro boxer chin, what he had was an amazing ability to move with a punch.

you say if you dont have the same chin you cant pull it off but at the same time if he didnt move back with a punch he wouldnt have even had the same chin.

hugh grant
10-14-2010, 09:27 AM
Lets say for example someone throws a jab and cross at you. You would only need to step back once wouldnt you? What would be the best counter? Would it be a right cross, and left hook counter?

If someone threw the jab, right cross and then left hook, you would have to step back twice before countering am i right?

Sugarj
10-14-2010, 09:28 AM
frazier clearly dropped him with a left hook where ali stepped back. every decent trainer and especially the best coaches out there will tell you that leaning back is not something you should do because its stupid. you cant even counter if you lean back like that and have your guard up. you are off balance, theres no power in those shots. and if you do counter while leaning back you drop your guard and you can be caught with a left hook the way ali did. its silly. just use those other techniques that are way safer where you can actually throw something back while being attacked.

and for the record ali took so many shots right to the chin because of him leaning back all the time. even with cooper, he hit him with some left hooks right on the chin but there wasnt much power behind those. so argue all you want that ali never got dropped because of that "flaw" in his technique (i dont agree btw). he took so many shots because of that and if you dont have that same chin he has you wont be succesful at any level doing that


When Frazier dropped Ali it was a split second after Ali had connected with a left uppercut. Ali had no time to even attempt to pull back. His hands being too low was the issue. Same with Cooper, Ali throws a lazy left hook and is nailed before even thinking about pulling back.

But please review my post again, I dont agree that leaning back Ali style is a good thing. We are in agreement there. I think it is suicide for a newbie and definitely not the sort of thing you should attempt with your hands down.

Floyd Patterson is a good example of a technical boxer who would avoid punches with side to side head movement, but also backwards too, only a few inches at most, nothing exaggerated or off balance, always behind a tight guard. This is what I mean, not like Ali but with hands flapping at chin level. Ha ha.

Sugarj
10-14-2010, 09:43 AM
thats why theres blocks parries and glance offs, and with them you can avoid or atleast stop everything.


Of course, there are many ways to prevent a punch connecting.

One more round
10-14-2010, 05:06 PM
Yeah, even a fast guy like Ali can be made to pay for it by a good boxer, even a much slower one. And if you run into a faster guy, or a much stronger guy with the skills to make you pay you are in trouble.