Boxing Tip #13: Stuck in a Corner
Sooner or later you are going to find yourself trying to battle out of a corner. The boxing ring has four of them and if your opponent controls the ring, you are going to find yourself back against the turnbuckle with no avenue of escape. This is where you want your opponent, so logical to reason that he is going to try and put you there as well.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
First and foremost, stay out of the corners. If you don't let yourself get in the situation, then you don't have to deal with it. So, control the fight. Be aware of where you are in relation to the corners and maneouvre to stay in the centre of the ring where you have 360 degrees of freedom (assuming you can punch through your opponent :)) Doing this will require agility and excellent footwork. It also requires a degree of generalship (something I will describe in a later article.)
Stuck in the Corner
First and foremost, when your back hits the turnbuckle, do not panic. Your opponent is going to know that he has you in the corner and will take that opportunity to attack (or they should). If the situation is ever reversed, make sure you take advantage of the situation. In effect the corner nullifies half of your opponent's ability - he can't move and has to rely on a strong defense and his wits to get out of it. Second, if there was ever a time to keep your eyes open, this is it.
What are you looking for? Two things - punches coming in, so you can deal with them either blocking, slipping, or catching and also an opening which is going to require excellent timing and decisive action to utilize to turn the tides on your opponent. If you do this right, you can actually change spots with your opponent -- putting him in the corner and you on the offensive.
The punches coming in - you are just going to have to deal with the best you can. Hopefully your opponent will start throwing haymakers and getting sloppy. If he stays tight, accurate, and on target you are going to have a tough time spinning him. Luckily, people tend to get excited when they corner someone and that excitement leads to a total disregard for technique. Not saying it will always happen that way, but there is a good chance of it.
You also want to lean forward - not backward. You need to be coiled and ready to step forward in a split second. Watching for your chance Your chance to turn the tide occurs when your opponent throws a punch that either overextends him or throws him off balance. With haymakers or looping rights and lefts, that opening will be quite obvious and you will have a substantial amount of time to react.
What you want to achieve is to make the haymaker miss completely which will cause some weight transfer in your opponent. Immediately following the miss you have to step kind of towards and around your opponent - underneath the arm that just missed its target. At the same time, you need to spin around your opponent, giving him a slight tap/shove. As you spin around him, he is naturally going to try and realign (spin). He will be off balance and the tap/shove you give him will send him backfirst into the turnbuckle. You effectively switch positions and then use that to your advantage -- but again, Don't Panic.
You are now in control - stay tight and throw controlled, accurate punches.
Picture the following scenario. It is one of many, but the principles are the same: You are in the corner, back against the turnbuckle and your opponent is throwing punches. Your stance in the corner should see you leaning slightly forward, absorbing hits, slipping, and ducking as required, but always maintain the forward leaning stance. Your weight should be distributed more on your lead foot. Don't let him punch you back against the turnbuckle. Your opponent begins to throw a looping right hand and you realize this is your chance. You duck as the punch comes in, stepping towards your opponent's left side at the same time. As the punch misses its target you find yourself under his armpit and basically grab him around the abdomen, helping him to spin as you step around him, finishing off with a quick tap/shove which pushes him into the corner. You then unleash the fury.
There are three likely outcomes that will happen when you spin your opponent.
- You will succeed - and you will find him and you exactly where you want to be. Enjoy.
- You will fail - and you will find yourself still in the corner. Repeat until you succeed.
- You will partially succeed - Even partial success is better than the alternative - you will find yourself out of the corner, but you may also find your opponent isn't in the corner either. Now you're back to square one - don't let yourself get put in the corner again - control the fight.