Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Frazier Left Hook Unleashed

"Looking back at Frazier's career, several things stand out. He was without peer as a body puncher. He fought with never-ending stamina and became stronger as the fight progressed. He cut off the ring and forced his opponents to fight his fight at his pace and possessed a left hook that was without equal in the heavyweight division." - Frank J. Lotierzo, East Side Boxing

The Joe Frazier left hook in all it's glory. Let's examine what made it work:

  • It was short - the strongest hook is a short one. The hook is best executed by a short pulling motion with a vertical fist, with the elbow kept low to involve the lats and chest to snap it in. Frazier executes it perfectly.
  • Frazier's low then high hook exploited Zyglewicz' low guard by bringing it even lower. The body hook stunned him, lowering his guard, then he took a nice short snappy one to the jaw that dropped him. This was set up by the earlier body hooks - he didn't want any part of that pain, then got floored. That brings up the next point - relaxation. Notice the smooth and looks manner in which it's thrown.

What did Zyglewicz do wrong?

  1. Stand in front of Frazier. He was immobile, setting up all of Frazier's power shots. He should have circled to his left, away from Frazier's power hand. This is a common mistake. Always circle away from the percieved threat to take away it's power, and prevent the opponent from getting set.
  2. Low guard. He used the Foreman style criss-cross guard. It's great when you're tall enough, but left the right side of his head open. When he fires, he drops the other hand. Practice in the mirror. When you keep the rear hand up, you lose a little power, but gain a lot of defensive benefit.

See also:

Why do we get hit?
How to be a good hooker!
Boxing Combinations: Jab-Lead Hook Combination
Why you lead with a jab, not a hook


mike said...

Thanks for posting this one! As you know I seem to have a problem with throwing hooks, (Mostly elbows to high), this one shows a good example.

Nathan Teodoro said...

Anytime! I'm glad to help. As you know I love a good hookerer (PG-rated site here, you know...).

Anonymous said...

What made his left hook so powerful was that he anchored his front foot to the ground and drove the punch with his hips keeping his power moving forward. This is opposite to what most people tell you to do. They always say to pivot on your front foot and have most of your weight on your rear foot. Believe me, this is useless! Try throwing combinations like that and you'll see the difference!

Anonymous said...

and do it over and over. that is the secret to any sport

Anonymous said...

Both Planting the lead Hooking foot and pivoting are powerful its jus ta matter of how you use it.When you plant it more your using more of a dragging hook that gets more power from the "jump" in it, while the pivoting version gets more power from rotation of the hips.There is even a kind of hybrid of the 2 types, just figure out which one you better at and get a feel for it.
They are both VERY effective Power Shots.Mike tyson used/uses both.