AS most suspected UFC star Conor McGregor has been focusing on his boxing training to ready himself for a proposed bout with Floyd Mayweather.
On social media he released a clip of himself demonstrating some boxing techniques, to leave us to judge how he’d fare outside of the Octagon.
“Here is a reply video I sent one of my protégés who was seeking advice on some boxing only pad work footage they sent me. I believe you will like it. The focus has been solely boxing lately but make no mistakes, the kicking and grappling aspects, and everything else got to do with unlimited free fighting, is still very much present in my thoughts. Floyd may crap his jocks after all and if so I will go back to true fighting or just pick another boxer like Manny [Pacquiao] or something. But whatever that’s another conversation,” he said.
McGregor doesn’t appear to have lost interest in the development of his sport. “I like to build fighters and watch their progression. I have built many to this date, and all unintentionally. One is fighting in the UFC main event this weekend,” he said. “When my son is born I will build him up into a multiple free fighting world champion also. Just like his old man. I look forward to it.”
THE ramrod left jab, the shuddering left hook, the destructive straight right. Wladimir Klitschko’s frightening array of signature shots are constantly sharpened through his padwork [above], which he carries out in the morning. It is during the pads sessions that trainer Johnathon Banks and Klitschko explore various ways in which to execute specific punches and manoeuvres.
“We do a lot of mittwork and technique training,” Banks confirms. “We create different strategies and try out different movements. I teach him so many different things ahead of each fight in order to prepare him for as many potential occurrences as possible. Wladimir has an unlimited arsenal. I just show him different ways to unleash it.”
Klitschko affirms his fondness of the technical aspect of the sport. “Thinking how to hit and how not to get hit and how to knock your opponent out, that’s the whole art of boxing,” he maintains. “It’s not always about showing everything you can do, it’s about using your technique and power as needed. It’s about polishing all that you have learned before.When you focus on the boxing plan, it works out exactly as you plan it.”
‘Reality’ is a key term within Klitschko’s fight preparation. Banks believes that as often as possible, training exercises should imitate the three-minute round format, as this is what Wladimir will be faced with on fight night.
“From the start of the camp until the end of the camp, it’s good to keep everything at three-minute rounds,” Banks deems. “We always do three-minute rounds on the pads. Before we start the workout, I don’t know how many rounds we’re going to do. Sometimes we do four, sometimes six, sometimes eight, maybe even 10 or 12. We mix it up each day. It depends on the energy Wladimir has. I’ve been a part of his camps since 2004, so I know him very well. I’m able to recognise when he needs a rest or when he’s got more left in the tank.”
“Although Wladimir shadow-boxes every day, it isn’t one of the most important parts of his training,” Banks points out. “He shadowboxes in the morning before padwork and in the afternoon before sparring, but I think it’s overrated by some people. It’s just a warm-up exercise. We do two or three rounds at the most. Wladimir also does skipping occasionally.”
Banks encourages Klitschko to have ample periods of rest during camp. No formal training takes place on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
“Rest allows the body to fully develop and the muscles to build,” Johnathon informs.
Although Wladimir has three days off training during the week, he usually goes for a 45-minute swim on two of these days. “Swimming is better for him than running,” Banks says. “It’s less harsh on his joints.”
Wladimir has seemingly struck the perfect balance between resting and training during camp. He may be nearing 40 years old, but “Dr Steelhammer” is not ready to surrender his heavyweight crown just yet.
EVER wondered what makes Gennady Golovkin so effective? What kind of shots does he throw and when? Does he pace his strategy round-by-round or change the way he attacks? How good have his opponent’s been and where have they tried to attack?
Here are some interesting stats that Boxing Science uncovered during a performance analysis of Gennady Golovkin ahead of his fight with Kell Brook.
We found that;
GGG throws a punch on average every 2.6 s
His opponents throw a punch every 4.4 s
GGG lands 40% of his punches
His opponents land 23%
GGG increases the number of punches as rounds progress from 3 s in round 1 to 2 s in round 8.
His opponents tend to increase the number of punches from round 1 to 4 and then decrease from 4 to 8
GGG tends to vary the number of punches per second across rounds, whereas his opponents tend to have similar frequency of punches per round
THE undefeated, hard hitting Gennady Golovkin looks set to become boxing’s next pay-per-view star. The unified middleweight world champion has risen from humble beginnings in his native Kazakhstan to world-wide fame thanks to becoming US giants HBO’s headline act.
GGG was always set for stardom following an outstanding amateur career, losing just 5 of his 345 competitive bouts. Golovkin has extended his strong reputation in the professional ranks by knocking out 91% of his opponents.
With one of the highest knockout percentages of the current boxing world champions, everyone is now wondering “how does Golovkin hit so hard?”
The second part of ‘Science behind Golovkin’, we explain the physical benefits of his amazing footwork, that help him move into range and let off those hammering blows.
A key contributor to Golovkin’s knockout success is his effective footwork. He moves effortlessly in and out of range, creating angles that his opponents can’t deal with.
GGG finds his range so easily and rarely throws a long shot. He often lets his shots go when he’s well within range of his opponent, meaning he’s able to maximise the force of each punch.
But why does this allow GGG to put so much force into his punches?
Science behind the mid-range punch
The mid-range punch is the most effective and can be explained by the physiology and mechanics of muscle action.
The length-force relationship describes how much force a muscle can produce at different lengths, and there’s an optimal length at which force is maximised. Muscle action can be limited if the the muscle is stretched or at a short length.
What does this mean for my punch?
If you connect with your opponent at the end range of a punch, you might still have hand speed. However, the muscle action may be limited when you stiffen up on impact (effective mass) due to the elbow locking out. Conversely, muscle activation is also reduced when you’re letting shots go at short range.
What does this mean? If you’e out of range or too close, your punch force will be compromised (see graphic above)
The mid-range punch has the potential to provide you with optimal hand speed and muscle action on impact
Due to Golovkin letting his shots go mainly in mid-range, this means the muscle action during a punch will be optimal upon impact – this occurs mainly in the upper-limbs and torso.
We understand that working predominantly within mid-range of your opponent is a difficult skill to master, that’s why Golovkin is at the top of his game. Therefore, our task from a strength and conditioning perspective is to help our boxers become more effective punchers over different ranges.
How can we improve this?
Lets say we want a harder punch at a longer range. One way we can do this is to increase the amount of force generating elements within a muscle-tendon unit but that has implications for making weight. So a great way to improve this is by using a technique called Accommodating Resistance Training.
This is where the resistance of an exercise increases with the range of motion encouraging an athlete to apply more force at the top of the lift. This can be achieved with bands, chains or partial range lifts, mainly done with squats, deadlifts and upper-body pressing exercises.
See the video below where we have applied accommodating resistance methods on pressing exercises across the Force-Velocity curve:
Research indicates a punch starts from force development in the lower body. The lower-body needs to be strong to transfer this energy to the hips, through the core and to the fist to deliver forceful punches. This is what we call the kinetic chain.
In our data analysis, we discovered strong relationships between jump height and medicine ball throw distance. This suggests the higher you can jump, the harder you can punch.
The ability to jump is reliant on the amount of impulse produced from the lower body. This means that lower body strength training can have a huge impact on a boxers punch force.
Additionally, the ability to produce force in the lower-body is important to run at high speeds during your conditioning. The faster you can run, the more strain you can put your muscular and cardiovascular system to improve fitness.
One of the main moves to develop lower-body strength and speed is … the squat!
Benefits of the Back Squat
Strengthens the lower body and core. This has a large transfer to any sport that involves running, jumping, throwing or striking movements.
Promotes a forceful hip extension, which important transferring force generated from floor to the hips and through to the core.
Develops core strength, this is important for rotational velocity and effective massduring a punch.
Can increase lean mass of the core, this is the most influential contributor to punching force.
A large eccentric component to the lift will strengthen hamstrings and glutes, this develops an effective stretch shortening cycle whilst reducing the likelihood of injury.
Studies show that the back squat improves jump height. From our own research, we know that the higher you jump is related to a harder punch, this is why the squat is prioritised in our strength programs.
Build The Foundations
Before we hit these big moves in our programs, we need to build the foundations using these exercises.
This will help improve movement patterns and strength for safer and more effective patterns for the big lifts, helping greater strength adaptations and reducing the likelihood of injury.
Here is The Goblet Squat … the introductory squat exercise that builds towards the Back Squat:
Build your foundation with the Boxing Science Train like a Champion programme