BEFORE every fight, virtually without fail, a boxer will say that they have had their best camp yet. Now with the latest technology in the sport you can prove that (at least to yourself).
Corner punch trackers purport to do just that and they sent Boxing News a set to try for ourselves. The kit is easy to use. It comes with two sensors, a charging cable and wristbands. All you need is your regular boxing equipment and a phone. Download the Corner app on your phone or tablet, charge the sensors and either insert these into the wristbands or just tuck them into your wraps.
Set whether you’re orthodox or southpaw on the app, throw a jab and cross to sync up your punches with the app and you are basically good to go. You can proceed straight into training, or set a round timer, punch output target and then get going.
It does work. The on screen display at once shows you the number of punches you’re throwing in real time, as well as your speed and power as well as a graph depicting your output over the course of a round.
It is highly impressive. There are further layers of data that you can delve into, between rounds or at your leisure after training. The types of punches are quantified and your combinations, all of it stored on your account on the app so you can have a complete log of your training camp.
Even for those of us just training for fitness being able to set targets and measure your own progression is a great step forward. For competitive boxers having a detailed breakdown of training session is of course useful.
It’s not infallible. Switch-hitting would be a problem, I found my southpaw right hook registering as two punches on occasion. Personally I am unwilling to rule out that my punch can get so powerful it counts as two but apparently not. “In terms of detection, especially after the latest update, it’s pretty much 98% accurate in terms of detecting the punches themselves,” Charles Burr, the creator of Corner, told Boxing News.
They do though continue to respond to user feedback and update the Corner app so the accuracy of its measurement improves. “It’s one thing testing with a few people,” Burr said. “But as soon as you release it to the masses it’s a total different experience. You find all these weird and wonderful bugs and stuff that you never even thought of. That’s definitely been a fun learning curve for us.” They have made it more sensitive for instance, to detect lighter punches, and will be adding new features.
The device can’t replace a boxing coach. It isn’t going to teach you technique, tactics or strategy. But it is a useful tool. “It’s not replacing a pro coach who’s been watching the sport and guys in gyms for many, many years,” Burr said. “It’s an extra pair of eagle eyes and an automatic log for them as well.
“It offers them extra information to further boost where they can apply their knowledge and boost what they’re offering to fighters. And likewise, for fighters it’s just giving them information to see exactly how they’re doing.
“This helps them get a good idea of where they are and they can make corrections along the way to where they need to be. I think in many cases a common problem people talk about is overtraining and having a history of your performance and training frequency through camp means that you can have a better idea of when’s the right time to taper off. So these are the kind of things that people talk about saying that this definitely filled a big gap in terms of just knowing this information and having it there.”
Normally only boxers at the highest level are able to enjoy this degree of data and analysis on their performance. Now having this level of information accessible, just a click away on your phone, is a tremendous advance.