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Fitness Technique

James DeGale explains the five techniques you need to win the Olympic Games

James DeGale, the first British Olympic champion to win a pro world title, reveals the skills you need to win gold
  1. PARRY THE JAB AND COUNTER

Why: I think you can come back with your counter more easily when you parry rather than block. When you block you’re quite tucked in, compact but when you parry, you knock the opponent off balance and you’re ready to counter with the other hand. The back hand is the opposite hand to the one you’re parrying with; an orthodox fighter is wide open to it from a southpaw.

How: I’m looking at his eyes, ready to parry. It’s subtle again – if I knock his hand too far down my opponent is going to come over the top. It’s a reaction move, the left hand has to come out straight away, as soon as you’ve parried the jab. For the cross, twist your back foot, get full extension on the arm and turn your knuckles over.

In PracticeQuarter-final v Bakhtiyar Arteyev (Kazakhstan) 8-3

I had a bit or nerves there because he was the reigning Olympic welterweight champion, I had boxed him twice before – we won one each – and technically he was a very good fighter. After the first round, once again my feet were key, straight shots, hooking. I was doing a lot of parrying and blocking, a lot of defensive work.

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