Nightly Knockouts

Juan Roldan is tonight’s entrant for the Nightly Knockout series. This one is brutal.

THE LIVER SHOT (Boxing Training)

The equalizer The game changer
The terriblethingtogethitbyohgodwhydoesthishurtsomuch punch
How your body will feel after eating your first liver shot

It is a punch seen in highlight reels for stoppages while not as immediate to see as a KO to the head.

Instead the body shot has a more subtle and in some cases more devastating ending depending on how well the punch landed.

Notice I said how well it landed and not how hard it landed, the accuracy is the key to the body shot as well as how it was hidden. It is a true example of the saying “the shot you can’t see hurts the most”; you don’t need much to hurt the liver, it’s an internal organ. That cannot be trained for impact.

It requires subtlety, setups and in mentally treating it like a sucker punch. You don’t want them to see it or at least react in time to brace for it. Which in turn means drill and drill and drill it until it becomes second nature.

So let’s say you got it down packed, you’re nice on the mitts and on the bag landing the liver shot. But for some reason it doesn’t seem to be effective in sparring let alone the fight

There could be a few things:

Your feet won’t be under you to drive your weight into the punch through your legs and hips
You’ll be open for a counter, which leads to the next part….

YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT GETTING HIT

This is fair, you’re concerned of the risk of landing this shot due to being close to the opponent. However in this game, you’re never 100% safe from a counter. It’s better off to accept you’re going to eat a punch to land what you want.

Now I am not saying make your face your shield, just slowly get used to using your guard to pick off punches be it either high guard or half guard along with head movement to close in.

Now the most likely culprit of the body shot not landing….

YOU’RE BEING IMPATIENT

One of the most important things about body shots let alone the liver shot is, its accumulation. It’s rarely a one hit KO, it is an investment and you need to make multiple deposits to get dividends.

This means landing on the punches anywhere to get that liver shot available, you want the other person to lift their hands too high to defend their face. Be it a slip jab to the body.

Or a punch to the head, while still closing in on the opponent.

Even when you get that shot in it probably won’t end it, you will have to dig in the trenches and make it rough for them

The other thing I mentioned before saying it is an investment, accumulation. If they are willing to keep standing. They’re going to be concerned about your body shots, allowing head shots to become available.

It becomes really difficult to throw back, move or even defend yourself if you can’t breathe. Most likely at that point the finish is yours to take….

So let’s be sure to mix the strikes up everyone, there is more than just the head. The body can lead to the magical headshot you seek.

Get to training and rebuild your game.

Written by PJ The Fight Architect

ANTICIPATION (Boxing Training)

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It’s no different in the fight game. You try and land something they’re gonna attempt to fire back aka a counter. Act too samey they’ll punish it every time, almost to a fault……So why not give them something to bite to get a better boon? One thing to remember is sometimes the missed punch isn’t necessarily a wasted punch if you know what you’re doing with it. If you know the opponent is going to throw at you each time you act, maybe we can discourage them by countering the counter 

One of the best at this is Guillermo Rigondeaux always showing punches as if he is shadow boxing in the fight, he will constantly show you a punch but not necessarily committing to it. Leaving a gamble of should you just look at it and get caught with something or get in and punish the little game?

Or maybe that show is the trap asking you to counter….

If you’re able to tell that someone is ready to engage when they feel like you missed. It can set up other traps to force distance again.

When someone is constantly seeing the same starting punch, it primes one’s reflexes to always act on the potential threat be it offensively or defensively. They may even have the right counter in mind but not be prepared for what follows after due to focusing on that one moment.

We can even do this feigning “bad” technique leaving the jab out long enough to make someone feel confident to counter it with the right hand or a jab themselves.

Roberto Duran would often throw a “lazy” jab baiting you to try and attack giving him a chance to make you pay and slowly close in .

When you practice your fundamentals, you learn how to use those little mistakes to create traps because in the end everyone uses the same punches/kicks, the technique in its most basic sense is the same including basic ideas on how to punish what appears to be poor technique

So get back to your training reassess what you have done and rebuild your game

Article Written by PJ the Fight Architect

Nightly Knockouts

Tonight’s entrant for the Nightly Knockouts is Louis Monaco over Peter McNeeley

Forgotten Fades: Israel Vazquez vs Jhonny Gonzalez

So how did I come across picking this fight you may ask?  Well with boxing currently on hiatus due to corona virus, I was like let me go ahead and do another Forgotten Fade article.  To be optimistic, it has made go back even more into the archives to watch old fights.  When boxing has been a part of your life for such a long period of time, it is hard to break the habit.  So, it has been quite the adjustment for my weekends, where I usually look forward to sitting down on my couch and catch the latest cards on ESPN, FOX, Showtime, or DAZN.  I hit up Shutterworth da Gawd and asked what division I should be focused on this time? He said, “Look at 118 or 122”.  Then he mentioned Abner Mares, who I was not too keen on doing an article about.  I still hold a little grudge over the Agbeko fights, and I didn’t want to glorify him in any way.  Shutterworth and I had a brief back and forth on it and I mentioned Jhonny Gonzalez sending Mares to the bushes in 1 which was awesome.  Then I said that Gonzalez had some fades and mentioned the fight with Israel Vazquez, which I had remembered being awesome.  So, in the middle of the night I rewatched the fight on YouTube and was like “this kicked so much ass.”. The next day, I told Shutterworth this was the fight I wanted to highlight for this article.

                This fight was for the WBC Super Bantamweight Title, the 2nd defense of the title by then champion Vazquez.  For Jhonny Gonzalez, then WBO Bantamweight Champion, it was a chance to move up and win a belt in a second division.  It took place on the undercard of Marco Antonio Barrera vs Rocky Juarez rematch.    Both men were right in the middle of their primes.   This fight was a tale of two fights.  It started off with both boxers having a little feeling out round.  Keeping their distance and using their jabs as stated by the late great Emanuel Steward.  But from the start of round 2 it didn’t take Gonzalez long to get going.  His jab and right hand caused a blood blister to appear on Vazquez right eye in contrast to shots returned caused blood to come from his nose.  In Round 4, within the opening seconds Gonzalez floored Vazquez with a beautiful left hook lead that deposited him right on the seat of his pants.  Vazquez though got up in little to no time, a look of frustration over getting dropped trying to get inside.  The left hook it seemed was not too flush just happen to catch Vazquez slightly off balance.  For the rest of the round Gonzalez started whipping 3-4 punch combinations onto Vazquez, whose right eye was still bleeding. This continued for a couple of more rounds with Gonzalez throwing punches with almost near reckless abandon. Sometimes reckless to the point where he would be off balance and Vazquez would be trying to get inside to take advantage of.  Near the end of round 6, Gonzalez would land 3 consecutive right hands that landed flush followed by a whipping left hook that again sent Vazquez to the canvas.  This time that left hook seemed to really hurt Vazquez as he got up with his mouthpiece sticking halfway out of his mouth.  Lucky for him the bell sounded as Gonzalez moved in. He would need all the time in the corner to recover.  Jhonny’s ring generalship and knockdowns gave him a sizable lead on the cards halfway through the fight.  The second act of that fight though would change things almost immediately. In round 7, Gonzalez is stepping on the gas whipping combinations from head to body seemingly going for the KO. With a minute left, Vazquez counters Gonzalez’s uppercut on the inside with a quick right hand which rocks Gonzalez.  A follow up 1-2 combination would put him on the canvas split legged.  What a turnaround that was!!!  In the 8th round, it looked like Gonzalez had taken control, but you couldn’t help but noticed that he was getting more and more busted up.  Vazquez’s mentality at this point was “KNOCKOUT.”  There was a moment where it looked like a hook to the body dropped Jhonny to the canvas again, but the ref ruled that a slip.   In round 9, Gonzalez started looking increasingly sloppy. Throwing punches and being completely off balance and Vazquez closed the distance even more.  In Round 10, Jhonny throws an errant low blow which earned him a stern warning from the ref who told him a point deduction would be next.  With almost a minute left, Vazquez connected with a 4-punch combination that drops Gonzalez for the second time in the fight.  Gonzalez gets up although looks very beaten up at this time.  While the ref was getting ready to send him out to fight, Jhonny Gonzalez’s cornermen came on the apron and waved the white towel to signal the end of the fight.  Larry Merchant and Emanuel Steward were voicing their displeasure loudly at the corner stoppage. Israel Vazquez clawed his way back from being significantly down on all 3 cards to win and retain his title.  It was an extraordinary fight between 2 of the most top-level super bantamweights at the time.

                Each fighter would go on their own unique paths after this fight.  For the winner and still super bantamweight champion Israel Vazquez, he would go on to earn more acclaim in 3 straight fights with Rafael Marquez.  Each fight a ridiculous war which would see both men knock chunks of flesh along with their primes off each other.  All 3 of those fights took place within a year.  The first fight saw Vazquez surrender his title by a 7th round TKO to Marquez in war.  The second fight saw Vazquez regain his title by 6th round TKO.  The third fight with Marquez would see Vazquez retain his belt via split decision.  Vazquez though would pay a very high price for these fights with a detached retina which would keep him sidelined for a year.  When he came back 19 months after the 3rd Marquez fight, he looked very much badly faded struggling to score a 9th round TKO over journeyman, Angel Priolo.  Then in his final fight, he took on Marquez in a 4th fight that respectfully should have never happened.  Marquez would stop him in 4 rounds.  A final career record of 44 wins against 5 losses with 32 coming by way of knockout.   In retirement, Vazquez had been struggling with the retinal injury that he got from the Marquez fights.  Numerous operations on his damaged right eye proved to be unsuccessful resulting with it being removed and being replaced with a prosthetic.  A very high price to pay indeed.   Jhonny Gonzalez would go on to lose his bantamweight title in an upset 7th round KO loss to Gerry Penalosa.  He would also fail in a second attempt to become a super bantamweight champion against then champion Toshiaki Nishioka.  He would rebound and finally achieve his goal of being a champion in 2 weight divisions. Defeating then WBC Featherweight champion Hozumi Hasegawa by a 4th round TKO.  He would keep this belt for a little over a year before losing it on an upset technical decision to Daniel Ponce de Leon.    His biggest win and upset to date would come in 2013.  He scored a decisive 1st round KO of an undefeated Abner Mares for the WBC featherweight title.  He would keep for it for a year and half before losing it to Gary Russell Jr.  As of August 2019, Jhonny Gonzalez is still an active fighter and a veteran of 79 fights.  In the twilight of his career but I wouldn’t put it past him to win a big fight one last time before he hangs it up.  But the fight these two waged was something else and should not be forgotten. Full recommendation to watch.

Written by Patscorpio

Nightly Knockouts

In honor of the late great Roger Mayweather.

Roger Mayweather passes away at 58

The Ring Gang family offers its condolences to the family and friends of the legendary boxer and trainer Roger Mayweather.

The Career Mode Glitch

Let’s take a little trip down memory lane.  Its 2011 and you’re a hardcore boxing fan probably still in your twenties.  It’s the weekend and boxing After Dark on HBO just ended.  The fights weren’t great, but they weren’t bad either.  You don’t have to work the next day, so you don’t have to go to bed any time soon.  These are simpler times my friend.  Boxing is over, but that blood lust for compelling fights is still nagging at you.  Before you know it, you’re turning on your PS3 or Xbox gaming console. 

If you were a boxing fan during this era that indulged in video games, you knew there was only one game that could quench your thirst for more boxing.  This masterpiece was Fight Night Champion, the last great boxing video game to exist in the free world.  It goes without saying that this game is already in your system so once it’s fired up you proceed to get that boxing monkey off your back.  You start out playing a few bullshit random matches before finally loading up the highly coveted career mode.  Career Mode was everyone’s little pet project in Fight Night Champion.  You created your boxer and controlled his attributes, training, and career trajectory. 

Now you’ve had steady progression with your created boxer’s career and see that a title shot is only a few fights away.  You’re faced with a few options.  You can take the slightly more challenging step-up fight that would prepare you for the champion or you can take the same type of fight that’s gotten you to this position.  You won’t improve your stats much, but the odds are in your favor and another win won’t hurt. It’s getting late and you’re starting to get a little sleepy, but you don’t want to shut the game off just yet.  With that in mind, you don’t want the stress of having a tough fight now, so you go for the easy match up. 

You start out dominating the infamous “Jobber Magee”, but for some reason you can’t put him away like all the others in the past.  He weathers the early storm and manages to land a punch that causes a bad cut on your eye. The blood seems to reinvigorate your opponent and he begins to increase the pressure.  Now you’re thinking to yourself that you should have just taken the tougher fight if it was going to be this much trouble.  Your early onslaught has your stamina looking funny in the light and before you know it, Jobber Magee lands a heavy shot that sits you down on the canvas.  You try to get up, but its no use.  Your head is cloudy, and you have noodle legs.  The ref counts you out and the rest is history.  You’re the latest victim of the Career Mode Glitch. 

Fast forward to the present and you’ll see art imitate life more often than it should.  Boxers allow themselves to spoil on the vine, by facing sub par competition as soon as they’re on the verge of being world class.  Challenging character-building fights are scoffed at an ignored for easier opposition.  To be fair, not every boxer operates this way, but its certainly becoming the majority.  Super fights die on the negotiation table and potential meaningful fights fall to the wayside due to cannon fodder fighting above their level causing upsets.  As a boxer you should always want to improve and take fights that can add to your foundation or legacy.  Hoping to get rewarded while on the path of least resistance can come back to haunt you.  There are no shortcuts in boxing and sitting on your lead whether in a fight or in the rankings can be detrimental to the result you seek. 

Unlike Fight Night Champion, real life boxing has certain consequences.  You can get injured or seriously hurt.  Certain performances will catapult you to the top of the world while some will make you plummet to the nether realm of boxing social media.  It’s better to face these boxing challenges with pride and determination than to prolong the inevitable hoping to build your confidence with inferior opponents.  Cherry picking competition and fighting infrequently are a recipe for disaster.  These career journeymen know what’s at stake and one good performance on a night where you have a bad performance can be the difference in propelling or stagnating your career.  Father Time is undefeated, but the Career Mode Glitch will always be the biggest risk a boxer takes before Father Time get a chance to lace up his gloves.  Proceed wisely.

Written by Shutterworth for Ring Gang Radio.

Nightly Knockouts

If you’re having trouble sleeping, let Tim Witterspoon help you out with this edition of Nightly Knockouts.