Nightly Knockouts

Nightly Knockouts

THE CENTER OF THE RING (Boxing Training)

If you’ve watched enough fights or been training a lot along with sparring and competition. You have probably heard the following statement or variations of it. “Hold the center of the ring” “Back to the center” “Stay off the ropes”

A great piece of advice but let’s dig further into what is affected when it comes to the center of the ring and why it is always sought for (or at least mentioned non stop by corners and commentators alike)

The most common reason of why the center of the ring is sought after in a basic sense is it gives the impression that you are the one in control of the ring making the opponent give ground and be forced to move around to find a way back in. When it comes to a basic idea of judging a fight “the one who backs off, appears to be losing” there is way more to unpack as it depends on effective aggression and what the person giving ground is doing.

However due to that basic idea it becomes very easy for a fighter to fall short on the judges score cards because all they saw was someone moving backwards. Which because of judges, another reason for people gunning for the center of the ring.

The judges can see you clearly 

Here is a diagram of a ring, take note of where the judges sit

As you can see each judge’s view can become limited based on where the two fighters are going, where it becomes more of their best assessment of what is going on if someone is on the ropes or the corners vs the center of the ring where it is easier to see.

From this point of view you can see if it comes to clean hits. It’s 1 – 1 for both fighters. However going back to the diagram, one judge will be able to see what Canelo did in that position (Possibly 2 out of the 3 depending on which side of the ring they are on). For the other two judges, Golovkin has Canelo on the ropes and gets some shots in before backing off.

While there can be some benefits fighting off the ropes if you have the skillset, you have to make sure it shows that you came off the winner of that exchange.

Make them back off not wait for them to do so

Now we have an idea of what we are dealing with while in the ring, let’s see what is most likely to happen when both fighters are more determined to hold the center.

Most obvious is, exchanges are most likely to happen. Both of you are trying to be the one in control of the hill. So sparks will fly, a whole bunch of subtle strategies will come into play. How effective is your jab? How good is your defense? Can you get shots in while not paying the price? Are you able to use small steps to make the person over commit?

Also of course, there will be moments you lose the center. It becomes a case of how do you manage to lure the person into giving away the center so you can get back there forcing the positioning back to neutral? Losing the center does not necessarily kill your mobility options (unless you go straight into the ropes or corner) it just means you have to be a bit more precise and use subtle movement, effective aggression and defense to get it back.

This all expands further into so many other avenues when it comes to technique, setting up offense and defense which I will set aside for another time. This focus was just food for thought for the fighter, the trainer, the coach and the fight fans who watch two competitors put their skills to the test.

And as always keep training, keep studying fights and rebuild your game

Written by PJ the Fight Architect

Real Talk Music: RZA vs DJ Premier Battle Recap

On this episode of “Real Talk” the Ring Gang crew share their thoughts on the DJ battle between the RZA and DJ Premier on Instagram live this past weekend
Some pre podcast banter that the Ring Gang crew recorded prior to our actual podcast on very random topics. The random topic was Vice TV Recap Brawl For All.


It is pretty obvious nowadays due to the pandemic access to certain luxuries or things taken for granted have now suddenly become limited if not completely closed entirely.

When the gym leaves you on “read”

With this new prospect of people working, communicating and collaborating remotely people are seeking solutions to being stuck at home and not gorging themselves on snacks without first burning the calories to earn it. We are now looking to simply doing workouts from home.

Seems simple enough but not necessarily for everyone. For some people loved the social aspect of the gym, hanging out with like minded people and motivating and encouraging each other to reach that eventual goal one day at a time. Having the coach there and ready to provide instruction on what to do and have a game plan to approach that goal, it’s quite a lot to lose so suddenly.

Let’s first take a look and see what is being done now because even the gyms need to make sure their clients are still receiving their money’s worth and not feel left in the dust.


For the most part, we have access to phones and the internet. Calls, e-mails, texts, group chats are still available especially with how connected most people are to social media (whether they want to be or not).

Gyms are making content for their members to follow, as well as accommodating those who may not have certain items in their house but suggest to try and get them if possible.

Shadow boxing routine from Coach Aaron at Kingdom MMA and Fitness

Not only just gyms but various fighters and online trainers are providing little routines that are simple to follow and don’t require much. Just yourself and some space.

So trainers are doing their part. What can we the people at home do to get ourselves started and not get too lethargic while in lockup?

Stuck at home, an outgoing person’s worst nightmare


Depending on where you live, space will be required to start your workouts. If we just focus on not having any gear whatsoever just simply for body weight exercises. Enough space to allow you to do push-ups, sit-ups, planks, squat thrusts and jumping jacks would be a good start (so about your height horizontally and vertically measured on the floor)

This will allow you to start basic workouts, no gear required. There are plenty of sources showing daily routines or challenges to follow for the month as you slowly learn the mechanics of your own body while building strength in the joints and smaller muscles that might get ignored when trying to use athleticism to blaze through.

You can work on how your strikes look and see if they are being done right

Record so you can see how you look and fix whatever is needed

Have focused drills on a specific combination or technique (don’t slack)

Do these during the rest in between sets

  • Straight punches, shoe shine combinations as many as you can before the next set or at least for 15 – 30 seconds

Be more comfortable throwing your strikes in a controlled manner, so then you realize when you are overdoing something and learn to find out why.


Now depending where you live, you are not the only one who has become “inspired” to make a home gym and you’ve noticed a lot of weights have disappeared from the shelves like toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Let’s make due with some gear that doesn’t break the bank while still maintaining small space available.

  • Jump Rope
  • The most basic and cheap alternative in case jumping jacks are getting boring, good cardio can be the equivalent of a run (I’d recommend going outside for a light jog or walk, get some fresh air while maintaining your distance)
  • Medicine Ball
  • This item has yet to disappear (50/50 chance), good for adding some variation to push-ups and sit-ups
  • Kettle-Bell/Dumbbell
  • Free weights to build strength if you want a bit more than simply body weight
  • Yoga Mat
  • In case you are concerned with sweating all over the place, having a towel nearby helps too

When more space is available to you, say like a basement or garage then more doors open based on your budget or who is willing to help you put stuff together.

Make due with what space you got whether it is a lot

Or Not

In the meantime the biggest hurdle for everyone is accountability, can you police yourself and maintain the discipline of keeping to a routine? Only you have the answer to that, the saying is it takes four weeks to turn something into a habit, let’s give it a shot.

Written by PJ the Fight Architect.

Nightly Knockouts

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