Title is self-explanatory: what would be the best tactic to effectively punish an otherwise notably inferior opponent with, say 20% more strength and volume, who tries to make his way into close-range with his sheer power to start exchanging blows, other than playing the game he tries to establish or mere retreating, but by holding my ground at least up to a certain extent?

Assume a roughly equal hand reach, and 20% greater speed on my side.


You can't hold your ground against someone who has the physical advantage. The only thing you can do if you really don't want to get out of the way, is to remain on the offensive and catch him with straight punches to the nose. An inexperienced fighter (as you described your opponent) will instinctively go on the defense.

BUUUT, the right tactic is to move around him, out of striking distance and away from his dominant hand. Or try to get him into a corner, strike two or three times, then move away. The idea is to "teach" him that steamroller tactics won't work. Sooner or later he'll get the message and start trying to take you on at the speed game, which you are better at (according to yourself, anyway).

Much easier said than done, of course, but it's possible.

  • This is what I have suggested to people in the pass, gotta move around them. When we would spare in our karate class I would often work with lower levels which tended to be much smaller than me. Getting into a punching match wasn't going to work. I would tell them move, get inside for a few good shots and then back out (unless you had a knockout shot available). If they wanted to stand and go toe to toe trading punches I was more than happy to do so with them. – Wayne In Yak Jan 20 '15 at 15:26

Ideally I'd want to stay on the outside using footwork while peppering with jabs and the occasional straight left. I might use the uppercut to punish them moving into the clinch, but primarily I'd want to rely on angling out rather than winning the dirty boxing fight.

To speak to the mindset behind this kind of question: this theoretical approach is rather useless. Firas Zahabbi said, "I can’t tell you the game plan. I have to spend months training you in the game plan." To take his point generally, a properly trained fighter doesn't sit and think about their strategy. They practice the strategy in the gym against trained, resisting opponents over and over. They don't think, they know exactly what they'd do against a bigger, stronger opponent taking strategy X because they've already done it in the gym.

If you box with these tactics regularly then you'll know exactly what approach you'd like to take. If you don't train, then being told won't help, because you won't be able to execute it.

  • 1
    Takedowns and kicks? Since the OP says "boxing" I am assuming the classic style of boxing, takedowns and leg kicks are not allowed. – Wayne In Yak Jan 19 '15 at 15:38
  • @WayneInYak: Thai boxing does have leg kicks and is "boxing"... – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Jan 19 '15 at 17:08
  • @WayneInYak I totally missed 'boxing' in the title and tag. You're absolutely right. Whoops. – Dave Liepmann Jan 19 '15 at 18:05
  • 1
    sorry for taking off the "chosen" from your answer, though it is very helpful, but the second one takes a more practical take on the question :P being better than my opponent I could overrun him if I wanted, but against inferior opponents I prefer to win by technique and tactic alone, to make myself and my opponent better. So I was looking for an asnwer from someone more experienced, to see if what I had in mind was right. +1 on your answer from me anyway :D P.S. As Wayne noted, I did really refer to traditional boxing. – Noob Doob Jan 19 '15 at 18:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.