the art of defensive boxing

8 07 2009

I have always loved this gif of Ali standing right in front of his opponent with his hands down at his waist, making it look so easy to slip this guy’s best shots. It’s like he’s learned to manipulate the freaking Matrix or something.

I’ve heard other people say that this isn’t really that impressive since he stays out of range for four of the five punches, but I’d always dismissed their criticism as typical online contrarianism/know-it-all-ism (plus, I find Ali’s swagger to be just as impressive as his skill here). But then someone directed me to an incredible highlight of Pernall “Sweet Pea” Whitaker that really got my attention. Check it out — trying to punch this guy must be like trying to punch a ghost:

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