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Clinching: Boxing Tips

You are watching a boxing match.  The boxers clinch for the fifth time in the last 30 seconds.  What are you thinking?  Boring! But if you want to be a better boxer, you need to know how to clinch, what to do in a clinch, and how to break out of it when it is advantageous for you do so.  Here are some clinching tips:

When Should You Clinch

The primary goal clinching can achieve is to slow down and tie up your opponent to stop his or her momentum.  There are times when you need to slow down what your opponent is doing and change the pace more to your liking.  Boxing, if anything, is about fighting at your pace (whatever that pace may be).   A clinch is like a do-over.  Also, for some boxers, clinching provides a respite of the full expenditure of energy.

Remember Clinching Takes Energy

Boxers are often accused of clinching when they are tired.  Why?  Because it is true.   Some trainers like to say that boxers should not clinch when they are tired because it takes more energy to clinch than not to clinch.  This is an oversimplification that, if true, would mean that 98% of boxers are pretty stupid, including some known for the tactical genius.  But there is some truth to it.  For some boxers, clinching is as exhausting as or more exhausting than not clinching.  For others, it does provide a respite.

How to Clinch

You need to hug your opponent such that you control both of his or her arms.  On your approach, try to keep your elbows in and your hands defensively high.   If you can, put your head on your opponent?s shoulder as rest as much weight as you can while remaining completely balanced.  

Getting Out of a Clinch

The best advice: carefully.  Like climbing down a mountain, exiting a clinch is more dangerous than getting in one: your arms are entangled and which leaves you defenseless. When breaking from a clinch, a quick push straight while spinning toward your lead hand can often catch your opponent at an off balanced moment.  with on their back foot. Try to simply break free from the clinch by pushing your opponent followed by the quick straight. a quickly fired straight is a perfect punch to catch your opponent with on their back foot. Try to simply break free from the clinch by pushing your opponent followed by the quick straight.  (Of course, this advice assume you are breaking yourself without the ref.)

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See also Speed Bag Tips (advice on working the speed bag)
See also The Jab (some advice on throwing a jab)
See also Does Boxing Reduce Stress? (discusses boxing as a form of stress relief)
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