This years Olympics saw some excellent boxing displayed. If you watched much of the Olympic boxing tournaments you would have noticed different styles that were on show.
There were 81 different countries being represented at this year’s Olympic boxing event. And what has become a regular occurrence in amateur boxing; Cuba reigned supreme with 4 gold medals and one bronze having entered 7 boxers.
In this blog, I will discuss the various styles of the top boxing nations, starting with arguably the best… Cuba.
Cuba – Cuba are renown for their excellent footwork, balance, reactions and overall fluidity. Something that always sees their boxers have success in major competitions.
This is a style that is drilled into them from when they first walk into a boxing gym. Boxing is about ‘’hitting and not getting hit’’ and Cuba embody this. Most of their training is focused on fighting drills and footwork drills with a heavy emphasis on rhythm and flow. It is said that this style was made possible by Alcides Sagarra Carón, a former Cuban national coach.
A great boxer to watch who displayed the epitome of Cuban boxing is Andy Cruz, who won lightweight Olympic gold in this year’s Olympics and was one of the stand out boxers of the tournament.
USA – The USA always send a strong team to the Olympics. Most of the boxers seem to have a pro style with amateur elements. They hold their feet longer (which decreasing the speed of their footwork) and are comfortable blocking and countering with speed and accuracy that you would normally see from a pro boxer.
A USA boxer who displayed the USA style very well during these Olympics which culminated into a Silver medal is Keyshawn Davis who competed at lightweight. He lost in the final to Andy Cruz.
Great Britain – GB had their most successful Olympics in the boxing event, winning 6 medals in total. 2 gold, 2 sliver and 2 bronze.
GB are known for their excellent fitness and forward aggression. GB boxers are usually on their toes, with a high guard and focus on straight punches behind an in and out movement. They always have fast feet which matches their fast hands.
A GB boxer who to watch with the GB style is this year’s Olympic champion at flyweight is Galal Yafai.
Russia – Boxing under the banner of Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), due to the decision by the World anti-doping agency (WADA) to ban Russia from all international sport for four years, after it was found that data provided by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency had been manipulated by Russian authorities with a goal of protecting athletes involved in its state-sponsored doping scheme.
ROC had 6 Medallists this year, 1 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze. ROC have the typical soviet style. Very tall, fast feet behind a long lead hand. They throw fast combinations, leading with the jab and always have fast feet and hands and like GB, they focus on in and out movement.
A boxer to watch from the ROC is Albert Batyrgaziev who won gold in the men’s featherweight division.
We will be exploring these different styles in our skills classes in the coming months. Kicking off September with our own GB style.