Elbows are very hazardous to the hands

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022

James LaFond is surprised by how poorly boxing coaches understand their bareknuckle roots:

In gloved boxing, the hooker is better served in the pocket or wheelhouse and the straight puncher wants to be on the outside. In bareknuckle boxing the straight puncher can stay on the inside and do damage.

Body punches count for more in bareknuckle than with gloves.

Elbows are very hazardous to the hands in bare knuckle so:

  • Throw palm down punches under his elbows
  • Throw thumb-up punches to his chest
  • Throw palm up punches to his face [if in close, even with the rear hand], with the up jab targeting the eye

If it is legal, and your man leaves his head open, not worrying about you hitting it because he wants you to break your hand, than:

  • Slap him in the ear or on top of the head with a pivot
  • Hit with the heel of your hand in a lateral hammer-fisting motion, which can be done like a spinning backfist or as a way to catch a guy who has bobbed under your hook and is popping back up of has slipped your rear straight, by slamming the side of your fist into the side of his head while pivoting off the opposite foot and dropping the heel of the foot under the hand you are hammering with.

To set up the spinning backfist, just get him to back up a step and launch.

Shovel hooks to the chin are better than Philly hooks to the head.

The jab should be used for power, not just targeting.

Use more feints. My favorite bare knuckle feint is a loop-3:

  • Fake the lead rear straight.
  • Then fake the shovel hook and either jab hard or throw the rear straight off of that.
  • When he goes for the body, really drop those elbows on his hands.


  1. Kunning Drueger says:

    How are we supposed to incorporate any of these tips if they don’t list the key combos or keystrokes needed?

  2. Bob Sykes says:

    I believe that in the bare-knuckle era, championship fights went 45 rounds.

  3. Another Dave says:

    In the bare knuckle era, a round was called when one guy hit the ground.

    Some of the fights with unreal numbers of rounds tells you how many times one of the guys got knocked down.

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