Lure Your Opponent Into A Trap With Teddy Atlas
Have you ever tried fishing without a lure?
If you have, you probably didn’t catch very many fish. If you want to “catch the big one” when it comes to boxing, world renowned boxing coach and ringside commentator Teddy Atlas can show you how to do it.
Although Teddy Atlas had a promising career as an amateur boxer, he never went pro due to injuries. Since he unable to train anymore, he turned his attention to training other boxers. Atlas worked with Sweden’s Boxing Team in preparation for 1980’s Olympics and has a complete list of proven boxers who have trained with him, many of who were future champions, such as Mike Tyson and others who became champions with Atlas in their corner like Heavyweight Champion Michael Lee Moorer back in 1994.
Moorer, after having defended his light-heavy weight championship multiple times, moved up to heavyweight and partnered with Teddy Atlas before going on a title run, and beating Evander Holyfield. Anyone who watched that fight can tell you that Atlas was crucial in his role as a coach and corner man, psychologically pushing Moorer and constantly reminding why he has worked so hard and what he’s given his whole life to achieve, the heavyweight title.
Due to Atlas being a ‘man of many hats’ in the boxing world, he has a perspective on boxing that not many people have. As a ringside commentator for over two decades, as well as being boxer himself for many years which were followed by being a coach, Atlas has seen an incredible number of fights. The different weight classes, style match ups, fighter characteristics, and technical abilities, Teddy Atlas has seen it all. When this type of person explains to you how to lull a fighter into a trap that will set up the knock out, you know it’s something that will work, regardless of the many constantly changing variables within the sweet science of boxing.
Just the one basic trap that Atlas shows off of the jab is highly effective for fighters at any level of skill. As a striker, your peak opportunity to strike at your enemy will often be is as your opponent’s limb is returning to their body after throwing their own technique. Knowing this, Atlas shows how to lure an opponent into your attack range using the jab followed by a quick back step. As the opponent moves in to follow the retraction of the jab, you have already stepped back to create safe distance from their punch, while at the same time, staying prepared to launch your counter.
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Remember that a trap is only as good as its final product; you may have rat trapped all day, but if the second you lift the cage to grab it, it runs off and escapes, then you have achieved nothing, and may even be worse off than when you started. As the opponent follows the jab back to its origin, you should be prepared to counter strike with a stiff jab, cross combination. Although the jab, cross combination should be something every fighter works on and gets comfortable with in various situations. that combination may not always be the most optimal to strike with.
Atlas explains that if an opponent moves in with a left-hand strike and misses, a fighter should counter with a right hand, mirroring the opponents missed striking hand, going over it and hitting flush with a powerful counter. The same applies if the opponent moves in, striking and missing with the right hand. When this happens, you should strike with a counter left hook over the opponents missed right straight. Knowing how to trap an opposing fighter with a combination of head movement, footwork, and striking is equally as important as knowing how to finish them once they are trapped.
To maintain the ability of fighting at the highest levels of boxing, and striking in general, a fighter must remain calm. Teddy Atlas speaks extensively on staying calm, and rightly so. How can you be in such a highly intense, face pace, full contact fight if you are completely out of control. The best way to stay in control of your movements, emotions, and energy expenditure is to remain as calm as possible, use the techniques you have learned and trust them.
Teddy states this simply as “to be calm in an uncalm place, in a place where punches are thrown at you.” It really is that simple, and yes, when I say that simple, I mean it is extremely difficult. This is when the fundamentals of boxing turn the novice into advanced fighters. Don’t go fishing without a lure. Go prepared with the bait, remain calm as you look for your opportunity, and catch the big one! When a fighter makes a plan, trusts in their own bodies, the training and work they have put in, the effectiveness of their techniques and the knowledge of their coaches, that is when something clicks, a light goes off inside of a fighter, and they can feel it.
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF BOXING BY TEDDY ATLAS is a 4-part instructional where you get all of the best details and personal stories from the legend himself, Teddy Atlas!