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Moving Laterally To Close The Distance With Teddy Atlas

Moving Laterally To Close The Distance With Teddy Atlas


When you hear the word "footwork" most will immediately picture someone bouncing on their feet like Willie Pep, Sugar Ray Leonard, or Ali. But cutting the ring off and knowing where to position yourself using your feet relative to the opponent's feet is just as important a style of footwork as being light on your feet.

Cutting the ring off is especially important for closing distance and cutting the person who is circling on the outside. I

n the video below Teddy Atlas describes how to close the distance and cut the ring off.


Technique Breakdown

Teddy Atlas begins the video by asking his student how many times has he seen one person moving around and the other person is trying to get close the distance to get to them but can't find them and keeps getting tagged instead. Where fighter A is moving on the outside using their legs. And fighter B is pursuing them, the aggressive type fighter, and can't get to them and ends up losing the fight.

Teddy says it is because they did not learn how to cut the ring. And you hear the announcers and analysts yell out to cut down the ring but Why are there so many fighters that can't seem to know how to do it even though the term "cutting the ring down" has been around forever. 

It is because they were not shown the technique correctly and end up chasing instead. Then Teddy quotes Joe Louis who said they can run but they can't hide. Because he knew how to cut down the ring and he did it with a fight with Billy Conn. Billy Conn was the first light heavyweight champion to become the heavyweight champion. And he was winning the fight against Joe Louis going into the 13th round until Joe Louis cut the ring down and trapped and knocked him out. 

First rule in cutting the ring off is to not follow the fighter moving outside on the same tracks they are moving. If you do that then the opponent is going to lead you into something. You will not find them and will get hit a lot. Teddy then uses a linebacker in football as an analogy about how they move laterally to keep the person in front of them. So in the boxing ring the opponent moves and you close the distance a little bit but be alert because they might stop and punch. You can't just walk in there. So you move sideways like the linebacker and little by little you shrink the ring while being cautious and alert and then you trap them.

Technique Summary

  • Don't chase and follow the opponent in the same track
  • Move laterally not forward and be alert of punches 
  • Little by little creep in with small steps until they are trapped 

Teddy’s Instructionals

Footwork-Boxing's Transit System by Teddy Atlas - Dynamic Striking

FOOTWORK-BOXING'S TRANSIT SYSTEM BY TEDDY ATLAS is a 4-part masterclass on boxing footwork. Upgrade your with a true legend of the sport Teddy Atlas!