From a tactical point of view, I can’t think of anything that will take your boxing to the next level more than implementing and launching compound attacks. The classic scenario is you go to your opponent with a set of punches and head movement, and he knows that after you have launched your attack he can make his move or take a break for about 5-10 seconds while you reset. However, when you set up a second immediate attack (within 1 or 2 seconds) there is an element of surprise and sustained pressure which separates you from 90% of fighters.
The best compound attacker right now is Pacquiao. That doesn’t mean he’s the best boxer, I still think it’s Mayweather, only time will tell. However, watch what Pacquiao does and watch his fights, he throws a fury of punches after faking and setting up angles, he resets or steps back or creates an angle, and then goes in for a second helping of beat down on his opponent.
I picked this stuff up initially from watching tons of Tyson fights, he was a master at setting up second and third attacks, and he had to because every time he launched initially his opponent was on the run. A good example of this is to watch him against Tyrell Biggs or Mitch Green, it took Tyson a couple of rounds to get close and start landing. I learned a lot from watching Tyson and you probably can too, you can also learn a lot from watching Tyson lose to Douglas and Holyfield in their first fight. It’s always good to see different strategies from both sides.
Okay, back to compound attacks, the key is to set up your opponent for an attack down the road. The biggest obstacle you will face is the conditioning to back it up, when you are not in shape you’ll be lucky to consistently get off strong single attacks, so you have to train extra hard for compound attacks. Watch my slipping video for some ideas on how to incorporate that in your training, Slipping Punches – The Remix
You fake, move your head, and then go in with your attack, at the higher level of boxing most initial attacks will be neutralized or countered by your opponent. If your boxing is tight then you will be able to neutralize your opponents counters or stay close enough while he retreats. And so here lies the second attack and the compound attack; once your opponent has retreated or countered and you have successfully neutralized the counter, you then launch your second attack, it’s all about the footwork to create angles and stay close along with the constant head movement to avoid attacks. You have to work out the specifics, but you get the idea. The general pattern goes like this:
You: faking, moving side to side, in and out, moving your head
Opponent: doing the same as you
You: move in for your combination
Opponent: retreats or throws counter, or throws while retreating
You: stay within punching range as you move forward and moving head as soon as you finish punching, or move head in between punches while moving
Opponent: moves to safety or launches fresh attack against you
You: pouncing on opponent as he moves to safety (since you are close enough), or countering his attack since you are ready for it and were about to launch again.