Fighting someone much taller? HELP

I was wondering if anyone could give me some tips on boxing a taller opponent? Please forgive me if this has been asked before... I searched the saved threads and didn't see anything on this topic.

I'm 5'5 and some of the guys I spar are close to a foot taller. Everytime I punch I get punched in the head. Today I was sucking SO BAD that I was just missing with everything and getting nailed everytime. I'm usually not that bad, but any tips you could give me would be great.

I was jabbing to close the distance, but couldn't seem to hit anything. If I went to the body, I got hit in the head. If I even threw anything I got hit in the head. My blocking does suck, I do need to work on that.

ok here we go.

1st, if you are a small target, make yourself smaller. Make your disadvangate and advantage and make yourself harder to hit! Bend and the knees and a little at the waist (amateur boxing will penalize you if you bend too much at the waist so keep your back straight but bend some at the waist.) Really work on your crouch and spring out of it.

This will be helpful to you, trust me. Be aware that you don't have to see he head to hit his head, you know its attached. Keep yourself low and work on stalking. Aim for his chest and his neck.

He will be looking to keep the distance between you at a premium so don't walk straight in. Be agressive, every time he moves his hand back from firing a punch you punch and move forward. Hit his arms, hit his body, hit his shoulders, hit his head, HIT HIM! Be smart with your steps. If you are a traditional stance boxer, he'll be trying to circle away from your right hand. Learn to cut him off by stepping and punching. I love it when guys try to play ring around the rosy with me like that, because they walk right into my left hook. You can actually turn him by getting an angle with clever footwork, just work on it. Practice walking him into the corner and BANG him in the body! Tall lean guys don't like it in the body (who does) So pound on his liver and try not to let him out. If he does, dont' worry, just walk him down again. His long arms will be a disadvantage to him in the corner if you can crowd him without smothering yourself (which is common to people who are new to boxing. It comes with practice) Beware of his uppercuts.

In amateur boxing you are not allowed to grab the hips and spin him back into the corner. Work on cutting your foot back inside (in between his) and using your left shoulder to cover your chin and you can use chopping shots to pressure him backward into the corner. Turning your lead shoulder into his should also cause a nice amount of seperation for you to land a nice right hand down the middle.

You did the right thing by jabbing your way inside. But you can't throw a jab and get discouraged. There is a reason you weren't hitting anything. You got frustrated and you didn't know how to adjust. If you jab and I jab and I'm a lot taller, you are screwed. If I jab and you tripple jab and step behind your jab succinctly and slam home a right hand and follow up with some work to the body or a hook to the head, now you are cookin with some grease and I'm a little nervous. You have to be willing to suck it up and out hussle him. Move inside of his long arms. Rope drill like a motherfucker! (if you don't know what this drill is I can review it for you) Learn to stalk like I said earlier, toe in, toe out, back foot step, toe in toe out etc. You will feel like a goof using this drill but it'll come in handy later.

Set down on your punches when you can but learn to persue also. A lot of guys either get afraid to set down enough on their punches vs. a taller opponent or they don't set down enough. You have to know when to hold and when to fold. When he's on the move step with him. If he steps backward and punches, he'll have no power behind it. Be careful you don't walk into a snare and follow straight in, but don't be afraid to step with him sometimes and when he's stepping backward you punch at him, set down on a couple of shots and then move your head and counter. Set the tempo and he'll get upset when he can't run around you. This isn't a track meet, its a fight. Punch around his extended arms and punch often slip parry and punch. You should be touching that body every chance you get. Don't worry about throwing hard all the time to the body, just touch him let him know you are always there and don't let him breathe. That's what a tall boxer is looking to do, breathe create seperation and pick you apart. Its your job to be aggressive enough to take that away from him. Make him panic when he enters your world.

hope this helps.

also... when you are in close range work on bringing that back foot up and squaring your hips a little (not a lot) this will help your uppercuts to the body of larger opponents. But don't be stepping foot for foot as his back foot steps away you step with your lead foot. If his lead foot steps away you also step with your lead foot, this will help you transition into the light on the feet and less square stance that you'll need. If you get suck in concrete your are fucked. Remember, know when to hold and when to fold.


Excellent stuff Buddie... Thanks a lot I really appreciate it.

Once again Buddie makes this place worth while with his in depth and experienced response :)

Here is some points I picked up along the way...

Keep Moving

Draw a left lead.

Slip to the inside guard position.

Commence infighting

Try to get your lead leg in between theirs and force them back.

Here is an exerpt from Efwin Haislets 1940 Book on Boxing...

" This is a situation often encountered. A tall man has more to protect, often he is slower and therefore there are more openings. However, to offset these advantages, the tall man has reach and probally considerable power.
In general, the best plan is to keep moving in and out, in an attempt to draw a left hand. On the lead, slip in fast, countering hard and often. Once in, place the forehead on the opponents chest and force him backwards and off balance. At the same time lift short arm jolts to the solar plexus.
One method of deception is to gradually edge the left foot nearer the opponent without altering the position of the head. With the stance spread it will be easier to reach the opponent"

I suggest some good fights to watch to get some ideas from would be...

Joe Frazier x Muhammad Ali 1
Evandr Holyfield x Lennox Lewis 2
Early Tyson fights

Hope this helps.

Good luck


try leg kicks and take downs.