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Thread: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

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    Default ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT


    By Rob Beiner, Producer, ESPN2 Friday Night Fights

    Each week, all of our traveling production team on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights comes to that event with a detailed packet of information on all the fighters that will appear on that show. We pride ourselves on being prepared with interesting biographical and statistical data to make our telecast as entertaining as possible.

    Prior to the Thursday afternoon weigh-in, Bob Papa, ESPN2 Friday Night Fights play-by-play announcer interviews the four fighters that appear in our Main Event and the co-feature. For more than three-and-a-half years of producing Friday Night Fights, I am constantly amazed at the response to the question, “What do you know about your opponent?” Inevitably, at least one of the fighters will tell Bob, “I’ve never seen him and I don’t know anything about him.”

    I listen to that and wonder how can that be? Why would a man who is going to fight a minimum of 10 rounds and sometimes 12, not have the faintest clue about the other man who is looking to inflict damage upon him? Shouldn’t he know if his opponent is moving up or down in weight? Is he a southpaw or orthodox fighter? Is he a boxer or a puncher? Does he move? Does he have a good jab? Can he punch with power? Does he have a chin? Where is he from?

    It astonishes me how many fighters come into the ring unprepared with the answer to every one of those questions. Why on earth would that fighter’s promoter, manager, and trainer even put their man in against an unknown when there is a chance he could be maimed for life? Even though the fighter has no knowledge about his opponent, isn’t there a responsibility on the part of his team to help him get that information?

    I understand there are late substitutions due to injury whereby a new opponent comes in at a late date. I also know that many fighters have not had the opportunity to appear on television before. In both cases, it’s reasonable to assume that there is not a lot of time or information available to the fighter in order for him to be totally prepared and ready for battle. He must ask for help in getting ready so that the unknown becomes less so.

    Every NFL team supplies their team players with individualized footage of the upcoming week’s opponent. A cornerback knows what his wide receiver assignment will do in different situations. A quarterback gets a feel of when opposing linebackers will blitz. Special teams’ coaches seek even the slightest advantages that could mean victory. Most major league sports are like that. They prepare their players and their coaches.

    Fighters like to be referred to as “warriors.” They will and often do spill their blood, test their pain threshold, and constantly challenge their will to go on. From the fans’ standpoint, that what makes them tune in every Friday night. But why wouldn’t that same “warrior” want to bring another powerful weapon into the ring with him; preparation. Think how much better he would be if he knew about the man who wants to “kick his ass” or “doesn’t give him respect.” Think about this. That fighter spent the last couple of months running, banging, sweating and aching, and for what (or in this case for whom)?

    Fighters, either you or one of your people must get the “Fight Fax” of your upcoming opponent. Every professional fighter is listed in the “Fight Fax” book; even you. It lists many things that can help you learn about your opponent such as how often he has fought, his opponents, the outcome, his weight, and some biographical information. At least now, you have a bit of knowledge about the man who will look to successfully add you to his own “Fight Fax.”

    Ask to see a tape of your opponent. There’s a good chance that he has seen one of you. If your promoter, manager, or trainer is worth the contract you’ve signed with them, they should be glad to get you a tape, even if it is several years old. You are sure to learn something. Remember if you don’t win the fight, they can’t make future money off of you.

    You only fight about 4-6 times a year, if that. If you’re serious about becoming a champion and having a successful career, you have to be a fool to not spend several hours more learning about each and every one of your opponents. The next time we meet, please do not come to our ESPN2 Friday Night Fights interview sessions not mentally prepared. You must use your head so it doesn’t get handed to you in the ring.
    If you hear a voice within you saying that I am not a painter, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    All I got is,Amen

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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    ehh...i think thats a bit overstated and worthlessly dramatic. i see the point, and am a proponent of film study to a degree, but some fighters just dont need to do it and there are two good reasons why it is often an unneccesary tool
    -talent that is so above and beyond averaged that you dont really give a rats ass what gets put in front of you.
    -the argument pernell whitaker and floyd mayweather (^^^^^see 1st point) proposed, was that at the top level, people are always adjusting to them, so they can't even bother watching film because they are going to be facing a different opponent than the one they will see in the films. whitaker said that he figures as long as he fights his fight, he can't be beat...and guess what, he never got beat when he fought his fight, only when he tried to sit in and trade bombs with tito did he actually lose a fight for real.

    i have a fight collection in the thousands, from many generations, and my television is exclusively used for boxing, but to some degree, film study doesnt work in the fight game as well as in other sports. in boxing the collision of style a and style b is what determines the ebb and flow of the fight a whole lot more than who watched who on tape. it goes beyond that though, fighters are all unique. people say sluggers are sluggers and boxers are boxers and so forth...thing is, in the words of virginia woolf, "nothing can be just one thing." everyone will bring their own thing to the table come fight time, and more than any other sport, fights fluctuate from matchup to matchup

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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    Quote Originally Posted by spaceballwon
    ehh...i think thats a bit overstated and worthlessly dramatic. i see the point, and am a proponent of film study to a degree, but some fighters just dont need to do it and there are two good reasons why it is often an unneccesary tool
    -talent that is so above and beyond averaged that you dont really give a rats a** what gets put in front of you.
    -the argument pernell whitaker and floyd mayweather (^^^^^see 1st point) proposed, was that at the top level, people are always adjusting to them, so they can't even bother watching film because they are going to be facing a different opponent than the one they will see in the films. whitaker said that he figures as long as he fights his fight, he can't be beat...and guess what, he never got beat when he fought his fight, only when he tried to sit in and trade bombs with tito did he actually lose a fight for real.

    i have a fight collection in the thousands, from many generations, and my television is exclusively used for boxing, but to some degree, film study doesnt work in the fight game as well as in other sports. in boxing the collision of style a and style b is what determines the ebb and flow of the fight a whole lot more than who watched who on tape. it goes beyond that though, fighters are all unique. people say sluggers are sluggers and boxers are boxers and so forth...thing is, in the words of virginia woolf, "nothing can be just one thing." everyone will bring their own thing to the table come fight time, and more than any other sport, fights fluctuate from matchup to matchup
    Could not disagree any more strongly
    One of my fighters has a fight,I want to know every single thing about their opponent
    Including what they had for freaking breakfast
    A trainers job is to formulate a gameplan
    If your going blind,your game plan is reduced to "Just do your thing"

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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    About a month before the nationals last year the coach of one of the girls competing in for the title flew from interstate to watch me fight. he's her uncle so travelling to do that was perhaps a labour of love for him aswell as a coach doing his thing. I don't believe most coaches at least here are able to do this.

    When I got to the nationals I sized up my opponents mentally myself but the coaches were too preoccupied with other things to notice anything of them. I fought a southpaw without any warning at all that she was one.

    All I knew of her was what I'd sized up. I guessed that I had a reach advantage on her and I possibly did - but I had overemphasized that in my head so much that when i fought I kept firing from too far away. It ended up being more of a disadvantage than anything else.

    I don't want to really know too much about my opponents because nothing will measure exactly how much longer my reach is better than feeling it in the first round. I don't want any other perceptions I have in my head from before messing with that.

    What I think might be good though is if the coach knows a little about your opponents. Then he/she can use that to improve a few things and get you feeling really confident about the strengths you have which are most likely to be successful in the bout.
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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    Quote Originally Posted by Trainer Monkey
    Quote Originally Posted by spaceballwon
    ehh...i think thats a bit overstated and worthlessly dramatic. i see the point, and am a proponent of film study to a degree, but some fighters just dont need to do it and there are two good reasons why it is often an unneccesary tool
    -talent that is so above and beyond averaged that you dont really give a rats a** what gets put in front of you.
    -the argument pernell whitaker and floyd mayweather (^^^^^see 1st point) proposed, was that at the top level, people are always adjusting to them, so they can't even bother watching film because they are going to be facing a different opponent than the one they will see in the films. whitaker said that he figures as long as he fights his fight, he can't be beat...and guess what, he never got beat when he fought his fight, only when he tried to sit in and trade bombs with tito did he actually lose a fight for real.

    i have a fight collection in the thousands, from many generations, and my television is exclusively used for boxing, but to some degree, film study doesnt work in the fight game as well as in other sports. in boxing the collision of style a and style b is what determines the ebb and flow of the fight a whole lot more than who watched who on tape. it goes beyond that though, fighters are all unique. people say sluggers are sluggers and boxers are boxers and so forth...thing is, in the words of virginia woolf, "nothing can be just one thing." everyone will bring their own thing to the table come fight time, and more than any other sport, fights fluctuate from matchup to matchup
    Could not disagree any more strongly
    One of my fighters has a fight,I want to know every single thing about their opponent
    Including what they had for freaking breakfast
    A trainers job is to formulate a gameplan
    If your going blind,your game plan is reduced to "Just do your thing"
    thats good, a debate, i love debates. i couldnt disagree with you anymore strongly either so it works out fine. fighters get taught from day one what to do when x or y happens...the way they approach certain scenarios is dictated by who they are as a fighter. beyond knowing stance(even that can change), height, experience, reach, things that get addressed from the standard tale of the tape, i really dont see how knowing "what they had for breakfast" (i will use that as a blanket statement on all esoteric information that can be acquired from studying fighters) helps at all. if you study 10 fights on a guy to get ready, and tell your fighter a billion times in training camp something like, "his left slips down an inch when he returns from a jab, come over the top with your right", for example, and then he gets in the fight and notices "oh shit, that hand dropping an inch doesnt do a damn thing to help my right land because he knows what his hand is doing"...or even better, "oh shit, he corrected the error in training camp and now the 'secret weapon' has been entirely debunked"...fighters change over time and while it serves a purpose to an extent, film study isn't always the best way to do things. most recently, when kelly pavlik studied tape on edison miranda and noticed "he cant fight going backwards so we are going to keep him on his heels all night"...well yeah, he can't fight going backwards, but i've seen a lot of kelly pavlik fights, and as far as i've seen he keeps all his opponents on their heels because thats just who he is as a fighter, he's an incredible talent and he had exactly what it took to beat miranda. there is something to be said for developing a game plan through film study, im not denying that one bit, one of the greatest developmental tools i have found is watching my sparring sessions on video. but as far as i am concerned, every fighter is constantly in flux enough that letting prior knowledge dictate everything you are going to do in the ring is a quick way to get smashed in the face with a series of question marks, followed by exclamation points, and more question marks.

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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    I'll try to keep this much shorter than what I usually tend to do.

    It's all about preparation period.

    It's less about the fight plan that you take into a fight than it is on how well prepared you are as a fighter. As long as you trust in your own abilities and in your training then you really don't have to worry about how good your opponent is or what ever else there is.

    With a plan anything can go wrong, and many a fighter has failed because they depended on a preset fight plan that fell apart. I recall in the Marquez/Barrera fight where Barrera had a nice plan revolving on blocking and countering, when Marquez realized this he adapted and put an end to that. Barrera didn't have have anything else to fall back on and Marquez would go on to win the fight.

    Now if you can gather some useful things from their fights go right ahead. See if they have anything that tips off their intentions, any flaws that leads to an opening, what are they trying to accomplish with their jab, how they defend, how they set up their punches, favorite parries/angles, etc... One can easily get carried away with making a big study out of it. Nothing is set in stone, an opponent can just as easily change, and fight a completely different kind of fight than was before.

    You'll find all you need to know when you're actually fighting them and feeling them out. It comes down to your preparation. If you didn't have it before it's inconcievable that you'll have it during the fight.

    Anyways good posts everone, I was just curious on what your thoughts were.
    If you hear a voice within you saying that I am not a painter, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris N.
    I'll try to keep this much shorter than what I usually tend to do.

    It's all about preparation period.

    It's less about the fight plan that you take into a fight than it is on how well prepared you are as a fighter. As long as you trust in your own abilities and in your training then you really don't have to worry about how good your opponent is or what ever else there is.

    With a plan anything can go wrong, and many a fighter has failed because they depended on a preset fight plan that fell apart. I recall in the Marquez/Barrera fight where Barrera had a nice plan revolving on blocking and countering, when Marquez realized this he adapted and put an end to that. Barrera didn't have have anything else to fall back on and Marquez would go on to win the fight.

    Now if you can gather some useful things from their fights go right ahead. See if they have anything that tips off their intentions, any flaws that leads to an opening, what are they trying to accomplish with their jab, how they defend, how they set up their punches, favorite parries/angles, etc... One can easily get carried away with making a big study out of it. Nothing is set in stone, an opponent can just as easily change, and fight a completely different kind of fight than was before.

    You'll find all you need to know when you're actually fighting them and feeling them out. It comes down to your preparation. If you didn't have it before it's inconcievable that you'll have it during the fight.

    Anyways good posts everone, I was just curious on what your thoughts were.
    good work

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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    To say you should or must do it maybe going a bit far,great points great debate .
    I think it shows that to operate to far out in the debate has its consiquenses depending on who and what you are about.
    I think if your going to study anybody then you have to be specific in what you are lookiing for and specific in what you know you can deal with in your own way and get your sparring partner to go through it with you so its all down for the right time.
    Pick out sections of their fight (against a simular style to your own) that their own style has them naturally reacting to in the exact same way consistantly.Then formulate a deviation and a devastation for them to run head on into each time they are forced to move that certain way.
    It could be as simple as just fine tuning one thing for the end rounds when you are both tired and precion footwork and timing can count for alot more; or maybe knowing an overcommitment will occur if you set it up right because you've seen it before in him a few times.
    Someone who shows the judges that they are still thinking in the end rounds and can change a pattern of a fight by disrupting the opponents rythym, can sometimes pull out the point required to win.
    You hear some corner men yell out code words (like an old fighters name) so that their opponent doesnt instantly know what they mean /to do this or that set combo that they have practised for this time in the fight or to reply to that attack in a different way.
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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    I remember my 1st champ after winning the World Title beating the Rings no 1 all the press excited and asking what was the plan. Him looking at me and saying we didnt have one, We had seen enougth of the guy to know when asked if we fancied it to win. Worry about what you can do and think hes got to be special to beat me and hes not, otherwise what you doing there.
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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap
    I remember my 1st champ after winning the World Title beating the Rings no 1 all the press excited and asking what was the plan. Him looking at me and saying we didnt have one, We had seen enougth of the guy to know when asked if we fancied it to win. Worry about what you can do and think hes got to be special to beat me and hes not, otherwise what you doing there.
    Thats true bro, but some are not as lucky to have a great trainer behind them who knows beyond doubt that his capabilities are beyond his opponents.
    For these fighters that are many, I say tick every box that you can, it maybe down to just one point at the end of the day and you might have just covered it with your corner.
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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    It should be a fighter's job to always challenge their self. Muhammad Ali would make sure the sparring partners that he worked with before a fight were better than that he fighter that he was up against. They may not have been all around better than his upcoming opponent, but he made sure that they were better in one way or another. After beating his sparring partners he'd know that he already had fought the skills and won.
    If you hear a voice within you saying that I am not a painter, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    Superior talent normally wins out
    But what if its a push?
    Or your the one with the inferior talent?
    Well then youd best know what to expect out there,because you no longer have a margin for error

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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    I wonder how many of young Mike Tyson's opponents froze up, because they had seen the edited highlights reels that his management circulated to all and sundry at the beginning of his career?

    I guess that seeing a tape of your opponent could work both ways?
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    Default Re: ROUND ONE TO YOUR OPPONENT, By Rob Beiner

    Quote Originally Posted by X
    I wonder how many of young Mike Tyson's opponents froze up, because they had seen the edited highlights reels that his management circulated to all and sundry at the beginning of his career?

    I guess that seeing a tape of your opponent could work both ways?
    If they froze over seeing tape of him,they should have never been in the ring with him
    But Ill bet you dollars to donughts that Douglas's people saw that Mike hadnt been shifting his shoulders in the fights before that one,and game planned accordingly

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