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Thread: The mystery of a fighter's chin

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    Default The mystery of a fighter's chin

    In my isolated boredom I have decided to once again look into the enigma represented by the term "chin" by boxing enthusiasts, participants and officials.The idiom "chin" of course refers to the ebility of a fighter to withstand punishment to the head, face and jaw.

    Anyone who has watched a boxing contest, passed briefly through a gym or even spoken to a recently initiated amateur will have heard the reference and will have been quickly educated of its importanace in all of the fistic arts. A fan will have noted the downfall of many a seemingly great prospect due to a defficiency in this department (see Bernard Dunne,) any Tariner will tell you of young fighters who have the full package yet will never become anyone because of their lack of tolerance for pain and every individyual who has ever sparred will depict their threshold for pain and it's limitations.

    So it is evident that "chin" is a subject upon which there has been a lot of study, discussion and debate. Yet there remains a sever lack of knowledge as to it's limits, improvement and even as to it's physiology; Is it related to mentality, genetics, physical condition, age

    In my analysis of a boxer's ability to deal with punishment inflicted on him, I took note of a number of fighters reputed for their tolerance for pain and their ability to withstand punishment.
    Fighters that immediatly sprung to mind included Marvin Hagler, James Toney, Jake LaMotta, Joe Frazier, Wayne McCullough, Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, Rocky Marciano and Henry Armstrong.

    My initial thought was that perhapos fighters reputeed for their chins never left their weight class and never had their chins tested, but I was contradicted by the names Toney , Holyfield and Armstrong. In search of a common trait it was easy to identify each was in tremendous condition for their fights (Toney excluded.) They were all possessed of well conditioned neck and trapezius muscle. And of course they were all fiercely determined competitors at a world level.

    This would indicate that the limitations of a fighter's chin is determined by his genetical muscular make up and his preparation preceeding his bout.
    This seems to conflict with the numerous fighters who prepare to the best of their abilities yet lose late via KO. (I.E RICKY, Oscar Bonavena, Karmazin, Tommy Hearns etc.) yet get KO'ed late. Fantastic fighters, who all werre stopped late.
    This delves into the mental side of the fighter's preparation.
    Does a fighter's blatant refusal to go down or be stopped contribute to the ability to sustain punishment?
    In my view almost certainly. McCullough stayed on his feet against many of the world's most respected punchers without submission, LaMotta had six wars with the world's finest pugilist without once being KO'ed and Gerald McClellan beat the world's p4p hardest hitter (imo) twice!

    From my own boxing I do find that the ability to take punishment to the head is relative to one'ds physical fitness and indeed mentality. Although I've never been off my feet I find that punches seem to hurt more when the mindframe is'nt 100% focused.I have also had my thoughts confirmed by a colleague who stated he felt punches "bouncing" off him when at peak fitness and confidence.

    One must question the chins of even the greatest of fighters too. Hagler had only one questionable knockdown in his career yet his chin was supplemented by a tight defence and he kept the chin tucked. Toney similarly.

    So to my mind chin remains and unsolved mystery. The only hints I can steal from past greats is to develop neck and trapezius muscles, keep in good cardio vascular shape between fights and keep an aggresive mentality.
    I was only an instrument that God used to play his music through. Loved being that instrument because he gave me some beautiful music to play.

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    Default Re: The mystery of a fighter's chin

    Part of what makes it such an enigma,is there are certain spots,that I dont care who you are,your going down
    Alot of what makes a "good chin" is the ability to not get hit on those spots consistently

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    Default Re: The mystery of a fighter's chin

    Quote Originally Posted by Trainer Monkey
    Part of what makes it such an enigma,is there are certain spots,that I dont care who you are,your going down
    Alot of what makes a "good chin" is the ability to not get hit on those spots consistently
    I didn't even delve into the difference between a knockdown in which a determined fighter can get up and the knockdowns in which you go visiting Grandma....

    I'm pretty proud of my chin, but on a number of occasions I've been rattled this year, all part of stepping up I guess.

    Should I have mentioned any other fighters TM? I was actually thinking of inckluding Barrera and Ageless Archie, but with their respective losses to Junior Jones and Rocky M bveing among their most famed fights I thought better not to.
    I was only an instrument that God used to play his music through. Loved being that instrument because he gave me some beautiful music to play.

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    Default Re: The mystery of a fighter's chin

    Quote Originally Posted by hitmandonny
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainer Monkey
    Part of what makes it such an enigma,is there are certain spots,that I dont care who you are,your going down
    Alot of what makes a "good chin" is the ability to not get hit on those spots consistently
    I didn't even delve into the difference between a knockdown in which a determined fighter can get up and the knockdowns in which you go visiting Grandma....

    I'm pretty proud of my chin, but on a number of occasions I've been rattled this year, all part of stepping up I guess.

    Should I have mentioned any other fighters TM? I was actually thinking of inckluding Barrera and Ageless Archie, but with their respective losses to Junior Jones and Rocky M bveing among their most famed fights I thought better not to.
    I was thinking in the opposite direction,more along the lines of guys you dont think of having great chins but had long and productive careers based on their abilities to slip punches,but when they lost that ability to slip,even through old age or some times just getting cocky out there,you saw what happened to them
    Tyson and Frazier in their primes could slip everything,you couldnt catch them,but when father time caught them,it was over,they became beatable very quickly
    Lewis and Ali allways ended up on the canvas when they screwed around with a guy too much
    Now admitably there are some guys who can just absorb a phenomenal beating and keep coming,most of those guys dont seem to have too many skills though.Wepner,Quarry and Cobb come to mind
    "I stuck with my game plane,stumbling forward and getting hit"-Tex Cobb
    Having a "good chin" is more the ability to not have it tested,then the actual chin itself
    I mean there are other factors,previous injury,how close the nerves sit,etc,but it really comes down to making sure the punch doesnt land flush

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    Default Re: The mystery of a fighter's chin

    Did you read that link I posted a few weeks ago for the an article by Wayne McCullough? You can find it on espn.com if you look.

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    Default Re: The mystery of a fighter's chin

    Yeah Rozzy, I didn't actually read your post but I read the article from Wayne, this morning ironically!
    I was only an instrument that God used to play his music through. Loved being that instrument because he gave me some beautiful music to play.

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    Default Re: The mystery of a fighter's chin

    Chin is a funny phrase and kind of a misnomer because it gives the impression that the phenomena of your brain slamming into the walls of your skull has to do with how strong of a head you have. This doesn't really have anything to do with the way the brain moves inside of your skull.

    When you talk about a good chin you're then ultimately trying to explain ways to keep your brain from jumping around. Its common in Boxing to talk about chin like its some kind of unknown magic but if you think of chin in this way you can be scientific about it and begin to find ways to improve chin (which is to say find ways to keep you're brain from slamming into your own skull).

    I think you guys have already touched on those things pretty good. I think TM and Donny bring up great points. I don't think you need to have a really huge neck though. Just a good solid neck I think is good enough. Hagler never had a big neck just a good solid one. With the chin tucked its hard for your head to be swung around from punches unless they are very strong and heavy punches.

    Personally I feel that just having a good awareness of your opponent is the most important contributing factor for how well a fighter can take a punch.

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    Default Re: The mystery of a fighter's chin

    Cool thanks for your contribution Thomas, thats what I attempted to say LoL
    A huge neck...no a well conditioned neck...yes.

    By the way Thomas, I've come up with some diagrams for the headgear Idea.
    I was only an instrument that God used to play his music through. Loved being that instrument because he gave me some beautiful music to play.

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    Default Re: The mystery of a fighter's chin

    Cool stuff can you post them?

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    Default Re: The mystery of a fighter's chin

    Yeah Hopefully I'll post them on later tonight.
    I've just drawn them out on an A4 sheet so I'll see can I just scan them up and insert them in the thread.
    I was only an instrument that God used to play his music through. Loved being that instrument because he gave me some beautiful music to play.

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    Default Re: The mystery of a fighter's chin

    Hi Gents (and Ladies too),
    Trainer Monkey wrote:
    Part of what makes it such an enigma,is there are certain spots,that I dont care who you are,your going down
    Alot of what makes a "good chin" is the ability to not get hit on those spots consistently
    and Thomas Tabin wrote:
    I don't think you need to have a really huge neck though. Just a good solid neck I think is good enough. Hagler never had a big neck just a good solid one. With the chin tucked its hard for your head to be swung around from punches unless they are very strong and heavy punches.

    Personally I feel that just having a good awareness of your opponent is the most important contributing factor for how well a fighter can take a punch.
    You guys hit the nail on the head. I concur on both counts...

    Take Care,
    Lito

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    Default Re: The mystery of a fighter's chin

    Something that might be of interest whats not been touched on. Concentration under stress and the implications of your eyes only having 1/6s of a second memory and working primarely on oxygen and not having the ability to read a shot or see it because of posture.
    Pain lasts a only a minute, but the memory will last forever....

    boxingbournemouth - Cornelius Carrs private boxing tuition and personal fitness training

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    Default Re: The mystery of a fighter's chin

    I thought about some of the same things when I glanced over this thread before. I think a lot of success of the fighters that were known for the toughness is partially due to their ability to avoid getting hit cleanly, and simply being more aware. Even though a lot of guys probably don't consider Jack Dempsey or even Rocky Marciano defensive fighters, one thing that should be noted they were hard to hit cleanly. This was said by accomplished opponents of both of these men. Gene Tunney worked on developing his right hand after he saw Dempsey rocked by a hard right from Carpentier, yet Tunney couldn't land it cleanly on Dempsey, and Joe Louis remarked that Rocky was young, strong, and hard to hit. This should cause one to wonder what made them hard to to hit with a good punch. Rocky apart from his conditioning wasn't blessed with a superior "chin", Archie Moore, and Jersey Joe Walcott proved that. I believe that his posture, his semi-crouch, along with all the help that Charlie Goldman brought is what made a difference.

    On another note look at what happened to Tyson as time went on. He had the toughness, he had a neck and legs that were as thick as tree trunks, but as time went on his posture got worst, his feet got wider, his game plan became dependant on just going in and landing a bomb, and consequently he became easier to hit.
    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: The mystery of a fighter's chin

    Last night i watched the second Basilio Saxton fight.
    As we all are aware Basilio was a fighter famed for his toughness and endurance and in Saxton he had an opponent that was more than able to dish out punishment. I watched the fight to see could I find any clues as to why Basilio was so adept at taking a beating.

    Physically he was impressive, a thick broad man with a decent sized neck shoulders and torso. He had a "rounded head" which is rumoured to be a large advantage in the punishment taking stakes.
    His legs were sturdy, thick and obviously well trained.
    All in all he seemed in good physical condition at 29.

    However his defense was lacking, his movement was poor and he took far too many shots. Yet he put on a heroic effort to come on strong and hurt Saxton late (which was expected by the commentator.)


    All I cab attribute this win to was: sheer will power and physical conditioning.
    I was only an instrument that God used to play his music through. Loved being that instrument because he gave me some beautiful music to play.

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