floyd's style worked like this. he'd jab and circle to his left, and that would pull you, or, he'd lean up onto his front leg and do two different things, and each of those things would stay you.
circling to your left circles you away from the other guy's left hand and behind his right hand, so that, if you did it right, you finish just a little outside of the other guy's right shoulder, like this.
whats the catch? to circle behind his right hand, you have to circle into his right hand. believe it or not, there actually is a certain way to do that without getting yourself hit, but let it just be said that, when you are there, you find yourself in the special little space inside of a boxing ring - just a little outside of the other guy's right shoulder - that you become virtually unhittable. well floyd knew how to do that, and, if you ever find yourself in that special little space inside of a boxing ring, instead of getting hit by a right hand, you get to see the other guy do a little spin. you turned him. you see he must turn. he does this to take you out of that space just a little outside of his right shoulder because, if he does not, he can not hit you. 2 minutes in heaven is better than 1 minute in heaven and you will learn how nice it is, this boxing thing, when you have learned how to get back into that space whenever you want to.
i should also say that if the other guy doesnt want you to be there - and they never want you to be there - what they will do if theyre smart is press down on their front foot and step over with their back foot, then press down on their back foot and drag up their front foot, like this.
thats called cutting off the ring but that is too vague. what he is really doing is trying to stop you from circling away from his left hand and winding up behind his right hand where spatially he cant hit you. hes not cutting off the ring. hes trying to keep you off his right shoulder. this tends to really open up the other side of the ring. now, what you will do if youre smart - and if youre circling to your left you probably like to think youre really smart - is circle to your right, like this.
this has its own different spatial effects on the other guy's punches. instead of circling into his right hand to circle behind his right hand, you circle away from his right hand. that sort of has the effect of stretching out his right hand. that is, it adds a little extra cushion of space between you and his right hand. in other words, it makes him have to really stretch to hit you with that punch. this is done at the cost of circling into his left hand; an interesting trade off. do you take it?
back to floyd. you might have noticed floyd lean up onto his front leg a lot, like this.
he wants to do two things to you. he wants to steal his right hand and he wants your jab. that lets him hit you with his pull counter. when floyd leans at you like that, it shortens the distance his right hand has to travel to hit you, and thats what steals it - get it? - and it places the target, that is, his head, closer to you, which shortens up your jab, and gives him a little extra space to retreat into and come back out of and hit you with his pull counter. now, all of those things happen at the same time. so, when you see floyd lean up onto his front leg: what do you do?
lets talk a little baseball. a big overhand curveball is that hardest pitch to hit in baseball. hitters really hate - i mean hate - to face a pitcher with a big overhand curveball. the bat is typically about 34 inches long, but not more than 2.61 inches wide at its sweet spot. that gives the hitter a lot more inches to make contact with a pitch that breaks laterally than a pitch that breaks downwardly. when a curveball approaches the plate and begins going down, the hitter is essentially looking down at the baseball. you can't judge how far down the baseball will drop, as your bat makes a whooshing sound and the baseball drops into hell. compounding this a fastball spinning upwardly and a curveball spinning downardly look identical as they approach the plate, until, that is, the hitter begins his swing. this allows pitchers to set up a curveball with a fastball thrown at the same level, typically at about the hitter's letters. heres sandy koufax throwing his big overhand curveball and his fastball. can you tell the difference?
when he throws his fastball the hitter has to be ready to flinch at anything that comes out of his hand, and when he throws his curveball, the pitch looks like a fastball that unfairly disappears at the end that the hitter can only hit using 2.61 inches of his bat. how do you tell the difference? you dont.
when floyd leans up onto his front leg he can steal you with his right hand or hit you with his pull counter and they look identical to you so you brace for a right hand and you forget how to throw a jab. you stay put. when he leans up onto his front leg what he is really trying to do is stay you, and, in that way, he can pull you left or pull you right, or stay you when and where he wants you to be inside of a boxing ring.