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October 23, 2015

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Page16 BOSTON POST-GAZETTE, OCTOBER 23, 2015 Stop the Presses! Boxer Wins Fight Using Left Jab! jabs Lemienx. The other night I witnessed further proof of just how far removed today's boxing is from having any resemblance to the fine art it once was. It wasn't so much the fight itself, though that did contribute greatly to my feelings, but more so to the reaction during and after. The light was the Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux Middleweight Title light. I had debated whether or not to spend $50.00 (I had sworn never again to buy a Pay-Per-View fight), to view the bout as I do feel Golovkin is about the only fighter out there today who is worth watching. While con- templating my decision I watched some footage of Lemieux in action to see ifI felt he would be at all competitive. It didn't take long for me to real- ize that this was certainly not going to be a match worth spending money on. Lemieux is a tough, strong kid with almost no boxing ability. Watch- ing him in action I could immediately see he had learned what he knew from spending hours hit- ting the punch mitts. He threw his punches from his waist up and had no sense of footwork what- so-ever. He tossed shots in a very predictable one- two and one-two-three manner while pausing in between to regain his balance. He obviously would have no chance against GGG. Early the following morning I watched a replay of the fight. It was, as I expected, a very one- sided affair. Golovkin utilized a decent left jab to keep Lemieux at bay and to punish him. David was at a complete loss in being able to cope with the jab. He did not know how to slip it. He did not know how to parry it. It was as ffhe had never dealt with the jab before, it was llke a foreign lan- guage to him. IAstening to the commentators, yon would have thought Gennady had invented a new punch. They were in awe of his phenomenal jab. They kept rattling off the number he had thrown dur- ing each round. They also repeatedly commented on how this amazing punch was keeping Lemieux confused and unable to launch an offense. Yes! Gennady Golovkln wa~ actually throwing left jabs. Just amazing! The incredulity continued on social media. Fans were stunned by this display of boxing prowess. The dominant left Jab was something most of them had never seen before. What was once the most basic and important punch in boxing was now being talked about as ff it were a secret weapon delivered to the Earth by aliens from another planet with a vastly superior intelligence. Shock waves rippled throughout:the Blog-o-sphere. Is Golovkin really one of us or some super being from a galaxy far away? Back when boxing was actually being taught as the serious art it once was, the left jab was the first punch taught to aspiring boxers. Students were shown how it was both an offensive and defensive punch. How it was the key to landing any other punch. "Hey kid, ff you can't land the jab, you can't land any other punch." was a com- mon fine heard in boxing gyms. Great contender Tony Shucco used to say, "Hit 'em with the left, they like it. Then every once in a while toss a right so they don't get bored." "Stick and move." "Pepper him with the left." "Pop that jab out there," were other lines you would hear over and over again back in the day. On the flip side, young boxers were also taught how to slip and parry the jab. As great a punch as the jab could be for setting up an opponent, it could also be the opening your foe could use to Gennady Golovkin and Abel Sanchez. counter you. Timing the jab and then throwing a right cross over it is a very effective maneuver. It takes a lot of practice, and not the type of practice you get hitting foolish punch pads. Another skill is slipping outside the jab and hook- ing to" the body. This is a move rarely, if ever, seen today. Another lost move is feinting the jab and then turning it into a hook. This is the tactic that was employed so effectively by Billy Conn in his first light with Joe Louis. It almost won him the title. Jabs also come in many different varieties. There is the tapping jab, where a fighter doesn't hit his opponent terribly hard, but hits him repeatedly and frustrates him by keeping him off balance with it. Then there is the stiffarmed Jab, that was used so well by Light Heavyweight Cham- pion Bob Foster. Foster would snap his jab up from his waist and punch right through his opponents. It was a brutal punch that busted up many of his challengers. It's funny, but as I was contemplating this col- umn a friend sent me a clip of the Chuck Wepner vs. Sonny Liston fight. We had talked a bit about this whole madness over GGG using the jab, and my friend told me to take a look at Wepner in his losing fight with Liston. Yes, Wepner, the Bayonne Bleeder, the guy considered to have very few box- ing skills was actually using a fairly effective left jab in this fight. It just goes to show that it wasn't all that long ago that even the crudest boxers knew to throw the jab. It would be interesting to see how Mr. Wepner's jab would do against today's unschooled heavyweights. Wepner jabs Liston. I am often criticized for pointing out the lack of boxing skills in today's fighters. I don't blame the boxers as they train hard, are in good shape, and are just following instructions. The problem lies in the fact that there axe no good teachers out there. The techniques employed to develop these skills are not there either. Abel Sanchez, GGG's Wainer, appears to be one of the only ones left who has some sense of the skills a good boxer should have, and that is why Golovkin is such a standout. The fact that his use of the most basic punch in boxing is such big news only reinforces my opinion that boxing is a dying, if not dead, art. RIGHTING THE SHIP-- It was coach. As the road trip started, Bruins coach Claude Julien who it was reported that veteran NHL remarked that, "it's always good mentor John Tortorella had to get on the road," before hebeen named the head coach at walked out the door ofthe press Columbus, replacing Todd conference room to begin prepa- Richards. Torts won the 2004 rations for his team's two-game Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay, road swing, reached the 2012 Eastern Con- In the past, the B's have often ference finals with the Rangers used such a trip for bonding and and last coached Vancouver in team building, but there was a 2013-2014. Seems as if things bit more urgency this time are about to get all fired up in around as the Bruins fled Columbus. Causeway Street for games FROM HEARTBREAK TO out west against Colorado and HOPE Hockey observed a sad Phoenix. anniversary on October 20 as As the B's embarked it was everyone associated with the noted that some eight of their game in New England paused to next 11 games would be away reflect on the accident that left from the Hub, where the con- former Boston University player fines of the Garden had been Travis Roy essentially paralyzed shown to be not so friendly, from the neck down. given the amount of booing Roy, who recently put in an that sent the B's to the showers appearance at the Garden, did after losing three straight games manage to raise his right fore- to Winnipeg, Montreal and arm briefly in a full wave to Tampa Bay. A change of scen- those in attendance. He was cry seemed to be doing the B's playing his very first shift in a well as they won both games to regular season game for the put the brakes on a somewhat Terriers back in 1995 when he dismal start, went into the boards at Walter AND THEN THERE WERE Brown Arena. OPPOSITES -- As we came upon Now 40, Travis indicated in our deadline Montreal was start- an extensive interview in the ing to separate itself from the Boston Herald that he remains rest of the pack in the NHL by very active through the various virtue of its 7-0-0 start, the only activities associated with the remaining team in the league Travis Roy Foundation. He con- without a regulation or over- ceded that it is doubtful that he time/shootout loss. The stellar will ever walk again. His goal, start was the best for the hesaid, was to become indepen- Canadiens in their long 106- dent once again. year history as a franchise. . We know that every day brings According to the Elias Sports a new day of hope, as sure as Bureau, only one team in his- the sunrise, and here's hoping tory started the season with that new advances in the treat- more wins in regulation time -- ment of spinal cord injuries en- the 1975-1976 Buffalo Sabres able Travis and others that find who were victorious in eight themselves in similar situations consecutive contests, may one day gain full indepen- Other teams that started the dence and perhaps walk once season with seven consecutive again. regulation wins were the 1985- DO WE REALLY NEED FIVE 1986 Quebec Nordiques, the SKATERS? -- Teams that have 1993-1994 New Jersey Devils, played Arizona thus far in the the 1993-1994 Toronto Maple young NHL season may be ask- Leafs and the 1994-1995 Pitts- ing themselves that question burgh Penguins. since the Coyotes don't seem to By contrast, there was the fare well when they have the polar opposite in Columbus man advantage on the power where the Blue Jackets had play. stumbled out of the starting You see, though their first six gates with a winless 0-7-0 games, the Coyotes had already beginning. Already some 14 given up four shorthanded points separated Montreal from goals. Having beaten the Columbus in the Eastern Con- Coyotes on the road, the Bru- ference standings, a margin that ins will play them again, this seemed destined to grow. time at the Garden on Oct. 27. However, Columbus had With over 70 games remaining plenty of company in NHL hls- on Arizona's schedule, one won- tory. The Blue Jackets were the ders how high that number of seventh team to begin a season short-handed goals will go. with seven straight losses in NOW IT CAN BE REVEALED regulation time. Thelast time it -- When asked by Improper happened was back at the start Bostonian magazine what of the 1997-1998 season when was the favorite thing he did the Chicago Blackhawks also with the 2011 Stanley Cup got off to a 0-7-0 start. Bruins fola~ard Brad Marchand Columbus left its home arena replied, "Eating Cinnamon Toast facing a schedule that had the Crunch out of it." team playing seven of its next Other interesting tidbits from eight games on the road. As the the issue include forward Bruins demonstrated on their Jimmy Hayes indicating that, *I first road trip, that may not be put everything on my right side a bad thing. If Columbus can first," when suiting up because manage to bag a few wins on the of superstition, that center road then perhaps, as the sea- David Krejci's favorite game day son progresses, the team can routine is, "taking a nap," and climb out of the NHL cellar, that defenseman Torey Krug If Columbus does improve, the would be a lawyer if he weren't credit may be due to a new a professional athlete. Federal T ission cormurner to - and Ca. 1-877-FTC-HELP ortog on to