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Should Boxers Take A Knee More?

by Chris Waddams

It is not uncommon to hear corners, fans and commentators say that a boxer who is stunned needs to hold on to save themselves from being stopped in a fight. Sometimes holding on works, sometimes it doesn’t, and the boxer is either hurt more and it knocked out or the ref jumps in and “saves them”. But there is another way around this tricky situation – take a knee. Is this option underused?

To many the notion of taking a knee will be incomprehensible. After all, boxing is a very macho sport; you must never show that you’re hurt, even when you are. You only need to see Chris Eubank's, "warrior code" quotes this week to understand how many see the idea of showing any sign of weakness. However, we’ve all seen it - a boxer gets stopped on his feet by the ref and then looks at them as if to say, “what are you doing? I had him right where I wanted him!” So there is that argument to it, boxers will not take a knee because it shows that they’re hurt or that they’re not operating at their best. 

But taking a knee could be a good tactic.

Think about the scenario: said boxer gets buzzed and isn’t actually hurt but is stunned. They stay up and start doing a bad version of the Time Warp to avoid the oncoming onslaught – a jump to the left, a shake to the right. The boxer never really gets back to full focus because during this time he takes a few more shots and the ref jumps in and stops him. Seconds later the stopped boxer is fine and can’t believe what has happened.

Cue said boxer taking a knee instead:

The boxer gets buzzed and stumbles back but before his opponent can capitalise he takes a knee. He looks to his corner and reassures them that he’s ok. He get’s up at the 8 count and tells the ref that he is fine. The ref wipes his gloves and he carries on with the round. Having given himself those 8 seconds to clear his head he has enough about him to evade any more damage and makes it to the end of the round. Between rounds he recovers completely and he comes out fighting on all cylinders at the bell.

Obviously there will be times that the boxer takes the knee but is still hurt afterwards and gets stopped. But for all those times that the boxer seems ok after he’s been stopped I’m sure they’d have rather took the knee and still had a chance to win the fight than having been stopped and lost. Surely it’s worth taking the knee to give themselves that bit of a chance to make it through the round? I’m no boxer but I think it is.

Yes the boxer will be on the wrong end of a 10-8 round, but they’re still in the fight. They’ve not been stopped. They can still go on and win the fight. Don’t believe me? Go and watch David Haye vs Jean Marc Mormeck.

Chris is on Twitter: @ChrissWadds & @Southpaw_jab

Posted: 16th Jul 2017

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