Boxing Tip #13: How to Get Out of the Corner

Sooner or later you are going to find yourself trying to battle out of a corner.

The boxing ring has four of them and if your opponent is any good at controlling the ring, you're going to find yourself back against the turnbuckle with no avenue of escape.

This is where you want to put your opponent - so it's only logical to reason that he or she is going to try and put you there as well.

Sooner or later you are going to find yourself trying to battle out of a corner.

The boxing ring has four of them and if your opponent is any good at controlling the ring, you're going to find yourself back against the turnbuckle with no avenue of escape.

This is where you want to put your opponent - so it's only logical to reason that he or she is going to try and put you there as well.

Prevention is the Best Medicine 

Prevention is the Best Medicine

First and foremost, stay out of the corners. Control the fight. If you don't let yourself get in the situation then you don't have to deal with it.

Be aware of where you are in the ring and in relation to the corners and maneuver to stay in and control the center of the ring.

The center is where you have 360 degrees of freedom and the ability to use every boxing technique you have. Controlling the ring is an art form of its own requiring agility and excellent footwork. It also known as ring generalship (something I will describe in a later article.)

First and foremost, stay out of the corners. Control the fight. If you don't let yourself get in the situation then you don't have to deal with it.

Be aware of where you are in the ring and in relation to the corners and maneuver to stay in and control the center of the ring.

The center is where you have 360 degrees of freedom and the ability to use every boxing technique you have. Controlling the ring is an art form of its own requiring agility and excellent footwork. It also known as ring generalship (something I will describe in a later article.)

What to Do When You Get Stuck in the Corner

What to Do When You Get Stuck in the Corner

First and foremost - when your back hits the turnbuckle - do not panic. Your opponent knows that he has you in the corner and will take that opportunity to attack (or they should). If the situation is ever reversed - you want to keep your opponent in the corner and unleash a relentless attack.

Being in a corner nullifies half of your opponent's ability - he can't move and has to rely on a strong defense and his wits to get out of it.

Second, if there was ever a time to keep your eyes open, this is it.

What are you looking for?

Two things:

  1. Punches coming in - so you can deal with them either blocking, slipping, or catching.
  2. An opening - for you to get out of the corner.

Getting out of the corner requires excellent timing and decisive action. If you do this right, you can actually change spots with your opponent -- putting him in the corner and you on the offensive.

Concerning the punches coming in - you are just going to have to deal with them the best you can.

With any luck your opponent will start throwing haymakers and getting sloppy. If he stays tight, accurate, and on target you are going to have a tough time spinning him.

People tend to get excited when they corner someone and that excitement leads to a total disregard for technique. Not saying it will always happen that way, but there is a good chance of it.

You also want to lean forward - not backward. You need to be coiled and ready to step forward or pivot in a split second.

Now watch for your opening.

Your chance to turn the tide occurs when your opponent throws a punch that either overextends him or transfers his or her weight. With haymakers or looping rights and lefts, that opening will be quite obvious and you will have a substantial amount of time to react.

If your opponent transfers weight to their right (they throw a left hook for instance) and you let them overextend (by ducking), you'll see an opening on their left. When you see that opening you immediately and without hesitation drive your front foot to the outside of your opponent's lead foot and do a hard pivot left around your opponent. At the same time give your opponent a slight tap/shove.

As you spin around him, he is naturally going to try and realign (spin). He will be off balance and the tap/shove you give him will send him back first into the turnbuckle. You effectively switch positions - now use that opportunity to attack.

It is natural to want to back up and experience freedom - you're wasting a good advantage if you do that. Move right in and give a little back of what you just got.

You are now in control - stay tight and throw controlled, accurate punches. Don't get excited and sloppy.

You may see an opening on your opponent's right side (if they throw a straight right for instance) and you manage to slip to your left. You'll take a quick step to your leftt and pivot hard to your right - attempting to spin around your opponent just like you did when you went to your right.

First and foremost - when your back hits the turnbuckle - do not panic. Your opponent knows that he has you in the corner and will take that opportunity to attack (or they should). If the situation is ever reversed - you want to keep your opponent in the corner and unleash a relentless attack.

Being in a corner nullifies half of your opponent's ability - he can't move and has to rely on a strong defense and his wits to get out of it.

Second, if there was ever a time to keep your eyes open, this is it.

What are you looking for?

Two things:

  1. Punches coming in - so you can deal with them either blocking, slipping, or catching.
  2. An opening - for you to get out of the corner.

Getting out of the corner requires excellent timing and decisive action. If you do this right, you can actually change spots with your opponent -- putting him in the corner and you on the offensive.

Concerning the punches coming in - you are just going to have to deal with them the best you can.

With any luck your opponent will start throwing haymakers and getting sloppy. If he stays tight, accurate, and on target you are going to have a tough time spinning him.

People tend to get excited when they corner someone and that excitement leads to a total disregard for technique. Not saying it will always happen that way, but there is a good chance of it.

You also want to lean forward - not backward. You need to be coiled and ready to step forward or pivot in a split second.

Now watch for your opening.

Your chance to turn the tide occurs when your opponent throws a punch that either overextends him or transfers his or her weight. With haymakers or looping rights and lefts, that opening will be quite obvious and you will have a substantial amount of time to react.

If your opponent transfers weight to their right (they throw a left hook for instance) and you let them overextend (by ducking), you'll see an opening on their left. When you see that opening you immediately and without hesitation drive your front foot to the outside of your opponent's lead foot and do a hard pivot left around your opponent. At the same time give your opponent a slight tap/shove.

As you spin around him, he is naturally going to try and realign (spin). He will be off balance and the tap/shove you give him will send him back first into the turnbuckle. You effectively switch positions - now use that opportunity to attack.

It is natural to want to back up and experience freedom - you're wasting a good advantage if you do that. Move right in and give a little back of what you just got.

You are now in control - stay tight and throw controlled, accurate punches. Don't get excited and sloppy.

You may see an opening on your opponent's right side (if they throw a straight right for instance) and you manage to slip to your left. You'll take a quick step to your leftt and pivot hard to your right - attempting to spin around your opponent just like you did when you went to your right.

An example

An example

Picture the following scenario. It is one of many, but the principles are the same:

  • You are in the corner, back against the turnbuckle and your opponent is throwing punches.
  • Your stance in the corner should see you leaning slightly forward, absorbing hits, slipping, and ducking as required, but always maintain the forward leaning stance.
  • Your weight should be distributed more on your lead foot. Don't let him punch you back against the turnbuckle.
  • Your opponent begins to throw a looping right hand and you realize this is your chance.
  • You duck as the punch comes in, stepping towards your opponent's left side at the same time.
  • As the punch misses its target you find yourself under his armpit and basically grab him around the abdomen, helping him to spin as you step around him, finishing off with a quick tap/shove which pushes him into the corner.
  • You then unleash the fury.

One of three things will happen when you attempt to spin your opponent:

  1. You will succeed - and you will find him and you exactly where you want to be. Enjoy.
  2. You will fail - and you will find yourself still in the corner. Repeat until you succeed.
  3. You will partially succeed - Even partial success is better than the alternative - you will find yourself out of the corner, but you may also find your opponent isn't in the corner either. Now you're back to square one - don't let yourself get put in the corner again - control the fight.

Good luck. Boxon.

Picture the following scenario. It is one of many, but the principles are the same:

  • You are in the corner, back against the turnbuckle and your opponent is throwing punches.
  • Your stance in the corner should see you leaning slightly forward, absorbing hits, slipping, and ducking as required, but always maintain the forward leaning stance.
  • Your weight should be distributed more on your lead foot. Don't let him punch you back against the turnbuckle.
  • Your opponent begins to throw a looping right hand and you realize this is your chance.
  • You duck as the punch comes in, stepping towards your opponent's left side at the same time.
  • As the punch misses its target you find yourself under his armpit and basically grab him around the abdomen, helping him to spin as you step around him, finishing off with a quick tap/shove which pushes him into the corner.
  • You then unleash the fury.

One of three things will happen when you attempt to spin your opponent:

  1. You will succeed - and you will find him and you exactly where you want to be. Enjoy.
  2. You will fail - and you will find yourself still in the corner. Repeat until you succeed.
  3. You will partially succeed - Even partial success is better than the alternative - you will find yourself out of the corner, but you may also find your opponent isn't in the corner either. Now you're back to square one - don't let yourself get put in the corner again - control the fight.

Good luck. Boxon.

Coach Aaron

Coach Aaron founded Commando Boxing in 2003. When he's not boxing, he's running ultramarathons or using data science/blockchains to create mixed reality HoloLens applications.

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