Technique is important in a sport like boxing. While it is your skills of throwing attacks and defending yourself, there are also a few other things that you can do to add a little flair and give yourself that extra edge. This is where established techniques come in. In most forms of martial arts, you have a set of techniques that has been tested and proved over time and which works in the ring.
This is similar to positions and movements in a sport like football that each team employs. In boxing too, you have some techniques that you can use to your advantage when you see fit. It will give you an upper hand over your opponent and it may even favor you to win against them. The theory we are discussing here is the boxing triangle theory which basically allows you to get into an advantage against your opponent by making space around you for yourself.
The Boxing Triangle Theory
The boxing triangle theory in the sport details a way in which one can create a position of advantage for punching from a 45-degree angle, what is usually called the outside angle. There are certain angles from which attacking and defending work very effectively, and this is why this theory is very important.
The thing is, that when a fighter gets into the ring, they do not have this theory or anything else per-se on their mind. It is not something that comes to one easily but can be developed instinctively through regular practice. In boxing, there are in fact several positional theories that can be employed by a fighter in the ring. It is an advantage for one if they accustom themselves to some of these theories as they may come in handy in the ring.
In the boxing triangle theory, when the two boxers face each other, they become a part of the imaginary triangle, facing each other at the angle, which can be any of the three points of the triangle. When you are applying this theory, your position must be the one on or at one of the points of the triangle, with your opponent falling in the center of the imaginary triangle while facing you.
This primary position may not be so advantageous as your opponent still has good access to attack you. The reason for the lack of advantage is that while you are at the tip and your opponent is at the middle of your imaginary triangle, your opponent has their own triangle in mind and is at the tip of it, while you are at the center of their triangle.
What we have discussed so far may not be so important in terms of the theory, because we are talking about establishing angles of a triangle and placing fighters at the points. But this positioning plays a major role and gives a basis to practicing the theory. Because after you have established the triangle in your mind, it is how you use the outside angle to your own advantage against your opponent that comes into the frame.
The Outside Angle
As you keep moving along the edge points of the triangle, while your opponent remains at the center throughout, you can devise great attacks that must be outside the line of vision of your opponent. This will provide you with a good advantage. In the past, we have had fighters like Pacquaio and Lomachenko who have used the boxing triangle to their benefit.
Lomachenko’s strength has always been that he has been able to sneak attacks past his opponents by deceiving them and throwing attacks that are out of their line of vision. The fact that your opponent will not see the punch coming is one great benefit, the other would be the fact that you will have great freedom to be able to throw punches from any angle once you have turned away from your opponent. Pushing away from your opponent will help create for you space that will allow you to attack and defend easily.
The one other important element to executing your theory effectively, the most important element of all, is that in this scenario you have to be the one who is counter punching. The theory works only when it is your opponent who is the one that is throwing punches first. If it is you who is doing so instead, then the position reverses and your opponent gets the advantage. When your opponent is throwing the punch, you, being at first on one point of the triangle, can move freely upon the sides of the triangle at either side of you to defend and dodge yourself from the attack. You will have enough space to do so.
To stress upon this once again, when a fighter steps into the ring, they are not automatically thinking about angles and triangles. It is something that you employ when you feel the situation arises. Once you have acquainted yourself with creating these triangles while in the moment, you will then be able to easily perceive the distance and the perception you will need in order to devise your attacks and evasions.
For reference, you can go to the video of the match between Lomachenko and Piriyapinyo where Lomachenko effectively and quickly devises the triangle to use. With Piriyapinyo at the centre of the triangle, you can see Lomachenko establish the conceptual triangle while he moves around the sides of the triangle around Piriyapinyo while attacking and countering with his hands.
For a better understanding of the theory, and to understand deception of your opponent to devise attacks in general, studying Lomachenko’s style and moves would be a great way for you to know about vigilant and fast-paced attacks.
Angles of Advantage
What is important in boxing is angles. If you are training for the sport or if you are someone who likes to watch the sport a lot, you will also know that it is angles that help fighters to gain an advantage over their opponents. It works more effectively when you are attacking your opponent from an angle rather than doing so head-on. Even if you are someone who does not know any theories such as the boxing triangle one, you will still be looking at placing yourself at an angle so that you can easily attack your opponent.
One fight that you can refer to in order to understand angles is the one between Pacquiao and Bradley. Pacquiao makes a great use of angles to sneak in an attack against his opponent. He uses the straight and side angles to land a number of continuous punches against Bradley who is pushed against the rope.
The same aforementioned Lomachenko vs. Piriyapinyo fight can be used to see how Lomachenko uses and changes angles to attack his opponent at their non-dominant side. He again uses deception here by luring his opponent in by setting up a use of his lead hand, only to change angles at the last second while landing in his punches. Another important thing we notice here, is that Piriyapinyo is able to dodge the punches that come straight, but when Lomachenko is flawlessly changing his angles consistently, he is able to get in more than a few punches successfully. This is something to note.
Opponent at A Disadvantage
What experienced fighters do most of the time is keep in mind the power of angles. They analyse the positions in the ring and are constantly looking to change positions and in turn change angles so that they can catch their opponents off-guard so that they can gain an attack on them.
Being a good defender and effectively applying defensive strategies by being constantly vigilant will allow you to dodge your opponent and keep them at a disadvantage. But when you pair defense with shifting angles to attack, it really throws your opponent off and confuses them on your position or on how to and from where to attack you.
If you keep practicing these kinds of techniques on the regular, then you can also master how to artfully make your opponent shift their positions to your benefit and then throw in an attack while they are uncertain. In this way, you can use positional theories greatly to your benefit.
Points to Remember
This works as a recollection of the important elements and points that we have discussed previously in the course of the explanation of the theory. These are key points that you must keep in mind if and when you are trying to employ the boxing triangle theory that will help you perceive the theory rightly.
- The theory sounds great and works to the point on the paper. But when you are actually using the theory in practice, what will help you truly get the theory off the ground is your own skills in boxing.
You need to have your own set of developed skills and techniques that will help you instinctively use what you can and must when you are inside the ring. The important thing to remember is that while theories do help you to gain a great advantage over your opponent, what really makes the theories more successful is your skills in boxing and your instincts that you will use when applying the theory in the ring.
So primarily, it is important that you greatly develop these skills first and then look into applying them within theories.
- The theory explains triangles and angles that you must keep in mind and create in the ring, yes. But this should not solely take up your focus because if you intently concentrate upon these alone, you lose concentration upon what your opponent really is doing and how you can attack or dodge in response to that.
It takes your mind off the important thing to focus, and puts you at a disadvantage. Like it has been mentioned before, you cannot be thinking about the angles and triangles easily when you are in the ring.
To do so instinctively and quickly, it takes a lot of regular practice that will help you develop an eye for doing so which you can then use in the ring without losing your focus upon your opponent. But still, always remember that for the theory, your opponent must be at the center of the conceptual triangle and you, at either of the three points facing your opponent.
- The primary position where your opponent is at the center and you at one of the points of the conceptual triangle is a position of zero advantage, both to you and your opponent, especially you.
The advantage comes in when you engage with your opponent which is when you can apply the theory. Otherwise, at the primary position, both you and your opponent are at the same position of applying the theory with each of you having your own conceptual triangles marked. Remember, your opponent has to engage first i.e. attack first which is when you can shift your angles and land punches that are outside of your opponent’s vision.
- Use the outside angle to your advantage at any cost. Wait for your opponent to attack first and then make use of the sides of the conceptual triangle to move around your opponent while defending and counter punching. This will help you land in your punches easily and will throw your opponent off-guard.
Fighter Case Study: Vasyl Lomachenko
Studying Lomachenko’s moves will give you a great understanding of the boxing triangle theory since he is one fighter who uses it greatly to his advantage. As we have stated his moves before, go look up the fights that we have referenced previously in the article.
You can see how Lomachenko constantly shifts his angles and establishes the outside angles against his opponent which allows him to throw in his punches effortlessly. His usage of the theory at present demonstrates how relevant the theory is and can be even today. Studying this fighter will allow you to learn a great load about fast movements and angles that you can apply when inside the ring.
Remember, the most important thing of all to keep in mind is that while theories help you gain the upper hand, they hold no value unless and until you are properly equipped with your own set own boxing skills and instincts. These theories only help add flair to the skills that you already possess. So relying on them without owning any abilities would be pointless.