Canelo Boxing Style Breakdown

This is not some long post about Canelo's story. 

It’s not about what got him into boxing

And it's not about why he continues to fight

This is purely focused on HOW HE FIGHTS. It’s a study guide for you to know the main techniques, tips, and tricks

That is used by the Undisputed Super Middleweight Champion Of The World

So you can start implementing aspects of his strategy into your own fighting style and increase your overall boxing IQ. 

So let's get into it…

The High Tight Guard

A high tight guard is characterized by holding both gloves close to your face, protecting your head and upper body. 

Your elbows are also snug against your ribs to form an airtight barrier and protect you from 90% of punches that your opponent is able to throw. 

The main goal of this defensive posture is to minimize the target area for your opponents and make it challenging for them to land clean shots.

Slow Start and Early Fight Strategy

It usually takes Canelo 3 or 4 rounds before he is comfortable and actively fighting back against his opponent

Many believe that this is Canelo conserving energy at the beginning of the fight

But this slow start is a calculated move to assess his opponent's strengths and weaknesses. 

He enters the ring with a patient mindset, using the first few rounds to gauge his opponent's style, timing, and tendencies. 

So even though he isn't punching as much as you may want him to be, he is still being active and carefully analyzing every movement/reaction that his opponents make

Head Movement

Canelo's head movement is a masterpiece of evasion. 

He employs subtle slips, ducks, and pivots to avoid punches gracefully. 

His movements are efficient, and effective, ensuring that he remains balanced and ready to counter without needing to take his eyes off of his opponent. 

By these slipping punches with finesse, he also frustrates his opponents causing them to overcommit and allowing Canelo to land his own devastating counter-attacks.

Body Attack as a Priority

Canelo recognizes the long-term benefits of body shots. 

To break down opponents, he consistently targets their midsection and ribcage. 

By doing so, he weakens their core, diminishes their stamina, and lowers their guard.

Ultimately manipulating their guard to create openings for his showstopping headshots later in the fight.

Ring Control

Canelo's ring control is a strategic masterpiece. 

He employs footwork and angles to force opponents into unfavorable positions. 

By subtly maneuvering, he narrows their escape routes, gradually herding them toward the ropes or corners. 

Then once they are cornered or on the ropes, Canelo will set off a barrage of carefully thought-out punches to create and exploit openings 

Ideally knocking out his opponent

Punching Power and Volume

Canelo's punching power is not about quantity but quality. 

He throws fewer punches than many opponents, but each one is meticulously calculated for maximum impact. 

By conserving energy and selectively throwing powerful punches, he maintains his stamina for the later rounds and also is more likely to get his knockout punch

Especially as fatigue begins to set in on his opponent.

Jab as a Tactical Tool

Canelo's jab is a versatile weapon used for multiple purposes. 

He often extends his lead hand, keeping his opponents at bay and using it to disguise his right hand behind it. 

Additionally, the jab allows him to control distance, gauge his opponent's reactions, and set up a variety of follow-up combinations.

Feints and Variability

Canelo's extensive use of feints adds a layer of unpredictability to his style.

 He employs feints to deceive opponents, making them react prematurely. 

One of his signature feints involves throwing his right hand above his head, creating a false opening for his left uppercut. 

These tactics keep opponents guessing and off balance while also allowing Canelo to gauge their reactions to exploit any openings he sees available.

Baiting and Responding

Canelo is a master of baiting opponents into making mistakes. 

He lures them in with a high guard, appearing vulnerable, before relying on his world-class head movement to evade the punch and create the opening for his unforeseen counter that leaves his opponents dazed.

His ability to read opponents' intentions and respond with accurate counter-punches is a hallmark of his skill.

Pressure and Tempo Control

Canelo's pressure-fighting style involves systematically walking opponents down with a high guard. 

He maintains a relentless forward momentum, gradually increasing the pressure to make opponents uncomfortable. 

Periodically, he accelerates the tempo to catch opponents off guard, creating panic and openings.

Disarming Opponents

Canelo's unconventional tactic of targeting opponents' arms, 

Particularly the bicep in order to fatigue their punching arm and effectively disarm their only weapons.

By landing precise shots on the bicep, he weakens their ability to defend and throw punches effectively, further tipping the fight in his favour.

Roping Himself: The Trap Strategy

Canelo's ability to place himself on the ropes strategically is a calculated trap. 

He knows he can defend himself effectively and uses this positioning to lure opponents into overcommitting. 

So once they fall into his trap, he seizes the opportunity to counter with precision and power 

Note* This trap specifically has led to many of Canelo’s brutal knockouts


This fight breakdown focuses on the boxing style of Canelo, 

Providing insights into the techniques, strategies, and tricks he uses in his professional career. 

While it doesn't delve into his personal background or motivations, I hope it gave you valuable information in a way that was easy to understand, so that you are able to incorporate his fighting style into your own repertoire. 

Personally, I have found his ability to use feints to read his opponents the most useful,

But I still recommend at least trying everything to see what you do like, what you don’t like, and what works best with your style

Because, at the end of the day, everyone's style is different and what works for one won't always work for another.



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