Game plans for upcoming fights

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Game plans for upcoming fights

Joshua vs Pulev

Joshua should use the early rounds to exploit Pulev's age, the jab will keep Pulev occupied, keep his head moving, and it will take more out of Pulev to take jabs and even to bend the knees and slip, than it will take out of Joshua to throw a fast jab without much power behind it. The jab scores points, but a fast double jab will make it harder for Pulev to land his counter jab, and if Joshua can out jab Pulev, I think he wins the rounds, with Pulev's lack of variety. Pulev will clinch, will probably use jab and grab tactics, but Joshua shouldn't wait for the referee to call a break, he should use his height and strength, push Pulev back, lean on him, and also try to work in the clinches, even if he can't generate much power, land punches if he can, go to the body, it will be hard to land body shots at long range, but even body shots without a lot of power could pay dividends later in the fight.

Pulev shouldn't try to match Joshua for output, he should land the counter jab when the opening is there, feint with the jab, don't let him get into a rhythm of landing the double jab, also feint with the right hand, be wary of the counter left hook, discourage Joshua from throwing that shot, take Joshua's mind away from the right hand with a throw away jab before throwing it. I think Pulev should throw the short right hook to the side of the head in close, and rough Joshua up.

Re: Game plans for upcoming fights

Lomachenko vs Lopez

Loma should use his movement, make Lopez need to keep adjusting his feet, work in spurts, the straight left is there for Loma, Lopez is likely to throw the counter right when he sees the first left coming, so he should throw the double left hand. Lomachenko should pivot if he lands the double left hand, like Pacquiao does, that way he isn't moving out of Lopez's punching range in a straight line, or obliging Lopez by standing and trading.

I think Lomachenko should step back in a straight line when he's already outside Lopez's punching range, just a couple of feet, and then step to the side, he shouldn't let his back touch the ropes, and for most of the fight, Lomachenko should use lateral movement, but if he moves back slightly in a straight line, that will encourage Lopez to sprint into range and let his hands go, but Lomachenko is a step ahead if he does that, and Lopez will miss, as long as Lomachenko steps to the side fast enough.

The reason I think Lomachenko should move back a short distance, in a straight line, is because although never going back in a straight line at any point will frustrate Lopez, and it is lower risk, it takes more out of Lopez to move into range and attack, and miss, than to just try to cut off the ring, Lomachenko has to take something out of Lopez, he will to struggle to go to the body, can't push Lopez back, he's the one who can't afford mistakes, will have to be focused all the time, use his reflexes, which is mentally draining, so the more Lomachenko can make Lopez miss, the better.

Lopez should try to catch Lomachenko early, once Lomachenko has found his rhythm, he's never there to be hit, his combinations, variety, are very hard to deal with. Lomachenko is a slow starter, round 1 is often close when Lomachenko fights, it was Campbell's best round, it's often round 4 when he starts to dominate. Lopez has to get the momentum on his side, can't let Lomachenko get into a rhythm, he should go on the offensive in the first round, not for the whole round if he can't get to Lomachenko, just a 10-15 second burst, twice in each of the first 2 rounds.

Lopez shouldn't wait for an opening to land the counter right hand, because it will get harder to find as the fight goes on, he shouldn't back up and try try to attack off the back foot, because Lomachenko is too experienced and intelligent to get drawn onto a counter right hand, and it doesn't force him to work. Lopez should make make use of his size advantage, pressure Lomachenko, feint, make him work, target the body in rounds 3-6, slow down Lomachenko's legs.

Lopez should throw the double left hook, or a hook and uppercut, Lopez stopped Magdaleno with the double left, great finish, it's a good combination for him, he should step to the left and throw those shots, so Lomachenko doesn't see, and so Lomachenko risks moving double impact into Lopez's left if he moves to his right, but Lopez has to keep his right hand up if he does that, because Lomachenko might throw counter left hand from the side, which Lopez might not see coming. Lopez should be patient in the mid rounds, but should let his hands go if Lomachenko is on the ropes or near the corner.

Re: Game plans for upcoming fights

Dorticos vs Briedis

Dorticos has 5 inches of reach on Briedis, he'll never be the best fundamental boxer or be the best at keeping an opponent on the outside with his jab, but he can make better use of his reach advantage than he has in previous fights. If Briedis makes Dorticos fight in the pocket, I think that's bad for Dorticos, because they can both hurt each other, but Briedis can do more damage over the course of the fight, with his volume and variety.

Dorticos doesn't have the ability to control the fight and make it easy just by using his jab, but if he can hit Briedis with the jab often enough that Briedis can't be relentless, it will take more out of Briedis to run into the jab than it will take for Dorticos to land it.

Dorticos's over hand right is his best shot, but he also has a great right uppercut, and I think Briedis will be less prepared for that shot than the over hand, he doesn't need as much distance on the uppercut, so he it will be harder for Briedis to make him over reach with that shot than the straight or over hand. Briedis will be prepared for Dorticos's right hand, which he is reliant on, so he needs to set the shot up, be a step ahead of Briedis. I think Dorticos should use the jab not only to set up the right hand but to take away Briedis's vision, so he doesn't see the follow up right hand coming.

Briedis has to be wary of Dorticos's power, he has to pressure Dorticos, use his output, but he should try to nullify Dorticos's right hand. Briedis should make himself small, bend the knees, and make Dorticos's right hand go over his head. An ugly fight favours Briedis, when there is no daylight between them, and Dorticos doesn't have the room to get his right hand off, because Briedis doesn't need much of a gap, to work the body, and if he is able to smother Dorticos's right hand, he takes a lot away from Dorticos's offence.

Even if Briedis isn't able to land eye catching shots in close, the short shots to the body will take something out of Dorticos. Briedis has to be wary of the right uppercut on the inside, it's unknown if Dorticos can get his uppercut off in close, but that's a danger for Briedis.

Re: Game plans for upcoming fights

Charlo vs Derevyanchenko

Derevyanchenko is a slow starter, was down in round 1 against Golovkin and Jacobs, before giving them both a lot of problems, probably lost the first 3 rounds against Culcay, but he won that fight. Derevyanchenko is likely to start slow in this fight, and if he does, Charlo has to take advantage of that, Charlo isn't a fast starter himself, but he starts faster than Derevyanchenko, and he has to get the momentum early, so it's Derevyanchenko who needs rounds if and when Derevyanchenko comes on strong in the mid rounds, which he usually does.

Charlo should be aggressive in the early rounds, not be too patient and wait for an opening, he should be on the front foot, be prepared to hit Derevyanchenko's guard. I think Charlo should try to walk Derevyanchenko down behind the jab in the early rounds, throw the jab, cross, and the jab, uppercut. I think Charlo should be more economical after a couple of rounds, because if he has a good start, the pressure is on Derevyanchenko. I don't think Charlo should stop coming forward behind the jab at any point in the fight, he should try to keep Derevyanchenko on the back foot, control the range, and land throw the straight right.

Derevyanchenko is good at getting into range and not getting hit on tne way in, he gets low, makes himself a small target, jabs his way in, and moves his head, like Mike Tyson, but if he tries to do that, Charlo should try to time the right uppercut, because that's a great shot, and Derevyanchenko is more of a target for it as he cuts distance, and targets the body.

I think Derevyanchenko's game plan should be similar to Porter's game plan against Garcia. Derevyanchenko has to avoid letting Charlo get the momentum, bad starts cost him against Golovkin and Jacobs, he shouldn't try to push Charlo back in the early rounds, and be in the driving seat himself, but he should try not to let Charlo have as good a start as Jacobs and Golovkin. Derevyanchenko shouldn't change much from the Golovkin fight, he should pivot, throw combinations, attack the body, I think he should be more conservative in the mid rounds against Charlo, Charlo has more flaws than Golovkin, but should be stronger in second half than Golovkin.

Derevyanchenko has to keep his chin down when he gets into range, Charlo isn't a hard target for him, but the right uppercut is a big danger for him. Derevyanchenko should cut the distance and get into range by stepping to his right, jab his way in, and throwing the double jab to the body, I think if he does that, Charlo's right uppercut will be blocked by his shoulder, and Derevyanchenko can still land his own right hand. Derevyanchenko shouldn't try to be the aggressor, and try to back Charlo up, he should use his feet, be defensive, and out work Charlo, but he should be conservative enough what he's able to stop Charlo rallying in the late rounds, and should be economical with his movement.

Re: Game plans for upcoming fights

Charlo vs Rosario

I think the game plans should be similar for both fighters because they have similar weaknesses to exploit, I think both should be patient, both should try to be the counter puncher, and both should try to make the opponent work harder, should try to take the centre of the ring. It's important for both fighters that they don't get reckless if they hurt the opponent, because both will take risks by opening up against a harder puncher than they've fought, even when the opponent is hurt. Both fighters should try to do damage to head and body, but have to careful with body shots, because both fighters are dangerous with counter uppercuts, and by bending the knees to attack the body, both fighters are at risk of getting knocked out by a double impact uppercut. I think Rosario will have slightly more method than Charlo, but I don't think the game plans will be much different to each other, and it will be mostly a case of who the better counter puncher is, which and who's the more durable.

Re: Game plans for upcoming fights

Povetkin vs Whyte II

I think the key for Whyte is awareness, I don't think it's a case of Whyte knowing what Povetkin is doing but being unable to stop it, I think Povetkin has to be clever. I think this difference for Whyte this time, is never to look for anything explosive, keep it basic, jab and move, throw the right hand behind the jab whenever the shot is there. I don't think Whyte should change much, I don't think he let Povetkin off the hook the after he dropped him the first time. If Whyte finds himself on the ropes, he should always move to the side and get off the ropes, can't opt to stay on the ropes. Whyte can't afford to waste his movement, he has to keep Povetkin in range to be hit with his jab, not move out of his own range and try to move fast, be conservative with his movement, don't put much behind the jab, but be fast with it, if he can do that for 6 rounds, he'll have more in the tank than Povetkin in the second half. Povetkin will target the body, will get low, Whyte has to adapt his jab to Povetkin's height, can't afford to over reach and let Povetkin get into range.

I think Povetkin has to take more changes even though he won the first fight, Whyte will be prepared for the left uppercut, Povetkin has to be more varied. Whyte's jab is a problem for Povetkin, Povetkin used his height in the first fight, he's learned how to use being short to his advantage over the years, and if he stays low in this fight, keeps himself a small target, it will be harder for Whyte to control the range with his jab, and if he can make Whyte over reach with his jab, cut the distance just slightly, the right hand to the body is there for Povetkin. Povetkin should go to the body more in this fight, because as well using them to set up a head shot, he should throw body shots to slow Whyte down for the later rounds, he doesn't have to put a lot into the shots, he can easily knock a lot out of Whyte with body shots if he's in range to land them. I think Povetkin has better chance of hurting Whyte with the right uppercut than the left, because Whyte will be more cautious of the left, I could see him setting Whyte up with a throw away left hook, make Whyte think he's throwing a the hook, high on the head, but as soon as Whyte reacts to the left, dip down, and come up with the right uppercut, but Whyte's left is a danger for Povetkin if he does that,

Re: Game plans for upcoming fights

Davis vs Santa Cruz

Davis is a very heavy favourite to beat Santa Cruz, but to be as dominant as possible, he can't let Santa Cruz land body shots, and has to make the first half take a lot more out of Santa Cruz than him. I think Davis should be conservative with his own shots in the early rounds, should have a low output, should let Santa Cruz throw more shots, he'll be able to knock Santa Cruz back easily even if he doesn't hurt him, he should go to the body and head, throw a single shot whenever Santa Cruz stops throwing or throws a single shot himself, I don't think Davis needs to engage when Santa Cruz throws clusters of punches. I think Davis should stay on the outside in the first half of the fight, because if he lands a clean shot whenever Santa Cruz isn't letting his hands go, Santa Cruz is likely to throw a lot of shots just to keep Davis off, which Davis should be able to slip most of, and that will take more out of Santa Cruz than Davis, it will be hard for Santa Cruz to attack the body if Davis stays on the outside.

Davis is a great counter puncher, and he should use that whenever Santa Cruz jumps into range, because if Santa Cruz tries to cut the distance, and Davis times a double impact counter, he could knock Santa Cruz out cold. In the early rounds, I don't think low volume will be an issue for Davis, as long as he's able to land a few clean shots to the head and body in every round, and forcing Santa Cruz onto his back foot. If Davis is able to use his size and power advantage by making Santa Cruz work harder than him in the first half, he should throw more combinations in the second half, break Santa Cruz down, by increasing his output, round after round, and if he can do that, he has a good chance of stopping Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz
Winning is a big ask for Santa Cruz, but the best chance he has of winning is attacking the body throughout the fight, and also by taking advantage of being the better athlete. The worst thing Santa Cruz can do is go for power, he has to out work Davis, but be conservative enough that his output is still high in the late rounds, he shouldn't throw 100 punches a round, because Davis moves his head, pivots, and he's likely to miss almost all of that he throws, but if Santa Cruz throws single shots, he'll get countered, so he should throw 3 and 4 punch combinations, shouldn't put much into the shots, but if he's throwing shots consistently, never has inactive spells, Davis will have to keep his head moving, will have to keep thinking, and the more varied Santa Cruz is with his shots, the harder it will be for Davis to get into a rhythm of slipping all his shots.

Santa Cruz has to land body shots in every round, it's the tactic which is potentially the most effective, but it's high risk, he has to be careful, keep his chin down, not drop his guard until he's in range to attack the body. I think if Santa Cruz is on the inside, he's at as much risk as if he gets into a gunslinger with Davis at long range, because Davis is dangerous on the inside and outside, but at close range, Santa Cruz can land body shots, Davis's counter uppercut or body shots of his own are a danger for Santa Cruz, but Santa Cruz is likely the far more experienced inside fighter, as the far more experienced professional, so if he can smother Davis's shots, close the gap, he should be able to chop away at the body, and if he does that, he can capitalise on Davis being at least slightly weight drained, which he is highly likely to be. If Santa Cruz hurts Davis to the body, he should apply consistent, educated pressure, be wary of punching himself out and Davis recovering, but not look for one great shot, or settle for his success, he should keep throwing body shots, but not neglect head shots, and be varied. If Santa Cruz does significant damage to the body in the first half, and hasn't let Davis win rounds without working hard, he can come on strong in the second half.

Re: Game plans for upcoming fights

Usyk vs Chisora


I think Usyk should be cautious in the early rounds, use the ring, the right hook is the best shot he can throw, Chisora is more dangerous with the right hand than the left hook, and he can land that shot as he pivots. I think Usyk should step to his right as he throws a power shot, because he is out of position to take Chisora's over hand right. Usyk should be defensive and mobile, but I think he should be in Chisora's range more often than not, it will be easier for him to land enough shots to knick a round, if he doesn't back up, it will take more out of Chisora, because he is likely to throw more shots Usyk can avoid, and it will stop Chisora winning rounds without working hard. Usyk's footwork is important, he should keep using pivots off the ropes, that will make Chisora need to keep respositong his feet, and even stepping in and out of range as he throws combinations on the back foot. Usyk should pick his work rate up in every round, as Chisora tires, and walks into more shots, because although Usyk would be wise to have a cautious start, he has to start throwing in round 4 at the latest.


The worst thing Chisora can do is load up and put a lot into his shots, he's unlikely to catch Usyk and hurt him early because of how much respect Usyk's awareness. Chisora has to take advantage of his size, keep Usyk moving, make the early rounds take more out of Usyk than him. Chisora should try to rough Usyk up on the inside, not look throw a big shot as soon as he's in range, but close the gap, make it an ugly fight, use his size to smother Usyk's shots. Chisora should throw more body shots that head shots in the early rounds, because the mobility of Usyk might be Chisora's biggest problem, so Chisora should try to slow his legs down. Chisora should have a fairly high output, he can be economical by not putting much into his shots, but if he's active, he keeps Usyk on the defensive, makes it harder for him to get into a rhythm.

Re: Game plans for upcoming fights

Dubois vs Joyce


Dubois shouldn't rush in, go for an early finish, and he shouldn't back up, try to walk Joyce onto something, because Joyce is at his best on the front foot, and his combinations make him hard to counter. Dubois should try to claim the centre of the ring, throw the jab to head and body, try to establish the right hand early, but don't lead with that shot unless there's an easy opening. Dubois should take advantage of the difference in foot speed, move in and out of range, jab and pivot, make Joyce have to keep adjusting his feet. Dubois is unlikely to stay off the ropes for the whole fight, but when Joyce has him on the ropes, he shouldn't try to push down or out hustle the stronger fighter, but he can't afford to let Joyce work at his own pace on the inside, can't wait for Joyce to punch himself out, he can't let Joyce control the pace, he should keep moving, attack the body, he might not be able to get outside Joyce's reach, Joyce might be able to keep him on the ropes, he might not be able to get his jab off, but he can create the distance to land the left to the body, even if he's made to fight Joyce's fight, he can still take something out of Joyce.


Joyce should try to get the momentum in the first round, try to make Dubois feel the power, put Dubois on the back foot, try to use the double right hand to negate Dubois's jab, Joyce should try to cut off the ring in the early rounds, keep Dubois moving, but he can't afford to wait until Dubois has slowed, and not throw shots until he can unload on the inside, he should throw his own jab, sweeping right hand, let the shots go as soon as he's in range, so Dubois has to throw more shots, and throw shots under pressure, to try win the rounds, the jab to the body is a great shot for him, that will knock steam out of Dubois, slow his legs down. Joyce should try to keep his output up, put less into his shots than he normally does, so he can use his volume to win the early rounds, and be less tired than against Jennings, because if he's gassed, Dubois can get the distance back, and win the late rounds on his jab, Joyce should use his size, not look for a great shot, but try to do what Bellew did against Cleverly, lean on Dubois, drain him, throw short shots to the temple and the over hand right. Joyce should keep his output as high as he can in the late rounds, even if Dubois is able to get off the ropes, he won't need as much power to do damage if he still has volume, and Dubois is less likely to win the late rounds with his jab.

I don't know why Joyce doesn't use his reach as he's backing out, Dubois might be the biggest puncher he's faced, so that's a danger for Joyce, he won't take many backward steps in the fight, but when he does, he should throw a jab or left hook as Dubois throws the right, it doesn't have to be a great counter, but he shouldn't let Dubois land the right hand with nothing coming back at him.