Rope-a-dope

Last updated

The rope-a-dope is a boxing fighting technique most famously associated with Muhammad Ali in his 1974 Rumble in the Jungle match against world heavyweight champion George Foreman.

Contents

In many competitive situations, "rope-a-dope" is used to describe strategies in which one contender draws non-injuring offensive punches to let the opponent tire themselves out. This gives the former the opportunity to then execute devastating offensive maneuvers to help them win.

Technique

The rope-a-dope is performed by a boxer assuming a protected stance (in Ali's classic pose, pretending to be trapped and lying against the ropes, which allows some of the punch's energy to be absorbed by the ropes' elasticity rather than the boxer's body). The boxer keeps their guard up and is prepared for the incoming blows while looking for opportunities to counter punch their opponent, who by mounting an offensive may have left themselves open to counters. By being in a defensive posture and being prepared for the incoming blows, the boxer decreases their chances of being caught with a clean flush blow, as ideally a significant portion of the punches will land on the boxer's hands and arms, or will miss completely as a result of the boxer slipping the punch. Additionally, if the opponent lacks stamina, their power will decrease throughout the fight as they lose energy, and essentially "wastes" many punches into the boxer's guard.

However, a boxer employing this tactic must have a great chin and great ability to withstand punishment to be able to withstand the punches that do get through the boxer's defenses and land. Offensively, the boxer employing this tactic will look to exploit mistakes made in his or her opponent's attack by countering if the opponent has left himself or herself open. They will also look to mount short bursts of offensive attacks in between their opponent's attack, being sure to immediately get back in their defensive posture as to not leave themself open to a counterattack. Despite the name, the boxer does not have to be against the ropes in order to rope-a-dope the opponent.

Origin of the term

According to photographer George Kalinsky, Ali had an unusual way of conducting his sparring sessions, where he had his sparring partner hit him, which he felt "was his way of being able to take punishment in the belly". Kalinsky told him: "Do what you do in a training session: Act like a dope on the ropes." Ali then replied: "So, you want me to be a rope-a-dope?" [1]

According to Angelo Dundee, Kalinsky told Ali: "Why don't you try something like that? Sort of a dope on the ropes, letting Foreman swing away but, like in the picture, hit nothing but air." The publicist John Condon popularized the phrase "rope-a-dope". [2]

Notable fights

The maneuver is most commonly associated with the match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, known as "The Rumble in the Jungle". Foreman was considered by many observers to be the favorite to win the fight due to his superior punching power. Ali purposely angered Foreman during the match, provoking Foreman to attack and force him back on the ropes. Some observers at the time thought that Ali was being horribly beaten and worried that they might see him get killed in the ring.[ citation needed ] Writer George Plimpton described Ali's stance as like "a man leaning out his window trying to see something on his roof." Far from being brutalized, however, Ali was relatively protected from Foreman's blows. Norman Mailer described the advantage of Ali's rope-a-dope this way: "Standing on one's feet it is painful to absorb a heavy body punch even when blocked with one's arm. The torso, the legs, and the spine take the shock. Leaning on the ropes, however, Ali can pass it along; the rope will receive the strain." [3] Ali's preparation for the fight, which involved toughening himself up by allowing his sparring partners to pummel him, contributed to observers' sense that Ali was outmatched. But Ali took advantage and won the match when Foreman became tired from the punches he was delivering.

Manny Pacquiao used the strategy to gauge the power of welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto in their November 2009 fight. Pacquiao followed the rope-a-dope with a knockdown.

Nicolino Locche, an Argentine boxer nicknamed "El Intocable" (The Untouchable), used this technique extensively throughout his career. He would get against the ropes and dodge nearly every single punch until his opponent would tire, then he would take him down with combinations.

"Irish" Micky Ward used this strategy during many of the fights in the later part of his career. Ward would wait for his opponent to become fatigued and would hit with either a left hook to the body or other combinations. This strategy led him to the junior welterweight championship of the WBU, where he took the belt from Shea Neary.[ citation needed ]

Floyd Mayweather Jr. often used this technique in his bouts, as he demonstrated in his August 2017 fight against Conor McGregor. [4]

See also

Related Research Articles

Boxing Full contact combat sport

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves and other protective equipment such as hand wraps and mouthguards, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring.

The Thrilla in Manila was the third and final boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. It was contested in 1975 for the heavyweight championship of the world at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines, on Wednesday, October 1. The venue was temporarily renamed as the "Philippine Coliseum" for this match. Ali won by technical knockout (TKO) after Frazier's chief second, Eddie Futch, asked the referee to stop the fight following the end of the 14th round. The contest's name is derived from Ali's rhyming boast that the fight would be "a killa and a thrilla and a chilla, when I get that gorilla in Manila."

George Foreman Former American professional boxer, ordained Baptist minister, author and entrepreneur

George Edward Foreman is an American former professional boxer, entrepreneur, minister and author. As a professional boxer, he was nicknamed "Big George" and competed between 1969 and 1997. He is a two-time world heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold medalist. As an entrepreneur, he is known for the George Foreman Grill.

Jimmy Young was an American heavyweight professional boxer. Young was known for his awkward, defensive style and counterpunching. He had his greatest success during the mid-1970s, most notably earning a victory over George Foreman in 1977 and losing a unanimous decision against Muhammad Ali. Young fought many significant fighters of his era, including twice outpointing Ron Lyle and losing only by a split decision to then-number one contender Ken Norton in a title eliminator in late 1977. A fellow boxer, Bobby Watts, was his cousin.

The Rumble in the Jungle Boxing competition

The Rumble in the Jungle was a historic boxing event in Kinshasa, Zaire, on October 30, 1974. Held at the 20th of May Stadium, it pitted the undefeated world heavyweight champion George Foreman against challenger Muhammad Ali, the former heavyweight champion. The event had an attendance of 60,000 people. Ali won by knockout, putting Foreman down just before the end of the eighth round.

Miguel Cotto Puerto Rican boxer

Miguel Ángel Cotto Vázquez is a Puerto Rican former professional boxer who competed from 2001 to 2017. He is a multiple-time world champion, and the first Puerto Rican boxer to win world titles in four weight classes, from light welterweight to middleweight. In 2007 and 2009, he reached a peak active pound for pound ranking of seventh by The Ring magazine. Cotto started out his career as a hard-hitting pressure fighter, but evolved over the years into a more refined boxer-puncher as he moved up in weight.

Angelo Dundee American boxing trainer

Angelo Dundee was a 20th century American boxing trainer and cornerman. Internationally known for his work with Muhammad Ali (1960–1981), he also worked with 15 other world boxing champions, including Sugar Ray Leonard, José Nápoles, George Foreman, George Scott, Jimmy Ellis, Carmen Basilio, Luis Manuel Rodríguez, and Willie Pastrano.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. American boxer and boxing promoter

Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. is an American professional boxing promoter and former professional boxer. He competed between 1996 and 2015, and made a one-fight comeback in 2017. During his career he won fifteen major world titles including The Ring in five weight classes, the lineal championship in four weight classes, and retired with an undefeated record. As an amateur, Mayweather won a bronze medal in the featherweight division at the 1996 Olympics, three U.S. Golden Gloves championships, and the U.S. national championship at featherweight.

Ricky Hatton English former professional boxer

Richard John Hatton, is a British former professional boxer who competed between 1997 and 2012, and has since worked as a boxing promoter and trainer. During his boxing career he held multiple world championships at light-welterweight and one at welterweight. BoxRec ranks Hatton as the 11th greatest European fighter of all time and fifth greatest British fighter of all time, pound for pound, giving two of his victorious fights a 5-Star rating. In 2005 he was named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine, the Boxing Writers Association of America, and ESPN.

Floyd Mayweather Sr. American boxer

Floyd Joy Mayweather, Sr. is an American boxing trainer and former professional boxer who competed from 1974 to 1990. Fighting at welterweight during the 1970s and 1980s, Mayweather Sr. was known for his defensive abilities and overall knowledge of boxing strategy. He is the father and former trainer of undefeated five-division boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, and also father to Justin Mayweather, an American boxer residing in Las Vegas.

Eddie Futch was an American boxing trainer. Among the fighters he trained are Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, and Trevor Berbick, four of the five men to defeat Muhammad Ali. Futch also trained Riddick Bowe, Wayne McCullough and Montell Griffin when they handed future Hall of Fame fighters Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones Jr. their first professional defeats. In Baltimore, Maryland, the Futch Gym boxing gymnasium is named after the trainer. Eddie Futch married Eva Marlene Futch March 21,1996 until his death. Futch often called her "The love of his life."

Boxing styles and technique

Throughout the history of gloved boxing styles, techniques and strategies have changed to varying degrees. Ring conditions, promoter demands, teaching techniques, and the influence of successful boxers are some of the reasons styles and strategies have fluctuated.

Adrien Broner American professional boxer

Adrien Jerome Broner is an American professional boxer. He has held multiple world championships in four weight classes, including the WBO super featherweight title from 2011 to 2012, the WBC lightweight title from 2012 to 2013, the WBA welterweight title in 2013, and the WBA light welterweight title from 2015 to 2016. He is known for his over the top antics both in and out of the ring.

Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey Boxing competition

Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey, billed as The Event or Road to Dallas, was a welterweight fight for the WBO World welterweight championship. The bout was held on March 13, 2010, at Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, Texas, United States. This match was put together after the long awaited "superfight" between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. had fallen through.

Miguel Cotto vs. Yuri Foreman Boxing competition

Miguel Cotto vs. Yuri Foreman, billed as Stadium Slugfest, was a boxing super welterweight fight for the WBA Super Welterweight championship. The bout was held on June 5, 2010, at Yankee Stadium, in New York City, United States. Cotto won the fight via technical knockout in the ninth round.

Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki Fight between American professional boxer Muhammad Ali and Japanese professional wrestler Antonio Inoki

Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki, billed as The War of the Worlds, was a fight between American professional boxer Muhammad Ali and Japanese professional wrestler Antonio Inoki, held at the Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo, Japan, on June 26, 1976. At the time, Ali had come off a knockout victory over Richard Dunn in May and was the reigning WBC/WBA heavyweight boxing champion. Inoki, who had been taught the art of catch wrestling by legendary wrestler Karl Gotch, was staging exhibition fights against champions of various martial arts, in an attempt to show that pro wrestling was the dominant fighting discipline.

Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley 2012 boxing match

Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley, billed as "Perfect Storm", was a welterweight title boxing match held on June 9, 2012, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada. After 12 rounds, Bradley won a highly controversial split decision to take the WBO welterweight title.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao Boxing competition

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao, billed as the Fight of the Century or the Battle for Greatness, was a professional boxing match between undefeated five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao. It took place on May 2, 2015, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather Jr. won the contest by unanimous decision, with two judges scoring it 116–112 and the other 118–110. Although the fight was considered to be one of the most anticipated sporting events in history, it was largely considered a letdown by critics and audiences alike upon its broadcast.

Boxing career of Manny Pacquiao Career summary

Philippine Senator Manny Pacquiao has competed in professional boxing since 1995. Regarded by many boxing historians as one of the greatest professional boxers of all time, Pacquiao is the only boxer in history to win 12 major world titles in eight different weight divisions. He is also the first boxer in history to win the lineal championship in five different weight divisions, as well as being the first boxer in history to win major world titles in four of the original eight weight divisions of boxing, also known as the "glamour divisions": flyweight, featherweight, lightweight and welterweight.

Boxing career of Muhammad Ali Boxing career of Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali is widely regarded by boxing commentators and historians as one of the greatest professional boxers of all time. BoxRec ranks Ali as the fourteenth greatest boxer, pound for pound, of all time. Boxing magazine The Ring named him number one in a 1998 ranking of greatest heavyweights from all eras. In 1999, The Associated Press voted Ali the number one heavyweight of the 20th century. In 1999, Ali was named the second greatest boxer in history, pound for pound, by ESPN; behind only welterweight and middleweight legend Sugar Ray Robinson. In December 2007, ESPN listed Ali second in its choice of the greatest heavyweights of all time, behind Joe Louis.

References

Notes

  1. Gardner, Ralph (2013-10-01). "Madison Square Garden's Eye". Wall Street Journal. ISSN   0099-9660 . Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  2. Dundee, Angelo; Sugar, Bert Randolph (2007-10-22). My View from the Corner. McGraw Hill Professional. ISBN   9780071596565 . Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  3. Mailer, Norman (1997). The fight (1st Vintage International ed.). New York: Vintage International. p.  191. ISBN   9780375700385. OCLC   36647872.
  4. Eligon, John; Mather, Victor (2017-08-26). "Mayweather vs. McGregor: Highlights From Every Round". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-10-28 via NYTimes.com.

Bibliography

See also