Check out the Hook

Our unofficial “fight of the night” between the Cuba Domadores and Mexico Guerreros last Friday was between Heavyweights (91kg) Farrukh Karimov and former Junior World Champion Erislandy Savon.

Both men are extremely heavy hitters with lightning fast shots. Indeed they both managed to drop one another with the same technique – the left hook. Karimov, a big 21 year old from Uzbekistan scored the first knock down in round one, exploiting a gap in the Cuban’s defence.

Savon needed an eight count to get back to his feet and looked wobbly for the rest of the round before hitting the deck again with twelve seconds to go.

The Uzbek boxer throws his hook from a high guard with little foot movement and quite a straight arm. Savon meanwhile notably throws his left from a slightly lower position, as he holds his hands quite low throughout. This makes his shots harder to see, but conversely leaves him more open to getting caught. Replays (at 07:20 of the embedded video) show that when Savon was knocked down, he actually rocked Karimov simultaneously with a hook of his own.

Early in the second though the advantage of Savon’s more risky hand positioning came to the fore as he caught the Uzbek flush just six seconds into the round, dropping him to the canvas. From then on it was all Savon, who throws his hooks with significant movement in his back foot to generate rotational power. Slow motion video analysis (around 09:50 of the video) shows that Savon almost rotates 180 degrees on the hook that scored the first knockdown, while for the match winner that came a few moments later, he was almost airborne when the blow landed.