The reason why fighters are divided by weight divisions is to prevent mismatches. But this doesn’t include the height. If a fighter tips the scale within the limit of their weight division, it really doesn’t matter whether they are a Jolly Green Giant and their opponent is more fun-sized. So, if you are not a tall fighter, then there will be several occasions where you may to fight someone you literally have to look up to.
Boxing against a taller opponent presents unique challenges. Their legs are longer, the reach advantage will go to their favor, and they can be a difficult target to hit since they are able to stay farther than your striking distance.
At first look, you are in a complete disadvantage. But this doesn’t mean that you are doomed to lose. Remember that Mike Tyson fought much taller opponents throughout his career and still became a heavyweight champ.
There are actually several ways on how to deal with these disadvantages.
Longer arms means that your opponent gets in their striking distance before they can even get in yours. A boxer who knows that they have the reach advantage tends to stand back to play outside. So if you encounter this kind of boxer, cut that advantage as early in the fight as possible.
As an outside fighter it gets frustrating if your opponent chooses to play their fight and not get into yours. Here, you have no choice but to bring the fight to them. In order to defeat an outside fighter with a significant reach advantage, you have to stay close. This may mean taking one-two combination while coming in, but once you are inside, stay there.
Okay, you have decided to come in and in the process, receive some punches. Now it is at your hands to use everything in your arsenal to inflict as much damage as you can. Inside fighting is a style of its own and it will take years to develop the finesse and proper skill to become a good in this style. However, you just have to remember a few things when dealing with taller opponent from the inside.
First, since your opponent has longer arms, it is more difficult for them to throw short punches. Alternately, shorter arms gain more advantage in inside fighting. Second, never expose any of your vital organs. Inside fighting involves some uppercuts and punches on the sides. Keep your chin guarded with your gloves and your sides protected by tucking your arms as close to your body as possible. Third, do not hesitate to put your forehead on their chest. Doing this allows you to gauge your distance from your opponent, which will help you better judge the strength of your punches. Finally, keep throwing punches and if you can’t throw anymore, either clinch or get out as fast as you can.
Choosing to fight an inside game against a taller opponent must require total authority and decisiveness. Never walk to your opponent hesitantly. Explode into them, corner them, push them back, and punish them. Do not become an easy target.
As a smaller boxer, you should be quicker. Never move in a straight line. Weave, duck, move sideways or do anything that will make you an elusive target. If you succeed in these, you have better chances of winning the fight.