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The Art of Body Punching

By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Mon, 26 Feb 2024

At high level of pro boxing, to win by body punch knockout is very rare especially in recent times. To this exclusive thin bunch of this sort of knockout winners, we can now add Takuma Inoue and Riku Masuda whose recent victims were both Filipinos, Jerwin Ancajas and Jonas Sultan.

But while Masuda's was a virtual instructional on how to deliver a quick knockout by a well placed and perfectly timed shot to the solar plexus as Sultan opened his wings, so to speak to throw a punch, Takuma's was a clinic on how to suddenly end a drawn out punching contest by employing body punch targeting the same area upon careful timing and calculation, i.e. after tiring and softening the opponent in the previous rounds

Takuma's body punch KO of Ancajas brings back memory of Rafael Limon's over Rolando Navarette against whom he traded punches for previous twelve rounds until he landed a body shot as Lando was in the middle of his respiratory process. Apart from the excruciating pain, the shot had the effect of temporarily shutting down the breathing process rendering the victim panic stickered and helpless and powerless for a while.

Most boxers, old-timer and modern, use body punching to soften up the opposition under the principle of kill the body and the head will fall i.e. hurt the body and the head will be open and vulnerable to attack and finishing blows.

That was Smokin' Joe Frazier noted for in scoring his many knockouts. But Frazier was never known for a one punch to the body knockout.

Mexicans are noted for the liver punch or punch to the rib cage which are as debilitating.

I saw Artiro Gatti finishing off a muscle bound Leonard Dorin in just two rounds with a well placed shot in the rib cage some years ago.

Bernard Hopkins kayoed Oscar de la Hoya with a shot to the liver in defense of his middleweight title also some years ago.

Naoya Inoue also has a wicked body punch in his arsenal but he uses it more as effective defense as he did against Nonito Donaire in their first fight or to weaken the opponent and set them up for head shot kill.

Body punching is in the repertoire of most boxers including Floyd Mayweather Jr who used it to disrupt the opponent and Manny Pacquiao who used it against tall defensive conscious foes particularly those using the antennae defense.

A well timed punch to the solar plexus though is an art thought forgotten until we saw them again Saturday night.

We might see more of this sort of knockout as Japanese boxers seem to specialize in it.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at and by phone 09215309477.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.

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