The Killing Shift

This was the movement with which Fitzsimmons scored his knockouts. With the shift he won the heavy weight championship of the world over the late James J. Corbett. To execute the shift, a right hook is aimed at the opponent's chin; at the same time the right foot steps forward, adding speed and force to the blow. This right step must land toes forward with the heel or back of the foot securely placed directly against and in rear of the opponent's forward left foot (Figure 41). Then, if the onslaught of the right hook fails to land, the assailant's body continues to follow die course of his hook that missed (Figure 41). Here lie must let die momentum of bis own unlanded right booked punch carry him down to the left until his left crooked forearm is at right angles on the outside directly below his own left knee (Figure 42). Then he straightens up his right arm, which he swings quickly as a pivot to speed a left hand punch which travels from below the outside of his slightly bended left knee to the underpohlt of the opponent's chin (Figure 43). As he hurls this punch, he puts the entire weight of his body back of it by straightening both knees which he had bent to add the weight of his body to the blow. While chin punches from a standing position may break the jaw, die punch from under-neadi. if delivered correctly and with full force, will drive the upper jaw bones into the base of the brain and thereby cause brain concussion which can result in death to the victim. But Fitzsimmons used a preliminary blow to pave the way for his "knockout" just described: it places the opponent "off guard"

Fig. 42. If right fails to land, go into this position.

and precisely posed to reccive the "finishing punch." To accomplish this, execute the shift into the final position preceding the left hand jaw punch. Then, instead of punching the jaw, straighten up with a drive of one's left fist into the solar plexus (Figure 44). This region can he reached by a punch-push into the opponent's front middle section directly below the ribs above the stomach. By driving the blow in deep to the solar plexus, the opponent is momentarily paralyzed: he will sag at the knees, drop his hands and droop, chin forward, into die exact position to receivc the jaw "knockout." And now, be sure and go all the way back to die stooping posture, as first described, for delivery of the final punch to the jaw; ample time will be had if the solar plexus was reached, for thus the opponent is rendered temporarily helpless.

The late Stanley Ketehell told die writer that he had carefully copied the Fitzsimnions shifts in his own onslaughts, which he himself so brilliandy executed, but even Ketehell never obtained die knowledge of the combination which is herein disclosed. Ketehell gained his masterful hitting power by shifting the foot with each punch, but he did not carry his shifts dirough as herein described because of his incomplete knowledge of the Fitzsinunons method.

The writer most carefully instructed that celebrated athlete, Lieutenant Colonel Alan Shapley, USMC, of an Ail-American football team, in the art of the Fitzsimnions shift. Col. Shapley became more adept in this particular style of boxing than anyone the writer has ever seen, since Fitzsimnions. lie has scored

Fig. 43. The telling punch comes up to the chin from floor.

many knockouts as a boxer, and uses the Fitzsinimons shift to pei-fection.

The Fitzsinimons side-step is the best, but it also is unknown among the boxers today. It furnishes the easiest and surest avoidance of the peerless left jab. On die instant of an opponent's left lead, his adversary pivots, heel left, on the ball of his forward left foot so that his toes face directly to die right. At the same moment, he lifts his right foot an inch from the ground and replaces it. The logic that we think with the feet is thus proven true, as no other movement is required to remove oneself out of harm's way from the left jab. Ducking or parrying are both too slow\ The Fitzsinimons side-step, once thoroughly mastered, is the surest and safest method of avoiding the most devastating of all boxing attacks—the left jab. This left jab was the favorite attack of the late James J. Corbett, as it has since been of almost all the world's most expert boxers. It won the championship for Gene Tunney against Jack Dempsey.

Fig. 44. Optional preliminary punch is to solar plexus.

Boxing Simplified

Boxing Simplified

Devoted as I am to popularizing amateur boxing and to improving the caliber of this particularly desirable competitive sport, I am highly enthusiastic over John Walsh's boxing instruction book. No one in the United States today can equal John's record as an amateur boxer and a coach. He is highly regarded as a sportsman. Before turning to coaching and the practice of law John was one of the most successful college and Golden Gloves boxers the sport has ever known.

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