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'To the Ropes'
Michael Dokes vs Randal Randy Tex Cobb Tough FIGHT

Below are two fights between Dokes and Cobb. The first fight has a lot of technical pointers for a slower and less experienced boxer, on how to nullify his opponent's advantages and make it a fight.


In this intelligently commentated fight, one gets a clinic on how to combat a faster, more skilled and more muscular boxer, by punching his chest and shoulder. If you don't know who Dokes is he was a standout heavy who did too much coke and had a fantastic brawl with Evander Holyfield, when the cruiserweight champion moved up to challenge the heavies.

Cobb remains effective by using off-beat timing and body counters with a surprisingly tight defense.

1. In the first round he throws his right to Dokes' left chest muscle and shoulder, which is a sound strategy for dealing with a sharp puncher who uses a rising jab.

2. The low left jab and left jab to the chest of Dokes are a way to get Dokes to guard low so that his shoulder can be hit. The game change came at about 2:00 of this round when Dokes smashed Cobb with a sickening left hook which had zero effect. You then see Dokes lose confidence in his face and begin to move away.

3. After throwing 90% of his punches to the body for 2 rounds, and making certain Dokes is in a low guard groove, Tex goes upstairs and opens the fight up, Dokes fires back with a lot of muscular effort, even scoring a short jumping hook, a sign that he might gas later. Cobb's lazy, relaxed attack is very corrosive of a muscular puncher.

4. The announcer, used to amateur bouts and counting points, does not understand the attrition battle and credits Dokes body shots but not Cobb's body shots, even though twice Dokes has to break away and shake out his left arm so he can use it again. Do note that you have to be able to take your opponent's power shots to employ Cobb's strategy. But if a guy with hands as slow as Cobb tried to fight the perfect fight he'd never get anywhere. Dokes has abandoned his foot movement for this fight as a function of Cobb being there to be easily hit. He took the bait—which is Randy's face.

5. Dokes scores scorching power combinations and fails to slow down Cobb, while Cobb's jabs back Dokes up. Cobb has thrown a chopping inside overhand righto the body, very unusual, and might account for Dokes' baking out after scoring heavy.

6. Dokes cleanly wins the round. Look at how steady Cobb's right guard is, stopping a punch early on, shielding against most hooks and sending two uppercuts to the chin with hip torque. He should have punched to the body more. The fatigue in Dokes' left is getting bad enough that the announcer picks up on it towards end of round.

7. Middle of round a furious exchange is ignited by a right hand to Dokes' shoulder and it all goes down hill from there, with him set on his heels by strong jabs, hit with a few rights to the head, and as he is shaking is left hand out at the end of the round Cobb punches him in the heart with a straight right. Punching the shoulder of a snap jabber operating from a low guard opens up his chin and his heart.

8. Note how Cobb guards against the clinch with wing blocks and forearm to collar bone press. His jab is effective against Dokes who sunk in some sizzling combinations. This round is a tactical draw, but for Cobb a strategic loss, because he did not combo jab upstairs and sink the right into the body.

9. Cobb seems to lose steam and Dokes does what he has to to out score him. At this point it looks like Dokes should get the decision, unless he drops the next round. How to score the fight is a huge issue, in that Dokes gives ground when he gets hit and Cobb does not, so imposition of will has been owned by Cobb even as Dokes has out-pointed him. In an amateur fight Dokes would have been a clear leader in every round.

10. Dokes wins the majority decision when he should have shut Cobb out on paper. Cobb's body attack put him into a close fight that he didn't technically have the experience for. I thought all three judges scored the fight correctly.


The two battlers meet again in the rematch featured in the second video. The story of the second fight is relaxation verses tension and timing versus work-rate in two mature fighters not in their best condition and losing form. The fighter commentating immediately picks out Cobb's not very obvious body attack. Non-fighters tend not to notice straight punches to the body.

Cobb's corner gives the best possibey advice based on the last fight and their advancing age, "3-4 jabs and then a right to the body." This tactic would have probably won him the decision in the first fight. Unfortunately, Cobb, in his later years is reaching to make up for lost timing and they have a no decision stoppage on a head butt.

The Punishing Art

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BobSeptember 8, 2018 11:45 AM UTC

Great fight, that first one. Love those '70s afros.