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'Josh Kelly's Boxing Style?'
A Man Question from the Appropriate Corner


What is your opinion on Josh Kelly's boxing style? I dont think I've ever seen anyone who fights quite like him.

-Mars Ultor

Josh Kelly is a superbly talented athlete who proves that the racial prejudice that ruled boxing perceptions for 50 years, that whites did not have the hand speed or eye-hand-coordination to compete with blacks, was just an excuse for white men to do safer things than box.

That said, Ray Robison would KO him in the first round.

Josh has the eye-hand-coordination and speed of boxing's best, Ray Robinson, but not the reach and his chin is relatively untested, whereas we know Ray had a rock jaw.

A man like Triple G—at the same weight—would take him down, due to Josh's reliance on that low guard. Since he is so much quicker of hand and eye, he is able to punish ordinary fighters with up jabs, shovel hooks, shovel jab, even lead, rear-hand uppercuts!

But fighters of his caliber with higher hands—and more importantly a hand span lead—would cause him to wreck. He reminds me more of Roy Jones Junior than any other boxer and as soon as Roy lost that one notch of speed that set him apart, his star fell fast out of the boxing sky.

Any of Josh's fights—I viewed 4—provide the survival boxer with an excellent case study for dealing with ordinary goons who cannot box.

Note how low Josh holds his hands?

That is necessary for him to do so that his opponent will throw instead of just shell up. It is easiest to hurt a man who is throwing.

Likewise, in a self-defense situation, we do not strike the passive man, only he who is seeking to strike or close with us.

We are best served doing this from a talking hand guard, with the lead low, so as not to place ourselves in a mutual combat situation, but a self-defense situation.

Study Josh for how to throw punches from a low lead. He is much better at this than Ali was.

Note how he pivots out on his heel and digs his hip into almost every punch even as he angles off line.

The man is a biomechanical genius, who, against a good pro, has about the same advantage that a good amateur boxer should have against an unskilled goon.

Don't box like Josh.

Do defend yourself on the street like Josh does in the ring.

Compare Kelly with Jones below, and note that they build power and delivery via the feint, the core of the blade duelist's art. These men would have once fought with swords. Imagine that.

Being a Bad Man in a Worse World

Fighting Smart: Boxing, Agonistics & Survival

Add Comment
Mars UltorJuly 17, 2017 8:04 AM UTC

Got it.

Listening to you talk about your experiences with writing I thought maybe I could point you in the direction of a few people who know a whole hell of a lot more than me. If you aren't already familiar with him you might want to check out Dean Wesley Smith's blog, specifically his "killing the sacred cows of publishing" line of articles, and possibly check out his wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch's blog with an eye to her "Business Musings" topics. They both have hundreds of books under their belts and have published traditionally, independently and everything in between. Between the two of them there seems to be a lot of good info that might help you become a more financially successful writer. You could also look into J.A. Konrath's blog, and the Mad Genius Club website.

I suspect you would get more out of Dean and Kristine's writings since they are more business oriented, while Konrath tends to focus on macro trends in publishing and the MGC are all over the place due to their rotating roster of writers. In any case I hope that you might find these resources to be helpful given how much I found your writings to be the same.
Mars UltorJuly 17, 2017 4:08 AM UTC

James, thanks for sharing your thoughts. They were, as always, interesting. As was your thoughts on how you would advise him were you involved with his training. I'm actually listening to your interview on the "Two Kevins Podcast" as I type this, and for some reason you sound nothing like I thought you would. Based on the way you describe yourself I've always pictured you as Mickey from the rocky series. I'm currently looking for a Boxing gym in my own city and the first question I ask them, based on your counsel from a while back is "what is the first thing I will be doing?". So far none have said shadow boxing and until one does I'll keep looking. Fortunately this is a city with a lot of boxing gyms.
responds:July 17, 2017 7:16 AM UTC

Shadow boxing or line drills. The line drill is the precursor to shadow boxing.

Stay away from the joints who promote mitt work over bag work and sparring.

Also, no sparring for at least six weeks.

Good luck.