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View Full Version : Can a fighter develop a chin?



walshb
07-17-2007, 12:15 PM
Can a young fighter who may have a suspect or weak chin develop it better simply thru maturity and age?

I ask, because on the weekend Amir Khan was fighting, and in the 6th rd he was decked and looked really really shaky. It appeared to me and others that his chin is weak. The man who flattened him is not a hard hitter as hard hitters go. Khan was in a bad way, he fought back brilliantly and won two rds later. So the positive is that he showed he has courage and heart. But the negative is that he was very badly shook and out on his feet from a less than stellar puncher and had the guy followed up better, Khan was OUT. Am I being too hard on Khan, as he is only after turning 20 years of age. I hope he does develop the ability to really take a shot, because he's a class act and boxing needs him, at least in Britain anyway

DscribeDC
07-17-2007, 02:46 PM
Didn't Jack Dempsey used to chew some very hard tree resin to toughen his jaw muscles?

hagler04
07-17-2007, 02:57 PM
I don't think there is any real way a glass jawed fighter can 'correct' his ability, or lack thereof, to take a hard punch.

BUT, he can improve his RECUPERATIVE abilities through conditioning and endurance training.

bomma
07-17-2007, 03:31 PM
Plus I think if a fighter realizes he has a glass jaw he can change or improve his style to protect it. I think Roy Jones Jr. was a good example of this. Also Ali was knocked down a few times while coming up and many people though his chin was suspect however that was obviously a wrong assessment.

mike
07-17-2007, 03:34 PM
possibly tree resin. techniques always help-rolling with the punches, and as hagler said- recuperative powers- very much so in to do with endurance . will to win is so importantant--men get beat mentally often. but as far is i can ascertain--id agree with hagler on all this--maybe others can chime in.

diggity
07-17-2007, 04:51 PM
The ablility to anticipate & see the punches as best as possible can be helped which usually helps in being able to absorb them much more than one you don't see coming at all. I doubt there is a way to get better at taking a punch you don't see at all. Either you have the chin to take it or not & everyone as a limit.

walshb
07-17-2007, 05:03 PM
I'm inclined to agree. You either have the chin to take a flush wallop or you don't. But definitely the recuperative point is so true. If you can regain your composure quickly and shake the effects quickly, you are going to go far. Ali is a perfect example of this. Hagler is a perfect example of a steel chin. Whether he sees it or doesn't see it, he could take it. But was this always the case. Did Marvins steel chin get better with age. What I mean is, that was Hagler at 25 a steelier chinned fighter than at 20/21? If so then Khan has a chance and I will not write him off just yet!!!!

Dan1213
07-17-2007, 05:23 PM
Take a look at Ceferino Garcia's record. From ages 17-27 he was KO'd or stopped 5 times. From age 27 (after his stoppage loss to Yg. Peter Jackson) until the end of his career at age 39 he wasn't KO'd or stopped again. He was a late bloomer and definitely got better with age and experience.

1932
Mar 11-Tommy Herman………...... L KO 10
May 18-Freddie Steele…………......L KO 2
Sep 20 -Freddie Steele…………....L KO 2

1933
Jul 25- Kid Azetca…………….…......L KO 8

1934
Apr 10-Young Peter Jackson…..…LTKO 3

walshb
07-17-2007, 05:26 PM
Interesting point there Dan...but was this not more to do with possibly the quality of opposition later in his career. Maybe he wasn't nailed like he was earlier in his career. Have you seen footage of the latter part of the career, maybe showing him being nailed hard and clean and taking it?...If so and it is the case, then it's quite dramatic and rare I would say....

HE Grant
07-17-2007, 05:40 PM
no way.

Roberto Aqui
07-17-2007, 05:48 PM
Henry Armstrong was KOed in his first bout against another novice fighter. It would be 10 yrs before he suffered his only other stoppage against Zivic.

He musta been doing something different those years.

raylawpc
07-17-2007, 05:59 PM
Based on my experience, you'll never turn a glass-jawed fighter into a George Chuvalo or Jake LaMotta, but you can do some things that can help somewhat:

1. Obviously, a better conditioned fighter takes a punch better than a fighter out of shape, all other things being equal.

2. Mike hit the nail on the head by really working on a weak chinned boxer to improve his defense. The less one gets hit (or hit solidly), the less likely one is to get his glass jaw exposed.

3. We used to encourage boxers to strengthen their necks. The thinking was that a strong neck will give a boxer greater ability to absorb a punch. We had a variety of neck exercises we put boxers through, and they did seem to help some guys a little bit.

I never encouraged a boxer to chew tree resin. I never chewed it. Where do you find tree resin? Have you ever tasted tree resin?

As Dan noted, some guys do seem to develop an ability to take a punch better as they get older. I have no idea why. Maybe its pyschological?

Frank and Ron might have some additional thoughts, I hope.

Dan1213
07-17-2007, 07:06 PM
Interesting point there Dan...but was this not more to do with possibly the quality of opposition later in his career. Maybe he wasn't nailed like he was earlier in his career. Have you seen footage of the latter part of the career, maybe showing him being nailed hard and clean and taking it?...If so and it is the case, then it's quite dramatic and rare I would say....

The quality of his opposition was actually on par or better. And at age 33 he stopped Fred Apostoli in seven rounds to win a portion of the Middleweight Title. Before stopping Apostoli (who was in his prime) he beat Lloyd Marshall twice (W-10, KO-5).

Dan1213
07-17-2007, 07:30 PM
Henry Armstrong was KOed in his first bout against another novice fighter. It would be 10 yrs before he suffered his only other stoppage against Zivic.

He musta been doing something different those years.
When Armstrong turned pro he literally was a hungry fighter. He had been a successful amateur but decided to turn pro for financial reasons (under his real name Henry Melody Jackson). The reason his record is so spotty in the beginning is that he was not eating regularly and didn’t possess the strength and stamina necessary for a pro career at that time in his life. He reentered the amateurs and when he returned to the pros as Henry Armstrong he began to eat a proper diet and develop the style and stamina that made him a legend.

kikibalt
07-17-2007, 07:46 PM
The question was, can a fighter develop a chin?
I don't think a figher can develop a chin per se, like Tom said there're some neck exercises that a fighter can do that will help him somewhat, but if a fighter has a china chin, no exercises will help much, I had a fighter back in the early 60's (middleweight) that could punch like a heavyweight, but a flyweight could knock him out with a jab, well almost.

Frank

TKO Tom
07-17-2007, 08:35 PM
I agree with Frank.

I used to box when I was a teenager. I weighed 130 pounds at about 5'11" so I looked like Diego Corrales. I sparred with a guy that was about 5'8" and 210. We were just sparring easy and I decked him - and this guy had some ability. He had a body like Mike Tyson. But he could no more take a punch than an ant could move a rubber tree plant. Strangest thing.

I say no way that a guy can develop a chin. Either you can take a shot or you can't - simple as that.

I think a guy with a weak chin that can get into great shape can recover from shots though. Look at Floyd Patterson as an example. Obviously not the best whiskers in the world - but because he was always in tremendous physical shape he was able to get back up and win a few he otherwise would have lost.

Chuck1052
07-17-2007, 08:47 PM
I don't think that there is any way that a fighter can
improve his ability to take a punch to the whiskers.

- Chuck Johnston

iskigoe
07-17-2007, 09:30 PM
When I was about 14 an older kid named Pete Zazlow told me I was the perfect build for boxing. Pete was a golden glove boxer and took me in his backyard to spar. One shot to the chin and I was streched out flat. I knew right then the sport was not for me. I have endured a great deal of pain and injury in other sports, but I guess my chin is connected directly to the part of my brain that says" NO WAY". I have just seen pete after many years, he says he doesnt remember, but then it was me on the ground. He tells me he went on to do some good things in boxing. Pete goes by the name Zaz. I wonder if any of you have heard of him.

gregbeyer
07-18-2007, 03:20 AM
nope.

i had a friend who had it all. howie steindler would say say he had it here, here and here. while he was saying that he would point to his fist, his heart and his chin. otherwise forget about it.
greg

hagler04
07-18-2007, 09:51 AM
It's funny thinking back on it, all of the many rounds I sparred with cruisers and heavyweights bigger than me. You could say I had the punch . . . my right hand made a few guys do a little dance. I had a chin . . I never really thought about it but they landed a few good shots and I never went down from a shot to the chin (body shots are another story) . .did I have the heart? Well, let's put it this way. A good shot to the nose would bring out two concurring reactions . . one was "you bastard, I'm going to get you back" . .the other was "my nose! and my date on Friday night, she'll never like me now!!"

Not a recipe for greatness.

DscribeDC
07-18-2007, 10:43 AM
I don't know exactly what Dempsey used to chew, but in the bio A Flame of Pure Fire, I definitely recall that he used to chew some very tough, rubbery kind of gum-like substance. Tree resin does sound kind of funny...

DscribeDC
07-18-2007, 10:47 AM
Found this excerpt on the Web:

A great example of true dedication is to be seen in the life and career of Jack Dempsey, the famous "Manassa Mauler." Dempsey was born in 1895, and spent his youth working in mines and logging camps. He began training as a boxer in his early teens, his brother Bernie was already a prize fighter and he began to teach young William Harrison Dempsey the finer points of pugilism. They had no money and little equipment, but determined to succeed they made the best of what they had.

Dempsey recounts: "He helped me turn a chicken coop into a gymnasium. An old battered mattress was placed on the ground for tumbling and wrestling. We took a cloth bag and stuffed it with sand and sawdust to make a punching bag.

"My younger brother Johnny also got involved with our fighting. Johnny and Bernie would alternate swinging a broom in front of me while I tried to hit it as it flew through the air. We took turns skipping rope to improve our wind. We would even sprint against one of our horses (naturally giving ourselves a head start). This was supposed to improve our wind and our legs; at first it only improved our appetites and our horse.

"What with my normal boyhood scraps and the dedicated training at the coop, I actually felt that I might someday become a good fighter. But one problem remained: I was small and skinny and I didn't look like prospective champion stuff at all.

"Nevertheless Bernie worked me hard. He didn't want me to have a glass chin. He taught me to chew pine gum, straight from the trees, to strengthen my jaw. Then, after a spell, he would test me to see if I had done enough chewing by throwing a left hook at my jaw. Invariably I would be knocked down. After dusting myself off, I would chew some more of the bitter-tasting stuff. I bathed my face in beef brine to toughen the skin (Bernie called it pickling and said that if I ever got cut, I wouldn't bleed). Once a day I would trek to and from the butchers shop, carrying back pails of the stinking stuff. At first the brine burned like hell, but I got used to it. Eventually my face got as tough as a saddle."

Jack Dempsey went on to be one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Roberto Aqui
07-18-2007, 07:37 PM
Limond camp says Khan has weak chin:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/boxing/6901571.stm

raylawpc
07-18-2007, 11:56 PM
Has anybody on this board ever marinated his face in brine or chewed pine gum? I always read that about Dempsey doing it (and I don't doubt his word), but I'm always curious to talk to somebody who did it.

I'm very serious. I always wondered what the stuff tastes like.

"Jack Dempsey went on to be one of the greatest boxers of all time." Maybe I should tried harder to find me some pine gum! ;)

mike
07-19-2007, 01:41 AM
years--conditiontioned his chin to 100 percent

mike
07-19-2007, 02:09 AM
rawawpc- i imagine it=s somehing you grow up with. we do know that both help--no doubt --in the old days --brine and pine or some other substance was continueoing in it to the jaw --diererct-- cant hurt--i do hope others can chime in in this--id saty definatley --you got a cutter sllows thzt stuff every day --it has to help. jaw--yeah not-- get a s load of sap off a tree-- let this kid chew it -incessacantlty- and remind him if he gets deckied--everybody gets decked- but its ypour defence/opffensens conditioningg and many many houss of sap chewing-- that will turn the tide i meant serious- if some pro is there and starts and ends with the cuustum,asry brine and sap routine and remains 100 percent--man you have got it. ther is decking confidence and real confideffice ; that is this- chuvalo was the toughest guy i know of since his time- lets say he chewed sap for years-- and im talking for tough guys all over - and any number of kids whom decided boxing was for the living--you damd bet brine and sap would be involed --heavily---ray - i doubt the taste would diswayed many a hungry kid , if it helped in any way.

mike
07-19-2007, 02:19 AM
for me - any kid gowing pro-- will be treated to pine sap and brine on their face . if i was ther only manager- every day!!! --rerason being obvious-- but what if laff offs are of no concecentrance-- make the kid feel like a rel fighter with stink, brine, sap, plentys of everthing---and all of this is by months of traineing -- they get in thire with somebody near their appititude -- itsd good bye --they are as tough as they can be --and will prove day after day.

Dan Gunter
07-19-2007, 10:34 AM
Chiclets used to be made of chicle, which is the resin of an evergreen tree:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicle

Roberto Aqui
07-19-2007, 11:42 AM
I've bathed in brine for a week to rid myself of an impetigo skin infection I picked up from a teenage psychiatric home I used to work at.

It's well known, or it used to be before pollution, that a trip to the beach would clear up skin cuts and lesions.

I'd think a boxer would have used brine compresses rather than dunk their noggin into a bucket endlessly.

ArneK.
07-19-2007, 11:58 AM
I could never bet on Roger Mayweather after he got blasted out by Rocky Lockridge and JC Superstar (in their first meeting). It was plain that he had a china chin in the fashion of Ruby Goldstein. However, I witnessed most of Roger's late Vegas fights close up and saw him absorb some hard shots that barely made him flinch. Darned if his chin didn't get sturdier as his career progressed -- a great mystery to me. Go figure.

raylawpc
07-19-2007, 01:01 PM
A more famous example might be the Great Benny Leonard, who lost at least three bouts by KO or TKO in his first two years as a pro (1911-1912), but wasn't stopped again until in his unfortunate comback loss in 1932 to Jimmy McLarnin.

ArneK.
07-19-2007, 02:27 PM
Leonard is an excellent example, but Mayweather came quickly to mind because he was felled like a deer by Chavez, who wasn't a one-punch knockout artist. Turning the coin around with respect to Leonard, a more fascinating aspect of his career is that his knockout ratio improved as his competition got stronger, the opposite of the normal pattern. I imagine this had a lot to do with the fact that his early fights were contested under the "no decision" rule. Jewish boxing writers have accentuated Leonard's mental acuity, but in truth he was a wicked combination puncher who threw caution to the wind in several of his important ring battles.

raylawpc
07-19-2007, 03:30 PM
According to a article I read sometime back, Billy Gibson, Benny's manager, credited Doc Robb with turning Leonard into a better puncher.

Dan1213
07-19-2007, 06:27 PM
for me - any kid gowing pro-- will be treated to pine sap and brine on their face . if i was ther only manager- every day!!! --rerason being obvious-- but what if laff offs are of no concecentrance-- make the kid feel like a rel fighter with stink, brine, sap, plentys of everthing---and all of this is by months of traineing -- they get in thire with somebody near their appititude -- itsd good bye --they are as tough as they can be --and will prove day after day.

Mike, this is from your article in IBRO on boxing techniques:

The great Charley Goldman stated that fighters from his era had tougher skin for two reasons: (1) they didn’t use headgear, and (2) they’d bathe their face in brine. He said, “It doesn’t make sense to train with headgear if you fight without them. I never wore headgear and I must have had 300 fights. I don’t remember getting cut but once.” “It’s simple,” he said, “you cover something up, you protect it, it becomes tender, that’s what happens to the skin around a fighter’s eyes. His second point, “The use of brine was prevalent. Fighters such as Terry McGovern would bathe their face with brine before and after every workout. Their skin got to be real leathery. It had to be or those fellows never would have been able to fight 25 and 30 rounds.” Dr Vincent Nardiello stated, “others used a solution of water and rock salt.” Dr Nardiello also commented on headgear stating his own personal reflection when he boxed under the name of Jimmy Sheppard to earn his way through medical school. “Speaking from my own experience, when I started, there were a few times when I butted heads in the gym, and because I didn’t have a headguard, I felt it plenty. As a result, I made darn sure of my technique the next time I moved so it wouldn’t happen again. It stands to reason, that a fighter would learn the proper technique if they didn’t go in there wearing football helmets ”

raylawpc
07-19-2007, 07:00 PM
Where does one get brine nowadays? When I was a kid and had just started boxing, I read Jack Dempsey's comments about brine. Sounded like a byproduct of food to me, so I drove up to our neighborhood grocer to get some. When I told him I wanted to buy some "brine," he looked at me like I had an eye in the middle of my forehead. (I'm glad I didn't ask for pine gum.)

As I wrote earlier, I read about Dempsey talking about brine and tree resin or pine gum, but where do you get the stuff? Has anyone on the board ever used it?

I hope I don't sound too silly on this thread, but I always read about this stuff when I was a kid, and now this discussion kind of has me intrigued with it all over again.

kikibalt
07-19-2007, 07:29 PM
As I wrote earlier, I read about Dempsey talking about brine and tree resin or pine gum, but where do you get the stuff? Has anyone on the board ever used it?

Used it? hell I don't even know what it is.

HE Grant
07-19-2007, 08:45 PM
Keep in mind when Leonard was losing he was a teenager fighting men.

Elwill7847
07-19-2007, 09:36 PM
Exactly.

Roberto Aqui
07-19-2007, 10:32 PM
Where does one get brine nowadays? .

Brine is salt water. It don't take a genious to make it, though you have to be careful how you dispose of it.

raylawpc
07-19-2007, 11:27 PM
I wish they had the internet when I was a kid. If anyone is interested, I found a recipe for brine:

http://waltonfeed.com/old/brine.html

I'm pretty sure you don't let your face soak in it for six days, however. ;)

raylawpc
07-19-2007, 11:40 PM
Brine is salt water. It don't take a genious to make it, though you have to be careful how you dispose of it.

Roberto, does it take a genius to spell genius? ;)

raylawpc
07-20-2007, 12:13 AM
Keep in mind when Leonard was losing he was a teenager fighting men.

Both Joe Shrugue and Frankie Fleming were also teens when they fought Leonard, although both were older, according to Boxrec. I'm not sure about Finnegan; Boxrec doesn't list his age.

kikibalt
07-21-2007, 07:53 PM
http://i15.tinypic.com/6gbdf8l.jpg
He never did, Roy Jones ;)

Roberto Aqui
07-21-2007, 08:39 PM
Roberto, does it take a genius to spell genius? ;)

Well, the short answer is NO, obviously.
The long and short of it is, who wins: Gene Genii Vs Jinn Jinii?
I say Jean Je ne sais quoi whoops 'em all.

Nice pithy, bang on question though. :cool:

raylawpc
07-21-2007, 08:57 PM
Better pithy than pissy.

PeteLeo
07-21-2007, 11:28 PM
Or prissy. PeteLeo.

gregbeyer
07-21-2007, 11:41 PM
all due respect to my buddy rocky a new name keeps jumping into my head....
vic NO chinian. sorry ....couldn't resist.
greg

starlingstomp
07-22-2007, 02:23 PM
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pjow9JmmMcs

Khan's fight with Limond that initially prompted the thread