Fighting a swarmer, or “infighter”, can be a daunting experience for a new boxer. Swarmers are considered the most exciting boxers to watch for a reason – and that’s because they are fast, throw a lot of punches, and land knockouts. Not the funnest thing to face as an opponent.
Beat a Swarmer by Pivoting
A swarmers fight relies on constant forward aggression. If you can throw this movement off, it is always to your advantage. That is why when fighting a swarmer, footwork is incredibly important.
By pivoting, you can throw your opponent off-balance, while simultaneously opening up holes for you to hit them. Several strategic times to employ a pivot are:
- Following a clinch
- After you slip a punch
- After you throw a counterpunch
- After you land a hook or straight
Beat a Swarmer by by Faking the Retreat
Swarmers like their opponents to continually be retreating so that they can take advantage of the holes that exposes in your defense. However, they are not used to opponents coming towards them with forward momentum of their own.
A way to capitalize on this is to fake a retreat, but then step forward again with a hard strike. As the swarmer approaches you, or when he throws a punch, step back with your rear foot, and slide your front foot following it. Then immediately take a sharp step forward with your front foot while throwing a jab, and throw a hard straight/cross as your right foot slides forward.
This can sometimes cause a knockout against a swarmer because your hard cross can catch their head just as it is moving in towards you.
Beat a Swarmer by Working the Clinches
Because swarmers fight at close range, they clinch more than other boxers. Swarmers use the clinch to open up momentary holes in your defense, by clinching, and then throwing a quick uppercut.
When fighting a swarmer you must be wary of their clinching tactics, and counter them with your own. Pivoting is an extremely effective way to get out of a clinch and avoid their blow while simultaneously exposing their head for your own punch.
Beat a Swarmer by Counterpunching
When a swarmer advances, they usually do so with a flurry of punches. Because their first punch is being immediately followed by two more, it dissuades many opponents from attempting to counterpunch.
That does not mean that counterpunching isn’t an effective means of stopping a swarmer. If I swarmer is leading with a 1-2-3, and you slip the jab and follow with a cross of your own, than even if their next punch lands, it is going to be incredibly weakened.
Don’t let their flurry of punches scare you from counterpunching. When you do land your counterpunches, move or pivot immediately afterwards. Swarmers have good chins, so they will look to begin advancing again, but if you have changed direction, you will throw them off further.