Where Did This Power Come From?
There is an axiom in boxing that says. "You can’t teach power. Either a fighter is born with it or not." Hundreds and hundreds of fighters have proven it to be true. However, in analyzing the punching of power hitters, some things are evident.
How a fighter sets himself when he delivers a blow affects power. A "boxer" like Mohamed Ali was on his toes, mobile, with little contact with the floor when he hits. The force of his impact comes only from his arms and shoulders. However, a "slugger" like Marciano plants his feet flat as he punches, using the floor for leverage to get more body weight behind the punch. Power is affected by a fighter's "commitment to the punch." A fighter who is thinking about a counterattack when he throws a punch is not committed to the punch. A fighter who accepts that he might get hit with a weak counterpunch and could care less, will put everything into a punch.
Jack Dempsey, the Manassas Mauler, in his book Championship Punching, describes a "falling step" punch that uses body mass to generate power.
"Let your arms dangle loosely at your sides; you won't need to use them in the (falling) step...Bend your body slightly forward as you shift your weight forward onto your (lead) foot so that your (rear) foot is resting only on the ball...NOW - WITHOUT ANY PRELIMINARY MOVEMENTS - take a long, quick step forward with your (lead) foot toward the object at which your (lead) foot had been pointing at. I emphasize 'no preliminary movement' before the step. You unquestionably will be tempted to shift some of the weight...NO PRELIMINARY MOVEMENT! Just lift the (lead) foot and LET THE BODY FALL FORWARD IN A LONG, QUICK STEP."
Marciano’s incredible power began in his feet as they pushed off the mat, then it moved through his thick, muscular legs, the swivel of his hips, and the twist he put into his upper body as he snapped forward his short arm and finally it erupted at hissfist. The power of a punch is calculated by the energy applied to the target. So the kinetic energy of Marciano's punch, that is the degree of damage the punch would generate, is equal to 1/2 mass x velocity x velocity (1/2mv2).. The power of a punch is calculated by the energy applied to the target. So the kinetic energy of Marciano's punch, that is the degree of damage the punch would generate, is equal to 1/2 mass x velocity x velocity (1/2mv2). Rocky's striking mass was equal to the mass of his arm plus the body mass he shoved forward behind punch. As the arm punches forward, the time from beginning to end of the punch increases as you increase the distance of the punch. Since velocity = feet per sec, that means the longer the range the less velocity. Since energy generated is mass times velocity x velocity, if your punches are short, as was Marciano's, your velocity is incredible! Moreover, the transmitted energy at impact is enormous! Joe Louis, who was knocked out by Rocky in the 8th round, said of Marciano, "It hurt to bump into him...." Archie Moore, who was knocked out by Rocky in the 9th round, when asked by reporters which of Marciano's punches hurt him the most, said, "Man they all hurt." Fred Brown said, "He hits you with something that looks like a little tap to the crowd, but the guy who gets it shakes right down to his legs."