Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition Blog

Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition

The Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about topics related to sports and sports fitness, general fitness, bodybuilding, nutrition, weight loss, and human health. Here, you'll find everything from nutritional information and advice about healthy eating to training and exercise tips for improving your overall well-being.

Previous in Blog: The Science of Swat: Metal Bats vs. Wood Bats   Next in Blog: Turbulent: A Golf Game
Close
Close
Close
21 comments

Fight Night Physics

Posted December 28, 2011 3:22 PM by HUSH

Violence advisory: boxing videos linked below

Mike Tyson is supposedly the hardest puncher ever to don a pair of boxing gloves professionally. While Tyson might be more infamous for his quotes, tattoos and antics (see: The Hangover) outside of the boxing ring, Tyson's career record leaves no dispute of his ferocious fighting faculties: 50 wins, 6 losses, no draws, 2 no contests (including a staggering 44 wins by knockout).

This is happy Mike Tyson. via missxpose

My point? Tyson was a beast, and his ability to harness his body like a physical machine overpowered his enemies.

Perhaps likening a highly trained boxer's punch to a machine is an apt analogy. Fighters spend hours in the gym, in the ring sparring, and practicing punching form to be able to throw a uniform, precise punch in a flash. Their skill is considerably more advanced than any barroom brawler and they're paid because of it.

This wouldn't be CR4 if there wasn't a science behind the fight. While it's practically impossible to dissect and analyze a person's ability to take a punch, said punch is easier to calculate.

First realize that when a fighter has his hands drawn and ready to begin his pugilistic contest, his muscles and momentum have potential energy stored. As soon as the fighter begins to prepare for the punch potential energy is transferred into kinetic energy. In the instance of a cross punch (a punch from the rear hand), beginning with a firm planting of the rear foot the boxer twists his torso toward his opponent, moving his punching shoulder forward and gaining valuable momentum. As the punch is thrown, the arm extends and accelerates, reaching its highest velocity when the punch connects or just before the fighter retracts their arm. Scientists have estimated that a boxer's punch regularly speeds over 25 mph and the kinetic energy of the punch can be determined using the formula: KE = .5 • M • V¬≤ (M: mass of the arm, glove, fist and body leverage; V: velocity)

Other punches such as jabs, hooks and uppercuts use less kinetic energy. Jabs and hooks are thrown from the lead hand, so they have less velocity and do not impose the same force as a cross. Uppercuts can relinquish massive damage to an opponent, but only when used in a combo. For this exercise, we'll be focusing mainly on the cross punch-- the strongest single punch-and for our purposes, the punch will land on the cheek of the opponent, squarely and unblocked.

Now, we have little need to calculate the kinetic energy of a punch (for the record, it can be anywhere from 100-450 joules) but let's discuss the two variables. The mass of a boxer's punch (the combined arm, hand, glove and body leverage) will not change during a fight, but the velocity of the punch can. Meaning the only way to throw a harder punch is to throw it faster. Since the formula for velocity is: V=distance/time, the only way to throw a faster punch is for the fist to travel a greater distance or for the punch's duration to be shorter. A punch's distance is limited by the fighter's arm length, so shortening the duration of the punch is the only applicable option.

Do I still have you? Good. So how do faster punches translate to boxing success? Let Jack Dempsey show off a bit and then I'll explain.

The momentum carried to the opponent's head is virtually what equates to boxing success, inflicting pain and literally brain damage. Momentum (via: momentum= mass •velocity) transferred to the opponent can only be changed by differing the velocity of the punch.

The George Foreman Defense via George Foreman Cooking

To give you a good idea about the momentum of the boxer's punch, let's examine the difference in the momentum of the boxer's target. The opponent boxer usually has no momentum, until he is struck by the punch where he received the punch's momentum. This is the impulse, ascertained by the formula of: impulse = force • time. Force is achieved by mass • velocity¬≤. Since impulse is the amount of momentum transferred through the punch and the mass of the punch is constant, velocity and time are the only variables under the fighter's control.

Recall that the only way to make a punch faster is to increase the punch's distance (impossible), or shorten it's time. A fighter stepping in reverse will increase the time it takes to get hit, which will result in a slower velocity. Because force is dependent on velocity, and velocity is dependent on time, the impulse relinquished is diminished. An uncommon tactic is called "rope-a-dope," where a fighter stays to the perimeter of his opponent's punches, awaiting exhaustion.

So in short, the best singular punches are fast punches. (Note: don't confuse a single punch with a combo). When you're preparing for next week's Manny Pacquiao fight, you can tell all your friends how to throw the best punch and seem way more into boxing then any of them even though you can't pronounce "Pacquiao."

Whoa Manny, whoa. via MGM Grand

The National Geographic special "Fight Science" has a good breakdown on a boxer's punch.

And there it is, the key to a good boxing victory. Now, as I said it's harder to determine the ability to take a punch (attributes like a thick skull, courage and stupidity probably help) but based on how Mike Tyson talks, I think he might be able to help that side of your boxing game as well.

References

http://www.science.ca/askascientist/viewquestion.php?qID=821

http://www2.franciscan.edu/academic/mathsci/mathscienceintegation/MathScienceIntegation-856.htm

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=5538765E-E7F2-99DF-393E0A0CD7821157

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/boxing/news/story?id=3168817

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing#Punches

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#1

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/28/2011 7:27 PM

Great subject, but I wish you would have left Tyson's name out of it.

He's a punk, idiot, poor sport, baby...........................................anything, but an athlete.

As far as I'm concerned, Tyson and boxing don't belong in the same sentence since the night he bit Holyfield's ear off.

I guess he's one of the greatest..................if you happen to like dog fighting.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply
Anonymous Poster #1
#2
In reply to #1

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/28/2011 11:04 PM

i cant comment on the ear-off between holyfield and tyson ...

however i would suggest there are alot of people who would respect tyson for the pure ability , and also give him compassion and sympathy for the informed view that his jail term for rape was a gross injustice.

as tyson said " his mistake was not walking the girl down to the car like a gentleman after they had sex "

the complainant was at best a vexatious girl looking for revenge , attention or money , or at worst , possibly in a conspiracy involving Don king.

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#4
In reply to #2

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 6:29 AM

You're getting off into his personal life, which I really don't care about.

I was watching the fight when he bit Holyfield. It probably ranks as the most disgusting display in modern sports. Any talent he had, (which was substantial), was nullified that night. He could have been the greatest boxer of all time.........................but after that, it doesn't matter.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Active Contributor

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Burbank, CA and Albany, NY
Posts: 10
Good Answers: 1
#5
In reply to #4

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 6:55 AM

I agree with you that you almost have to look at Tyson under the handling of Cus D Amato and stop there. What I do NOT agree with you about is suggesting Tyson could have been the greatest boxer of all time. Tyson was NEVER a boxer. He was always a puncher. One of the greatest Puncher/Boxers of all time was someone, also with a very storied past, and who does not get enough praise because of it, was Sonny Liston. He was exceptional. To even consider Tyson over the likes of Joe Louis or Sugar Ray Robinson is nuts. He can't even breathe the same air as those two. If anyone reading this gets a chance, read the book Jacob's Beach. Terrific book on mid-20th Century of what went on in Boxing.

__________________
Marketing, Sales and Overall Strategic Planning for SMB industrial manufacturers.
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#6
In reply to #5

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 7:22 AM

Well sure. Boxing is an art form. I'm surprised you didn't mention Ali. People loved to hate him back in the day, but he used all of the tools at his disposal................................grandstanding, dancing around the ring, playing head games with his opponents to get them enraged and throw off their game, etc.,..................and then he would come in for the kill.

As far as Tyson goes, maybe not so much practicing the art of boxing, but as far as raw power is concerned.................................forget about it. If he connected, it hurt!

You make a good point though...............unlike other boxers, Tyson's fighting ability was driven by primal rage. He demonstrated his inability to control it with Holyfield, and it was his undoing.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Active Contributor

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Burbank, CA and Albany, NY
Posts: 10
Good Answers: 1
#9
In reply to #6

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 9:21 AM

This is fast becoming an interesting discussion. Your original premise was and remains THE PUNCH. Nonetheless, you now bring Ali into the picture who was NEVER a puncher. He was a pure boxer who, after wearing down an opponent, could knock them out. No one feared his punch, they feared his cutting jabs and his agility in the ring. Same with Sugar Ray Leonard. Whereas Tyson, Forman, Shavers, Norton, Frazier, Max Bear, Joe Louis, Duran, Hearns, Hagler and others all had devastating punches that opponents feared. (I put Norton in there reluctantly, but he did nail Dwayne Bobick in sixteen seconds of the first round.) Yes, boxing IS an art form, especially when one combines boxing with punching. Which is why Liston, Joe Louis, Hearns, Hagler and at times Duran were so beautiful to watch.

__________________
Marketing, Sales and Overall Strategic Planning for SMB industrial manufacturers.
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#10
In reply to #9

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 9:57 AM

I don't feel like debating about different boxers. My original point...............and my only point, is that Tyson is not worthy of being part of the discussion. That's it.

There are plenty of others that respected the sport and were great boxers. I don't understand why Tyson was chosen as the headliner of this blog.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Richland, WA, USA
Posts: 21007
Good Answers: 781
#3

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 5:15 AM

I just want to see Mike Tyson try to punch out the Pillsbury Doughboy, who would probably be resilient enough to take it and bounce back smiling.

__________________
In vino veritas; in cervisia carmen; in aqua E. coli.
Reply
Guru
CR4 Admins - CR4 Admin - CR4 Admin Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member United States - Member - New Member Popular Science - Weaponology - Ingeniería en Español - Nuevo Miembro - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Crime Alley, Gotham City
Posts: 680
Good Answers: 9
#7

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 9:02 AM

The post is less about Tyson and his flaws, and more about the respect for his boxing ability, specifically his cross. A few sources placed him amongst the hardest hitters ever.

__________________
HUSH
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#8
In reply to #7

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 9:13 AM

You're right. The point I was trying to make, is that his inabilility to contol his temper should preclude him from any conversation about boxing. There are plenty of hard hitters that we can talk about. He rendered himself unworthy of being a part of any conversation that pertains to boxing..........................much less pasting up a big picture of his sorry a$$.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply
Guru
CR4 Admins - CR4 Admin - CR4 Admin Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member United States - Member - New Member Popular Science - Weaponology - Ingeniería en Español - Nuevo Miembro - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Crime Alley, Gotham City
Posts: 680
Good Answers: 9
#11
In reply to #8

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 2:50 PM

I'm not provoking an argument, just discussion:

Pete Rose should be banned from baseball then? Roman Polanski films, they shouldn't be distributed in America?

Just seeing if it's possible to dissociate a person's personal demons from their talent...

__________________
HUSH
Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Richland, WA, USA
Posts: 21007
Good Answers: 781
#12
In reply to #11

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 3:19 PM

Poor Kramarat is getting clobbered with his own boomerangs here, talking more than anyone else about the unmentionable name.

__________________
In vino veritas; in cervisia carmen; in aqua E. coli.
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#13
In reply to #12

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 3:51 PM

I'm used to it.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#14
In reply to #11

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 4:06 PM

Apples and oranges. I don't think Pete Rose should be banned from baseball, unless he was found to be intentionally throwing the games....................which he wasn't. Now, if Pete Rose lost his cool during a game and clocked some other player over the head with a baseball bat........................hell yes he should be banned.

My opinion of Tyson is based only on what he did to Holyfield in the ring that night. None of his personal stuff matters to me in the least.

I mean c'mon man.......................we're talking about a grown man biting off another man's ear during a sporting event. He disgraced the sport, and he disgraced himself.........................in front of the whole world. It's just my opinion, but I don't think his name should be brought up again in connection to boxing. Especially in the context of what a great hitter he was. He's not a great anything. It does every other boxer that played by the rules a disservice.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#15
In reply to #11

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 4:33 PM

Let me put it this way:

Suppose you had two coworkers at work...................Tim and Tom.

Both of them have done a lot for the company, helped the bottom line, and helped put them on the map.

Tim plays by the rules and is a pretty decent guy. Tom's a guy that likes to bend the rules, both at work and in his personal life, but he gets the job done.

A chance for a big promotion comes up, and both Tim and Tom are up for the position. Well, before the announcement, Tim gets in a car wreck and ends up in the hospital.

Come to find out, Tom cut his brake lines and was the one that caused the accident.

Now, would you expect to see Tom's name keep popping up in the company newsletter, touting his accomplishments? Or would Tom's name just quietly disappear from everything?

I kind of feel bad for the blogger..........................I'm sure they didn't see this coming.

Just in case you've forgotten:

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/551008/

To me, this nixes all of his accomplishments.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply
2
Active Contributor

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Burbank, CA and Albany, NY
Posts: 10
Good Answers: 1
#16
In reply to #15

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 6:12 PM

I feel sorry for the blogger who simply wished to make a point on the power of the punch. Instead, that discussion has left the building and what remains is a discussion on moral values. Are you kidding me? If you want moral values, then STAY OUT OF BOXING!! There has been more nasty, despicable, immoral and illegal things done in and outside of the boxing ring, ALL related to boxing to fill volumes of books. The mob ran the fights in the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Don King runs it now. If you're looking for a Saint, I think you need to look to another sport. You probably saw the movie Cinderella Man with Russell Crowe playing Jim Braddock. Well Braddock went on to face Joe Louis and really didn't care whether he won or lost because he couldn't lose. He owned a sizable piece of Joe Louis and was going to go home with a big chunk of the purse money, either way. There is so much that goes on in boxing that you never see. So you instead, go insane over what you do see, like Tyson biting Hollyfield's ear. But, apparently, you're Ok when a boxer like Emile Griffith, a tremendous fighter who also happened to be gay, under boxing rules and done legally, killed Benny Paret. Boxing IS what it IS! You ain't gonna find Mother Theresa in Boxing. It's a sport where those lowest on the cultural rung come to get out of their own situation. (You really should study the sport. It is fascinating in history, technique and stories to say the least.) This blog is NOT about Mike Tyson. It is about the POWER OF THE PUNCH. It just so happens that Tyson had one of the most powerful punches of all time. No one wants to put him on a pedestal or say what a great human being he is. The blogger has only stated the fact that Tyson was a devastating puncher. Period. End of sentence. End of discussion. Move on, there is nothing to see here.

__________________
Marketing, Sales and Overall Strategic Planning for SMB industrial manufacturers.
Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#17
In reply to #16

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/29/2011 9:23 PM

Believe me..................I wish I had never brought it up.

But, since you seem to be of the opinion that nothing about boxing is good, and all boxers are scumbags at heart, I feel obligated to disagree with that also. I'm not passing judgement on the world of boxing. Only one boxer, and only based on one thing he did while in the ring.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#18
In reply to #11

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/30/2011 7:02 AM

HUSH. I just realized that you're the blogger.

It is a good blog...................I just don't like Tyson. I had paid money to watch that fight on cable. Everything was just right....................beer, snacks, nice big TV, good crowd of friends................................and then THAT!!!

I'm sure you can imagine how pi$$ed off we were when they called the fight. The big ugly picture at the top of your blog brought me back.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply
Guru
CR4 Admins - CR4 Admin - CR4 Admin Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member United States - Member - New Member Popular Science - Weaponology - Ingeniería en Español - Nuevo Miembro - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Crime Alley, Gotham City
Posts: 680
Good Answers: 9
#19
In reply to #18

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/30/2011 10:47 AM

As long as discussion is provoked, I'm content. Whether technically or athletically apt (this blog bleeds both) I'm just here for the ride.

I can understand your position and thank you for expressing it, especially tactfully.

__________________
HUSH
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#20
In reply to #19

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/30/2011 6:09 PM

It's the the blogs and threads that stir up a little controversy, that end up being the most interesting and conversation generating.................keep up the good work.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#21
In reply to #19

Re: Fight Night Physics

12/30/2011 6:30 PM

Tactful?

Sometimes I'm a little shy, and have difficulty expressing my true feelings. I'll try to be more forthright in the future.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 21 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Altfeld (3); Anonymous Poster (1); HUSH (3); kramarat (12); Tornado (2)

Previous in Blog: The Science of Swat: Metal Bats vs. Wood Bats   Next in Blog: Turbulent: A Golf Game

Advertisement