This is a
difficult fight to pick. But it does seem that Basilio's plan is sound, his
style is right and that his gamester heart will give the middleweight division
a new and very popular champion.
With a big man you have to stay in close, don't give him punching room, work
the body. One way, though, for me to stop his long hook is just to cock my
right like this (1). This low crouch (2) is characteristic of me, but Robinson
may want me to do just this for his characteristic uppercut when I come out of
it. He brings it right off the floor—with power. He gets great leverage from
his calf muscles. Even if I've got my face covered he might catch me in the
stomach, between my elbows. This (3) is the long left hook that finished Gene
Fullmer in their second fight. A hard right to the body could beat it if, on
the follow-through, I protect my chin with my shoulder. The simplest way for me
to get close is (4) to get inside his jab and hook him. If he sends his long
right to the head (5) I'll come under it with a hook to the body. Get Inside!
He tends to carry his right hand low when he throws his long right to the
kidney (6). I'll try to tear inside, block it with my left and catch him on the
jaw with a short right, my shoulder guarding against his hook.
When I'm inside I'll keep my combinations to the body short, quick, hard. For
instance, I'll duck in fast and take his left hook past my ear. Then, depending
on whether his right hand is up or down, I'll hook him twice; either I'll dig
up to the stomach (1) and hook to his head (2) or I'll reverse the combination.
I'll follow with a short right to the head (3).