The maize ball is shaped like a speed bag, except rather than being swelled by an air bladder, the maize bag is filled with granules that give it weight. It is suspended to the ceiling with a chain, and its weight allows it to swing back and forth quickly. The maize bag is also called the slip bag.
The maize ball is used to practice defense, specifically using head movement (i.e. slipping and ducking) to avoid punches. The maize ball is not meant to be hit. You push it so that it swings back and forth. Christy Halbert, author of The Ultimate Boxer, says, “Move purposefully around the maze [sic] ball; don’t just get out of its way.” 1 The point is to practice getting used to the movements involved in slipping and rolling under punches. Having a moving object to dodge helps with timing and getting used to having something come at you while you react calmly and efficiently. When you practice, you should stand directly under where the bag would hang if it were not moving. Also, as your competence with the defensive maneuvers increases, add some offense. Start throwing quick counters and combinations after each evasive movement. This helps to improve your “flow”. A sign of a great fighter is the ability to transition seamlessly from offensive to defense and back. Making it a point to work offense and defense on the maize bag will do wonders for your boxing game.
1. Halbert, Christy. The Ultimate Boxer. Brentwood, TN: ISI Publishing, 2003.