Today, while my wife and daughter were at a hair appointment, I went to the gym and after warming up simply worked on shadow boxing. Instead of just working on punches, I tried to imagine opponents standing in front of me, and worked on defense and offense--slipping and weaving into position for a hook punch, slipping and changing angles, etc. I think this kind of mind-and-body work is tremendously helpful for sparring, but I seldom take the time to do it.
It's interesting to imagine opponents you know because what might work with one person probably won't with another, so it's helpful to think about variations for different opponents in advance.
I was working on speeding up my bobbing and weaving. Larry says that when us middle-aged guys bob and weave, it's like waiting for an elevator to come back up, which kind of defeats most of the purpose of the defensive move.
When I return from Hawaii in early February, I'll return to kicking in kickboxing (I've just been boxing during free sparring). I wonder to what extent the boxing moves and skills I've focused on will still be viable when my opponent can kick as well. I think they should, but I'll just have to find out. (One thing I haven't worked on--frequently I see boxers bend at the waist when the duck--this doesn't work at all when your opponent can kick or knee you in the head. I've worked on ducking by bending at the legs.)