This Official Xbox Magazine preview of Fight Night Champion offers a look at the boxing franchise's gameplay. More importantly, they're fooling with the analog controls again. Sounds like hooks and uppercuts won't need the winding motions to execute anymore.
On its face that sounds like a good idea. Part of the problem with Fight Night Round 4's analog commands is the need to really follow through on hooks (to the side, wind to the top) or uppercuts (down at an angle, wind up), which felt slow to develop or deliver, especially for those who honed their counterpunching strategy in Round 3. In the video, we're told that every punch will be keyed by a right analog gesture in a single direction - "in the left or right direction at various angles." They say they have more punch animations as well.
That said, in the gameplay going on in the video, especially the over the shoulder shot, you still see some of the punch-spamming and air-swinging that, in my experience anyway, came from throwing punch combos too fast for the animations. We'll have to see, but it sounds like a step in the right direction for now.
Elsewhere, Operation Sports has noticed EA forum posts pointing to other features of the game. Licensed boxers will be editable - in attributes, apparel and AI tendencies, not physical appearance. You'll also be allowed to create up to 100 custom boxers, three of which are reserved for the Online World Championships mode, a feature of Fight Night 4 that will return.