6 Basic Boxing Punches

Andre Ward explains the importance of mastering the basics! Master the basics. Drill them over & over and everything else will fall in place. Fundamentals before flavor. Fundamentals win fights and keep you out of trouble. Work on the fundamentals and the flavor will come.

The Jab

Speaking of fundamentals. The jab (also called a 1) is one of the most fundamental punches in boxing. When the jab is applied correctly, everything else will fall into place. The jab can be used as a range finder to set up other punches, blind your opponent, and to keep your opponent off of you. There are multiple variations of the jab. You have the up jab, side jab, probing jab, body jab, range finder and stiff jab. Just to name a few. Most importantly is throwing the jab correctly. When throwing the jab. The feet should move with your hand, don’t drop the rear hand when throwing the jab. Do not drop the jab hand when returning jab hand to guard position. Do not over commit to the jab by putting too much weight on the front foot and extending your head beyond your lead knee.

The Right Cross

The straight right hand (straight left if you are southpaw) is usually thrown with the dominant hand from the rear. The cross or number 2 is a long range punch that will generate a tremendous amount of power when thrown correctly. The cross is thrown from the ground up by turning the rear foot like you are mashing on a bug or cigarette. This motion causes the hips to turn creating torque throughout the body. As the rear shoulder moves forward, let the punch go and turn the hand over, (thumb down) just before the point of contact. Your entire bodyweight should be behind the punch, shifting your weight to your lead leg.

The Left Hook

The left or lead hook in boxing (number 3) is a powerful short range shot that is thrown with the legs hips and shoulders. This motion transfers tremendous power and torque from the ground up. The lead hook is thrown by loading the lead leg, turning the lead foot, which turns the hip transferring the power through the core. As the lead shoulder turns, bring the lead arm up cocked at approximately 90 degrees. Palm down is a European hook and palm facing you is an American hook. As the punch is thrown the weight of the body should be behind the punch and shifts from the lead to the rear leg to maintain balance. Make sure to follow through with the punch. A good hook will endanger the opponent of also being hit with an elbow. The lead hook can also be thrown to the body. From the orthodox stance the liver is often the target.

The Right Hook

The right or rear hook (number 4) is a punch I believe is underutilized in boxing. The right or rear hook is a looping punch that is thrown to the body or head around or under an opponents guard. Just like the lead hook. Your bodyweight shifts. Only this time its shifted from rear leg to front leg. The right hook is a powerful short range punch I have seen 3 guys master. First is Floyd Mayweather vs Robert Guerrero. Mayweather made an adjustment when he noticed Guerrero with a high guard and did a great job of looping the right hand around Guerrero’s guard to find a home for the right hand. Next is the great Iron Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson does an excellent job of throwing the right hook to the body of his opponent following it up with a short right uppercut. Vasyl Lomachenko also throws the right hook to the body to steer his opponent into a lead uppercut.

Left Uppercut

The left or lead uppercut (number 5) is a short inside shot. Although not as powerful as the cross or either one of the hooks. If applied properly it can be masterfully used to split your opponents tight guard, slip past a wide guard to lift your opponents chin and set up the lead hook or short straight right to stun, even knock out your opponent. The lead uppercut can also be used as a counterpunch from the outside after slipping your opponents jab or straight right. The lead uppercut can then be looped under your opponents arm to successfully counterstrike their attack. When throwing the lead uppercut. You want to rotate the body, create torque, use your legs and avoid dropping the hands to prevent from being countered by a lead hook or another short shot from the inside. Always bring your hands back to the guard position immediately after punching.

The Right Uppercut

The right or rear uppercut (number 6) is one of the most powerful punches created. This is a short tight shot that comes from underneath. If landed correctly will turn off your opponents lights and disconnect them from consciousness. The right uppercut is thrown using the legs. Push off the rear foot to create torque and drive the hip forward. Once again transferring that power through the core to turn the shoulders to deliver a short punch from underneath to punish the body or lift the chin of your opponent. The rear uppercut and straight right are 2 punches that are ideal for setting up a lead hook. Anthony Joshua vs Klitschko. Anthony Joshua used the left hook to bring Klitschko’s head down and run him into a massive right uppercut to win the fight.

Published by Delmar Tolliver

Online Coach and Transformation Specialist

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