It’s easy to blast the heavy bag with blistering boxing gym combinations, but what good is it if none of the punches can find the target in a real fight? Because when you miss, best believe that a good counterpuncher will make you pay for it.
You should never just aimlessly throw punches without a purpose unless of course, your goal is to become a mindless brawler. This article will provide you with some essential tips on how to land your boxing combinations effectively.
1. Don’t Expect to Land Every Punch
Unless you’re fighting against a human punching bag with absolutely no head movement, you cannot realistically expect to land every single one of your punches. If you’re throwing a simple two-punch boxing combination, then expect to land the second; and if you’re throwing a 4-punch combination, expect to land two.
It’s really a numbers game when you’re facing a slick and highly defensive boxer who has the faster hands and feet. Yes, it’s going to be difficult to find the target, but how can you even find the target at all if you only throw single or double punches?
Also, the expectation of landing every punch you throw will only end up in disappointment and frustration. If you go into a fight knowing you’re going to miss, perhaps by a lot, then you can adjust your strategy according to what will be more likely to work against a particular type of opponent.
2. Strike When Your Opponent Covers Up
It’s a lot more difficult to hit a moving target, but certain types of fighters will cover up with a high guard to catch a breather, particularly if you’re piling on the pressure. It may even just be part or all of their style (e.g. Arthur Abraham, Joshua Clottey, Winky Wright, you get my point).
This is the perfect opportunity to throw a combination that’ll do two things – prevent them from throwing and racking up “points”. However, you must be cautious against fighters who like to catch and counter like Curtis Stevens.
Penetrating the high guard can be challenging, but the use of uppercuts to rip upwards through the middle and body shots behind their elbows will prove useful.
3. Back Them Up Onto the Ropes or Corner
The majority of boxers are advised to hold the centre of the ring unless it’s Floyd Mayweather Jr. or James Toney who thrives when their back is against the ropes. In many cases, a pure boxer will do worse when they’re backed onto the ropes or into the corner.
There are fewer points of exit which means more chances for you to let loose with your punches. If you see them trying to make a swift exit, throw a mean hook to the body in the direction they’re moving to follow by a straight punch to the head immediately.
4. Know What Follows After Each Punch
Throwing awkward boxing combinations is like a double-edged sword; on one side, it’s unconventional, making it hard for opponents to predict, but on the bigger and sharper side, it’s slower and leaves you vulnerable to counterpunches.
Take, for example, a simple jab, straight and lead hook combination compared to a double lead hook followed by an overhand; which combination do you think is more comfortable to throw and land effectively? I’ll give you a clue – it’s not the second one.
The point is to keep your combinations simple so that each punch flows naturally following the preceding one.
5. Limit the Amount of Punches You Throw
In tip number 1, I mentioned that landing punches against a defensively skilled boxer are a numbers game. By this, I didn’t mean to continuously throw 5, 6, 7+ punch combinations (although that’ll work against anyone providing you have the stamina to maintain the work rate and the chin to withstand any hard counters).
What’s most effective is to put all your concentration and effort into 2, 3 or 4 punch combinations, focusing on quality rather than quantity.
Every punch should have a meaning behind it. For example, the first punch should be a setup, the second to split the guard and the third to land flush and hopefully produce a knockout.
6. Go to the Body
What do you do when faced with a boxer with a small head and quick feet?
Kudos if you answered, “bang him to the body until that annoying sucker slows down!!!”.
Headhunting will only get you so far, and one of the signs of a good boxer is the incorporation of body shots in their punch selection. Not only are they easier to land as the torso is a bigger target than the head, but it also brings about an element of unpredictability, not to mention they hurt like hell if landed in the sweet spots.
The best body shots to land in the midst of a boxing combination is the rear uppercut or the lead hook to the body from mid-range. As a matter of fact, that sequence makes a good combination too.
7. Control Your Power
Every time you throw a power punch, you’re practically leaving yourself even more exposed. You’re trading a bit of balance and defence for the chance to land a hurtful blow. Ultimately, you’ll end up being slower to bring your hand back to defend yourself and to follow up with another punch.
Power in a combination should be an ascension, at least if you want to throw a combination with effective speed and power. Basically, the first punch will be the lightest, and the last punch should be the hardest.
This method allows a natural progression of speed, power and timing that would otherwise be difficult if you were to throw every punch at full power.
8. Control the Distance
Distance management plays a vital role in whether a punch lands or not and how hard it lands if it does. Essentially, you have to close the gap to get into punching range, and then compute in your brain which punches are most effective at that distance.
It sounds easy, and against some opponents it is, but against a mover with a longer reach and faster hand speed than yourself, it can be a nightmare to deal with.
This is even more reason to follow tip number 7 of controlling your power. You can throw fast, and light feint punches to close the distance and then follow up with a suitable combination once you’re within range.
9. Start Off Each Combination With a Jab
This tip isn’t the rule of thumb, but it’s more like a guideline, and a great one too. To begin a combination with a jab can help you land subsequent punches by acting as a measuring stick, a laser guide or a deception; all useful tools against any type of opponent, especially defensive-minded boxers.
Needless to say, doing the same thing over and over again leads to predictability, and predictable behaviour during a boxing match is the appetite of every great counterpuncher. Therefore, it’s wise to mix up the start of combinations with lead punches occasionally.
Bear in mind that it’s dangerous to throw a jab at close range as you cannot get full length on it, it does little damage, and it’s easy to counter at such a short distance. In this case, it may be better to start a combination with a lead hook or rear uppercut instead.
Improve Your Boxing Competition With These Five Tips
Are you a boxer who is looking forward to some useful pugilistic techniques? Do you want to improve your boxing skills? We think we can help you with that.
Making unpredictable punches in the boxing offence is the biggest challenge for every boxer.
When you use combinations, it allows diversity in your offence and keeps your opponent on his toes, being unable to predict your upcoming move. Now, Let’s cut right to the chase.
Here are the five tips to keep into consideration while throwing your punch combinations in boxing.
1. Think Before You Punch
These are the four different types of punches:
If you want to diversify your offence, mix it up. In simple words, use a combination of the punches stated above. The punches counted towards the merit of a boxer re the ones landing in the legal scoring regions, i.e., body and head. Scoring zones in boxing are limited, so knowing this is important.
Punches landing on the elbows and arms gain no merit. Punches landing on the spine and below the belt are considered as illegal moves.
Nevertheless, continually switching between targeting both the body and the head is the best way of increasing your chances to land solid and clean punches. Doing so makes it harder for your opponents to predict where your next punch will be focused on.
2. Save Your Energy By Throwing Impactful Punches Only:
Throwing punches uselessly is not wise, and you must always keep remembering that you expend energy with every punch you throw. Making an all-out attack relentlessly may be tempting at first, but it will make you tired too quickly.
Bear in mind that throwing too many punches leads to breaching your lactic acid threshold. Consequently, it makes you unable to lift your arms as well as your punches, which further causes a lack of energy. Therefore, a boxer who isn’t well-conditioned will feel too tired after only a few bouts.
Hence, one needs to throw only impactful punches, or else throwing wasteful punches will only make you tired too quickly and easily.
3. Allow Variety In Your Punches:
It’s interesting to know that you can work with so many different combinations while boxing. For instance, basic combinations including the 1-2, and the hook-straight. More advanced combinations are also there.
Keep in mind that throwing the same combinations every time is unwise. This is because your opponent will be able to get ahead of your offence after some time.
The key to an excellent offence is to allow variety in your punch output. To serve this purpose, keep on practising your combinations on the targeted mitts, improving technique, and developing endurance on the heavy bag.
After getting comfortable with the technique, it’s time to apply it in sparring. Unleashing your best combinations in practice before trying them out in the contest is important too.
4. Make Good Head Movements:
To make your punch combinations more unpredictable, you need to make good head movements. What makes you more challenging to hit is side to side weaving and bobbing. Also, you need to shift and transfer your momentum and weight with seamless motion simultaneously.
Notably, amongst traits of an excellent boxer is moving his head always. Focusing on the head movement is one heck of trouble in a fight as you also have to consider the many other ring’s subtleties. This is, in particular, true for beginners.
However, if you concentrate on making right head movements while competing, it indicates that you are much focused on every aspect of your boxing technique.
Making head movement indicates that your chances of getting hit clean are significantly less. It allows impulsiveness to both your defence and offence.
The all-important shadow boxing is one way of practising head movement. To fulfil this purpose, you need to stand in front of a mirror as you shadow box and focus on how you move your head.
5. Understand How To Position Yourself In The Boxing Ring:
For enhancing the accuracy of your punch, you need to know when to incorporate your combinations. Being unable to gauge the distance properly is a common downside of beginners.
Boxers need to learn how to move their feet to cover the distance quickly, finish the gap, and get into the optimal punching range.
They also acquire focusing on their exits since their opponent will not only sit there and have it. They are capable of and will surely attack back.
Always circling away from the most powerful punch of your opponent is recommended. This is because there occurs a massive reduction of power and effectivity when they strike back with this.
For getting to know when to incorporate your best combinations, an important part is proper positioning. Combine this with excellent footwork, and you will be able to dance circles around your rivals in no time.
Wrapping It Up:
You need to consider all these tips for hitting the ball out of the park from making meaningful and diversified punches to good head movements and learning to the position.
Now, as you know what it takes to hone your boxing skills for acing all your competitions, keeping with these five tips is going to favour you to a greater extent.
Just pay close attention to these five tips for enhancing your pugilistic technique next time you hit the gym. This is how you will be able to make the most out of your combinations and excel in the ring. Good luck.
- Sudden punch known as Jab: This is the most used and most straightforward punch in boxing.
- Short side punch named Hook: This type of punch allows you to catch the opponent unaware as it comes from the side.
- Straight punch called the Cross: This is considered as the most damaging and powerful punch.
- Short swinging upward punch named Uppercut: This type of punch is delivered as close quarters and is regarded as a tremendous knockout punch.
Basic Boxing Combinations
1-2 (Jab-Right cross)
Yes, the primary 1-2 jab-cross is naturally the first combination you learn how to throw. It’s the first two punches you’ve ever thrown together, and you’ve probably been doing it long before you started boxing…probably on your little brother or your annoying next-door neighbour. The fast jab catches your opponent off guard, and the right cross takes his head off. You can actually win entire fights simply by mastering the 1-2.
This one is a way to trick your opponent. The 1-1-2 works because your opponent might be expecting a 1-2. If so, then the second jab has a good chance of surprising your opponent opening the way once again for your big right hand. The 1-1-2 is also useful if you feel that your opponent is waiting for your right cross to throw a counter. Instead of throwing your usual 1-2, you will throw endless jabs testing the waters (or your opponent’s defence) until he slips up and you put a right cross in there.
1-2-3 (Jab-Cross-Left hook)
This is where boxing starts to get fun. The shift of your weight when you throw the right hand naturally sets the left hook up. The left hook comes after your right cross and can put some massive hurting on your opponent. You can aim it high at his jaw or low at his body. Either way, the left hook is equally dangerous regardless of whether or not your right cross lands.
This is nothing but you throwing LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT. The jab opens your opponent’s guard. You follow-up with three big power punches: right hand, left hook, right-hand finish. When the three big punches land beautifully, you can pat yourself on the back.
1-2-5-2 (Jab-Cross-Left uppercut-Cross)
This combo is the same as the last except instead of a left hook, you put a left uppercut in there. The left uppercut will surprise your opponent since it’s coming from a downward angle. If the other guy likes to hide behind his high guard with his head down or if he wants to charge into you, the left uppercut will pop his head up so you can chop it off with the right-hand finish.
1-6-3-2 (Jab-Right uppercut-Left hook-Right hand)
Starting with the 1-2 all the time can get a little too predictable. Your opponent might get clever and try to slip the right hand. Or he might simply anticipate a straight right hand and just have his guard up. In either case, throwing a right uppercut into there will do a ton of damage and lift his head up so you can follow up with a left hook – right-hand finish. You can aim the right uppercut at the body or the head, it’s your call. Make sure you don’t get too predictable when you do this because your head is vulnerable to jabs and DEADLY counter left hooks when you throw that right uppercut.
2-3-2 (Right cross-Left hook-Right cross)
Sometimes you don’t have room to set up a whole combination. If you’ve got an overly aggressive opponent that’s invading your space, then you don’t have time to start with the jab. Drop a right hand on him, followed by a left hook and another big right hand. If he’s already wide open, why waste your time with a jab? Just start with the hard punches right away. The 2-3-2 is very good at close range. Dig your feet and make it hurt.
Want More Punching Combinations?
You don’t have to learn more combinations. You can just change the way you throw certain punches to create infinitely more ways to get through to your opponent.
Lighten The Left Hand
Many beginners try to put power into every punch. Don’t do that; save your power and body weight for the big right hand. When you jab, keep it light and accurate. You can also throw lighter left hooks to keep yourself from swinging off the balance if you miss.
Throw Some Fakes
This is great stuff. Instead of throwing a 1-2, fake the jab to get your opponent to lift his hand and then just land your right cross since his defence is in the wrong place. Do the same with other combinations faking the first punch or maybe the second punch. You can throw a jab, fake the right (make your opponent put his guard in front), and land a big left hook that goes around his guard.
Double The Left Hands
Same theory as the 1-1-2 but you can also double left hooks or left uppercuts. Don’t always throw LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT all the time. It’s too predictable and too easy to block. Throw LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-LEFT-RIGHT. That’ll switch him up as he blocks the wrong side and you hit him with the other hand.
Throw Faster Punches
Again, don’t load power into every punch. Lighten them up so you can throw them faster, increasing your chances of connecting. You can save the power for later when you have your opponent hurt, tired, and dropping his hands out of laziness. You can also mix it up, throwing fast punches with hard punches. The fast punches disrupt your opponent’s rhythm, whereas the hard punches deliver the real power.
Go To The Body
Don’t always aim for the head. It’s too predictable and may not work against speedy boxers that move well. The body is a bigger target and will force your opponent to block high and low. Go up and down and force him to work double time on defence and increase your chances of landing something. Another thing you should know, a well-placed body punch can cripple your opponent in a painful knockout.
Professionals use the same combinations over and over again. They don’t go out trying to throw more punches or harder punches. They simply alter the aim, angle, and timing of their combinations to beat their opponents.