Boxing can seem simple on the outside. Some people think that you just aim at your opponent and let your hands go. Of course, things aren’t that easy when you’re faced with a moving target that can hit you back. You need to protect yourself at all times like the referee always says, while looking for openings to go on the attack. Split-second decisions can spell the difference between a win and a loss. You also have to know which types of punches to throw depending on the situation. We’ll discuss four of them below:
This is the most common punch thrown by most boxers. You use your leading hand, extending it quickly from the guard position and pulling back. The jab is highly versatile as it can be used in a lot of situations. It is often used in the early rounds to measure the distance to the opponent. Fighters try to figure out exactly where they need to be to connect when it’s time to go on the attack. There usually isn’t much power used for this punch but it can break rhythms and set up the big punches. Learning how to jab is a must.
This is the actual power punch for most boxers. You will use your rear hand, generally the dominant hand, from the guard position. You will need to put your weight into it for the punch to be effective. There must be considerable rotation around the hips. The feet must be planted firmly on the ground with the legs helping to transfer power along the kinetic chain. You should get a good extension from feet to fist. Sometimes the announcers will refer to this as a straight punch so just be aware that they are the same thing.
This is anything but straight. As the name implies, the punch will follow the shape of a hook. Your hand will loop at the sides with the torso getting its momentum by rotating slightly in one way and pushing the power back the other way. This can be very effective if the guard is down on the side of the head or the body. If the opponent is focused on blocking frontal shots, then change tactics and go off to the sides. You can also pack a lot of power in this punch if you are able to use your body well, contorting it and letting go like a spring. It’s best to step into it using your lead leg.
This is not as commonly used as the others but it can be devastating when deployed at the right time. Instead of punching straight or hooking to the sides, this one requires you to punch up. This will not be effective when your opponent is keeping his distance but it will be a fantastic tool if you are frequently getting entangled. For instance, you might have been pinned into a corner or against the ropes. Throw a punch from below right to the chin where he isn’t expecting to get hit. It’s great for short fighters who are facing taller opponents, especially if that person is always hunching forward.
In actual matches, the fighters will want to throw a combination of punches instead of single shots. It could be a one-two combination of a jab and a cross or a jab and hook. The initial punch provides a distraction while the power punch is being set up. The combo could be three or more in a barrage like some fighters are known to do. In his prime, The Pacman was known to thrown more than 10 punches at a time from all angles. This led his opponents to say that it was like fighting two people inside the ring given the volume of the attacks.
These combinations need to be practiced religiously inside the gym so that muscle memory can take over during crunch time. They are honed through countless sessions with the heavy bag and the mitts. Things may be slow at first but you can pick up speed as you get familiar and comfortable with the movements. Get the equipment you need for boxing and kickboxing practice at http://bestboxinggear.com.