How to Box
Punches in Boxing
Below is a list of punches and how to throw them. You should not attempt any of these punches without a trainer or a coach. A trainer or a coach makes sure that you are throwing the punches correctly which helps to avoid injury.

The Jab
The jab is the most used punch in boxing, making it the most important to master. The jab is used mainly to keep ones opponent at a distance. It sets the fighter up for one of the power shots such as the right cross.

The jab is not considered a power punch but over the course of a fight it can cause a great deal of damage. To perform the jab do the following:

  • Stand in the boxing stance holding fists in the ready position.
  • Throw the punch in a direct line straight from the chin (Orthodox fighter would throw the jab with the left fist. Southpaw fighter would throw the jab with the right fist).
  • Once the hand leaves the guard position (from the chin) rotate the fist a half an inch.
  • Keep fist relaxed throughout this movement, until just before the point of contact when it is fully clenched.
  • Immediately relax fist and bring back to guard position.


*Do the opposite of these steps if you left-handed, a southpaw fighter.

The Right Cross (Straight Right)
The right cross is often referred to as the most enjoyable punch to throw. It is a natural movement for most. The cross is thrown with the right hand (Southpaw fighters would throw the left). A lot of power can be transferred through the right cross. It is often responsible for many of the knockouts seen in a boxing match.


The right cross should be used following the jab. The cross should not be thrown to often. Throwing the right cross puts a fighter slightly off balance and open to a counterpunch. To perform the right cross do the following:

  • Stand in the fighting stance and throw the right hand from the chin guard position (Southpaw fighters would throw the left).
  • While throwing the cross, turn torso into the punch and pivot on the right foot. This ensures that the entire upper body is thrown into the punch to create power.
  • As right heel pivots outward, accelerate the punch towards the opponent.
  • Relax the hand throughout the movement, until the point of contact, when hand should be clenched tight. After the punch bring the hand back immediately to the guarded position.

*Do the opposite of these steps if you left-handed, a southpaw fighter.

The Left Hook
This punch can be very hard to master as it is thrown at an unnatural angle. It also requires a great deal more of motor coordination. The hook works best when one is fighting on the inside (very close to their opponent).It is a devastating punch and often results in a knockdown. To perform the left hook correctly to the following:

  • From the orthodox stance, transfer weight to the left side.
  • From the guard position, the left elbow is brought up so it is almost parallel with the floor. The arm should look like a hook shape at this stage.
  • The fist is rotated and the punch is thrown.
  • When the punch is thrown, pivot the left foot, left leg and torso sharply to the right to generate the force.

The Uppercut
The uppercut is one of the most dangerous punches in boxing. When thrown as a part of a multi-punch combination it can have very good effect. Not many fighters consistently throw uppercuts so, because of that, most fighters do not practice avoiding them very often. Uppercuts are also used when fighting on the inside. The key with the uppercut is to throw it in a fixed position, from the fighting stance. The uppercut can be delivered to the head and body. To throw the uppercut do the following:

  • From the guard position, dip left so elbow rests near the left hip.
  • Rotate your left fist and palm upwards.
  • Launch punch with the left side of the body.

The punch is good when thrown at a variety of times, but I think after throwing a good left jab it is good to follow up with the right uppercut. The uppercut should usually be thrown during the course of 'in-fighting', when you are close to your opponent. Throwing the uppercut from too far away leaves you in a position to be countered much more easily. Throwing the left jab sets up the uppercut very well. You should throw the uppercut in a way that allows you, upon completion of the punch, to be in a position to follow with a left hook afterwards. Mike Tyson is someone, among others, that has a very effective uppercut.

Basic Combinations
To help the fighter master the punches more effectively they should be put into combinations. Instead of throwing one or two punches sporadically a good boxer should be able to fire multiple punches in a quick combination. When it comes to punching, more is usually better.
Some basic combination include:

  • One-Two (Jab, Right Cross)
    This combination is one of the most basic because the two key boxing punches are used. The main thing is to maximize speed, which will increase power. Turn the torso into each punch and transfer weight onto the ball of each foot depending on the punch thrown.
  • One-Two-Three (Jab, Right Cross, and Left Hook)
    For example, when you throw a jab you should automatically be in a position to throw a straight right. When you finish with the right hand, you be in a position to throw a left hook. The jab is used to soften up the opponent, the right cross does the damage and the left hook finishes thing off. This combination flows very well if the weight is transferred to each foot at the appropriate time.
  • Uppercut, Right Cross and Left Hook
    With this combination, the uppercut is thrown to the body, with a right cross and left hook to the head. This combination allows one to wind up for the right cross followed by the deliverance of the left hook.


*Do the opposite of these steps if your left-handed, a southpaw fighter.