In this article, you will learn about top 15 boxing combinations you can use as a beginner or a boxing veteran who wants to hone his or her fundamentals. Particularly, we’re going to discuss, present, and analyse 15 simple boxing combos mainly through an actual demonstration.
Have you just started boxing but don’t know much about which combinations to use?
Well, you came to the right place.
There are some basic boxing combinations that are always used in the ring and in fact, most boxing exchanges at the highest level make extensive use of these combinations.
That’s because they are simple to use and get the work done. Most combinations thrown in the ring are not 10-punch combinations, but rather basic 2 to 3 punch combinations that ensures you don’t overcommit and get counter punched.
So, this means that learning these combinations will benefit you regardless if you started boxing yesterday or you have been boxing for 10 years.
Without further waiting, let’s get right into it.
Let’s begin with boxing nomenclature to ensure that you follow us.
In this article, we will use numbers along with the names of the punches. We will assume you’re fighting from an orthodox stance. This means you will need to switch left hook and left uppercut to right hook and right uppercut respectively if you’re a southpaw. The numbers and their corresponding punches are shown below:
- Left Hook
- Right Hook
- Left Uppercut
- Right Uppercut
*: To the body
As an example, here are three examples illustrating some random combinations assuming you’re fighting in an orthodox stance:
- 1, 2, 5, 6: Jab, Cross, Left Uppercut, Right Uppercut
- 1, 1*, 3, 4: Jab, Jab to body, Left Hook, Right Hook
The 15 top basic boxing combinations are summarized below:
- Jab, Cross (1, 2)
- Jab, Cross, Left Hook (1, 2, 3)
- Jab, Right Hook (1, 4)
- Cross, Left Hook (2, 3)
- Cross, Left Hook, Cross (2, 3, 2)
- Right Uppercut, Left Hook (6, 3)
- Left Uppercut, Cross (5, 2)
- Jab, Cross, Left Uppercut to the body (1, 2, 5*)
- Left Uppercut, Right Uppercut, Left Hook (5, 6, 3)
- Jab, Jab, Cross (1, 1, 2)
- Jab, Cross, Jab (1, 2, 1)
- Left Hook, Right Hook (3, 4)
- Left Hook to the body, Right Hook (3*, 4)
- Left Hook, Right Hook, Left Hook, Cross (3, 4, 3, 2)
- Jab, Cross to the body (1, 2*)
#1: Jab and Cross (1, 2)
The classic jab and cross; it is a simple one two, but effective and deadly.
Beginners have the tendency to overcomplicate boxing when in fact keeping it simple can surprisingly launch you very far in your craft.
This combination can be used in a versatile fashion.
For example, you can throw it to establish distance between your opponent without overcommiting or you can lightly throw the jab inbetween your opponent’s guard and then exploit this opening with a powerful cross.
The speed and strength of the jab cross are up to the boxer and depends on what you want to achieve with your punches. But if you’re still new to boxing, stick to a fast one two to keep everything simple and easy.
Here, you will see the demonstration of the boxing combination.
#2: Jab, Cross, Left Hook (1, 2, 3)
Another classic combination that is built on the fundaments of the previous combination.
After throwing jab and cross, you throw left hook to the head.
Why this combination is effective is because the opponent is often preoccupied with straight punches and will put up a guard in front of his or her face. This will create an opening to the side of the face and so will allow you to exploit that opening by throwing the lead hook.
The combination is also an excellent one because it allows you to cut the distance and can be easily executed with speed—what will allow you to avoid any counters from your opponent.
You can find a demonstration of the combination here.
#3: Jab, Right Hook (1, 4)
Jab and right hook can be a deadly combo and surprisingly easy to execute.
Whenever you throw the jab, many opponents will expect the next punch to be the cross.
Throwing a right hook instead will come out as unexpected to your opponent and punches that your opponent doesn’t see it coming are the ones that will do the most damage.
What you need to be careful when throwing this combination is to not be too far from the opponent. This is because the jab is a long-range punch while the rear hook is a short-range punch. Make sure you cut the distance with a step after throwing the jab.
#4: Cross, Left Hook (2, 3)
A simple combination like the jab-cross and a deadly one.
The combination involves throwing the two punches with speed and power. Specifically, the cross acts to set up the combination and the left hook is used to knock out the opponent.
Some of boxing’s greats have used this boxing combination with maximum effectiveness. For example, Muhammad Ali used it against George Foreman in the widely anticipated match Rumble in the Jungle to knock George Foreman out to cement Ali’s status as a legendary boxer.
The demonstration of the boxing combo is shown here.
#5: Cross, Left Hook, Cross (2, 3, 2)
This combination is an extension of the previous one. From the previously described combination, you add at the end a cross in order to create a distance between you and the opponent.
What makes this combination effective is that every punch is thrown from a different angle than the preceding punch—an effective strategy to both confuse your opponent and exploit the openings.
A demonstration of the combination is shown. If done quick enough, one of the punches should land on your opponent.
#6: Right Uppercut, Left Hook (6, 3)
As you’ve figured out by now, a good basic combination are the ones which can be easy to set up and designed to exploit your opponent’s openings.
The two-punch combo of right uppercut and left hook fits this profile.
The first uppercut makes the opponent lower his or her hands to protect the jaw. Right after the uppercut, the left hook is then thrown to exploit the unprotected side of the opponent’s head. The reason why the left hook is easy to land is because the opponent is occupied with protecting the uppercut and therefore easier to land a hook.
#7: Left Uppercut, Cross (5, 2)
This boxing combo also holds true to being simple and effective like the previous combination.
Again, the aim of this combination is to throw the uppercut to preoccupy the opponent and then finish him or her with a fast and swift cross.
The important part of this combination is to throw both punches with speed and not to stiffen up your punches. Remember that power comes with speed and not by stiffening your entire arm.
#8: Jab, Cross, Left Uppercut to the body (1, 2, 5*)
This is an extension to the jab-cross combination from earlier.
Here, you throw the two straight punches to the opponent’s head. This serves two purposes: one to block the vision of your opponent and the other to force your opponent to raise their hands to protect their head.
The latter allows an opening to the body to be exploited with a powerful left uppercut to the body and the former allows the punch to be concealed and come unexpected to the opponent.
Like described previously on knockout combos, the punches that hurt the most and lead to a knockout are the ones your opponent don’t expect to come.
#9: Left Uppercut, Right Uppercut, Left Hook (5, 6, 3)
This combination focuses on close range and therefore quite effective if you’re in the clinch position or in the corner.
These punches should not be thrown at range unlike earlier combination such as the basic jab cross.
When you manage to get near your opponent, it will even bring a knockout if you throw all three punches with power.
#10: Jab, Jab, Cross (1, 1, 2)
If you’re an avid fan of our articles, you might have had a déjà vu moment.
And this is by no means a coincidence, as this boxing combination was mentioned in our article on knockout combinations.
This combination is surprisingly versatile and easy to execute. For example, you can throw it as a normal combination or while circling around your opponent.
Another reason it is an effective combination is because most fighters will expect a cross right after the first jab.
This combination reverses the order where you throw the jab after the first jab and then throw the cross.
This will then allow you to cover the distance while hiding your intentions by blocking the view of your opponent with the lead hand. Finally, you can then throw the final power cross to do significant damage to your opponent.
#11: Jab, Cross, Jab (1, 2, 1)
Like the first basic combination mentioned above in our list, it is simple yet effective.
It is the extension of the jab cross and a variant of the jab, cross, hook.
The combination allows you catch the opponent off guard, as the opponent either expects you to step away to distance or throw a lead hook.
There can be a variation in the combination. Specifically, you can throw the first two punches with power to force your opponent to cover up and then use the last punch to put distance to your opponent. You can also throw a fast jab cross and then finish with a stiff jab to finish your opponent.
Either way, it will be worth experimenting.
#12: Left Hook, Right Hook (3, 4)
It is a basic combination thrown at close to your opponent like combination #9.
It is easily thrown but should only be thrown after cutting the distance. It can be effective for going past the opponent’s strong front guard.
Two hooks, left, right and goodnight.
#13: Left Hook to the body, Right Hook (3*, 4)
Like the previous combination, it is also thrown after cutting the distance to your opponent.
This is a typical combination thrown by Mike Tyson, where he used the advantage of his shorter stature as a heavyweight boxer to fight on the inside.
The combination starts off with a body shot intended to land on the liver. This will serve to lower the guard of the opponent to then land a right hook to the head for a knockout.
If done correctly with speed, it can be disastrous to your opponent.
#14: Left Hook, Right Hook, Left Hook, Cross (3, 4, 3, 2)
A fantastic simple combination that’s surprisingly underused.
The combination starts when you are already close to your opponent or after you cut the distance. Once you’re close to your opponent, you throw three hooks to the head going left, right, and then left again.
The combination then finishes with a powerful cross. This serves the purpose of either landing the punch at the new opening to cause damage or to put an extra distance between you and your opponent.
#15: Jab, Cross to body (1, 2*)
A fantastic combination that’s as simple as the standard jab cross.
The combination has both an offensive and defensive aspect to it.
The jab will force the opponent to place his or her guard higher and then you can exploit the opening to the body by landing a strong cross to the body. Landing a lot of body shots will take away the stamina of your opponent which in turn will make both your opponent’s offense and defense weaker.
Defensively, the cross to the body will force you to duck down to land your shot. This will allow you to avoid any punches that’s coming towards your head after throwing the jab.
Wrapping It Up
These are all basic boxing combinations that can be practised on the heavy bag or on the pads.
It doesn’t really matter if you don’t know or use all 15 of these boxing combinations—what really matters is that you practice a few of these and make it an instinct to throw these punches.
At the highest level of boxing, all the combinations thrown by professional boxers are thrown without any hesitation or thinking, as even the slightest delay may be the difference between knocking out your opponent or completely missing your target.
At the end of the day, just remember this quote you may or may not have heard originating from Bruce Lee: I fear not the man who has practised 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practised one kick 10,000 times.
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