You have two hands, and there a lot of ways to use those hands, when it comes to boxing and the sweet science, there are a host of combinations you can use to attack your opponent. Certain combinations come easier than others, but the easier they are to learn, the easier they are to defend against. That’s not saying they aren’t effective, of course they are because without the basic combinations you will not have sound fundamentals and without the basics you cannot then build upon these and add in more advanced combinations. In this article I will use some basic combinations and show you how to turn that into a killer combination.
A basic combination would be something such as the 1-2-3 or jab, cross, hook. Now we know boxers are drilled at throwing these punches and also drilled at defending these punches, so using this standard combination will not always prove successful. But by using this combination and adding a slight spin to it with another basic combination you can actually confuse your opponent and throw their timing off.
So what is the combination? It is the 1-2-3, 1-2. Sounds simple enough doesn’t? But throwing this combination at speed with confuse your opponent no end – why? Because no one expect thes jab, or the 1-2 after the hook. The natural punch to throw after your hook is your cross or uppercut with the opposing hand or you perform a defensive move such as a block or roll, so when you follow your hook with the jab from the same hand, your opponent is not expecting this, they are expecting to defend a punch coming from the other hand. Worse still for your opponent, if they happen to try to block your hook and counter with their own hook, it means your jab lands before their hook and again interrupts their timing catching them off guard. Boxing is about doing what your opponent least thinks you will do.
The second great combination to use is the 1-3-2 or jab, hook, cross. Again this works well because opponents are expecting the cross after the jab and not the hook. Hooking off the jab is an invaluable tool to have in your box. By throwing the hook off the jab, followed by the cross you upset your opponents defensive timing because they are expecting to block or evade either another jab or cross after the first jab, which leaves them open to your next shot. This is a combination which one of the worlds best trainers, Freddie Roach used to love to teach his boxers. Examples of boxers who used this combination with success include Heavyweight champs Lennox Lewis and Wladmir Klitschko, and Light Welterweight champ Amir Khan. To take it one further you can fake the jab and then throw the hook followed by the cross, or you can throw the jab, fake the cross and then throw the hook.
Applying these combinations allows you to be creative and add in feints between punches to keep your opponent guessing. I will say not to come out throwing these combinations, these combos will work best once you have worked in the basic combinations, almost to lull your opponent into a false sense of security so they believe they are easily picking off your punches, once you sense they have switched off then throw in these combinations, add in feints, to catch them off guard. Boxing is not about fighting at the same pace and throwing the same combos, switch between paces, fast, slow, switch levels, punch high, punch low and string combinations together. Try these out on the pads to practice the punches and then practice them in sparring before you take them into the ring with you.
Boxing Coach Strength and Conditioning Coach Boxing Writer for the Ringside Report Boxing Author of: (Available for download on Amazon) The Boxing Cheat Sheet - Your Ultimate Guide to Ring Survival Strength and Conditioning for Boxing - Work out Hits to get you Fighting Fit! Forgotten Legends of the Ring - Ten Past Masters of the Squared Circle