Five Counters to the Right Cross


How to Counter the Right Cross

The majority of boxers you come across will be fighting out of an orthodox stance, which means the right hand will be their stronger hand. Having the ability to both defend and counter their power shot will greatly increase your chances of victory, if you can hurt them when they are trying to hurt you with their hardest punch, it will end up making your opponent what they call ‘gun shy’ which means they end up thinking twice about throwing the shot because they are well aware you are going to counter their punch and they won’t want to get hit back in return. Power is often the great equalizer, so if you have managed to take away their power, or one hand so you are essentially fighting a boxer using only half of his body, the fight game becomes a lot easier and it is your fight to win. So let’s take a look at five counters you can use against the right hand. Please note this article assumes you and your opponent are both orthodox fighters.

1. The Left Hook

When your opponent throws the right hand, you use your back hand(also your own right hand) to block the shot and immediately counter with your left hook. Don’t reach out for the punch and keep your hand nice and close to you so there is no opportunity for them to feint and come over the top or around with a hook. If your opponent is someone who is not snapping their punches back in after throwing them, there is a good chance your left hook will catch them.

2. The Straight Right

As above use your back hand to catch the shot, then immediately counter with your own right hand. If you do this, then expect the left hook coming back at you so ensure your back hand is nice and high protecting you against any counter left hook.

3. The Inside slip, Body hook

This one will take a lot more practice and honing in sparring before you get used to performing this move. I would not recommend using this straight off the bat, get used to your opponents speed and rhythm before attempting this counter. Once you have picked up on their patterns and adjusted to their speed, slip inside their right hand and throw a shovel hook to the liver with your left hand. The shovel hook is pretty much a shot in between the hook and the uppercut, you want to imagine coming in just under the rib cage where the liver is and visualising your fist coming out of the opposite shoulder. Body shots are horrible, if you land this it is likely game over for your opponent.

4. Shoulder Roll – Right Uppercut

When the right hand comes from your opponent, roll the shoulders so you are moving with the punch which helps lessen the impact of the shot, roll with the punch by keeping your hands high and rotating your hips left to right, then counter with your right uppercut, depending on how close your opponent is and how they delivered the cross, you can counter to either the body or the head.

5. Shoulder Roll – Right Cross

As above using the shoulder roll but now you will counter with your own right cross. The advantage of the shoulder roll is that it allows you to rotate the hips so when you are countering your hips are already in position to generate force in your return punch, some refer to this as elastic recoil.

With each of these counters, think about your next move, after your counter you’ve got to expect your opponent is going to retaliate with their own punch, this means if you are throwing a counter right, either roll under after throwing the punch or ensure your opposing hand is kept nice and high to catch any shots.

About the author 


Boxing Coach
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Boxing Author of:

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

*Any videos or images used on this site to support my articles that are copyrighted are used for educational purposes and in accordance to the fair use act and are not my own - all credit is due to the respective owners. No copyright infringement intended.


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