When Boxing Where Do You Look?


when boxing where to look?

When Boxing Where To Look?

A common question I am asked when coaching boxing is where do I look when boxing? Where do I focus my eyes? Along with how can I become faster or how can I punch harder, this is probably the most commonly asked question.

There is no real right answer, there is however a wrong answer…a lot of people new to boxing – and I made this same mistake starting out, look at the opponents gloves when fighting. This is a bad idea because what it means is that you can be easily feinted out which means if you have a habit of looking at the gloves when boxing, you are going to get caught time and time again if your opponent makes use of feints.

I have heard differing views, some have said to look at the shoulders, some say look at the chin and others say look at the chest. I am not too keen on the shoulders and I can understand why someone would want to look at the chin or at the chest – because in general you want to be looking forward. By looking forward you can still pick up everything in your peripheral vision so it’s not a bad idea to keep your eyes forward.

I now look at my opponents eyes when fighting, this was recommended to me by my own coach who was a former champion. The reason behind this is because very often your opponents eyes will give their intentions away. For example, if your opponent wants to throw a shot to your body, their eyes will naturally lower their gaze to wherever they want to hit you on the body. Of course it is possible to use the eyes to feint and this is why boxers do feint using their eyes because they know their opponent is watching! The great Charley Burley was a master of feinting and would use his eyes to feint his opponent. But by watching the eyes you will be able to better pick up on where the punch is targeted.

The eyes also help you to read your opponents body language, if your opponent is angry or mad and wants to land a big shot on you, I can guarantee their eyes will give it away, if someone is angry you can very often see this in their eyes. If they are going to throw a big punch at you, you will be able to see their eyes widening as they get ready to throw the punch. Looking at the eyes can help you read your opponent and anticipate what their next move is going to be. We have all been in those situations with someone such as a friend where something has happened and without even saying a word, just by looking at their eyes you know exactly what each other is thinking, not for nothing do we use the saying ‘the eyes are the window to the soul.’ By looking at the eyes you can still see everything in your peripheral vision, I liken it to driving a car, when driving a car you are looking straight ahead but even though you are focused to what is infront of you, you can still see everything that is going on around you. If someone is standing at the traffic lights on either side of the road, you can still see them and anticipate whether someone is going to walk into the road. If a car on either side of you gets too close you can still sense this happening just like you can see cars making a turn into a side road on the left or the right.

Some great examples of boxers who look straight at their opponents eyes are Muhammad Ali and Floyd Mayweather Jnr. If you watch these two all time greats fight, notice their eyes, their wide eyed stare is firmly fixed at their opponents eyes closely watching what they are doing. You could put this down to style, Ali and Floyd were both great counter punchers, with this style of fighting you have to closely watch your opponent and quickly pounce on any mistakes and the best way to closely watch a fighter and read what they are going to do is to look at the eyes.

Here is also a quick youtube video I made on ‘When Boxing Where Do You Look?’


Want more tips for Boxing? Check out my ebook ‘The Boxing Cheat Sheet – Your Ultimate Guide to Ring Survival’


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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