15 Basic Boxing Combinations You Should Master First

You need to learn how to throw punches in bunches if you plan to compete as a boxer. Sure, the first thing you need to focus on when you start boxing training is the main punches: the jab, cross, lead hook, rear hook, left uppercut, and right uppercut, but that’s typically not enough to win fights. Boxers who tend to throw only one punch at a time often find themselves on the losing side of decisions or, worse, getting knocked out.

Throwing single punches won’t bother a trained boxer much, and it makes it easier to counter your attacks. When you put punches together, the odds of a few landing increases significantly since your opponent is forced to deal with attacks coming from all directions and angles. 

 

15 Basic Combinations All Boxers Should Master

Ready to take your boxing game to the next level? Here are 15 boxing combinations you should master: 

 

1) Jab, Cross (1, 2) Combo

This is one of the first combinations most boxers learn, and it’s one of the easiest to master. Despite its simplicity, it is an effective weapon at any level of boxing. Even legends like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio use the 1-2 combo many times during their fights. 

There are varying ways to use this combination. Some boxers use the jab to gauge distance before following up with a hard cross, while others use it to force their opponents to open up their guard so they can land a cross

Beginners should stick to throwing the combination as fast as possible to keep things simple. You can start playing with the speed of the jab once the combination is second nature to you. For example, you throw a jab at 50 percent speed, then follow up with a cross thrown at full speed. That can lull your opponent into making a mistake since they expect any follow-up shot to come at the same speed as the jab. 

 

2) Jab, Jab, Cross (1, 1, 2) Combo

The 1-2 combo is one of the most effective combinations in boxing, but it can be taken to the next level by adding a second jab before the cross. 

A lot of boxers tend to get lazy with their jabs after they’ve landed one. This combo will help keep you honest and ensure that your jabs are thrown with bad intentions. It also makes it harder for your opponent to time your punches since they don’t know if you’ll throw one or two jabs before following up with the cross. 

As with the 1-2 combo, beginners should first focus on throwing this combination as fast as possible. Once you have it down, you can start playing around with the speed of the jabs. 

 

3) Jab, Cross, Left Hook (1, 2, 3) Combo

This is one of the most commonly used combinations in boxing. The 1-2-3 combo forces your opponent to respect all three punches, making it harder for them to mount an effective counterattack

The key to effectively throwing this combination is to ensure you don’t telegraph the left hook. Keep your technique clean as you deliver the hook to your opponent’s head.  

Beginners can start by throwing the jab and cross at full speed, then following up with a 50 percent speed left hook. As you get more comfortable with the combination, you can start increasing the speed of the left hook. 

 

4) Lead Uppercut, Cross (5, 2) Combo

drian right uppercut heavybag

The lead uppercut is a powerful punch that can score knockouts or back your opponent up against the ropes. It’s a great punch to throw after you’ve landed a few jabs to force your opponent to lower their guard. 

Beginners should focus on throwing the lead uppercut without telegraphing their intent while keeping their chin down. A lead uppercut can leave you vulnerable to a counter, so you must throw it at the right time.  

 

5) Lead Uppercut, Cross, Left Hook (5, 2, 3) Combo

ryuto boxing cross

This is a variation of the previous combination that adds a left hook to the end of it. The left hook is a great punch to throw after the uppercut because it will cause your opponent to shift their guard to protect their chin instinctively. 

The left hook should be thrown with intent since this combination leaves the right side of your opponent open. Be ready to duck or slip past any counters that might come your way.  

Beginners should focus on throwing the lead uppercut at full speed while the cross is thrown a bit slower to allow your opponent to block or slip past it. Ideally, you want your opponent to slip past the cross since that leaves them open for the left hook coming after it. 

 

6) Jab, Right Hook (1, 4) Combo

The jab, right hook combo is a great way to score knockouts. The key to effectively throwing this combination is to rotate your hips as you throw the right hook. This will help transfer the power from your legs through your body and into your fist. 

Beginners should focus on throwing the jab at full speed while keeping their chin down and back straight. They can follow up with a right hook also thrown at full speed. As you get more comfortable with the combination, you can start playing with the speed of the right hook.

 

7) Cross, Left Hook (2, 3) Combo

The cross, left hook combo is a great way to score knockouts. It’s a simple combination like the 1, 2, but it lands with much more power

The key to effectively throwing this combination is to make sure you rotate your hips as you throw the left hook, so it lands with full power. This will help transfer the power from your legs through your body and into your fist. The cross doesn’t need to be thrown full speed since you ideally want your opponent to slip into the hook.  

 

8) Cross, Left Hook, Cross (2, 3, 2) Combo

hiroki hook

The cross, left hook, cross combo is a great way to land powerful punches. It’s similar to the 1-2-3 combo but much harder to block because it comes at you from different angles. 

The key to effectively throwing this combination is to make sure you rotate your hips as you throw the last two punches to increase the power they land with. This will help transfer the power from your legs through your body and into your fists. Mix up the speed of your punches to make this combination harder to deflect, and be ready to duck under any counters that come your way. 

 

9) Right Uppercut, Left Hook (6, 3) Combo

This is a highly effective power combination that is easy to set up. Use it to exploit weaknesses in your opponent’s defense. 

The right uppercut is a powerful punch that can be used to score knockouts. It’s a great punch to throw after you’ve landed a few jabs to force your opponent to lower their guard. The key to effectively throwing this combination is to make sure to bend your knees as you throw the uppercut. This will help transfer the power from your legs through your body and into your fist. 

The left hook is a great punch to throw after the uppercut because it will cause your opponent to shift their guard to protect their chin instinctively. When you add the left hook to this combination, ensure you don’t telegraph it. Just fire it away and generate extra power by rotating your torso. 

 

10) Jab, Cross, Lead Uppercut (1, 2, 5) Combo

This is a variation of the 1, 2 combination that adds a lead uppercut to the end of it. The left uppercut is a powerful punch that can be used to score knockouts. 

You can set up this combination by throwing a few 1, 2 combinations before adding the uppercut at the end. That increases the odds of catching your opponent off guard since they’ll likely only anticipate two punches. Vary the speed of your punches to make this combination harder to block and throw it fast. 

 

11) Left Uppercut, Right Uppercut, Left Hook (5, 6, 3)

drian and nong o left uppercut

This is an effective combination to unleash when you have your opponent pinned against the ropes. You need to be fighting inside for the combination to be effective. Throw the left and right uppercut hard, forcing your opponent to lower their guard to protect their chin against the uppercuts. That’s when you fire off the left hook, taking advantage of the opening you’ve created. 

Depending on the type of guard your opponent uses, their liver might also be exposed when they drop their guard to protect their chin. A left hook to the body in that scenario can be just as devastating as one to the head.

 

12) Jab, Cross, Jab (1, 2, 1) Combo

boxing olympics jab

The 1, 2, 1 is an excellent combination for exchanges at outside range. It scores points on the judges’ scorecards and can stun your opponent. Mix this combination with other outside range combinations like the 1, 1, 2 and double jab to keep your opponents guessing. 

 

13) Left Hook, Right Hook (3, 4) Combo

drian and nong o reflexes

This is a basic but effective combination. It’s often used as an entry-level combination because it’s easy to throw and doesn’t require much coordination. The key to making this combination effective is to make sure that you snap your punches. That means throwing them with speed and power. 

Another thing to remember is that you want to keep your chin down when you’re throwing this combination. That way, you’ll be protected if your opponent throws a counterpunch while you’re punching.

 

14) Jab, Right Uppercut, Left Hook (1, 6, 3) Combo

boxing hook knockout

The jab, right uppercut, left hook combo is another great way to use the right uppercut. It’s a little harder to set up than the 1, 2, 6 combo because you need to be at close range for it to be effective. You can use feints and footwork to get inside or throw a few punches to the head so your opponent lowers their guard, restricting their vision as you move inside. 

Once you’re in close, throw the jab followed by the right uppercut. The uppercut will force your opponent to lower their guard, and that’s when you unleash the left hook.

 

15) Right Cross, Left Hook, Right Uppercut (2, 3, 6) Combo

boxing ring cross knockout

The right cross, left hook, right uppercut is another excellent combination to use when you have your opponent pinned against the ropes. It’s similar to the 5, 6, 3 combo, but instead of throwing two uppercuts, you throw a cross followed by the left hook. The cross will stun your opponent, and the left hook will take advantage of the opening you’ve created. The right uppercut is an excellent follow-up punch because it will force your opponent to lower their guard. That’s when you can unleash another left hook or right uppercut for maximum effect.

 

Find What Works For You

These are just 15 of the many combinations you can use in boxing. The key is to find those that work for you and practice them so you can execute them flawlessly in a fight. Feel free to use your creativity and create your own combinations since there’s no rule against that. You’ll be throwing combos with speed, power, and accuracy with enough practice. That’s how you win fights and score knockouts.

 

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