There’s a lot that goes on in every boxing match. From the outside looking in, boxing may seem like a very simple martial art. But beyond the ropes, there’s a layer of intricacy that underlies the action in the ring.
An offensive fighter doesn’t throw punches. He sets them up, and often, lays traps. In fact, laying traps is such an underrated skill in pugilism. The ability to maneuver an opponent, and get them to do what you want them to do, makes them highly predictable and easier to hit.
This is achieved through expert footwork and ring generalship, masterful feints, and quick reflexes, as well as the willingness to take risks. In order to lay traps, a fighter needs to offer their opponent something, to create the opportunity to land a powerful attack.
If you want to learn how to lay traps in boxing, you have a great starting point right here. We’ve come up with a few beginner techniques for you to practice the next time you’re in the gym. Give these a try, and take your game to the next level.
Today, Evolve Daily shares five boxing traps beginners must know and how to set them up.
1) Trailing Check Hook Along The Ropes
Aggressive opponents will often push the tempo, close the distance and goad you into a firefight. They are constantly on the attack, rushing in with powerful combinations with no reluctance to engage.
One very effective counter against an aggressive opponent is the check hook. You simply take a half-step back, and explode with the left hook, targeting the temple and catching your opponent as he comes in. Using his forward momentum against him also amplifies the damage, and increases the likelihood of landing a KO shot.
Taking this a step further, and you should look to retreat to the ropes. Your back against the ring ropes: that’s where an aggressive opponent wants you. But you know what you’re doing. You’re setting up this trap.
Because your back is against the ropes, your opponent will commit to the attack even more. And that’s where the check hook once again comes in, at the perfect time.
2) Right Hand Over The Jab
Against an orthodox fighter, or an opponent with the same stance as you, you’ll be trading jabs on opposite sides. Of course, the natural counter to an opponent’s jab is throwing the right hand over the top of it.
The natural movement of your head will take your chin off the centerline, and put you in the perfect position to land the overhand right. That’s the basic concept of this punch.
Where you lay the trap is by exchanging jabs with your opponent. Whenever he throws a jab, throw one back. Better yet, try your best to throw it at the same time. Mix it up and throw a jab to the body. The important thing is that you get your opponent to start thinking about your jab.
When your opponent starts to commit more to his jab, that’s when you throw the lead right hand over the top. You don’t have to throw a jab before it, just unleash the overhand right in all its glory.
The impact of this punch is enough to stun your opponent momentarily.
3) Jab, Feint To The Body, Right Hook
Knowing how to lay traps with feints in boxing is obviously one of the most important things you should learn. The feint is a very powerful tool in this particular martial art. It adds a whole new dimension to your combination punching, that will create infinite possibilities.
The feint is essentially a fake-out that you can use to elicit a reaction from your opponents, forcing them to move in a certain way, to open up an avenue for you to land a significant punch.
This particular combination starts with a jab to the head, and then a jab feint to the body, followed by a right hook back up top.
The success of this combination is predicated on the jab and the jab feint. The jab needs to be fast and powerful, to bring an opponent’s guard up. This opens up the body, where you will throw another powerful jab to bring the guard back down. Constantly getting your opponent to defend against the head and body jab will set him up for the final sequence.
Finally, to execute this trap, substitute the body jab with a feint. When your opponent brings his guard down, you are now free to hit him with a solid right hook.
4) Uppercut, Hook, Right Hand Pull, Left Hook
Taking things a step further, and with a more advanced technique, we have the classic hand trap.
Typically, you would use this trap against opponents who tend to become overly defensive and shell up. This sequence will get them to open up and become more vulnerable.
The primary objective of this sequence is to connect with your lead hook on the jaw of your opponent. With an opponent’s guard up and tight, that is often hard to accomplish. But that’s what you want. You want your opponent’s guard up, and here’s why.
You start by throwing the lead uppercut to the body. This in itself will get the opponent to cover up. Follow this punch up with a lead left hook to the temple. This is still a setup punch.
Next, you want to throw the right cross over the top of your opponent’s right hand. This is important because the next step is to pull your opponent’s right glove guard down with your right hand, which then opens up an avenue to land your lead left hook clean.
5) Bait The Head, Pull Back, Cross Counter
Last but not least, and perhaps the riskiest technique in this entire list, is the almighty pull counter. It’s a staple and favorite of pound-for-pound legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. when he was still in his prime.
With your guard low, hands near your hips, offer your head to your opponent, and dare him to throw a straight punch. When it comes, and it will, pull your head directly back, enough to stay out of reach. Then, use the natural momentum to spring back and counter with a straight right hand of your own.
It’s an amazing technique that can shock an opponent with a punch he doesn’t see coming. But don’t overdo it. After a while, your opponent will be able to figure it out, and you’ll then be open to getting countered yourself.
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