Boxing is an incredible sport. The art of ‘The Sweet Science’ is highly-technical with its subtle nuances and fluid movement. It is a martial art that takes years of practice to perfect.
If you have trained in the sport of boxing, you may be familiar with its basic punch variations. You have the most important punch in boxing which is the jab, followed by your vanilla straights, hooks, and uppercuts. But there exists a whole lot of other types of punches that you may not know about.
These unconventional power punches add variance to your offensive repertoire and can be used in certain situations that call for something different.
While textbook techniques are all and good, these punches exist to mix things up. Developed and utilized by legends who like to think outside the box, these moves are great to have in your back pocket.
While it’s important to master your basic techniques, it’s also equally important to diversify your skills and develop your own style. These punches could be put to good use. Today, Evolve Daily shares 6 Unconventional Power Punches You Can Add to Your Boxing Arsenal.
1) Overhand Right
From the orthodox stance, the overhand right is a great punch to use to break through an opponent’s high guard. Sometimes when opponents are being too overly defensive, the raise their glove guard too high, making it difficult to land clean punches. One way to combat this is by through a looping right hand that you can land over the top.
The overhand right can be very effective power punch when executed correctly. Fired straight from the hip, a modified right cross launches into the air, looping to land on the left side of the opponent’s head just past the gloves.
Opponents preoccupied with defense will find it hard to see this punch coming because most of their vision will be impaired. After the overhand lands, the guard will subsequently open up and provide an opportunity to land a combination.
Some boxers like to practice the overhand right on the speed bag, but most often it is honed in sparring. Next time you step into the ring with your sparring partner, try throwing the overhand right.
Legends like heavyweight great Ernie Shavers employed the overhand right to near perfection. In fact, most of Shavers’ 68 career knockouts were made possible by this punch.
2) Lead Straight
Under normal circumstances, most boxers are taught to lead with the left jab and follow it up with any power punch that is fitting of the situation. However, some fighters have discovered that leading with a power punch can come with an element of surprise and if done properly, can greatly stun any opponent.
The lead straight is an effective maneuver that opponents just don’t see coming. Foregoing the jab completely, fighters can launch a blisteringly fast and powerful lead straight right down the pipe. Most opponents won’t expect this sort of punch to come first in a combination, hence they will most likely be unprepared for it on defense.
The key is to throw the punch focusing on speed and unpredictability.
One of the greatest fighters to use the lead straight is southpaw fighter and Filipino boxing legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. Pacquiao, known for his tremendous speed and relentlessness, even likes to double up on the lead straight at times.
3) Check Hook
The beauty of this punch lies in its ability to stun opponents who are trying to move in with momentum. The check hook is a counter-punch that fighters use to stop overly aggressive foes looking to penetrate with combinations.
Shuffling on the back foot on defense, take one quick step back against a forward-moving opponent and unleash a powerful left hook simultaneously with the opponent’s combination. This is the check hook — a mean counter designed to stop foes dead in their tracks.
It’s a brilliant move that has incredible knockout potential and is also one of the most devastating counter-punches in boxing. Legends who have successfully employed check hooks in their offense are Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the great Roy Jones Jr., among others.
Check out this amazing edit of the great Roy Jones Jr., one of the greatest to ever throw the hook, showing off his technical boxing skills, check hook included.
4) Shovel Hook
The shovel hook is also known as a “hookercut” (a cross between a hook and an uppercut) or in Mexican boxing as a “cuarenta y cinco” due to the 45-degree angle at which the punch is thrown.
Because defense is primarily taught to protect against the common punches like hooks and uppercuts, mixing up the offense and punching in angles creates various openings that traditional defenses are not prepared to work against.
Usually, with the lead hand, the shovel hook enters at an angle and aims at either an opponent’s chin or at the solar plexus.
It’s an effective punch and once mastered, it can be very useful in tough fights where an opponent can be difficult to catch. One of the masters of using the shovel hook is Mexican boxing legend Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez.
5) Lead Left Hook
Differing from the check hook which is thrown on the back foot, the lead left hook is used as a combination starter rather than a counter-punch. After forcing the opponent’s glove guard up high with a few jabs and straights, the lead left hook can be used to stun an opponent, setting up a powerful combination.
As opposed to stepping back and throwing a check hook, you can leap forward with an explosive step much like we do when we throw jabs, but instead of a jab, we throw a looping lead left hook around the guard. Because the punch emanates from the outside, we are able to generate a lot of torque and force behind this punch.
When it is thrown as a lead punch, the left hook can be very effective in catching opponents off guard and unaware. It is an easy punch to land and is extremely sneaky, coming out of seemingly nowhere to score a solid blow.
One fighter who loves to lead with the left hook, especially to the body, is middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.
6) Pull Counter
This is one of the most difficult moves to execute in boxing, but when done correctly, shows just how technical boxing can be and how attention to detail plays a huge role in anticipating an opponent’s offense.
The pull counter is used as a counter-punch to an opponent’s forward-moving attack. Paying close attention to an opponent’s lead foot, you must anticipate when your opponent is going to throw a punch and prepare to slip the attack with head movement.
Cocking the head and torso back just inches to create separation, the natural counter presents itself, and a right straight is launched in retaliation. Subsequently, the attacker ducks under and circles away to avoid being countered himself.
One of the most successful executioners of the pull counter is none other than Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
So, which of these will you be adding to your arsenal?
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