Power is all-important in boxing. It’s the equalizer, and if you can deliver enough of it, victory is yours. But power isn’t everything. Without accuracy, power means nothing. You have to be able to land a punch before it can do damage.
Most coaches will tell you that precision and timing is much more critical in this sport. You can have all the power in the world, but if you’re unable to land clean, then you will have very little effect on your opponent.
In a high-level fight, it’s usually those who come in with better technique who claim victory over those who simply focus on landing haymakers. As a boxer in training, you have to work on your technique in order to maximize your strengths and improve your weaknesses.
There are many ways to train yourself to improve your punch accuracy and the delivery of your combinations. We’ve come up with a few pointers on how you can become a more accurate puncher.
Let’s take a look at the things you can focus on in training, so you can gain laser-like precision in your offensive repertoire. Today, Evolve Daily shares four ways to increase your punching accuracy in boxing.
1) Flow like water
It was the great martial artist Bruce Lee who coined the phrase “flow like water.” During his time studying martial arts, Lee acquired knowledge of various striking and grappling disciplines. In many ways, he is considered among historians as the father of modern-day mixed martial arts.
His idea of flowing like water is an interesting concept. Lee prioritized movement, speed, and technique over raw power. In this way, he was able to train his body to move in such a way that resembled the fluidity of water.
As a boxer, being able to execute quick, fluid movements, especially with punching combinations, means you are able to adapt and shift your body to move as your mind dictates. It helps you adapt to any defensive set your opponent presents, and work around barriers to land your punches.
Flowing like water also means you are able to mold your offense to any situation, making changes and adjustments as needed, so you can put yourself in the best position to land clean. Flowing like water also allows you to deliver fast and sharp counters that hit their mark.
2) Be light on your feet
Not many can grasp this concept at first, but being accurate with your hands means you have to be light on your feet.
Footwork and movement play a huge role in both offense and defense, particularly in positioning yourself in a prime spot to make the most out of your opponent’s defensive lapses. In the ebb and flow of a fight, there are openings that will present themselves to you, and it’s up to you to capitalize on them.
Being light on your feet and executing fluid footwork means you can virtually move to any spot you want and throw your combinations from the most prime angles.
Make it a point to practice footwork drills. Most practitioners tend to overlook this area of their game and instead focus on punching, but it’s actually footwork that takes fighters to the next level.
One of the most accurate punchers in the sport today is Ukrainian stylist and pound-for-pound great Vasyl Lomachenko. The way Lomachenko moves around the ring is poetry in motion. It’s because of his uncanny footwork that he’s able to dazzle opponents with combinations they don’t see coming.
3) Speed over power
There is an old saying in boxing that goes: “Speed kills.” This can’t be more true, as speed is the number one asset a boxer can possess to ensure success.
Speed is even more important than punching power. In fact, speed equates to punching power. The faster your hands are, the more velocity they carry and, in turn, the more power they deliver.
Having fast hands also means your fists can reach their targets faster than your opponents can react. This is especially useful against defensive boxers.
One of the fastest punchers in the game was the legendary Roy Jones Jr. During Jones’ prime, he delivered blindingly fast combinations that packed serious heat. He was often able to stop his foes early because they get hit with something they could never anticipate. This element of surprise, coupled with his raw, natural power, made Jones one of the most dangerous fighters in history.
Focus on generating speed rather than power, and you’ll inherit the proven knockout punch of legends past.
4) Use feints
Feints are one of boxing’s long-forgotten techniques. It’s such a formidable tool in any high-level fight that you would think people would be practicing and developing their feints non-stop. But that isn’t the case. Most practitioners, especially beginners, have trouble honing their feinting skills.
Feints are amazing techniques that can coerce opponents into committing and making mistakes, both on offense and on defense, and can generate openings for you to capitalize on. They are techniques that elicit reactions from opponents, distracting them from what you have planned. Feints can also mislead opponents into a false sense of security.
Then once you see the opening, you strike. It’s an incredible tool to set yourself up to deliver some good combinations with pinpoint accuracy. Feints require extreme concentration and proper execution to become effective, however, so make sure you practice them and incorporate them into your skillset.