Defending against one punch is usually fairly straightforward. Defending against a flurry, a combination, is a whole different challenge. A well-executed blistering combo can unlock a fight and down your opponent.
Boxing combinations usually consist of between two to five punches, and use a variety of jabs, hooks, straight rights and uppercuts to the face or body. You can combine the punches in any way you wish and it’s also worth incorporating some defensive moves as your opponent is likely to try and counter himself.
I am going to show you 20 standard boxing combinations involving from 2 to 6 punches and using all the different types of punches that you can practice on a heavy bag or with a partner. The first 10 will be purely offensive combos, and then for the next 10 we’ll introduce some defensive moves.
The different types of punches 🥊
Before we get started, let’s summarize the key 5 punches in boxing that we’ll be using for these combos. I know, I know, some people say there are 8 different punches, some say 4, others say a lot more. I like to think of there being 5 key punches with variations within them (I will assume an orthodox stance for these):
- Jab – the most important punch in boxer’s arsenal. Straight punch with the leading hand that very often sets up a combo.
- Right (aka cross) – straight power punch with your rear hand, driven by the force of your whole body
- Hook – a punch with the leading hand in an arc motion aimed at the head or body
- Left uppercut – a close range vertical power punch with the leading hand aimed at the chin or body
- Right uppercut – ditto above, but with the rear right hand.
10 boxing combinations – all offensive 👊
Let’s start with punch combinations that are entirely offensive. Keep practicing these and muscle memory will work its magic.
P.S. I had a broken finger on my right hand when I made this so you may notice me holding back a little with my right handed punches!
Jab – Jab
Starting off super basic. A double jab keeps your opponent at range, reminds him to keep his guard up, and probes for openings in his defense. Jabs very often start combos as they can block an opponents view and test their defense. The jab is the most important punch – keep practicing it!
Jab – Jab – Right
Time to introduce the powerful right cross. Set up the combo with two quick jabs to the opponents face to open up the defence and then follow through with a straight, hard right hand to the face.
Jab – Right – Hook
Now let’s get the hook involved. Quick jab, hard straight right, and then, using the momentum of the straight right to wind your body up, an explosive hook with your left hand.
Jab – Right – Left uppercut
A well-aimed uppercut can end a fight in an instance. They’re harder to land than other punches as you need to be at close range but if you can pull a big one of these off, then it’s going to be lights out for you opponent. Again, we use the momentum of the straight right to get us prepared for an explosive uppercut.
Hook – Hook body
Let’s shake things up a bit now. If we always start with the jab, we’ll be too predictable. Here we aim a hook at the head and then recoil and throw another hook, but this time, at the body.
Right upper cut – Hook body
This will keep them guessing. Start the move with a sharp right uppercut and then target the body with a hard left hook.
Right uppercut – Left uppercut
Double upper cut, shift your weight right: uppercut, swing your weight back left another uppercut. If you land these then your opposite man is going to be in trouble!
Jab – Right uppercut
Quick jab to keep them thinking and then rock into a big right uppercut
Jab – Jab – Right – Hook
A classic 4 punch combo. A couple of quick jabs to the face to set this up and test the defenses, then blast through with a powerful straight right, and while they’re still gathering themselves from that, finish it off with a big left hook. Again, remember to use the momentum from your previous punch to power the next punch.
Hook – Right – Left uppercut – Right uppercut
The Hail Mary. Deploying all the power punches for when you think you have them on their last legs and you want to finish it off with a bang. Quick left hook, followed by a right hand, and finished with a left uppercut and then right uppercut. Good night. Rock your weight from side to side as you throw these punches for maximum force and rhythm.
10 more boxing combinations – including defensive moves 🛡️
Now let’s add in some defensive moves, because in a real fight I’m pretty sure you’re opponent is going to try and hit you back. The three key moves we’ll use here are the slip, the roll and the lean.
Jab – Jab – Slip right – Right
The classic. After a couple of quick jabs, your opponent responds with a jab of his own, slip right to get out of the way of it and then respond with a big right. The key to slipping is to, remember to keep your weight on your front leg and smoothly drop your shoulders.
Jab – Right – Slip right – Right uppercut
Still working this right slip to avoid an opponents jab but this time we finish with a big right uppercut. A slip to the right sets you up very nicely for an uppercut as it gives you the opportunity to get low and coil your body up to release for maximum exposure.
Jab – Jab – Right – Body block – Right uppercut
After a quick jab, jab, right combo, your opponent counters with a left hook to the body. Block this with your arm and by tensing your torso, and then respond with an uppercut.
Jab – Right – Roll – Right – Hook
Let’s roll! We’ve started off with a left right before rolling under a hook from the opponent. Using the momentum of the roll, we counter with a straight right and then finish with a powerful left hook. The key for the roll is to bend your legs and tense your torso to move under the punch – do not bend your back.
Jab – Right – Roll – Roll – Hook
The opponent’s own counters are coming in fast now. A double roll to evade two punches, followed by a left hook and a straight right to send him to the floor.
Jab – Jab – Slip right – Slip left – Hook
Now we’re dancing. Jab, jab, slip right to avoid their jab, slip left to avoid their straight, and then counter with a sharp left hook to their face.
Jab – Lean back – Jab – Right
Here we introduce the lean. After starting with a jab, we lean backwards to avoid our opponents jab and then spring forward with our own jab and a straight right.
Jab – Right – Slip right – Right – Roll – Right – Hook
Let’s start combining some of these defensive moves. After a jab and a straight right, slip right to avoid the jab, counter with a straight right, roll under the opponents hook and counter again with a powerful right and big left hook.
Jab – Jab – Roll – Right – Lean back – Right
Set up with a couple of jabs, roll under the opponents big right and counter with a hook, lean back to avoid his next right and spring forward with a big right of your own to finish.
Jab – Jab – Roll – Right – Hook – Roll – Hook – Right uppercut
A few steps here so pay attention! After some jabs, we’re rolling one way, then countering, rolling the other way, and then countering again.
Don’t forget: 🚩
Keep you non-punching hand protecting your face
Hands up remember! Don’t have your non-punching hand flailing around wildly as this will leave you vulnerable to a counter. As soon as you have thrown a punch, bring your hand straight back to its guard position by your face. The common refrain of “dropping your hands” refers to the failure to do this.
Use the momentum of your previous punch to power your next
Momentum and timing beats brute strength any day. The best punches are fluid, they’re rhythmic. One punch should flow to the next. For example, a big straight right starts the shift of weight over to the left which can then be utilised to power up for a big left hook.
12th Round 🔔
An explosive, well aimed flurry of punches can rattle your opponent and sit them down. At the very least, combinations in boxing are essential to keep your opponent guessing and as a way to break through his defenses. Keep practicing these boxing combinations and soon they will become second nature.
Happy fighting!! 🥊🥊
“Once, I was at a party…This was at a time when it seemed like I had everything. I was young. I was undefeated. I had money. I`d just moved into my own home. People at the party were laughing and having fun. And I missed my mother. I felt so lonely. I remember asking myself, `Why isn`t my mother here? Why are all these people around me? I don`t want these people around me.’ I looked out the window and started crying.” — Oscar De La Hoya