The boxer should stay in a defensive position (guard) to protect his face, keeping hands on both sides of his chin. The most common position is to keep his right hand next to his chin and the left hand a few inches in front of his face.
A low hand guard may be adopted in some occasions, with one hand low and the other close to the chin (usually the right hand). Although this let one side unprotected (shoulders can be used to block punches), it can lure an opponent allowing counters from an awkward angle. Both hands should be used quickly.
The torso must kept in the oblique position. This way, a fighter would be more protected than in a frontal position, as it narrows the target area for the opponent.
To maintain a balanced stance, the left foot is front (if a boxer is right-handed, otherwise it is the inverse). Both feet are parallel, and the right heel is off the ground
The following punches are applied:
- Jab –
quick, straight punch thrown with the lead hand from the guard position.Generally used to ward off
the opponent or to measure the distance
- Cross –
powerful, very fast, straight punch thrown with the rear hand.
- Hook –
semi-circular punch thrown with the lead hand to the side of the opponent's head or abdomen.
- Uppercut – vertical, rising punch thrown with the rear hand, aiming the opponent's chin or his liver area.
- Swing – a punch struck diagonally upwards. It has great effect, but leaves the guard
To be most effective, these punches are applied through a number of combinations (number of two or more punches in rapid succession).
Boxing is reputed of being the fighting style that possesses the most powerful punch. Though it has only few techniques of punches, their high efficiency can be seen by the fact that they had been assimilated by Muay Thai and other Kickboxing styles.
To punch with a maximum of potency, the boxer should apply a "snapping" punch with the fist in the horizontal position. He should rotate his torso (to make it work as a lever), punch as fast as possible and let the force of impact bounce his fist back immediately. The fist and the muscles should be left relaxed, and be tightened only during the impact.
As a boxer cannot become a fixed target, he should seek to move doing a footwork (by almost sliding in order not to lose contact with the floor, pivoting, bouncing) and even moving his head.
He can step linearly or sideways, even throwing a jab while in motion. The other punches should be preferably applied in a fixed position.
Pivoting the foot located in the the same side of the arm who executes a cross, hook or uppercut helps to transfer the body weight, increasing the power of the strike.
Defenses moves are practiced in order to avoid punches:
A boxer can also lean backwards to avoid punches (and forward when punching). However, when moving, he must keep his posture straight.