7 Basic Boxing Combinations

November 2, 2010 November 2, 2010 by Johnny N Boxing Basics, How to Box 80 Comments

Basic Boxing Combinations

This is a good list of basic punching combinations for any beginner just learning how to box.


These basic boxing combinations should be mastered to the point where you can do them going forwards, backwards, sideways, and with your eyes closed. They will serve you in a wide variety of situations and can be chained together to form even longer, more complicated boxing combinations.


Basic Boxing Combinations

1-2 (Jab-Right cross)

Yes, the basic 1-2 jab-cross is naturally the first combination you learn how to throw. It’s the first two punches you’ve ever thrown together and you’ve probably been doing it long before you started boxing…probably on your little brother or your annoying next door neighbor. The fast jab catches your opponent off guard and the right cross takes his head off. You can actually win entire fights simply by mastering the 1-2.

1-1-2 (Jab-Jab-Cross)

This one is a way to trick your opponent. The 1-1-2 works because your opponent might be expecting a 1-2. If so, then the second jab has a good chance of surprising your opponent opening the way once again for your big right hand. The 1-1-2 is also good if you feel that your opponent is waiting for your right cross to throw a counter. Instead of throwing your usual 1-2, you will throw endless jabs testing the waters (or your opponent’s defense) until he slips up and you put a right cross in there.

1-2-3 (Jab-Cross-Left hook)

This is where boxing starts to get fun. The shift of your weight when you throw the right hand naturally sets the left hook up. The left hook comes after your right cross and can put some massive hurting on your opponent. You can aim it high at his jaw or low at his body. Either way, the left hook is equally dangerous regardless of whether or not your right cross lands.

1-2-3-2 (Jab-Cross-Hook-Cross)

This is nothing but you throwing LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT. The jab opens your opponent’s guard. You follow-up with 3 big power punches: right hand, left hook, right hand finish. When the 3 big punches land beautifully, you can pat yourself on the back.

1-2-5-2 (Jab-Cross-Left uppercut-Cross)

This combo is the same as the last except instead of a left hook, you put a left uppercut in there. The left uppercut will surprise your opponent since it’s coming from a downward angle. If the other guy likes to hide behind his high guard with his head down or if he likes to charge into you, the left uppercut will pop his head up so you can chop it off with the right hand finish.

1-6-3-2 (Jab-Right uppercut-Left hook-Right hand)

Starting with the 1-2 all the time can get a little too predictable. Your opponent might get clever and try to slip the right hand. Or he might simply anticipate a straight right hand and just have his guard up. In either case, throwing a right uppercut into there will do a ton of damage and lift his head up so you can follow up with a left hook – right hand finish. You can aim the right uppercut at the body or the head, it’s your call. Make sure you don’t get too predictable when you do this, because your head is vulnerable to jabs and DEADLY counter left hooks when you throw that right uppercut.

2-3-2 (Right cross-Left hook-Right cross)

Sometimes you don’t have room to setup a whole combination. If you’ve got an overly aggressive opponent that’s invading your space, then you don’t have time to start with the jab. Drop a right hand on him followed by a left hook and another big right hand. If he’s already wide open, why waste your time with a jab? Just start with the hard punches right away. The 2-3-2 is very good at close range. Dig your feet and make it hurt.


Want More Punching Combinations?

You don’t have to learn more combinations. You can just change the way you throw certain punches to create infinitely more ways to get through to your opponent.

Lighten The Left Hand

Many beginners try to put power into every punch. Don’t do that, save your power and body weight for the big right hand. When you jab, keep it light and accurate. You can also throw lighter left hooks to keep yourself from swinging off balance if you miss.

Throw Some Fakes

This is great stuff. Instead of throwing a 1-2, fake the jab to get your opponent to lift his hand and then just land your right cross since his defense is in the wrong place. Do the same with other combinations faking the first punch or maybe the second punch. You can throw a jab, fake the right (make your opponent put his guard in front), and land a big left hook that goes around his guard.

Double The Left Hands

Same theory as the 1-1-2 but you can also double left hooks, or left uppercuts. Don’t always throw LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT all the time. It’s too predictable and too easy to block. Throw LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-LEFT-RIGHT. That’ll switch him up as he blocks the wrong side and you hit him with the other hand.

Throw Faster Punches

Again, don’t load power into every punch. Lighten them up so you can throw them faster increasing your chances of connecting. You can save the power for later when you have your opponent hurt, tired, and dropping his hands out of laziness. You can also mix it up, throwing fast punches with hard punches. The fast punches disrupt your opponent’s rhythm whereas the hard punches deliver the real power.

Go To The Body

Don’t always aim for the head. It’s too predictable and may not work against speedy boxers that move well. The body is a bigger target and will force your opponent to block high and low. Go up and down and force him to work doubletime on defense and increase your chances of landing something. Another thing you should know, a well-placed body punch can cripple your opponent in a painful knockout.

It’s not what punches you throw,
it’s how you throw the punches.    

Professionals use the same combinations over and over again. They don’t go out trying to throw more punches, or harder punches. They simply alter the aim, angle, and timing of their combinations to beat their opponents.

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Beta kungfu November 2, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Nice article! keep em’ coming


Dan November 3, 2010 at 1:11 am

Great article as a beginner to fully competitive boxing coming from kickboxing these simple but important training tips are greatly appreciated.


jshiNe November 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm

great stuff! thanks!


mikey capp November 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Thank you for the boxing article
Hello Johnny,

Thank you for the interesting articles on boxing fundamentals, I enjoy your website.


Mikey Capp


Johnny N November 4, 2010 at 1:01 am

Thanks, guys!
More great stuff to come!


Cory November 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Very good article!!! Thank you so much. I plan on entering a toughman tournament in Feb. These articles will definitely be a key essential to my training. Keep up the good work!!!!
Thank you so much. I plan on entering a toughman tournament in Feb. These articles will definitely be a key essential to my training. Keep up the good work!!!!


Cory November 7, 2010 at 12:55 pm

sorry for the double post in my previous comment^^^^^


Johnny N November 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Thank you, Cory!
Let me know how you do! I hope you can record some video and share it with us.


deano December 8, 2010 at 2:32 am

good tips 5 wins 0 loses this helped in my last fight won easily on points, thanks.


Trainer January 18, 2011 at 10:24 pm

NiCE! Just started following these steps…. (starter):-)


DJ January 27, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Knockout Punch
What punches that really deliver a sure knockout blow?


Johnny N January 28, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Hi DJ, practically all punches except the jab can deliver a knockout blow. For starters, it’s the right cross and left hook. The uppercuts don’t work until you become more experienced.


Infamous1503 April 25, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Just wondering if the over hand right can be applied to these combinations. Thanks for very good advice. very helpful!!


Johnny N April 25, 2011 at 8:41 pm

@Infamous1503 – yes they can. Just make sure you keep it sharp and don’t let it get too rowdy or too wide. You also don’t want to be leaning in with your head down when you throw them.


joey March 30, 2014 at 11:09 am

of course you want your head down when doing an overhand punch… This confuse your opponent and at the same time you make your head hard to hit while you protect with your other hand your head and chin. ( bad English i know)


Johnny N April 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Yes, this is also a popular option when exchanging wild shots on the inside.


Shangria November 19, 2015 at 4:31 pm

I wouldn’t like to get my start


Gordon May 17, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Are combinations involving hooks typically close range? Since hooks are close range, would I be throwing a short range straight right if I were to mix hooks and straight rights in combinations? It seems that if I were to throw a hook after a long range straight right, the hook turns into more of a slap hook than a typical hook that lands with the right knuckles.


Johnny N May 20, 2011 at 11:52 am

@Gordon – Very good question. I ought to make this a guide on how to get into range for a hook. Hooks are a mid and close range punch. If you want to use hooks, you’ll have to step in with the jab or step in with your right hand to get into hooking range. if you can fight at a longer range, great, just stay there. A vertical-fisted hook will have a longer reach than a horizontal-fisted hook. use whichever one reaches. If you’re not close enough for a full hook, just throw a left cross but with a slight arc to it.


ROBERT DELACRUZ August 1, 2011 at 10:35 am



Willem from Germany September 8, 2011 at 6:49 pm

You are somehow my new Trainer 🙂
Hey! After a pause in doing Muay Thai because my daughter was born i now started Boxing. I really enjoy it but not because my trainers tech me anything. I like to spar and get fit again. But with the help of your website i got the feeling of having a guide-book with me in the gym so i can set up my very own training! THANK you so much for that!


Johnny N September 13, 2011 at 4:13 am

@Willem – you’re welcome!


ginger bread November 10, 2011 at 8:47 am

if things aint working go straight to 10 TAKEDOWN


jason December 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm

i have always wanted to box when i was younger. now i am 24 and just getting into it, i have alot to learn i know, but i really want to do this. i have two questions. 1. how long should i be able to jump rope for and 2. i have glasses but i can still see without them and i was wondering what the requirements are for vision in amature boxing. my vision is -3.75 in left and right.


Johnny N December 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm

1. try jumping rope for 30 minutes straight. You’ll get use to it. Glasses may or may not be necessary. My vision is -3.75 in the left (front eye) and -3.50 in the right. I wear soft contacts but I can fight without them if necessary.


jason December 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm

thanks. thanks for all the info, this is the best site i have found so far for almost everything thanks alot!!!


J December 9, 2011 at 3:34 am

Is it possible to make up my own combinations as i go? and should i just keep adding combinations on top of another? when i normally spar and if were going hard which of course we both agree to. ill get a good hit but ill freeze. so im thinking im the type of person that has to just keep throwing them. your opinions?


Johnny N December 9, 2011 at 4:31 am

Yes, keep making up combinations. Be natural. Practice different things in training but during a fight, sometimes you just have to go with the flow.


Kenno December 27, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Thank you, these articles have helped me so much.


J January 25, 2012 at 9:14 pm

the ABC system is what you mean by taking angles and changing up the way one throws combos?


Johnny N January 28, 2012 at 12:29 am

The ABC system is a different way of expressing what you want a fighter to do. How he interprets that is up to him.


Jeff April 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

You have a combination as 1-6-3-2 (Jab-Right uppercut-Left hook-Right hand).

I’m not that experienced of a boxer so I am most likely wrong here. However, I thought the right uppercut was considered the 4 punch. I thought the 6 was a big overhand right.


Johnny N April 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Different trainers use different number systems. Feel free to use whatever numbering system you like.


rahul vishwakarma April 13, 2012 at 6:22 am

hi first of all i would like to thank u a lot for offering such useful tips to people all around the world for free.
u are really doing a excellent job please keep it up and god will always be with u…thank u once again from the deppest bottom of my heart.
i wanted to tell u that i am a 17 year old boxer and i have been boxing for like 2 years now and so i wanted
to know the proper training estimates and also i weigh only 48 kg so i cant play the whole game on gaurd i am a type of technic and reach player but i end up losing from southpaws and hard hitters in no time so please can u advise me on how develop my ability and also advise me on a proper diet,please sir.


Johnny N April 17, 2012 at 9:42 am

Rahul, I have guides on boxing diet and fighting southpaws. Check’em out!


Mike May 18, 2012 at 6:29 am

Im going to become the heavy weight champion of the world now by 2022 😉


John June 23, 2012 at 3:12 am

1 – jab
2 – cross
3 – lead hook
5 – left uppercut
6 – right uppercut

so what is.. 4 – rear hook?


Johnny N June 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm

4 is like an overhand right or wide right or looping right. It all depends on the available target but essentially it’s an arcing punch.


Zulu June 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm

The 1-6-3-2 works very good for me. Keep on posting!

it’s also in my list



Gunnar Göransson July 11, 2012 at 6:40 am

Thank you for these tips I really appreciate them.


vvtill July 12, 2012 at 8:48 am

may i know is it advisable for me to practice each combination (on the heavy bag) at least 30 set for each combination?


Johnny N July 14, 2012 at 12:18 am

Practice them however you want. These are only the basic ones so you will naturally learn many more as time passes. I would say it’s better if you can practice them on the mitts and on the double-end bag, or even in sparring. Doing them on the heavy bag is too easy.


vvtill July 13, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Just out of my curiosity, i notice you din’t add right hook into any punches combinations, but i thought right hook is powerful too?

I’ve study this youtube video about a turkey boxer street fight, i still do not understand this boxer just throw a simple jab and cross, and targeting on chin. Does it really could Knock out someone like that? because during my Muay thai sparring, i hit the opponent chin too but it doesn’t bring any damage. I wonder why?



Johnny N July 14, 2012 at 12:20 am

A good shot can definitely knock someone out. It requires power, accuracy, and timing. And even then, maybe your opponent has a better chin than your power. The guy in this video is definitely a trained fighter and he’s probably taking on average guys that don’t know how to fight…so he should be expected to win easily.


Marcus September 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Great stuff…………these combos are basic but really effective in knocking people out when mastered. Having high level of fitness is also key when fronting up to some smart arse on the street as generally the opponent has a moderate level fitness at best and can’t go the distance.


Abigail September 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Thanks man I’m so grateful for all these tips you’re helping me improve so much after watching and reading all of you footwork videos/information I can throw awesome well balanced punches. Now I can practice these combos and hopefully improve more :).

It’s really appreciated.


Darrien September 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Very helpful


Milk September 28, 2012 at 3:48 am

Received this email from my friend Bob Baylor I stand coerrcted at 5’2 I am apparently more lethal than I thought thanks Bob!. Hi Carol, I saw your boxing pic and read your blog. May I make a small correction to one of your assumptions? Your stature actually makes you even more lethal than a taller fighter. If someone were to take a swing at you, your fists are already under your opponents arms. You can easily break their ribs. You can also send on of those hooks into the side of their thighs. Law enforcement teaches to hit that area with a baton, a good hook will have the same effect. Lower abdomen really needs no further explanation! I study kung fu and we are taught that a low line attack is always harder to defend because your rarely see it coming. Enjoy your new forty! Bob


sham November 17, 2012 at 6:27 am

What is the famous mayweather combo I have seen it on youtube? Using focus pads or mitts


Johnny N November 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Hahaha, you’ll have to slow the video and write it down yourself. It’s a series of common combinations looped after one another another.


david December 1, 2012 at 9:27 am

hi im a14 years old boxer im abeginner and im pretty skinny and im 5’7 and weigh 135 pounds some people say i should lift and all that so my muscles could get stronger and harder making the pain less when your hit , is this true also your tips are great and could you tell me some mma combos


Lutador do jits January 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Thanks for writing this article. It also has some useful comments from other readers. Thanks, guys!


Matt January 23, 2013 at 2:08 am

Hi Johnny, I’m a beginner, just a few months into boxing and I love your site. As a beginner we are working with only basic defence. The issue is that for a lot of the guys I train with this means throwing both gloves up in front of the face and just keeping them there, so no matter which of the above combos I’m throw it just bounces off the gloves. What would your tips be for breaking through an ultra-cautious hands up defence like this?


Johnny N January 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Throw punches that force them to open up, and then land hard shots inside. You can also keep digging around their guard. The shell defense is pretty effective so there isn’t much a beginner can do about it unless you’re fast or skilled enough to trade.


parvez virani May 8, 2013 at 4:12 am

you are doing a great job .
I am totally new
don’t have access to any trainer or gym

I want to take boxing as a self defense as well as fitness … totally confused as where to start …. pls guide how to go ahead


Johnny N May 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Check out my EASY Boxing Workout guide and start there.


Andrew July 1, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Awesome article. Thanks for the combo idead’s.


Robert dela Cruz July 11, 2013 at 9:16 am

Left Right
Double Jab Straight
Left Right Left
Left Right Left Right Straight
Left Right Uppercut Cross Combo
Jab Beat Down Quick Hook Right Straight
Right Straight Left Hook Right Straight


liam October 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm

yo thanks for the tips m8 just need to know when u throw a jab do you aim to throw it as fast as u can or as hard as u can thanks again


Johnny N October 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Neither. I aim to release the jab as best as I can. The better I release it, the faster and more powerful it will be.


jitu October 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Thanks mate dis article is really 2 much helpful for the people who can’t afford the coaching fees n can learn it anytime


rocky February 26, 2014 at 1:53 pm

hi, i am a kickboxer (3 days per week ) and my boxing is not good, how can i enhance my speed(upper body turning) and techniques at home?
i train bodybuilding 3or4 days per week too, should i release heavy weights ? a bodybuilding program please! thank you
184cm 84kg


Johnny N March 4, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Bodybuilding is probably not the best exercise for boxing movements. Please check out my “EASY Boxing Workout” if you want to see a typical boxing training routine.


Canadian Boxer June 15, 2014 at 3:53 am

Hey Johnny,
Great article, I’ve been using this article as reference during shadowboxing and trying to commit these to muscle memory.
One question, though. For left jabs, should you be rotating your hips for more power, or keeping it light and fast? I do rotate for most other punches, just wondering if it’s worth it for a punch as weak as the left jab.

Thanks, and keep up the great work!


Johnny N July 23, 2014 at 12:46 am

Do not rotate the hips on the jab. It’s no longer a jab if you do that, it would become a left cross, and although you may have more power you gave up many advantages of the jab.


Dallas November 7, 2016 at 12:48 pm

How do you take down a guy that is bigger than you. stronger than you. Taller than you. But slower than you. what combo’s are the best for that situation?


Simon June 21, 2014 at 8:25 am

Your concluding words are very powerful.


William September 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm

I’ve been training for years in the fl.pen. you speak true text book. Love the lighter speed ones, work your opponent a bit. Twich a little here and there. Then it’s 1-1-2! The man with the straightest punch usually wins the fight! Also, 1-1-(4)solid right hook,elbow level…goodnight! Thanks for your article.


Johnny N November 25, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Yes, with the twitches! Then BOOM! Thanks for the comment.


Ildefonce Mnali November 20, 2014 at 12:57 am

3-0 the article keeps me doing the best in my fights..conglats guys keep it up. Right from East Africa Mtwara Tanzanzania


Johnny N November 25, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Shout-outs to East Africa, my friend.


Emily February 27, 2015 at 4:11 pm

I’m a high schooler in my first year of boxing training.. This article has been a help to me, as haven’t gone in the ring quite yet and there isn’t a lot of time to talk technical when you are in the middle of training. Thanks for writing this, I’ll be sure to check the rest of your articles. Two thumbs up!


Gybee August 1, 2015 at 7:39 am

It is my opinion that eye contact should be kept with the target area until the punch reaches its destination. Even if the recipient should be moving the head left to right etc, the constant eye contact with the target area will alter the punch to land on the targeted area that is under constant surveillance as long as the punch has sufficient speed.


Gybee August 1, 2015 at 12:17 pm

By the way, I am amending my above entry as follows: It is my opinion that eye contact should be kept with the target area until the punch reaches its destination. Even if the recipient should be moving the head left to right etc, the constant eye contact with the target area will alter the punch to land on the targeted area that is under constant surveillance even if it is moving as long as the punch has sufficient speed. The punch should be a strait power punch from the power hand.


Anoop c bhanu October 13, 2015 at 10:18 am

thank you very much


PAUL August 21, 2016 at 9:06 pm

Great article. Will add to my jiu-jitsu. Thanks much.


Biten Oinam September 23, 2016 at 6:49 am

Hlo sir I’m interested yr combination


goose&mav January 5, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Thanks for the article! Any tips for getting more power/accuracy into my hooks (on the weaker hand)? At the moment it kinda feels like my hook is a token punch that wouldn’t bruise a peach… Thanks!


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