The ULTIMATE GUIDE to boxing!
Are you new to boxing and don’t know where to start? I made this complete basic boxing guide for all beginner boxers, filled with explanations, pictures, videos, and links to more detailed guides. Please share it with other aspiring boxers and fighters.
The Greatest Benefits About Boxing
First off, why boxing?
This question couldn’t have been any easier. Boxing is a great workout, perhaps the most challenging of all sports. Requires speed, agility, finesse, power, endurance, and ultimate mental toughness. Boxing pushes you like no other, pitting the finest and highest level athletes against each other. It’s a sweet science but at the same time also a raw and brutal sport.
More importantly boxing takes you further than you ever thought possible. Boxing makes you more alive than ever, more humble in defeat, and most glorious in victory. Boxing reveals the true fighter deep inside every single one of us.
Basic Boxing Technique
Basic Boxing Stance
The basic boxing stance is supposed to be easy for beginners to attack and defend easily. You’re well covered in this stance with both hands ready to attack easily. More advanced fighters will use different boxing stances for more advanced body movements and counter-punching opportunities.
The proper boxing stance – ready to attack or defend (see video)
- Front toe & back heel on the center line. Dominant hand in back (if you are right-handed, put the right hand in back).
- Weight evenly distributed across both legs, knees slightly bent.
- Feet diagonal, little wider than shoulder width apart, back heel raised.
- Elbows down, hands up.
- Head behind your gloves, chin slightly down, eyes see over the gloves.
- Relax and breathe!
*** Get used to returning to this position after all boxing movements!
Read more guides on boxing stance:
- The Perfect Boxing Stance
- Perfect Boxing Stance Width
- Why the Strong Arm Belongs in the Back
- Deciding Between Orthodox or Southpaw
- How to Find Your Dominant Hand
- Boxing Stance 101
- Boxing Stances and Styles Explained
Basic Boxing Footwork
Beginners absolutely need to master the step-drag and pivot maneuvers. This type of movement may seem difficult at first because many people have a habit of always jumping off the ground. In boxing, you want to keep your feet down on the ground so you’re always ready to attack, defend, or move away. Also, jumping around is a huge waste of energy. The flashy footwork will come naturally once you develop better conditioning and technique.
The basic STEP-DRAG (see video)
That right there is the basic boxing footwork. Step with the lead foot and drag the rear foot. This stepping and dragging boxing footwork technique ensures that your weight is grounded and always ready to attack or defend. It also prevents you from walking or crossing your feet which can make you fall off balance.
- To go FORWARD or LEFT, step with your left foot first and then drag the right foot after.
- To go BACKWARD or RIGHT, step with your right foot first and then drag the left foot after.
*** TIP: try to finish all steps with your feet at the same distance.
The PIVOT (see video)
The next most important boxing footwork technique you’ll need is the pivot. It’s usually done by pivoting off your front foot. You can use it defensively to avoid attacks, or offensively to find new punching angles. A pivot can be useful for counter-punching by taking you out of harm’s way and still keep you in range to throw counter punches.
- Pivot CLOCKWISE by swinging your right foot and letting your body pivot over the left foot.
- Practice small pivots (45-90 degrees) as well as big pivots (90-180 degrees).
Read more guides on boxing footwork:
- 10 Boxing Footwork Tips
- Basic Boxing Footwork Strategy
- Boxing footwork technique videos: Shuffle, Bounce-Step
- Boxing footwork strategy videos: Moving In & Out
- How to Improve Your Boxing Balance
Basic Boxing Punches
Basic Punching Technique (basic punch technique ranks higher)
- Start from a relaxed position
- Exhale as you throw the punch
- Tighten your fist and body muscles at impact
- Release your hand back to you
Throwing punches is simply the act of being relaxed, then quickly accelerating your hand towards the target as you exhale sharply. You tighten your fist at the moment of impact and then relax the hand to throw more punches. The trick is to utilize your entire body weight behind the punch without falling off balance. Skills and experience will teach you over time.
For a beginner, the most important thing is to learn the proper punching form. Later on, you will be able to throw many different variations of punches from different positions and develop your own punching technique to fit your style.
Basic Punching Tips
- Turn your whole body and pivot your feet on ALL PUNCHES EXCEPT THE JAB
- Maintain your stance and balance for better power and mobility.
- make sure the non-punching hand is defending the other side of your body
- exhale sharply on every shot
- All boxing punches are basically a variation of straight punches (elbow straight), hook punches (elbow sideways), or uppercut punches (elbow down).
Left Straight (JAB) – the #1 most important weapon in boxing (see video)
- Keeping the rest of your body still, extend your left fist straight forward.
- Exhale sharply as you punch, rotating the fist to land with the palm down.
- Pull the hand back immediately after impact to defend.
*** Try throwing a jab with a forward step (aka “step jab”). Also try a jab to the body by bending your knees & waist slightly as you jab.
The jab is the most important punch in boxing. It can attack, defend, counter, score points, make space, and many other things. It’s your longest, fastest punch, uses the least energy, and leaves you the least vulnerable. A boxing trainer will usually tell you that every combo must start with the jab. It’s a fast punch that stuns your opponent just long enough for the big punches to land.
Great fighters have great jabs.
Read more boxing guides on the jab:
- How to Throw a Jab
- 5 Types of Jabs
- The Ultimate Boxing Jab Guide
- Jab with Head Movement (INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED)
Right Straight (RIGHT CROSS) – your strongest punch (see video)
- Rotate your hips and upper body CCW as you pivot your right foot (about 90 degrees).
- Exhale sharply as you extend your right fist straight out from your chin.
- Rotate the fist to land with your palm down.
- Do not let your head lean past your front knee.
*** When necessary, the right elbow can bend to create a slight looping angle (overhand right) or even a wide looping angle (hayemaker) to come around your opponent’s guard. Many boxing trainers stress the importance of a straight right for beginners because it telegraphs less and doesn’t leave the fighter as open. It’s uncommon to see a “right hook” because it would likely be blocked by their opponent’s left shoulder. Bend your knees and waist if you want to throw a cross to the body.
The right cross will naturally be your strongest punch because it comes from your dominant hand and gets leverage easily from the back. When combined, the jab and right cross become known as the basic but incredibly useful 1-2 combination.
LEFT HOOK – a dangerous power punch (see video)
- Pivot your feet clockwise (about 90 degrees) as you drop the right heel and lift the left heel.
- Your body rotates as one solid block when you pivot your feet.
- The left arm tightens as you swing your left fist into the target.
*** For a left hook to the body, leave your left hand down and throw with a vertical fist.
The left hook is easily one of the deadliest punches in boxing. It comes from a side angle making it tricky to defend when an opponent is expecting straight punches. It’s also common for knockouts because the punch turns the head and easily makes opponents dizzy. You can throw left hooks to the head with your fist horizontal or vertical; for a beginner, I recommend you to use the ones that feels most natural.
Left hooks to the body are the most common way to attack the body. The “liver shot” (located under your right ribs) is known to be incredibly painful and has led to many body shot knockouts. Body shots typically take the wind out of you and kill your legs, hampering your ability to move. A well-placed body shot can momentarily paralyze your legs and keep you from standing even if you’re conscious and still willing to fight.
Read more boxing guides on the left hook:
LEFT UPPERCUT – dangerous short to long-range punch (see video)
- Pivot your feet clockwise (about 90 degrees) as you drop the right heel and lift the left heel.
- Your body rotates just like a left hook (don’t lean forward or backward).
- With your elbow pointing down, drop your left fist slightly and swing it upwards as you exhale.
- The punch lands with the palm facing up.
- Keep this punch compact, and recover to your stance quickly.
*** You can throw this punch more straight or more curved, and to the head or body.
The left uppercut is a great punch to use on the inside or even mid-range. It’s more powerful than the jab, comes fast, and can be quite unexpected. The only risk is that you have to be closer to your opponent and your left shoulder is not up to defend against your opponent’s rights.
RIGHT UPPERCUT – dangerous short to long-range punch (see video)
- Rotate your hips and upper body CCW as you pivot your right foot (about 90 degrees).
- Your body rotates just like a right cross (don’t lean forward or backward).
- With your elbow pointing down, drop your right fist slightly and swing it upwards as you exhale.
- The punch lands with the palm facing up.
- Keep this punch compact, and recover to your stance quickly.
The right uppercut is a devastating punch to use at close range or mid-range. It’s very powerful to throw at the head or body. The greatest risk is that you’re dropping your right hand and exposing yourself to a counter left hook.
Basic Punch Combinations
Basic punch combinations for beginners! Learn the punch numbering system below and then try out all the basic combinations. You can throw these combinations in shadowboxing, on the bags, the mitts, or even in sparring. Every seasoned boxer will have mastered these combinations as second nature.
1 = jab
2 = right cross
3 = left hook
4 = overhand right
5 = left uppercut
6 = right uppercut
b = body
*** Example: 1-2-3b combo would mean a jab to the head, then right cross to the head, then left hook to the body.
Common Boxing Combinations
There’s no rule to boxing combinations. You can throw whatever punches you want in whatever order you want. There are definitely SOME guidelines, such as throwing fast feeler punches (like the jab) before you commit to the hard shots that leave you open longer. It’s also more natural to alternate punches between your right and left hand but also a good idea to throw double lefts and double rights to confuse your opponent.
You’ll eventually learn other combinations later (some with fancy defensive moves embedded) and ultimately make up your own to fit the situation.
- Best Boxing Combo (Jab-Jab-Cross)
- Johnny’s Punching Combinations List
- How to Throw a 1-2 Punch Combination
- Breathing Techniques for Fighting
- Boxer’s Breathing Technique
- 7 Basic Punching tips
- How to Punch Harder
- How to Punch Faster
- Handspeed Technique
- How to Throw a Snapping Punch
- How to Throw a Straight Punch
- How to Throw a Shoeshine Combination
- Power Punching Secrets, PART 1 (ADVANCED)
- Power Punching Secrts, PART 2 (ADVANCED)
Basic Boxing Defense
There many kinds of defensive techniques you may have heard of out there, some fancier than others. The first thing a beginner boxer needs to learn is how to block. Blocking is the easiest way to stay in punching range without getting hurt. And for beginners, blocking is the safest way because it closes off the punching angles. Once you’ve mastered blocking, then you can move on to the more advanced stuff like parrying, rolling, and slipping. The main benefits of more advanced defense techniques is that they allow you to defend yourself without using your hands, this way your hands are free to punch back!
Blocking is the easiest way
to stay in punching range without getting hurt.
Blocking head punches
- bring your gloves closer to cover your face
- raise right glove to block left-handed punches
- raise left glove to block right-handed punches
Blocking body punches
- bring your elbows closer to you
- lower the right elbow block left-handed punches
- lower the left elbow to block right-handed punches
Boxing Defense Tips
- It’s safer to cover yourself, instead of chasing the punch (which still leaves you open).
- Keep your eyes on opponent (the punches you see don’t hurt you as much).
- Stay balanced, it’s easier to block punches without getting pushed back when you’re standing on both legs.
- Fight back, the only way to go from defensive to offensive is to punch back.
- Step back, moving out of range is the easiest way to avoid all punches.
- Watch for the strong hand, if you can’t defend everything at least watch for the big punches.
Of course, there is more to blocking than simply bringing your gloves to you but this is a good start for beginners. No need to do anything fancy, or get confused about where to place your hand. Pull your hands to your face, or pull your elbows to your body.
Read more guides on boxing defense:
- Boxing Defense Techniques
- How to Block Punches in Boxing
- How to Parry Punches
- How to Shoulder Roll
- How to Slip Punches
- How to Slip Punches in Boxing
- Back Hand Guard Technique
- The Meaning of Defense
- How to Take Punches Better
- Aggressive Defense Strategy
- How to Improve Your Fighting Reflexes
- Advanced Slipping Technique, PART 1
- Advanced Slipping Technique, PART 2
Basic Boxing Counter-Punching
You’ll eventually realize that boxing is almost always non-stop counter-punching. You will always be attacking and defending simultaneously so you will need to combine your offensive and defensive boxing skills. For a beginner, this easiest way to counter is to block first and then counter immediately after. Jabs can be countered by simultaneously throwing another punch, or blocking first and then countering.
As your skills improve, you’ll eventually learn that any punch can be countered with any punch. The tricky part is figuring out how. For now, you should focus on the easier counters for beginners that don’t require high-level defensive movements.
Basic Counters to the Jab
- throw your own jab (head or body)
- throw another punch (head or body)
- blocking first and then countering after might not be fast enough to counter the jab
Basic Counters to a Right Cross/Overhand/Uppercut
- Intercept the right hand with a long jab.
- Or throw a fast left hook before or after your opponent’s right.
- Block first, then throw your own right hand.
Basic Counters to a Left Hook/Uppercut
- Throw a long left jab.
- Block first, then throw a counter right.
Read more boxing guides on counter-punching:
- 7 Easy Boxing Counters
- Boxing Counter-Punching Strategy for Beginners
- 10 Counters for the Right Hand
- 3 Simple Counters for Southpaws Against Orthodox Boxers
- 20 Southpaw Punch Combos and Counters
Basic Boxing Training
The best way to get trained for boxing is to enter a real boxing gym full of licensed boxing trainers and competing amateur and professional boxers. There you would only have to follow instructions from the more experienced guys and eventually customize routines to fit your needs. Now if these options aren’t available to you, here’s what I would recommend.
Essential Boxing Equipment
These are the absolute essentials EVERY BOXER needs to have. Sure you can borrow, but it’s gross/un-hygienic and not as safe as having your own.
A crucial tool for protecting your hands. Do not go around punching a heavy bag without hand protection, as this will likely screw up your wrist and injure you quickly. You should be wearing handwraps everytime that you plan to put on boxing gloves.
Having your own handwraps is like having your own socks. It will be filled with your sweat and your nasty odor. You can get away with one pair but it’s probably better to cycle between 2 or 3 pairs depending on how often you train.
Using the community gym gloves might be ok for a while but you’ll eventually fall in love with your favorite pair. And then it gets annoying when you want to train but somebody else is using “your” gloves. Or you arrive at the gym heartbroken one day to find “your” gloves ripped open with the wrist strap torn off. At which point, you’ll realize it’s best to have your own training gloves, because it smells better, has newer padding, and always available when you need it.
If you could only have one pair, get 16oz training gloves. If you can afford to have a second pair, get 12oz or 14oz for when you want to do some speed work on the heavy bag or double-end bag. (For sparring, always use 16oz.) Smaller guys, women, or kids (below 120lbs) can train with 14oz gloves or less but otherwise I highly recommend the 16oz standard.
- What Boxing Gloves to Use
- Boxing Gloves Buyer’s Review
- What’s the Difference in Power Between 14oz and 16oz Gloves?
This is a must if you’re going to do any sparring. I don’t know why there are still idiots out there who think it’s ok to spar without mouthguard. Possible consequences: A) you lose a tooth because the impact lands perfectly on one tooth instead of dispersing itself over your jaw. B) You injure your jaw (making you weak-chinned for a long time) because the lower jaw swings freely and isn’t secured against the upper jaw. Higher likelihood of concussion for you. C) You bite your tongue. I’ve actually bitten STRAIGHT THROUGH my tongue once. Imagine how painful it is to give yourself a tongue piercing with your own teeth.
Don’t share a mouthpiece either. Unless it’s molded to your teeth, it won’t give you the maximum amount of protection. Also, people bleed on their mouthpieces all the time and you might get someone else’s disease (i.e. hepatitis, aids, herpes, etc). The best mouthguards cost at least $20 but anything is better than nothing.
Non-Essential Boxing Equipment
Ultimately, all boxing equipment is “essential” if you plan to box seriously and even compete. However for a beginner just learning how to box and testing the waters, the following equipment may or may not be required. Do what you can with what you have.
You’ll eventually want your own headgear if you’re going to do regular sparring. It’ll fit you better and always be available instead of always being used or draped with somebody else’s sweat. The padding will be a lot better since it’s not being used by 30 other people. Headgear is ALWAYS a must when you’re sparring; don’t go without it.
Boxing shoes increase your mobility and power in the ring. This is due to their superior grip and slim material which increases your agility. You’ll not only feel better but move a whole lot better. There is no other equipment that can improve your boxing ability faster than simply putting on a pair of boxing shoes. My favorite brands are Nike and Adidas. Everlast and Rival are also ok. Title, I don’t like so much.
Boxing Training Equipment
In order of most important to least important. You’ll likely need EVERYTHING to be a successful boxer but if you’re not going to compete, then it doesn’t really matter anyway.
Gym & Trainer
The fastest way to learn is to learn from somebody who knows what he’s doing. The people and environment you surround yourself with have a great effect on your self growth. Training with trainers and better fighters will improve your skill level quickly. Training by yourself or with lower level fighters will slow your progress. With that said, being in a gym and working with a trainer is the best way to go. It will be tough and scary and out of your comfort zone but it will make you a better fighter!
A partner can hold mitts for you, spar with you, run with you, train with you, motivate you and push you beyond your limits. Boxing, like many other endeavors, is a thousand times more fun when done with others. Trying to box without a partner is like learning how to play chess all by yourself. You’d be imagining all sorts of irrelevant possibilities only to lose later when you finally face a live opponent. If you don’t like taking forever, get a partner so you can progress exponentially.
For a beginner, you’ll need the heavy bag to develop your punching form, punching power, punching speed, and punching endurance. It will probably be tons of fun for you at first because you’ve never had a chance to exert all your energy like that. Eventually you’ll move on to bigger and better things but for a beginner, the heavy bag is plenty of fun.
Awesome way to develop accuracy, timing, and hand speed. I highly recommend this as a complement or even a substitute for the heavy bag, especially for higher-skilled boxers.
For $5, you can’t find a better piece of boxing equipment that will help develop your overall boxing conditioning, balance, footwork, and even punching abilities. The jump rope is a common way to warm-up, workout, or warm down for boxers.
Great for developing rhythm, timing, accuracy, hand speed, and arm endurance. The speed bag is absolutely crucial for serious boxers but not truly necessary for recreational ones. If you have access to one, great.
You can spar anywhere but a boxing ring is best if you want to learn how to box according to the common rules and scenarios of boxing. Having a ring helps limit the area so neither you or your opponent can run out of range. It also forces you to develop long range as well as close range fighting skills. On a more psychological level, being in a ring forces you to confront your opponent without any option to quit.
Below is a general idea of a basic boxing workout. It might be too easy for the natural athletes but also too hard for others. Do what you can and work your way up. If something feels hard to do, then you know you need to do it more. If something hurts, STOP. Last but not least, TAKE YOUR REST. Don’t be a noob and train until you’re completely sore and injured. No intelligent athlete does that, only noobs (because they don’t know how to be productive other than to completely exhaust themselves).
- 3 ROUNDS – run or jump rope (both is good, too) [how to jump rope]
- 3 ROUNDS – shadowbox [how to shadowbox]
- stretch and move around to warm-up the body [how to warm up arms]
- 3 ROUNDS – focus mitts with trainer/partner (to develop new skills)
- 3 ROUNDS – heavy bag
- 3 ROUNDS – speed bag
- 3 ROUNDS – double end bag
- 3 ROUNDS – more shadowboxing (to reinforce new learned skills and warm-up for sparring)
- 3 ROUNDS – sparring, can be for training or learning purposes [sparring link]
- 3 ROUNDS – conditioning work, can be plyometrics, tabata drills, resistance training, calisthenics, etc
- 100 push-ups
- 100 sit-ups
- 100 crunches
- stretch again so you don’t get too sore or cramped for the next day
Boxing Training Tips:
- Ask for tips from everybody. it’s amazing what you’ll learn when you get advice from many different angles – there is more than one way to do things, you must learn them all (there is no “best way”)
- Eat right. It will give you more energy and speed up your recovery. Common Sense Boxing Diet
Read more guides on boxing training:
- Top 5 Boxing Exercises
- How to Shadowbox for Boxing Coordination
- How to Jump Rope for Boxing
- Boxing Jump Rope Tricks
- How to Hit a Heavy Bag
- Heavy Bag Drills
- Heavy Bag Workout
- 10 Heavy Bag Training Tips
- How to Hit a Speed Bag
- How to Hit a Double-End Bag
- Double-End Bag Drills
- Double-End Bag Training (demo)
- ExpertBoxing EASY Boxing Workout (try this great boxing workout!)
- Hand Speed Drills and Exercises
- How to Increase Your Endurance
- How to Stop Wasting Energy
- How to Avoid Getting Tired
- The Perfect Training Pace
- Most Important Muscles for Fighting
- 5 Creative Fighting Tips
Basic Boxing Strategy
Boxing is 90% Mental
Once it comes time to competing whether in the gym or a tournament, you’re bound to run into confidence issues at some point or another. It’s natural for people to start doubting themselves at their first major failure. You start to wonder if boxing is even for you. Or maybe you feel like you’ve reached a plateau and can’t get any better. Here are some guides to help you overcome these mental challenges.
- Building Your Fight Confidence
- How to Be Great (inspirational articles) – PART 1, PART 2, PART 3, PART 4, PART 5
A lot of people ask me:
- What’s the best style of boxing?
- How do I fight like Mike Tyson? How do I fight like Floyd Mayweather?
- What boxing style should I use?
Ok listen, this is hard to explain but I’ll do my best. Here’s the thing, there really is no such thing as a “fighting style” or even “the best style”. The only style that has ever mattered is YOUR NATURAL STYLE. Which is to do things the most natural and easy way for you. In fact you don’t even have to think about style. Just keep improving your boxing technique, training, and strategy over time—and your “style” will be a result of that. What matters is that you win, not the way you look.
Your number one goal is to
always make the best choice.
And the best choice is what feels the easiest and most natural to you. A tall guy might find it easiest to fight tall. A short guy might find it easiest to find short. Mike Tyson fights the way he does because it’s the easiest way for him. He throws hard punches because he’s already a strong dude, it doesn’t take extra effort for him to BE strong.
Muhammad Ali can dance around the ring because he has great footwork. If you want to do that, you have to develop your footwork to the point that it’s easy. Otherwise, trying to be Ali when you don’t have his skills nor conditioning will only waste energy. All the best fighters you see have their distinct style because they found the easiest way for THEMSELVES to be successful. And you will have to find the EASIEST way (not the flashiest) for YOU to be successful.
Of course, this doesn’t mean your style never changes. That’s nonsense. Your skills, physicality, and mentality will change over time and so will your style. Your style will continue to evolve as new movements and new approaches in fighting become more natural to you. But this only happens if you focus on yourself instead of trying to copy somebody else. It’s good to find inspiration elsewhere, BUT FOCUS ON YOURSELF!
I really hope that you either know what you’re doing or at least training with someone who knows what he’s doing. Sparring can very quickly become a dangerous thing for untrained wannabes. There’s a ton of fun Youtube videos of people doing backyard fights…and then when you do it, the worst happens–your nose is broken, you get a concussion, injury, or even death. These things actually do happen. Boxing is not a game; it’s a serious sport. Go slow and work your way up to full speed, this is the only safe way to learn something.
- Boxer’s First Spar Checklist
- Where to Look During a Fight
- Boxing Sparring for Beginners
- Why Beginners Shouldn’t Spar with Bigger Opponents
It’s important to work your way up to full contact sparring especially if you’re a helpless beginner. Go easy, go slow. If it hurts, then you’re going to fast. If one of you is flinching, then you’re going to fast. I recommend to shadowbox fight against each other first (mimic a fight without contacting), then going jabs only, before throwing all punches possible. It’s also a good idea to start with 2 minutes rounds at first. Getting tired fast doesn’t mean you suck, it’s a natural thing that happens to many fighters especially if they’re not used to the stress of fighting.
- Wear safety equipment (mouthpiece, headgear, etc).
- Spar with someone who will help you LEARN how to fight better (not just beat you up).
- Do not spar with anyone who is TRYING to hurt you (save this for when you’re better trained).
- You don’t owe your trainer anything, do not let him force you into dangerous situations.
- HANDS UP, LOOK AT YOUR OPPONENT, BREATHE.
- Throw no more than 3-5 punches at a time.
- You will ALWAYS get tired. it’s better to get tired punching than get tired defending.
Basic Fight Strategy
Every beginner should at least start with this basic fight strategy. You can use this in hard sparring or even in a fight. The goal is to score some points without leaving yourself completely open. You can get very far if you do this right.
- 1st round: move around and try to touch your opponent. See how he moves and see where he’s open. Learn about him and hit him without committing too much energy. Save your energy for the later rounds.
- 2nd round: you should have a feel for his rhythm of moving. Start throwing harder punches, and fight back without being reckless. Keep your back off the ropes and remember to throw punches or else you’ll end up as a punching bag.
- 3rd round: go all out. Throw your most effective punches, as many as you can. Be aggressive but not reckless. It’s the last round so work as hard as you can. Empty your tank before the bell rings.
Basic Fighting Styles
These are some general ideas to fighting different kinds of opponents. It’s not a complete guide by any means. Ultimately, you will have to improve your conditioning and technique to improve your fighting ability. As your boxing skills develop, so will your ability to handle different kinds of opponents. And even then, there will always be someone who easily negates your style.
Power puncher – either use a good defense or move alot. The goal is to avoid his punches without using more energy them him. You need to tire out so you can attack him when his punches don’t hurt as much.
Speedy runner - attack fast opponents like you would with a speed bag, not a heavy bag. That means to use fast punches, not power punches. Use many many fast punches and you’ll eventually catch him. Once you do, you can try more powerful shots.
Defensive shell – throw lots of punches and you’ll crack through. Try to get to his side or behind him before you attack, don’t just stand in front of him or you’ll get hit by a counter. Take your time, there’s no rush since he’s not throwing anything.
Aggressive swarmer - these guys can be a nightmare for beginners. You have no time to think, so all you can do is fire back and hopefully you don’t get tired before he does. Be smart and aim with good punches. Come closer to him to take away his punching space or use a solid guard to block many of his punches. Make sure you fire back to at least keep the fight even or you’ll end up as a punching bag.
Tall or long-reach - Come forward with a high guard and throw some sharp overhand rights. Try to trade punches and see if you can get them to tire out. The goal is to get into range without getting hit or using too much energy.
Short guys or duckers - if you can’t hit the head, aim for the body and work your way up. A good idea is to aim for the chest to force him to block there, then go for the head or the stomach.
Read more boxing guides on fight strategy:
- The Feel Out Process
- How to Lose a Fight (Skillfully)
- How to Beat a Better Fighter
- How to Brawl
- How to Beat a Taller Boxer
- How to Beat a Shorter Boxer
- Beating the Swarmers
- How to Fight a Southpaw
- Southpaw Guide to Beating Orthodox Fighters
- Baiting and Forcing Counters
- 5 Feints for Boxing Tricks
- What’s Your Fighting Style?
- Drowning Style – Constant Pressure Without Blocking
- Anti-Technique and Style
- Tips for Your First Fight
- How to Avoid Getting Robbed in Your Amateur Fight
Beginner Boxing Mistakes
More beginner boxing tips!
Beginner Technique Mistakes
- Letting the head lean past the knees.
- Having a tight body and tight fists when not punching.
- Letting your feet lift when you punch (decreases balance, grounding and power).
- Covering the eyes when defending.
- Having too much ego. Make sure you ask for tips from everybody. It’s amazing what you’ll learn when you get advice from many different angles – there is more than one way to do things, you must learn them all (there is no “best way”).
Beginner Training Mistakes
- Not having a good trainer, thinking you can learn everything on your own (a fighter with a coach can easily learn 3 times faster than one training solo).
- Too much heavy bag. (8 Reasons Why Heavy Bags Suck)
- Focusing too much on power (instead of speed, endurance, balance, accuracy, etc).
- Not enough shadowboxing.
- Not taking rest days during the week.
- Responsive training (sparring, mitts) is far more beneficial than drill training (shadowboxing, bagwork, etc).
Beginner Fighting Mistakes
- Dropping your hands.
- Jumping around instead of using the step-drag.
- Not looking at the opponent (especially during exchanges).
- Throwing too little or too many punches, the best combos are thrown 3-5 punches at a time.
- Reaching with punches instead of waiting until you’re in range.
- Not using the jab regularly.