How to Set Up Hooks to the Body

December 6, 2011 December 6, 2011 by Johnny N Boxing Strategy, Counter-Punching 141 Comments

Setup Hooks to the Body

Any fighter can tell you the hook to the body can be the most painful punch you will ever feel. It cripples your body from the inside, paralyzes your legs, and takes away your will to fight. Worst of all: hooks to the body can knock you out but leave you conscious to feel the pain.

Nowadays, all fighters are taught to throw hooks to the body but very few are taught how to set them up. They think setting up body hooks means slipping a punch and coming inside. They’re half right but they’re still missing one key ingredient. This is something I took years to figure out.

…the proper setup determines whether you slip in safely to land your hook OR get crushed under your opponent and countered!

Taking Hooks to the Body

I learned how to box in a Mexican gym. And if there’s one thing Mexicans are known for, it’s body punching. I didn’t know how they threw them but I’ll never forget the pain. Even when my elbows were down, the hooks still got through. Even when I thought I was out of range, they still connected. I knew the hooks were coming, but they still got me every time.

I was even taught to counter the left hook to the body, by blocking first and then countering with a right hand. Now if you’ve ever faced a body puncher before, you know how scary it is to throw your right hand and risk getting hit to the liver. I was terrified so I kept my right arm pinned as my opponent battered my elbow with one hook after another.

“How the heck is he getting inside?!” I wondered. Everytime I tried the same tactic, I was held down or I just wasn’t able to get past his right hand. One trainer told me to just throw the hook and not be afraid of my opponent’s right hand. That advice was terrible, I ate many right hands for listening to that.

Another trainer suggested that I move my feet (and body) to the side to get out of my opponent’s right hand range. The advice was logical but unrealistic. My opponent’s right hand always moved faster than I could move my feet. The trainer suggested that I drill the slip some more. I drilled for months but still couldn’t get outside the right hand fast enough to land my left hook to the body! Not only was I unable to get inside, I was getting hit with counter left hooks!

At best, I was able to land the body hook 10% of the time but it required too much concentration. Even then, it only worked against lesser skilled opponents and never the better ones. I never stopped trying though, I figured I would meet someone who could explain it to me.

…a few years later, I figured it out on my own anyway.

The Wrong Way to Slip Inside 

square against right cross

Richard stands square preparing to slip my right hand.

  • Can it be any more obvious that he wants to get inside to throw the hook?!


square slip under right cross

Richard now slips my right hand by diving under it.


crushed under right hand

WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Don’t ever do this. Look at what happens next…

  • How exactly is he going to counter when he’s trapped under my armpit?


crushed under right cross

Richard crushed under me. Vulnerable to my punches, and unable to counter.

  • Look at how easy it is for me to fall into Richard and crush him under me. From here I can pin him under me and keep him from throwing any counters. I can throw my own hooks and uppercuts. It’s easy to take advantage of him when he’s leaning off center and held off-balance. Your opponent doesn’t have to be a boxing genius, any brawler could fall into you and pin you under him.


pivot around crushed opponent

I can easily pivot to the side and land hooks and uppercuts from a side angle.


Slipping under punches is dangerous,
because you might get stuck under your opponent.


The Inefficient Way to Slip Inside

So we know it’s not good to dive under the punch. Now here’s another creative way to slip the right hand.

setup jumping slip

Hmmm…let’s see how Richard avoids my right hand.


Ok wow, Richard jumps entirely to the outside of my right hand.

  • It’s better…but unrealistic and inefficient.

Now this tactic does work, your entire body slips the entire punch perfectly. If you’re an inside fighter and like cutting inside like Ricky Hatton, it can definitely work wonders. The problem with this approach is that it requires too much energy (because you’re jumping your whole body), requires too much speed, and isn’t easy to do off the fly.

Let’s be realistic, do you really think Richard has the energy to jump outside my right hand every time? Do you really think a boxer can truly move his entire body across the floor faster than I can throw my right hand?

What can Richard do to make this counter better or easier?

Now I reveal the secret ingredient…


The Proper Way to Setup Hooks to the Body

My video demonstration of how to setup hooks to the body.


The secret to slipping inside is to SETUP THE SLIP!

That’s the secret! Before the counter, before the slip, is the setup. It’s the one thing most boxers are not taught and the main reason why many boxers are unable to counter the right hand. Watch carefully how I setup the slip.

Setting Up Left Hooks to the Body

setup slip

I setup the slip by putting my head to the right.

  • I’m trying to get him to throw a long right hand. I want him to stretch over to reach my head. If his body follows his punch, he will fall over to the side instead of falling into me when he misses.
  • NOTE: I know it looks like I’m leaning back with my weight on my back foot but it’s not. My weight is actually even balance with maybe slightly more on the back foot. I tilt my head to the right but in reality, I’m trying to keep it as close to the center as possible. The trick is to make it LOOK LIKE you’re way off to the without actually taking yourself off center. The closer you are to the center, the easier it is to cut across the center and slip to the other side.


left hook to the body

I easily slip his long right hand.

  • Notice how my body is still upright. I’ve got my legs and balance under me. I’ve got more control over my body and more power to counter with. Now look at my opponent. Look at how stretched out he is. Look at how powerful my stance is compared to how vulnerable my opponent looks.
  • Right after you land the left hook to the body, follow it up. Throw rights followed by more left hooks. You don’t have to exit until he throws his left hook, which you can slip and counter with a right hook on his other side.


Making your opponent throw longer punches,
gives you more time to slip and a bigger target to hit.


What if your opponent doesn’t throw the long right hand? One idea is to keep throwing the jab to force him to counter with the long right hand. (Likewise, you can throw your right hand to force him to throw the left hook.)

Setting Up Right Hooks to the Body

head baiting jab

I setup the right hook to the body by placing my head forward to the left.

  • What I’m doing is baiting him to throw a jab or left hook at my head.


slipping under jab

There’s the jab! I slip to the right and…


right hook to the body after jab

Throw the right hook to the exposed body.


Throwing the Right Hook to the Body During Exchanges

punching waiting for hook

Here’s me landing some big shots after slipping inside successfully.

  • I’m throwing non-stop lefts and rights from the pocket but what I’m really doing is waiting for his left hand.


setup left hook slip

Here comes the left! NOW I slip to the outside!

  • You slip the left hook by pulling your head back. You don’t need to roll under unless you prefer doing it that way.


right hook to body

Once again, I’ve got him all stretched out. EASY right hand counter!

Combining Multiple Hooks to Body

Now that you’ve learned how to setup left hooks and right hooks to the body, it’s time to learn how to put them together to use as a deadly counter-combination. All you have to do is setup one hook and that watch for your opponent’s counter. As soon as he counters, you pull out or roll under to the other side and land a hook over there.


setup outside slip

Here I am, baiting with my head to the right. 


Slipping outside the long right hand.


counter left hook to body



slip outside counter hook

WHOA! Slipping outside his counter left hook.


counter right hook to body



The trick to combining hooks:
make your opponents over-swing their counters.

When you hit your opponent, hit him hard. This will trigger him to over-swing his counters. Once you get the hang of making your opponent over-swing his counters, you can easily chain multiple hooks together. As you become more experienced, you might touch him gently on the first hook and save your rotational power for the second hook.

It’s not necessary to put 2 hooks in a row. Sometimes I keep attacking from one side and I don’t slip to the other side until I see him over-swing. It’s very possible that you might stay in the front left pocket and get away with repeated left hooks and overhand rights (leaving your weight on your front foot). Some opponents are more defensive so you don’t have to cut to the other side until he fires back.

Landing multiple hooks is one of the most satisfying feelings you will ever get in counter punching. Some guys prefer rolling under the counter instead to slipping to the outside. It doesn’t really matter. Learn to combine the two counter hooks together to the body and you will can beat any fighter on the inside. It is a devastating skill to learn and absolutely beautiful when you combo one hook setup after another.

The Outside Slip

Suppose I don’t have time to setup the right hand slip. Or maybe my opponent is so aggressive that he’s falling into me no matter how I set him up. That’s ok, too. Just rotate your body to the left, but don’t lean forward into him!

Here I barely manage to slip the right hand, but without making the mistake of bending forward under my opponent’s right hand. At least from here, I have my legs and balance under me. With some luck, my opponent falls through his missed right hand allowing me to land my left hook and left uppercut counters!


Slipping OUTSIDE instead of IN

missed right hand

Sometimes when I miss a right hand…

  • I’m in the middle of a wild exchange here, there’s no time to move in so I’ll slip outside and let my opponent’s punch carry him into me.


slip after missed right

I’ll leave my upper body rotated as I slip outside the counter right.

  • Notice how I’m not leaning forward. I’m letting my opponent’s momentum bring him into range.
  • This trick is great for baiting opponents into throwing counter rights so I can slip in for a left hook or left uppercut.
  • (It may help in some scenarios to take a small step out to the left with your left foot as you’re slipping outside.)

Hooks to the Body

Setting your head off center accomplishes 3 things:

  1. Makes your opponent stretch himself off-balance and more vulnerable to your counter.
  2. Gives you more time and more room to slip.
  3. Makes it easier for you to counter without taking yourself off balance.

Setting your head to the side is a beautiful tactic. You’re making him throw to the side instead of throwing straight into you. He’s getting out of position with a longer movement as you slip with a shorter movement. His body becomes off-balanced and more exposed to you. All your weight is under you giving you more power and control to counter.


Many Ways to Setup Body Hooks

What I’m showing is just one way but there are many other ways to get inside. You can use footwork. Try circling away to your right and throwing repeated jabs. He might get reckless and throw a long right, which means you can cut to your left and land the hook from the side. Or you can come in behind your right hand and batter your opponent with left hooks and left uppercuts. Keep switching between the two and he’ll never know where to block. Leaving your head deep in the pocket can make it hard for your opponent to counter with the right hand.


You know your technique is good when it works against bigger opponents.

It took years of getting crushed under bigger opponents to learn how to really slip that right hand correctly. I use to jump-slip to the outside which worked well against the smaller guys but failed against the long armed fighters. I knew I had the technique perfected when I saw that the biggest guys were the easiest prey to my tactics. I was making the bigger guys swing harder and more off-balance with every slip! Their long arms missed wider tiring them out more and giving me more time to counter.

My last piece of advice… don’t wait for it, bait it. Any time that you throw combinations, try to watch for his counter. Cut around his counter and come back with some body shots. Eventually, he’ll drop his elbows which means his head is wide open.

Come back and comment!
Let me know how many more body shots you’re landed since reading this!

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Mike December 6, 2011 at 7:45 am

This is a really great in-depth article about body shots! The pictures are great for explaining any confusion also. It’s still hard for me to go for body hook when it’s safer to just fight from outside. I’m usually taller than my opponents with a significant reach advantage. I’ve seen a little of Chavez Jr., but are their other taller professional boxers who are also body punchers I could learn from?


Johnny N December 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I agree with Billy’s suggestion of Mike Mccallum. I also like Floyd Mayweather’s body punching. He doesn’t do it often but when he does, I love the way he sets them up.


Rodney Verges December 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Mike – a vicious, tall body puncher was Felix Trinidad. His left hook upstairs knocked out many ‘a foe, because they kept the elbow down to avoid that hook to the gut.

Also, a basic 1,2,3 (with the 3 being a hook to the gut) works great. Set it up by probing with the 1, 1, 1-2, 1, 1-2, then 1-2-3.. Feel out how they respond to the 1 & the 2. Then try to throw your 1-2 at your opponents HANDS instead of his face. Push his hands up with your shots. When I want to hook hard to the body, I’ll throw SPEED 1-2 and lead 2 at my opponents right hand- it will get the hand out of position, and also hinder his ability to counter your hook with a right hand. the 1-2-3 will be speed-speed-power.

To help navigate the distance, which many fighters don’t do is step in with the 2 instead of the 1. Jab with just a pivot (no step), throw the right hand while moving your left foot towards your opponents right foot.. you will likely be in a very left hook to the gut friendly position. Too many guys step in every time they jab, and end up getting jammed up for doing so.

Very important while hooking the gut is keeping your opposite hand glued to your head.

Here is some video of me teaching one of my fighters how to step in with the right instead of the jab. Work it SLOW and be more mindful of technique than of speed or power at first.


Johnny N December 24, 2011 at 2:20 am

Great suggestion Rodney, that’s one of my favorite combos — fast 1-2, followed by a big hook.

Please, hijack away! Beginners need all the different opinions they can get.


Johnny N December 7, 2011 at 4:44 am

I have to say, being taller makes it easier for you to reach with the body shots because your arms are longer. You can reach down to the body and around his elbows better with your long arms.


BILLY December 6, 2011 at 11:05 am

Mike “The bodysnatcher” Mccallum. He lived off of setting up and countering with bodyshots.


Rodney Verges December 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Hey Curtis.. here’s a good tip.. When you shadowbox, do you do so in front of a large mirror? Have you ever tried to get away from the guy in the mirror? Impossible, he’ll get you caught up in the corner every time. Same as your opponent. If he takes a step to his left, you take a step to your right. I’m pretty sure Title Boxing once had a video out about this; you could probably youtube it somewhere, but I’ll search for it.

Might sound wierd, but your jab is also a huge help in cornering someone. Throwing a quick jab will trip up their movement, long enough for you to step into that space.

It’s insanely tiring for your opponent to always have the ring cut off on them.

Johnny, sorry to hijack your thread bro! I just LOVE body punching way too much.


curtis c December 6, 2011 at 1:03 pm

thanks for the body punching artical, its made the perfect christmas present. i was wondering though
know you come to mention it about setting up body punchers how do you get your opponent into
the corner/ cut of the ring and pin him against the ropes, and what about the finer details of bout
progression and as for body punching who were the best exsamples and how do we use counter as well as combo’s to the mid section.


Johnny N December 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Curtis, you cut off your opponent by not letting him get around you. Use side-steps but the moment he starts to run out the side, don’t chase him. Use back steps every now and then when you chase to keep him in front of you.

Try watching Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr for great body punching examples. There will be more body punching guides to come. This is just the very beginning.


curtis c October 8, 2012 at 1:07 am

how can i set up body punches? can i switch hands, jab, counter, combo the head and body up and down, double up on the right hands or shoeshine combo or faints with a good offence being a good defence! are these ways or otherwise what else would you recoomend?

And by the way when are you going to write a artical about how to get your opponents back up against the ropes and/ or pin a adversery in the corner?


Johnny N October 11, 2012 at 10:20 am

Those are several ways to do it.

I will write those other guides later.


curtis c October 14, 2012 at 5:17 am

what is the best way to create openings for body shots?


Johnny N October 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm

By making your opponent throw a punch so he lifts his arms.

Ron December 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Great work Johnny, thanks again for all your time and efforts.

I can’t wait to train this, I see I’ve been slipping wrong thus far almost entirely, and I’m short/stocky so body hooks should be a big piece of my bread and butter, I’ll get back at you with how training and using it goes!

– Ron


Johnny N December 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Thanks, Ron. I’ll be waiting for your updates.


Jonathan December 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm

hi i liked the article alot just got one question though on setting up right hooks to the body
you say to lean head out to the left to bait a left jab or left hook, why will the guy chuck a left jab or left hook and not try to smack you with a right straight/hook?


Johnny N December 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Good question, Jonathan. Try putting your head forward…but don’t lean it out. At the right angle, it baits the left hook. You don’t want your head to be all the way over that his left hand no longer reaches. Also know that many experienced fighters will not throw a lead right just because an opening is there. They’re wary of counters and so they’ll test the waters with the left hand which is closer to the target and doesn’t leave them as vulnerable.

Nonetheless, there will always be guys who do something differently than what you wanted. Eventually (hopefully), you learn their trigger points and know how to move in a way that draws the punch you want.

Either way, try this out and let me know how you do.


Jonathan December 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm

thanks jonny for you speedy response, i understand now, i train in muay thai and i’m really new to sparring, timing and distancing and your website is the best i’ve found out there for imformation on boxing.

I love the idea behind avoiding that left hook opens up all kind of oppertunties 🙂 so thank you!


Johnny N December 7, 2011 at 2:05 am

Thanks, Jonathan. Give it a try and let me know how you do!


J December 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I used to try and wait for the opening of a left hook and try to hit the guy with the right it doesnt work so well am i wasting my time trying to get my right in before the left hook lands?


Johnny N December 6, 2011 at 5:23 pm

You’re not wasting your time, J. I was taught that, too. The problem is that is that you can’t wait for his left hook. You have to bait for it. If I were you, I would throw that right hand anyway and then just roll under his left hook if it comes.


John Taylor York December 6, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Hey Johnny isn’t there the problem of running into the right hand when slipping to the outside of it? Every time I try to go to the outside of the right hand I get decked


Johnny N December 7, 2011 at 1:54 am

Every time you do anything in boxing, you risk getting hit with something. Even when you block, you are taking a risk. With this slip, we are taking this risk in order to land something. Using the right technique will minimize that risk.

The technique I taught here was to place your head slightly to the side…this way your opponent throws his right to the side instead of straight onto your face. Even just pulling your head back to neutral position will help clear the punch, adding a little slip to it will ensure a completely evasion. You have to try it to know what works and what doesn’t.


J December 6, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Like you said before don’t wait for it. bait or force it. But ill put my right hand down and he wont throw it. then what? Or maybe he has caught on to my plans? And do you feel by stepping up a small step forward with my right foot it will lean my head forward?


Johnny N December 7, 2011 at 1:56 am

J, you don’t lean your head forward, you just give it the illusion that you are. This is a whole other guide in itself. That’s the problem with these guides, I can’t explain every detail of every detail but I will do my best.

For now, you place your head like I did in the photos and see if you can get him to throw the left hook. If he doesn’t go for it, then use that to your advantage and land other punches like right crosses to his face.


J December 7, 2011 at 12:52 am

Another thing is i remember saying you should slip to the left or right with a small slip in your previous article.


Jerome December 7, 2011 at 1:35 am

One of the king of Body punch is/was Ricky Hatton. Check how he set up his body punch with his tremendous footwork and flurry of light jabs to blind his oponent.

I got lucky enough last time I travelled to Shanghai to go to the following gym:

Paul is a great coach and a big fan of Ricky. I only trained there the two weeks I was in china this year but he gave me great tips to set up body punch: lighting fast but light 1-2 to close the distance, at the same time that your right hand land on his gloves your left foot drift a little bit to the left and your set up your left hand for the body shot, and BOOM


Jose December 7, 2011 at 2:56 am

Jonny – great site, cool articles. I’m a bit confused on this one. Are you saying that you wait for a shot to be thrown, then slip, then throw the punch? I’ve spent some time checking the videos on another site, and that guy says that when slipping we should be proactive, that is don’t wait. The theory being that a slip will never beat an incoming jab if you wait. The slip should be used in anticipation of the jab. He talks about feinting a lot and says there are at least 3 ways, and you talk about ‘baiting’. is this the same?

Here’s the link to this guy’s video on slipping:

Also, he shows a video on the left hook to the body:

I just wondered, is this guy talking sense or should I take what he says with a pinch of salt? Must admit, he seems knowledgable enough but you never can tell with the internet.

Thanks again Jonny


Johnny N December 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Jose, I don’t agree with some of his stuff but I’m sure it works because he wouldn’t be teaching it otherwise.

Now back to your question. Don’t ever wait to slip. Slipping is part of your offensive game plan. When you see an opening, you punch. When you see a punch, you evade. Punching and evading are 2 parts of a non-stop offense.


Jose December 8, 2011 at 3:20 am

Thanks for the answer Johnny. Sorry, I still don’t get it. “When you see a punch you evade”, is this not waiting? If I were a boxer, would I slip then wait to see what punch I could throw, or would I work on slipping and then throwing a pre-planned punch, maybe something that I worked on in the gym? Thanks though, really appreciate the response.


Johnny N December 8, 2011 at 3:35 am

“Waiting” means doing nothing. I’m saying you should be actively fighting and putting some kind of offensive pressure on your opponent at all times…and you SLIP if you need. It doesn’t mean that you sit around and do nothing until you need to slip.

But it’s starting to get over-analytic so I’ll explain it like this: keep attacking but defend yourself while you attack. Anything that’s not an attack should help setup your attack. This could mean a feint, a breather, offensive footwork, or aggressive defense (defense with intent of setting up offense).


Jose December 9, 2011 at 1:09 am

OK, thanks Johnny. I’ll give that some thought alongside what I learn from the my boxing coach site stuff.

King Lion December 8, 2011 at 7:08 am

Johnny, how can you be unwilling to look at something and yet claim to be informed?
I think that is being extremely short-sighted and un-professional.
The gentleman who founded the My Boxing Coach site is a former professional fighter and currently trains fighters.
What credentials do you have?
If it’s your opinion, that is fine, but don’t cast aspersions on something you haven’t even looked at.


Johnny N December 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Boxing is beautiful regardless of what technique fighters choose to use. I disagree with his technique because I’ve used it before and don’t like it for various reasons. As the years passed, I absorbed new principles and preferred them more. This is not to be meant as any disrespect to anybody or their style.

I can assure you that I have seen his technique before, not just by him but by dozens of opponents and fighters using similar technique. I understand what he teaches and have fought using similar techniques myself. Ultimately, what I’m expressing is the opinion of my personal experience….not someone else’s integrity.


King Lion December 12, 2011 at 8:21 am

Johnny, there is one thing I’ve always been able to appreciate about you and that is this – you have ALWAYS been gracious. Hearing you expound further on the basis for your reasoning, has certainly helped to re-confirm my appreciation of that particular character trait you often display here at Expert Boxing. Keep up the good work!

Jose December 9, 2011 at 9:56 am

King Lion

I took the liberty of checking the ‘About’ page on that site. The guy sure has the background and as you say he is an active coach. His presentation style is pretty cool as well, very clear. Thnx


King Lion December 12, 2011 at 9:12 am

Jose: I find his techniques and instructions very effective, but different strokes, for different folks….
Many differing styles can be found in this sport, but from what I’ve learned and from my own experience, there is a lot of less than exemplary technique out there too. In the pro ranks, not everyone follows the same approach.
I’ve learnt plenty from Johnny’s site and Fran (my boxing coach) and for that I am grateful.
Now on a personal note, I was a huge Muhammad Ali fan and by most ‘self professed’ knowledgeable people in boxing, Ali’s style was all wrong. They said his hands were down and he never stayed ‘planted’ to the mat, he ‘danced too much’ and he leaned back too much and so, and so on…..BUT, Ali was The Greatest. He destroyed opponents, when HE wanted to! So who is really to say what is correct technique and what is wrong technique? Different things work differently for different people and I personaly think it is better to deal with a harsh truth – than a pleasing lie. So I use what WORKS for me and would recommend others do the same, for themselves.

Christopolis December 9, 2011 at 11:07 am


You can’t come out with these articles fast enough!

Keep ’em coming!


Johnny N December 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I’m trying, I’m trying! Trying to keep the readers happy!


A December 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm

You dont have to worry jphnny your working your ass off to get these articles out here. and what some people may take for-granted is that you dont have to do none of this but you still choose to.ill appreciate one article im very thank ful for the time you put in. dont forget that johnny


Johnny N December 10, 2011 at 6:44 pm

It means a lot. Thanks you.


Jerome December 9, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Great article, I will be trying this on my next sparring for sure, thanks!


J December 10, 2011 at 6:06 am

About the body are you suppose to do a snapping shot to the body or do a digging shot through the body like your punching through it?


Johnny N December 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Many people will say that punching through it does more damage and I have to agree especially with body punches. But even still, I prefer snapping punches because they give me faster handspeed and still dish out plenty of damage.


Steve December 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm

To King Lion:

i’ve been fighting amateurs for 6 months and myboxingcoach is lousy technique. look at him hitting the heavy bag on his youtube channel. he makes mistakes that only beginner boxers make. i.e. – waiting forever before the next combo.. you have to go at it constantly, at least that’s more like how the pros train.
check out his heavy bag video here.

compare it to this other video of another AMATEUR.

I don’t blame johnny for not agreeing with his technique because i don’t either. He says he’s been boxing for 30years or so. I’d say for 30yrs of “involvement” in the sport, he’s made no real progress.


King Lion December 12, 2011 at 8:37 am

Steve:..Wow, fighting amateur for a whole 6 months!!! Now, you think you can conclude that a former pro fighter has lousy technique!?!
Are you trying to be funny? Because I’m not laughing.
You overlook the the fact that this man is now over 40 years old and is pacing himself.
I know you ‘think’ you are a smart fighter, but I’ll be more willing to take you seriously, when YOU have progressed enough and are an ‘experienced’ well-rounded PRO fighter.


Steve December 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm

just watching his video on the heavy bag again, he moves like a beginner. i.e. – bouncing all the time, waiting forever between each combo, runs back and forth into the bag instead of maintaining a proper distance, pushing the bag with his head.. he would get destroyed boxing like this in a ring


King Lion December 12, 2011 at 8:55 am

He hits like a pro though!
It’s too bad I can’t say the same about the guy in the video you recommend.
What ‘the old man’ from my boxing coach is doing, is simulating an opponents movements in and out. If you can’t understand that basic principle of boxing, which is that an opponent is trying to strike back at you, and so you should put that knowledge and experience into practice while doing your own training – then I am now laughing, but done talking!


curtis c December 12, 2011 at 2:02 am

write dont you write a artical on the pyramid of boxing knowlage from the basic basics to the most calculatingly complexed? then a training routine based around them. just another idea. hope to here from you soon


Johnny N December 13, 2011 at 10:19 am

I’ve been meaning to do this! It’s outlined but nowhere near ready for release.


Rodney Verges December 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Stevie Johnston! Not even a hard puncher… Always shorter and landed a ton of good body work and eventually outboxed 95% of the people he fought.


curtis c April 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm

how long will it be until you write the second addition to this?And how can i force my opponent to open up if he is covering up if i want to go to the body?


Johnny N April 17, 2012 at 11:41 am

I won’t be adding additions to this for a little while until I go more in depth into body punch. If you want him to open up his body, try hitting him in the head or knocking him off balance.


jack December 12, 2011 at 6:43 pm

hey jonny do u know any example of great fighter for me to watch who were shorter than their opponent and had smaller reach , did not use the brawling style to beat them???


Johnny N December 13, 2011 at 10:21 am

Miguel Cotto? Watch his fights with Antonio Margarito.


saber khan December 13, 2011 at 2:02 am

love where the site is going, more real world technique that can truly make a difference for a fighter the very next time they step in the ring.

i feel the left body hook should be landed while cutting inside or outside. continuously going one way will make any competent opponent very aware of throwing a lead right.
the problem is the punch doesnt have the same snap for most fighters and the mechanics need to be cooked up a bit if youre cutting in when someone throws the right hand. the best body hooks are from the outside of the right. but the most advanced body hook in my experience that can be used as a lead is getting to the outside of the left hand.
if someone has a lazy range finding jab, one can slip or better roll under it to the outside and throw the left hook down low. its rarely done, and there’s no effective counter. you may land the solar plexus instead but that too is a wonderful place. it can also be done in an exchange against a left hook. rolling or slipping to the outside of the left hand produces something of a southpaw-ortho situation i think. when you are landing with your left and have your right to follow as someone misses with their left, the angle makes it wonderful for a puncher to throw the right without fear of being hit.

what you recommended coach is a head feint, and its my belief as well that feinting is central to body punching. rolling with a right hand can also set up an awesome punch, its safe quick and leaves the left free. i thought since u did rolls a few days earlier u might have put up a few shots of that. feinting a jab and going to a hook, another wonderful way. and the one that worked very well for me was a changeup following the jab. catch the opponent coming in with a stiff jab and throw a body hook as he tries to counter the right hand he thinks is coming. setting up by itself is pointless if one doesnt get that weight transfer, and i think the best time to throw this punch is when the weight is well on the front foot. to land good body shots unfortunately one will have to take a shot more often than any other punch in my opinion.

btw kinglion the myboxingcoach guy is good, there are some things in his technique i find very good oldschool and sometimes too theoretical. just saw his slipping video, the mechanics are wonderful but in practice i find one has to bend at the waist a LITTLE forwards or backwards to clear a punch. moving just with the bending of the opposite knee is too slow against pro fighters. his body punching technique has a problem with timing when he’s throwing the shot he’s got weight on both feet. the real world way is bending the knees, stepping forward a bit and throwing the punch at the same time. what he’s showing are almost arm punches. and he’s digging into the body with the shot after impact should occur. practically he’s telegraphing the punch and won’t get to land it like that. everything else he says is correct. when he gets to 4:40 or so he talks about arm punching and suddenly realises his error and throws the punch the right way. so i think its a case of maybe not demonstrating what he knows 😀
his bag work SEEMS amateurish because he’s bouncing around back and forward thats not normal practice. normally we circle the heavy bag and land shots combos etc. his punching form is great his footwork looks weird and yeah hes treating the bag like an opponent. sending the bag straight back without spinning it is the real deal. i think he has great knowledge, shows some mastery of more complex ideas but what he describes sometimes isn’t totally practical.


King Lion December 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Saber: I appreciate your analysis and tips. That’s far more acceptable to me, than a total disregard for another person’s approach.
I look at Floyd Mayweather Jr.and see that he is the only current pro fighter, that will stand in the pocket and use the Philly Shell (thanks Saber, I learned that from you) to shoulder roll an opponents punches and launch counters, as long as an opponent wants to stay in the pocket with him. He can counter, duck and slip, very effectively from that stance and is totally comfortable with it.
Now, many say Floyd Jr. is regarded as having the best defensive skill currently in professional boxing, yet he stands alone as the best fighter to use the Shell and stay in the pocket to score and counter his opponents.
There are so many different fighters and the majority are using the same squared-up stance and approach, but only Floyd Jr. remains unbeaten and is also regarded as the best defensive boxer. Yet still, none of the other fighters, that I know of, will imitate his approach. Why? Especially when it is so effective. Hmmmm,
The point I’m trying to make, is this, that just like Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali in his prime and someone like Floyd Mayweather Jr. now, a distinctly unique style and approach to boxing, that is outstanding in nature relative to the cookie-cutter styles and approaches of the majority of fighters today, is something not just ordinary, but extra-ordinary. Not only in appearance, but in useful effectiveness and although many others may criticise, disagree, not understand, or show an appreciation for those styles or the fighters and their approaches, there was and is no questioning the success and the effective use of those un-usual and contrarian styles of boxing.


Jérôme January 5, 2012 at 4:56 am

As Michael Porter says, if you are different, be even more different!


King Lion December 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm

In short, the majority of guys do things in the ‘usual’ way and generally have the ‘usual’ results, but a very few outstanding guys, do things in their own ‘un-usual’ way and have outstanding results!


thomas December 13, 2011 at 8:09 pm

hey johnny i used to lift weights for 6 months ( not body building , just cut and skinny) , now i want to do boxing seriously ie competion. can u give me some advise


Johnny N December 13, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Train right, eat right, and have fun. Always keep improving, Thomas.


thomas December 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm

but do you think continued lifting will effect my performencce?


Johnny N December 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm

If you lift heavy, then yes… it will slow down your hand speed and progress as a boxer.


saber khan December 14, 2011 at 4:29 am

anytime kinglion. and ur welcome about the boston-er philly shell 😉 floyd is also ridiculously talented, lets not forget his reflexes. i think james toney is defensively nearly his equal and while standing in range of the jab superior to floyd. but in the pocket i agree no one matches floyd-it’s almost a system made for rope a doping people. yeah totally agree about unusualness and success, no cookie cutter fighters really become great. except maybe joe louis thanks to his ridiculous power.

the coach on myboxingcoach has sound advice that seems to err on the conservative. johnny is more practical-sometimes more flashy (he looks a little like donaire doesnt he :D). a little example is the approach to the cross coach fran favors. no bending and only back leg rotation. wonderful advice good luck taking out some swarmer with a tested chin. i like to turn my forward foot inward, then drop the weight to the back leg. and on really good crosses one will invariably shift from the midline because the momentum carries us onto the front leg from the back. i find it impossible not to turn southpaw when i used to throw my finishing crosses. or when i know my opponent is throwing his left hook counter. also nothing about retracting the hand. what he shows defines more the lead cross perhaps (but even then the front leg does play some role unconsciously).

his hook videos are good. he does emphasise weight transfer, but in the vids hes not doing it well. maybe becuz hes demonstrating by himself. but somewhere he says keep wrist at specific angle… we all know diff boxers use diff wrist positions; i can imagine that stuff making new boxers avoid `their’ body’s optimal mechanics and use something subpar for them. my head hooks do land with coach fran’s vertical wrist position but i knew many who land horizontal and have Xanax in their fists.

what i love about myboxingcoach is the mistakes he points out, i used it to correct mistakes in me a month ago. very useful. his emphasis on guard makes me wanna kiss him on the mouth :B i watched those videos a lot when drilling myself back into shape. but i wouldnt let someone too green learn from it by themselves they would be chained a bit


King Lion December 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Saber:…..Cooool. The way you appoach the finishing crosses and counter left hooks is similar in approach to the philosophy of Jack Dempsey. His belief was that the only effective way to have power in your punches was to step into them with your full body weight behind them.

When it comes to being ‘green’, that I am, but I try to look at it as a positive because I don’t have any bad habits to un-learn. That is why I really enjoy both sites. I can learn different things adn try them too and eventually decide which feels better or is more suited to me.

Once again, I must say, that your insights and sharing of experiences, are the most valuable lessons I have encountered in my quest to learn about the sweet science. That’s alot man!

P.S. What is your opinion of the Amir Khan loss against Peterson? I thought he outscored Peterson handily in the latter rounds, but was lucky not to have been penalised even more points for his constant use of headlocks.
AND imo, that ref was useless!


Gordon December 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Jack Dempsey believed in stepping mainly for straight punches. He only advocated taking small steps with hooks to get a little bit of distance. He believed that whatever punch you do must be powered by a motion that goes in the same direction. Since a straight punch goes straight forward, you should step forward, Since a hook goes to the side, you turn your waist and goes to the side. Since an uppercut goes up, your leg pushes you up as you throw the uppercut, which isn’t the norm for modern boxing. Boxing today teaches you to rely on the turning of waist to power all punches, which Dempsey called “impure punching”.


King Lion December 14, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Gordon:….Agreed. Demsey’s punching philosphy was very practical and simplistic.
He said:….”For practical purposes, I divide a punch into two parts: (a) setting the weight in motion, and (b) relaying the moving weight to a desired point on an opponent with a stepped-up impact or explosion.”

Saber stated…..” i find it impossible not to turn southpaw when i used to throw my finishing crosses. or when i know my opponent is throwing his left hook counter.”

Which imo, implys that after he’s thrown his ‘finishing’ cross, he ends up in a southpaw stance because he has stepped so far forward with his right foot, to either ‘finish’ his combination with maximum forward momentum, and/or punch thru and ‘finish; the opponent, with a very strong, explosive-stepping right cross. This step forward could also help smother, or get inside, the opponent’s counter left hook….imo.

I could be mistaken however and maybe Saber may better explain what he actuallly meant.

Dempsey re: Purity in Punching, stated……”But let me stress this fact: NEITHER YOU NOR ANYONE ELSE WILL BE ABLE TO HIT AS HARD WITH A STRAIGHT PUNCH FROM THE
SHOULDER WHIRL, WITHOUT THE FALLING STEP, AS WITH IT. I emphasize that because many instructors teach: “Never step with a
straight punch unless you have to.” That instruction is wrong.rom

Which is yet one more contrarian view from a very successful old-school champion boxer.


King Lion December 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I missed the end quotation marks, so to be perfectly clear, what Dempsey said was -“….. I emphasize that because many instructors teach: “Never step with a straight punch unless you have to.” – “That instruction is wrong.”


saber khan December 15, 2011 at 3:56 am

hey gordon and King Simba, love that u found dempsey as an example. i love that guy’s ferocity, when i fought i didnt know much about him but i like to believe i used to kind of be that sort of tough ferocious hungry fighter (ahh dreams..)

regarding what dempsey said, i read that book myself. what i understand is the stepping was meant for the jab. when u step into the jab that way it creates a HELL of a lot of power and can stop an opponent in his tracks. even the stiffest non step jab cant have that effect. and dempsey of course is neither the first nor last to use it. its partly the basis of bruce lee’s 1 inch punch. dempsey called the cross an impure punch because the power isnt generated by straight motion, its really a modified right hook. and he says the most power comes if we are hitting in the direction we are moving-so the cross is inefficient. he’s totally right, and that’s why when i throw a cross hard, my momentum turns my body around like a right hook. i dont move my right foot myself but i do take a small step with my left so i can get my heel nice and planted into the canvas and get massive torque from there. and the right leg is just carried around with the weight. of course this isnt a good thing but when one wants to throw their muther******* hardest, thats what i think they should do.

the opposite happens when i throw the best left hooks, the left foot goes from being on the left side of my right foot to being on the right side. its the momentum thats all. i think the right cross is just a right hook with the arm straight instead of bent. and dempseys right it takes some of the power out of the shot but makes it so much more practical and quick to land. id like to add strongly that what i describe are my finishing blows, either after hurting an opponent or getting a big gap to land something. normal crosses and hooks shouldnt be turning one inside out. a little bit of a crouch to allow a spring from the knees also helps, something dempsey tyson frazier roy jones sugar ray robinson all used.

i feel no one can define every kind of hook or cross, rather they can try to explain the mechanics properly for the families of shots. a solar plexus punch is sometimes defined as a body uppercut and sometimes as a modified hook. something practical with few mistakes in form is what most boxers need


King Lion December 15, 2011 at 7:07 am

Yea, that is pretty much what Coach Johnny articulated very well, in his ‘How To Punch Harder’ article. There really is a GREAT wealth of knowledge and information on this site!


J December 16, 2011 at 3:21 am

I dont mean to bring up and disfunction i would like to point something out from this video, i noticed in the previous comment there was a gentleman smashing on this fighters technique, my opinion is his technique is absolutely beautiful im not looking at how flashy he is or how quick he is, i noticed how he uses his legs when he throws his punches, that’s why i feel floyd mayweather is one of the greatest not because of his record. But rather because of his form it seems like floyd has mastered the little things in boxing. Back to the video the way this man was throwing his form was absolutely beautiful once again. I feel its best to not watch how flashy a fighter is but rather watch the little things something as small as blocking a specific way. Mastering the little things is what is going to let you master the bigger things. Johnny i would like your opinion on this matter. due to the fact everyone is entitled to their own, just let me know how you truely feel about it its just going to make me better. It will be highly appreciated.


Johnny N December 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I watch for all sorts of things about a fighter. Sure I notice the small details too but I notice the big things first. Before I watch Mayweather’s flashiness, I’m paying attention to his basics and he’s definitely got that down better than most others. Ultimately, your style and fighting personality will affect how you look at fighters and different things you notice.


J December 16, 2011 at 3:23 am

I mean my statement of course not the video you already stated how you felt about the video. lol


J December 17, 2011 at 11:32 pm
saber khan December 18, 2011 at 8:38 am

hey J. i wanted to mention my opinion on coach fran ‘s bagwork. his form is excellent, he’s striking with power and the bag is swinging back rather than spinning or being pushed about. the way he’s moving in and out with the bag is unorthdox but there’s nothing wrong with it, the next best thing to sparring i suppose and hes got no one to hold the bag so why not. his guard and quick recovery are just awesome and his combos are crisp. however i feel while its very correct el coach Fran is either not shwing or maybe doesnt like to maximise power by using a few tweaks on perfect form. well he does load up on the hook 🙂 the bouncing around looks odd to me


J December 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Saber Khan id like to send you my utmost appreciation for the knowledge you are willing to share with others about boxing, A great athlete is not afraid to share his/her tricks, techniques, strategies, etc. which makes that athlete so great. but isn’t that what makes boxing such an amazing art? everyone has their own style?


saber khan December 19, 2011 at 12:12 am

thank you for the kind words J im feeling all teary today 😀 the styles are what make boxing, and i totally agree it’s why i love the sport. a swarmer against a slugger, there’s supposed to be no way for the swarmer to win… what happens next ? does the swarmer turn into a more slick fighter or go for a more crouching style ? does he roughhouse and do a few shady things, or force his opponent into throwing offtimed punches by feinting ? does he start up pressuring and then counterpunch when the slugger throws his punches ? its really physical chess in my opinion. tit for tat-even the technique of throwing punches differ so much. an overhand right puncher against a hook puncher makes for very interesting exchanges. does the hooker lead as much as before ? does the puncher with the overhand right plant less on his punches so as not to get countered ? who’s getting the favorable angle ? gung fu is even more versatile


adnan December 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm

hey johnny when do boxers prime ( regardless of their weight division) in general?


Johnny N December 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Reaching the boxer prime is a combination of mental and physical peaking. I’d say 26-32 is the general age.


adnan December 19, 2011 at 9:33 pm

and johnny do u know any great technical fighter to watch who are shor for their divison??


Johnny N December 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Miguel Cotto, Montell Griffin, Mike Tyson, Yuriorkis Gamboa are some names that come to mind.


MG December 20, 2011 at 7:54 am

Yesterday i tried this and was very succesfull 🙂 nice job man, and thanks for answering on speed technic question.


Johnny N December 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Awesome! Thanks for commenting back, MG.


curtis c December 21, 2011 at 1:54 am

if im not mistaken body punching is about gradualism steadily wearing your opponent down to set him up for the knockout blow up top. so what combination of attacks would you recommend to wearing down your opponent in the most efficent way possible? A barrage of left hooks and blitz of uppercuts? hope to hear from you soon.


Johnny N December 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Anyway you can get to him, do it Curtis. Different opponents are vulnerable to different punches. No matter what, you have to throw different punches to open him up.


curtis c December 22, 2011 at 1:20 pm

what do i do to attack my opponents arms from a defencive point of view? I may be asking a very scientific question here but how do i push his own punches back into his face? blind him with his own fist? get him to drop or raise his hands? show do i smother his punches? hang on top of his arms to weaken his upperbody muscles? know i know i may be asking a lot of questions im so inquitvly intreaged i’ve been watching a lot of salvador sanchez highlights and he looked really great, i couldnt help but notice all of his punches went right thre the opponents hands like a hot knife threw butter. it left me spellbound. what do you think of salvador sanchez? and what do you think about him attacking them arms?


Johnny N December 24, 2011 at 2:18 am

GREAT QUESTION, Curtis. When your opponents raises his hands to a high guard position. Try an uppercut to his wrists. 😉

You can walk closer to him so that your chest pins his arms down to his body and then you throw wide body shots around his elbows.


J December 26, 2011 at 12:55 am

can you also uppercut the elbows johnny?


Johnny N December 27, 2011 at 3:27 am

Yes you can, J. It’s a good tactic for making your opponent drop his hands. This tactic isn’t recommend for pros or boxers sparring with smaller gloves. You can break your hands this way.


curtis c December 29, 2011 at 1:28 am

one thing i’ve been meaning to mention is the crouch. how do i crouch down without putting too much pressure on my legs?


Johnny N December 29, 2011 at 4:46 am

Curtis, crouching is supposed to put pressure on your legs. It’s easier to do if you’re in shape and use good technique. The best tips I can give is 1) don’t crouch so much… and 2) stand tall beforehand so you have more room to crouch.


saber khan December 30, 2011 at 4:15 am

its a late response, but please DO NOT PUNCH AT ELBOWS! it is ridiculously easy to bruise or break a hand that way. punching the wrist as coach sggests is a great move to take some of the sting out of the opponent’s punches. if he has a high guard and u want to lower it go to his body and head. even when youre going for the body, its head 60% body 40% never telegraph `im gonna break your body’. it should be subtle. if someone wants to defend against body lits easier to do so than defending up top. because he can constantly throw shots at you coming in with straighter longer punches. punching at wrists takes some of the power out of the opponents’ future shots and punching at the portion above the elbow to below the wrist is a last measure option. lets say he is peekabooing, you can punch at his chin but hit his gloves over and over. you want to do some harm and get him to slowly move those arms away. throwing looping punches to the arms will make him move those gloves away. then you need the skill to go between the gloves. the same thing with the uppercut to the body or hitting to the solar plexus. first one needs to get in a few loopy punches left and right (if u can, even a kidney shot :D) so that your opponent feels the need to protect with a wider guard. then you can go in between. getting up close and leaning on an opponent helps as coach said to get an opponent’s arms constricted. this wont stop him punching, it takes away how far he can wind up to punch. and will lead to the guy who has power at the end of his punches to lose a battle of attrition. if you have less power in your short punches this ofcourse is a bad idea. i dont think one can push a punch into an opponent’s face, that works till 3rd grade 😀 and crouching is easiest when your legs are spread wide-but that is a bad bad idea. as coach said J, crouching is hard. just get in shape, do your drills in a crouched position and build your leg stamina that way. going too wide to crouch will take away some balance and much more important some speed and agility from your fighting. the greatest key to set up body shots as i believe it is letting the opponent try and think you are not concentrating on his body. either when they think you are head hunting, or when make them attack your head and miss. atacking the body is much easier when theyre not thinking about a lead or counter downstairs. another SUPER helpful thing is having the left hand outside the oppoent’s eyesight, some of the most wonderful body punchers seem to lower their guard on the left when they want to feint or throw a body shot. there’s also combos ofcourse for quick handed fighters. joe louis sugar ray leonard tommy hearns mike tyson roy jones were masters of 2 and 3 hit combos that began with a head shot that landed and following with the body shot. body shots when someone is coming and not expecting them are so damaging even ill timed ones can change the flow of a fight.


shamo July 12, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Holy.. love reading ur stuff man but you gotta structure ur writing. Use paragraphs and capital letters man!


Steve July 13, 2013 at 3:46 pm

LOLOL i second that.


curtis December 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Quick question: should i be a multi tasker becuase is that which is described on the same as what’s being described here or should i learn to be more versitile? Hope to here from you soon.


saber khan December 31, 2011 at 1:56 am

i loved that video curtis thanks for sharing. not new information but that guy explains something a bit tough in a simple way. i already mentioned the aspect of angles when bodypunching. but this vid is ofcourse southpaw ortho i was talking ortho ortho, throwing a left hook and simultaneously ducking and weaving to the outside of the opponent’s left to get the angle. as a southpaw ortho combo ofcourse it works much better, and its kind of the key of southpaw-ortho battles getting outside the lead foot. my opinion is its not really multitasking its more a different variation of the movement. now lets say you were DUCKING under a left hook as youre throwing a body shot and stepping out-that’s multitasking. and i think one has to be rock solid with the fundamentals of stepping side to side inside, throwing body shots while keeping the guard up, and ducking and weaving, before they can try to combine the movements. because if youre deficient at the body punching, youll end up with a weak punch or leave yourself open. if youre not great in your footwork, you wont get to the right place to pull off the move in close and if u cant duck and roll well-you will probably bend forward too much or not bend down enough and get a lead uppercut or a hook chopping off the top of your head.

when those fundamentals are down though, one must go to the route in the vid because thats where the fun in boxing is. a lot of pro boxers get to very high levels without these skills i think because they have killer weapons like a great punch or very good footwork. and the history of boxing has shown SO SO many of them exposed because of it later. floyd toney hopkins are the most correct fighters of our generation and none have been let down by their age if you notice. well toney has suffered brain damage causing low testosterone production which messed up his ability to drop weight so i dont hold that against him at all. and lets not forget-the modified punches like the one shown in the vid have MASSIVELY more power than the standard textbook punches. me and kinglion were going back and forth on that with the right cross as the coach from showed it. bending to the left on the cross or to the right with the lead hook (with guard up) will produce more power than the standard shot and helps to roll with the punches you may get countered with. however fundamentals are first, and then the tricks come into play. once again great video.


curtis December 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm

what about! and as well. do body punches work this way and how many way can body punches be worked in. what i mean is training/ learning and adapting them into your style. how best do you train to use body punching to make it as effective as possible?


curtis c January 11, 2012 at 1:40 am

do i really need to crouch down to throw body shots? & is being taller counter productive for crouching? Kenny Weldon and such have made me think so that because im quit tall so they cliam it wouldn’t be such a good idea if i make myself smaller, what do you think? Hope to hear from you soon.


Johnny N January 11, 2012 at 7:37 am

You don’t need to crouch…you can see that in my demonstrations above. If anything, you might crouch to evade punches but it’s not necessary to crouch to throw body punches.


curtis c January 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm

why dont you write about boxing heart, motivation, the trade secerts/ the key to secsess in boxing. the eye of the tiger – how to rise above any challange and tahe on any adversry. write about what can be done in training in fight talks between rounds or before the fight. What to do in a make and break momment, the do’s and donts about what to say and do in weigh in’s and press conferences. writing an artical about insperation and motivation a winning heart and a postive attitude would really be uplifting and really would get people thinking. i think this hear is a seriously good exsample of what i mean as well as that as a whole series of motivational materieal with mike tyson and boxer actor will smoth secerts to secess and Arnie’s 6 steps to secsess this stuff here really got me going!
this here got me to take on a whole new perspective and way of seeing things threw the eyes of such great people and i think if anything it would be a great thing if you wrote a artical about motivation and insperation but my question is what are the top 10 most motivation songs and movies related to boxing that i should look out for? Hope to hear from you soon.


Mel March 31, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Hope you don’t mind me making a suggestion here… Have a read of Johnny’s series of articles on How to Be Great. I found them both motivating and inspirational 🙂 It’s all about working out your own head game! Best of luck and respect to you


curtis January 23, 2012 at 1:57 am

i once heard kenny weldon say “a good offence is a good defence” so what does this mean attack is the best form of defence or if you attack properly in the right and fundermentally correct way you will have a solid airtight defence held up? Hope to hear from you soon.


Johnny N January 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Curtis, this a great question. The simple answer is that a good offense (being used as a defense) will counter your opponent and keep him from attacking you. The advanced answer is to realize that defense is the lowest form of offense. There for a good offense is a better offense than defense. See if you can grasp that concept.


saber khan January 28, 2012 at 1:33 am

defense prevents you from getting hit. a good offense at least stops the opponent from landing his shots or blocks off shots in exchanges. and at best makes him so damaged he simply doesnt have the starch in his punches any more. the guy who gets off to a good start with say 3 good rounds of body punching will rarely get knocked out. simply because his opponents have diminished power in their shots. or you could knock him out, in which case you still don’t get hit 😀

an offensive jab or light quick shots also prevent you from getting hit, but the threat of getting hit remains. so a good offense is a great sometimes the best defense.

offense is meant to hurt the other guy. defending against every shot correctly will not hurt the opponent. but defense can help you to counterpunch and start off an offense. but when youre counterpunching youre not defending anymore. so as johhny said, defense is the worst offense.

offense and defense are like north pole and south pole: neither one is superior because they are conjoint twins. you gotta do them both 100%. but if u do have to use one, because you’re shaky, or gassed out or some other reason, bet on offense not defense to save the day.


Chris March 3, 2012 at 8:59 pm

cool. But how do you counter a southpaws left hook that is shorter than you. roll and left or rt hook to the body? Im rt handed.


Johnny N April 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm

You can block his hook and the counter with the same arm that just blocked.


gonçalo April 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm

What about for southpaws??excellent work by the way!!


Johnny N April 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

That will have to be another guide. Thanks, Goncalo.


mayweatherfan April 10, 2012 at 8:52 am

what gloves u using?


Johnny N April 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Fighting Sports sparring gloves from They sell a better version of my model now.


hossein May 18, 2012 at 6:16 am

thank you


hossein May 18, 2012 at 6:18 am

It was not


allan amos June 26, 2012 at 2:52 am

I luv boxing.I am an amatuer boxer but the biggest problem is lack of training facilities but that wont derail me from boxing


Dr E Starx July 1, 2012 at 1:13 am

This is invaluable information. Thanks for posting this !


Jack July 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Johnny —

I have noticed during bag work, pads and even sparring that (I am guilty myself) a lot of guys throw hooks with the finger area/palm of the glove hitting the target instead of turning their knuckles in and elbows out. It makes the hook much faster and fluid but obviously has a decreased power and probably not great for your hands. Mike Tyson is a good example of a pro using this style of hook. Do you believe this is bad form or is ok to be used?


Johnny N July 23, 2012 at 10:06 am

Those are called slap hooks. A lot of guys do it from time to time: Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roy Jones, Floyd Mayweather…the list goes on. It’s usually the guys using fast flurries that will do it to score points. But if you want power, then lift the elbow and get that full rotation.

It’s not bad form, it’s simply a different hook for a different effect. Sometimes you’re in danger or you want to run, and so you slap your opponent a couple times before running away. It’s a great surprise punch but you can also get penalized for it if it looks too much like a slap. But don’t practice that slap form: keep practicing the proper hook.


invertedcomposer October 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I have a question regarding setting up body punches to the inside as a southpaw facing orthodox. I WANT to try to get my left hand to his rear (Right side for a Liver Shot), but i cant see to be able to set it up properly. I can always land the lead hook to the body or head though…


Johnny N October 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Watch Lucian Bute! He throws a long left uppercut when his opponents reach in with their right hands.


invertedcomposer October 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm

woah! this is exactly what i have been trying to do, except because I like infighting, I will just need to alter the angle then, thanks! Also, would you prefer an uppercut or a hook to the body as a southpaw trying to hit with the left to an orthodox fighter’s body? I mean, essentially the punches are the same with just altered angles.


Johnny N October 7, 2012 at 2:50 am

You answered your own question. It doesn’t matter if you use a hook or an uppercut as long as you can land it.


Peter October 2, 2012 at 9:29 pm

what are your suggestions for setting up the body punch if you are attacking and don’t want to wait for a counter?


Johnny N October 7, 2012 at 2:50 am

You need to attack him in a way that forces him to block elsewhere, which then exposes his body.


Peter October 2, 2012 at 9:29 pm

i am a south paw


curtis carpenter October 28, 2012 at 1:52 am what do you think of this body shot beatdown – how do you think he fared?


Johnny N November 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm

This is a pro fight. Some people take body shots well, some people don’t. There are many variables out there.


justin November 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Dear Johnny,

I’m Justin, and I’ve been riding my bicycle 18 miles to the city for boxing 5 days a week for 6 months and working out there for hours at a time. I haven’t gone in over a month because “my bike is broken” and it is but I’ve been procrastinating getting it fixed and I’ve realized that I’ve quit like a little girl. It’s just that the coach who’s always there doesn’t like me. I hate to make assumptions but he definitely avoids me and I think it’s because I’m white.. I just got a new bike today though and I’m going to start going back to boxing, as well as starting karate, jiujitsu and kickboxing. I want to be a professional MMA fighter.

What I wanted to ask you regarding this article is: How can I practice moving faster? I’m a short and stocky somewhat chubby boxer and everybody at my gym who is my weight is about 6 inches taller than me on average. They are simply faster and they also have a quite decent reach advantage. I need to be faster so I can swing side to side and get those nice body punches to slow them down. I highly appreciate your articles I enjoy reading them and they are also very helpful.

I typed in my e-mail address. I don’t know if you can see it but I’ll be checking this page to see if I got a reply from you. I hope to hear from you. I’d also like to be able to contact you via facebook or e-mail to ask you questions because I can spar but I don’t get hardly any lessons at all and when I do they average 30 seconds…

I know it’s a lot to ask and it’s understandable if you simply decline my request, but I hope to hear something from you. Thank you very much I highly appreciate it and god bless.


Johnny N November 6, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Faster movement requires better technique and better conditioning. Keep training and keep improving. Everything’s hard in the beginning and everyone starts at different levels. Where you end up is what really matters.


justin November 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I just feel like they would definitely have pulled their arm back from their right cross by the time I bobbed to the side and threw my left hook to their body. That is all, thanks.


Johnny N December 2, 2012 at 8:39 am

EXACTLY, that’s why you need to make them stretch their right arm so you have more time to slip. And if you think about it, the more they have to stretch to reach you, the less distance you have to slip inside.


Evan F November 29, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Johnny – I need some help! I was entirely thrown off today in sparring when my buddy started doing this weird thing where he’d hang back barely out of my reach and rock/sway heavily side to side, then jump out and throw a ton of wild hooks. I’ve been boxing casually for a few years (I’m 17 140lbs 5’8″) but had no idea how to react to this! I tried to quickly back out of his reach (my normal reaction to a dumb hook) but he’d keep throwing, and run me into a wall (we poor folk box in garages lol). The kicker was that he did this near the end of the last round, so he wasn’t worried about being tired, I suppose. All in all, I still won* tonight and had some great hooks of my own but I was just entirely thrown by the weird move-your-body-weight-around-then-hook-like-a-mad-man technique.
Did he copy this off of some pro? Or should I have just tried to check-hook him into the wall? I was wayyy too tired to trade… My point is that I never figured it out, I was saved by the bell!!!
Please grant me a bit of advice before the weekend, I don’t want to be stuck against this screwy style all Saturday long!
*once every few weeks our sparring matches are pretty much all-out matches. This was one.
– thanks for your constant updates to the site and awesome tips; you’re effectively my trainer!


Johnny N December 2, 2012 at 8:41 am

Throw a right hand straight into his face or time your left hook to land just as he throws his. Try to do one of those 2 instead of sitting around and trying to analyze his madness. Look for the shot and go for it. There’s no time to think, especially if he isn’t.


Evan F December 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Thank you very very much for the help. I wrecked him round 1 with a few consecutive right hooks. Round 2 I over-analyzed, got out of rhythm, and got destroyed (only did 2 rounds). Now I know better. On an unrelated note, which of these two would you recommend for all-around heavy bag/sparring, all-purpose gloves? ( I realize they’re similar but would appreciate your advice)
Thanks Coach
– Evan
Or maybe
All in 14oz, none in lace


Whitecollarboxerlawyermexcity March 30, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Sport Wisdom!!! Awesome man, thanks for sharing.


Gordon April 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I finally pulled off the combination body hooks! I didn’t slip the right hand, though. I got him to expose himself with a high hook, went to the body, then rolled underneath the left hook, through a right to the body. I am one step closer to enlightenment.


Johnny N April 19, 2013 at 9:57 am

There you go, man! It’s amazing how it starts to become natural after a while. Your body finds a groove that can’t really be taught. Just gotta keep doing something until you figure it out.


Timothy April 17, 2013 at 7:48 am

Johnny, does a right hook to the body (southpaw) have the same effect as an orthodox’s left hook to the body?
pls. reply and thanks


Johnny N April 19, 2013 at 9:54 am

It’s not the same effect but it is still a great effect. USE IT!


Richie May 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Grreat article


WILL LIKES TO BOX July 6, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Great article man really informative


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