8 Best Boxing Combinations To Help You Win (Basic and Advanced)

Written by Alistair Knight | 02 November 2020

A girl throwing a three, two combo against a boxing bag

This is a complete list of the best boxing combinations to help you win in your training and competitions.

Now, within this guide, I’m not only going to show you what the best boxing combinations are, but I’m also going to walk you through all of the following:

What We Will Be Covering

Ready to become an even smarter fighter?

Let’s jump into it.

8 Brilliant Boxing Combinations from Beginner to Advanced

1. Jab > Cross

Difficulty: Amateur

Steps for executing the combo correctly:

Step 1. Stand side-on in your boxing stance.

Step 2. Clench your fist and extend your leading arm to jab your opponent.

Step 3. Begin extending your rear hand (whilst bringing in your jab hand) by pivoting your foot, hips, and upper torso into the punch. Your rear hand should be outstretched and your leading hand should by bent and protecting your chin.

Step 4. Quickly bring your rear hand in and bob/weave.

How is this a good combination?

It’s easy yet effective: The 1-2 (Jab > Cross) is one of the most basic yet most effective punches for knocking out your opponent. Though, it takes years for even the most seasoned boxers to generate a successful jab, let alone a 1-2.

It can be safe to do: Whenever you watch a professional boxing bout. You’ll notice that the fighters start off with single jabs and the occasional 1-2s in the opening rounds. The reason why they do this is because they’re:

A. Getting a feel for their opponent and their style of boxing

B. Waiting for their opponent to make a mistake

C. Afraid and are not yet comfortable throwing bigger combos this early on

2. Jab > Cross > Lead Hook

Difficulty: Amateur

Steps for executing the combo correctly:

Step 1. Stand side-on in your boxing stance.

Step 2. Clench your fist and extend your leading arm to jab your opponent.

Step 3. Start extending your rear hand (whilst bringing in your jab hand) by pivoting your foot, hips, and upper torso into the punch. Your rear hand should be outstretched and your leading hand should by bent and protecting your chin at the connection of this punch.

Step 4. As you bring you rear hand back, simultaneously pivot your rear foot back so it’s flat on the floor and then pivot your lead foot in 90°.  As you pivot your lead foot in, your leading arm should be out in front of you and bent at a 90° angle and you will be able to rotate your upper torso quickly from this movement.

Note: The momentum of your hook must be quick, sharp, and targeted at your opponent’s temple/chin.

How is this a good combination?

It might take your opponent by surprise: If you’ve ever had a fight before, you’ll be able to see the punches coming directly towards you. But, by adding in a hook to the mix, your opponent might be overly distracted by the first two punches and not see the third one coming.

A knockout punch can be expected with a good connection: Both the rear-hand and lead hook are powerful punches so if you’re able to connect well, you might see your opponent on the floor.

3. Jab > Cross > Slip > Cross > Lead Hook > Roll

Difficulty: Amateur/Intermediate

Steps for executing the combo correctly:

Step 1. Get into your boxing stance, and bend your knees slowly.

Step 2. Punch your lead hand forward towards your opponent’s nose, extending your arm out until the jab has been safely extended.

Step 3. As you bring your jab hand back, instantly throw your rear hand towards your opponent’s nose, keeping both sides of your chin protected by your shoulder and opposite hand.

Step 4. Now you need to slip to avoid your opponent’s rear hand. The way you do this is by moving the weight onto your back foot and bending your front knee in.

Step 5. With the weight now on your back foot, move it back onto your front foot by rotating your back foot, hips, and upper torso until you have thrown your cross.

Step 6. Follow this up with a quick lead hook to your opponent’s chin by pivoting your lead foot in and bending your elbow at 90° angle.

Step 7. Roll underneath your opponent’s punches by bending your knees and rolling back the same way (keeping your torso upright).

Note: Your knees, feet, and balance must control the movement of the roll (not your upper body).

How is this a good combination?

The 1-2-slip-2-3-roll (Jab > Cross > Slip > Cross > Lead Hook > Roll) is a good combination because it…

  • Makes you move to avoid your opponent’s punches
  • Flows nicely (with weight distribution going to your back foot and back to your front foot)
  • Produces a lot of successful K.Os

4. Jab > Cross > Lead Uppercut > Lead Hook > Cross

Difficulty: Intermediate

Steps for executing the combo correctly:

Step 1. Get into your boxing stance with your knees slightly bent.

Step 2.  Throw your lead jab hand out towards your opponent’s nose, bending slightly as you do this.

Step 3. Follow up with the rear-hand by pivoting your ankle, hips, and upper torso whilst pulling your jab hand back to your chin.

Step 4. Put the weight back onto your back foot which must now be flat on the floor and… at the same time, bring your knee in ever so slightly and quickly throw a short uppercut towards your opponent’s chin (avoid over-exaggerating the punch).

Step 5. Quickly pivot your front foot in and throw a lead hook as soon as you’ve thrown your uppercut.

Step 6. With the majority of your weight now on the back foot, move it back onto your front foot by pivoting your bag foot, hip and upper torso until you have landed the final knockout cross.

How is this a good combination?

The 1-2-5-3-2 (Jab > Cross > Lead Uppercut > Lead Hook > Cross) is another brilliant and more challenging boxing combination because…

Your opponent will not be able to see the lead uppercut and lead hook because the hook happens right after the uppercut using the same hand.

It’s is a good combination size as it isn’t too long and it isn’t too short, meaning the majority of good beginners/amateurs can use it.

5. Jab > Cross > Lead Hook > Cross > Sit > Lead Hook To The Body > Cross > Lead Hook > Roll

Difficulty: Intermediate

Steps for executing the combo correctly:

Step 1. Start by getting into your boxing stance

Step 2. Throw a jab at your opponent by extending your lead hand from your chin to your opponent’s nose, sitting as you do so.

Step 3. Instantly throw you rear-hand now by pivoting your back foot, hip, and upper torso.

Step 4. Now pivot your lead foot in and throw your lead hook (which must be bent at approximately 90°.

Step 5. Throw another right hand (or cross if you’re a southpaw).

Step 6. Sit by bending slightly with your back leg like you’re doing a lunge, then immediately throw a lead hook towards your opponents liver.

Step 7. Throw another right hand to your opponent’s nose, another hook to his chin, and then finish by rolling to your left (orthodox) or right (southpaw) and moving out of range.

Note: This will require a lot of twisting of your knees, hips, and ankles.

How is this a good combination?

This is a brilliant combination which I used to rehearse with my boxing coach. The tricky part is going from the cross to the lead hook to the body as you’ve got to pivot your feet a lot. But after repetition (and good footwork), your opponent might find his/herself with chicken legs:

What chicken legs look like

6. Cross > Lead Hook > Rear Upper Cut > Pivot > Rear Hand > Roll and Take a Step Back Out of Range

Difficulty: Advanced fighters only

Steps for executing the combo correctly:

Step 1. Throw your rear hand towards your opponent’s nose.

Step 2. Follow this up with a lead hook to his/her chin.

Step 3. Twist your feet, hips and upper torso to then land a sharp rear uppercut towards your opponent’s chin.

Step 4. Pivot 90° to the left and throw an unexpected rear hand to knock out your opponent.

Step 5. Get out of range by rolling and stepping back at the same time.

How is this a good combination?

This is an effective combo because you’re able to create a nice angle away from your opponent and catch him/her off guard by doing the pivot.

If you’re the one in the ring who is creating the angles, then you’re going to be the one who controls the fight.

I first learnt how to pivot when using this combination with my boxing coach and after a lot of repetition, it’s now my favourite.

7. Jab > Cross > Lead Hook > Cross > Sit > Lead Hook To The Body > Cross > Lead Hook > Roll > Pivot Out

Difficulty: Advanced fighters only

Steps for executing the combo correctly:

Step 1. Starting off in your stance, throw a quick 1-2 like you already know how to do.

Step 2. Throw your left hook and another cross.

Step 3. Now, with your chin protected by your shoulder, sit on your bag leg slightly and rotate your lead hand into your opponent’s body.

Step 4. Follow this up with a cross to the nose of your opponent and a lead hook to his/her chin.

Step 5. Roll to the left (if orthodox) or to the right (if southpaw) and pivot out by twisting your body 90°.

How is this a good combination?

This is a good combination to add to your existing arsenal as an advanced fighter.

The reason why this is a good combo is that it requires you to move your head and confuse your opponent. There is also a safe exit where you can pivot and move out of range.

It can sometimes be quite hard for a fighter to pull off these type of combos well in a bout, but when it works out, the other person will feel your full power, dominance and control.

8. Jab > Jab > Rear Hook > Roll > Rear Uppercut > Sit > Lead Hook to the Body > Rear Hook > Pivot > Cross > Roll and Take a Step Back at the Same Time

Difficulty: Advanced

Steps for executing the combo correctly:

Step 1. Start with a double jab focusing on distracting your opponent to then land a rear hook.

Step 2. Roll underneath your opponent’s punches and throw a rear uppercut to lift your opponents head up.

Step 3. Sit down to avoid any other flurries and throw a lead hook to his/her body followed by a rear hook to his head

Step 4. Pivot to the side of your opponent and throw a cross. Get out of range by rolling and taking a step back at the same time.

How is this a good combination?

There is so much action involved with this combo which would really outwit and control any of your opponent’s counters.

The only drawback to this long combination is that many intermediate amateurs will struggle to pull it off swiftly. But this is why we practice, practice, and practice our combos against heavy bags and pads to begin with.

What Are the Different Types of Punches?

There are 8 specific types of punches any boxer can have in his or her arsenal.

The 8 specific punches include:

  1. Jab: A jab is a quick poke used to distract, confuse, and push an opponents head back. It is typically used to set up a combination.
  2. Cross: The cross/rear hand (or right hand/ left hand depending on whether your stance is orthodox of southpaw’) is a punch where an athlete rotates his/her foot, pelvis, and upper torso and rear-hand to generate a stretch-shortening contraction punch.
  3. Lead Hook: The lead hook is another powerful punch which is targeted at an opponents jaw/temple and comes rotating round from the side.
  4. Rear Hook: The rear hook is performed with the opposite arm to the lead hook, and the rotation is similar to the cross except that the upper torso rotates round more in a rear hook.
  5. Lead Uppercut: The lead uppercut is a punch targeted towards either the body or the chin. The closest hand to your opponent is the hand which punches.
  6. Rear Uppercut: The rear uppercut is a punch targeted towards either the body or the chin. The hand which is furthest away from your opponent is the hand which punches.
  7. Lead Hook to the Body: The lead hook to the body is the same as the lead hook, except that you are targeting your opponent just below the ribs.
  8. Rear Hook to the Body: The rear hook to the body is the same as the rear hook, except that you are targeting your opponent just below the ribs.

What Is a Knockout in Boxing?

A knockout (KO) is where one individual makes his/her opponent fall to the floor and not be able to continue after the refs 10 count.

A KO is typically connected to a loss of consciousness from repeated or single blows.

How Do You Knock Somebody Out?

To be able to knock somebody out, you need to have excellent technique, fast-powerful hands, and a bit of luck.

The majority of knockouts are caused by a fighter not seeing a fast, powerful punch hitting fragile parts of their body:

  • Tempel
  • Face
  • Jaw
  • Stomach (liver)

How Do You Punch Faster?

To be able to punch faster, you will want to work on improving your punching technique and endurance.

Punching technique: It takes years for a fighter to master the most basic punches (such as a jab). The better you get at the movement, and the more often you train it at speed, the faster you will become.

Endurance: Your cardio should primarily be focused on high-intensity interval training (HIIT training) and your strength training should be focused on explosive movements with variations in high-low rep ranges and the weight you are lifting.

What Muscles Make You Punch Faster?

There are no specific muscles which would solely make you a faster puncher because all of your bodies muscles will contribute to a punch.

The major muscles which are involved in a punch include the chest, triceps, forearms, shoulders, abdominals (abbs), hips, glutes, calf.

What Is the Fastest Punch?

The fastest punch ever recorded in the Guinness World Records was by Kieth Liddell, which was recorded at 41 miles per hour according to Wikipedia.

What Is the Most Dangerous Punch in Boxing?

There is no ‘most dangerous punch in boxing’ because every punch in the arsenal can be just as dangerous as each other.

For example, the jab is the most frequently used and easiest punch to connect with. It also sets up your power punches well and you might even be able to knockout opponents with it:

So the questions ‘what is the most dangerous punch in boxing’ should be inverted to…

What is the best knockout punch in boxing?

Both the cross and the left hook are as good as each other in knocking out your opponent.

Both are crushing punching which use the strongest muscles in your body to generate a force that makes fighters drop.

Why Does Getting Hit On the Chin Knock You Out?

Getting hit on the chin with a large amount of force can easily knock a fighter out because your sinus can be jolted, therefore changing the flow of blood and oxygen to the head until unconsciousness (blackout).

How Does It Feel to Be Knocked Out?

I have been knockout out twice.

I was hit above the eye with a right hook and on the jaw.

While I am an amateur boxer, these punches happened outside of the ring (being ganged up) and both produced the same effect:

A sudden flash of light behind my eye. Then darkness. Then stillness until I became conscious again.

Interestingly, it didn’t hurt until 10-20 mins after the blow, where I felt a slight headache.

I have never been KO’d with a body shot, but I have heard that it hurts a whole lot more.

What Does Orthodox Stance Mean in Boxing?

The orthodox stance is where a boxer has their left foot forward and their right foot behind them. The stance is commonly used by right-handed boxers who have a stronger right-hand punch.

What Does Southpaw Stance Mean in Boxing?

The southpaw stance is where a boxer has their right foot forward and their left foot back. Southpaw is usually used by left-handed boxers who have a stronger right-hand punch.

Conclusion

I hop you have enjoyed my guide on the best boxing combinations.

Now I’d like to turn it over to you:

What boxing combos have you remembered/learnt today?

Do you want to use any new combos?

Maybe you now know why getting hit on the chin can knock you out?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

Alistair Knight

Alistair Knight is an amateur athlete in boxing and the founder of Healthy Principles. He spends most of his time practising and learning more about boxing to ensure you get the best experience-based and evidence-based insights to learn. Learn more about Alistair Knight