12 Actionable Boxing Tips Everyone Should Know | The Complete List

Written by Alistair Knight | 07 August 2020

Boxing tips everyone should know featuring two people on the pads.

This guide will show you the complete list of boxing tips.

Here are the…

Contents

Ready to unlock the keys to becoming a better boxer?

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12 Best Boxing Tips

  1. Throw light, yet sharp punches
  2. Use shorter combos (if new to boxing)
  3. Stay properly hydrated
  4. Always take the opportunity to learn
  5. Develop proper breathing
  6. Master your boxing stance
  7. Jab, Jab and Jab again
  8. Drill attacking and defending techniques
  9. Faint and move
  10. Hook and cover
  11. Shoulder roll
  12. Duck and counter

1. Throw Light, Yet Sharp Punches

A bee and a feather illustration representing a fast and light punch

One of the biggest mistakes most beginners make is throwing everything into their punches.

Whether they’re sparring, hitting the heavy bag, or speed bagging it, they simply want to throw full power at all times.

Unfortunately, this is not the way to go as it will cause you to wear yourself out much faster. But…

Throwing punches with power is something you will need to do at certain times during a fight.

To do this, you can throw power punches towards the end of the bout, at the end of a combination, or when you are certain your opponent has been stunned.

In order to throw power punches effectively, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right techniques which you find later on in this guide.

2. Shorter Combos (If New to Boxing)

Combos are effective, fancy, and look good, and when people are new to boxing, it can be tempting to want to load them up. But here’s the kicker:

Less is more…

Why?

Because when you’re a beginner, you’ll want to focus, and only focus, on perfecting the basic combinations.

Then when you are throwing your punches correctly you can then start adding in more complex combos.

A simple three to four-punch combos will be enough.

It is much better to take the time to perfect a short combo, rather than performing badly with longer combos.

3. Stay Properly Hydrated

You probably already know this, but boxing is one of the most physically taxing sports on the list.

It doesn’t matter if you are hitting the heavy bag, sparring, or working on footwork, you’ll be burning energy and working off a lot of calories.

But even if you aren’t working up a sweat… you’ll still be burning your hydration sources.

In fact, many people can become dehydrated without even knowing it!

They won’t feel thirsty, tired, worn down, or anything until it hits them and… when it does hit, they’ll likely need to take multiple rest days to recover.

So, even if you aren’t going full speed, make sure you are taking the time to get some water and electrolytes as required.

4. Always Take The Opportunity To Learn

Whether you are at home with free time or find yourself in the gym with free time, you should use that time to learn, learn, and learn some more.

Learn as much as you possibly can about boxing. Film yourself and show it to your coach then ask him/her for their critical advice on how to improve.

This will help you determine where your weaknesses are and how to better perfect your boxing techniques.

Listen to the legend Kobe Bryant on how he did this:

Kobe Bryant | Studying Film Is About Detail

R.I.P Kobe

Always be as critical with yourself as possible and never be satisfied.

As Bill Gates says: “Success is a lousy teacher, it teachers smart people into thinking they can’t loose” .

Watch others while at the gym, pay close attention to their techniques and
movement, and replicate their actions.

When at home, take the time to watch videos and read guides like this one.

Moving on…

5. Develop Proper Breathing

Boxing might seem like a sport based around footwork, striking, strength, and speed, but it is much more than that.

Sure, all of these areas make up a great fighter, but without proper breathing, you simply can’t be as good.

When you watch a boxer in range, you’ll notice they make hissing or grunting noises when throwing shots and taking shots.

The reason why boxers do this is because we will be able to conserve the amount of air in our lungs and therefore be able to keep fighting without running out of breath.

Being able to hold your breath as a fighter is paramount and it’s why you see many elites hold their breath both during and in between workouts.

Let’s now turn to something you must rehearse over and over and over again:

6. Master Your Boxing Stance

A proper boxing stance is one where you have both great balance and agility.

There are two main stances in boxing: orthodox and southpaw.

If you are comfortable training in both boxing stances, you can switch between orthodox and southpaw to gain a great edge on your competition. The best fighter to learn this skill from is probably Tyson Fury:

Tyson Fury's Brilliant Boxing Explained - Technique Breakdown

Your stance will provide you with the best defence so you can avoid getting hit too often.

With a little practice, you’ll develop reflexes that help you swat away punches coming towards you but we learn by doing, so… the best way to get a great boxing stance is by practising in the gym with a coach.

You’ll also need to practice:

7. Jab, Jab, Jab

There are various attacking techniques to enjoy including jabs, crosses, hooks, uppercuts, and overhands, but…

What’s the most important punch in your arsenal?

The jab

By learning how to use the jab, you’ll be able to keep your opponent at bay. You can control the distance and keep your opponent away from you and effectively time your quick combinations.

Jabbing for a boxer is like a walking stick for an old man: you won’t be able to do much without it.

8. Drill Attacking and Defending Techniques

Boxing consists of attacking and defending techniques. “Hit and not be hit” is the old saying and to do both you need both attacking and defending skill.

Firstly, you’ll want to take advantage of your footwork.

You need to learn how to move around the ring so you can quickly evade your opponent’s blows and strike at the perfect angle.

We are going to write articles about both of these in the future so that you can dominate in both areas. For now, keep researching online and keep asking your boxing coach like you’ve already been doing.

9. Faint and Move

Next, you’ll want to learn faints. This is an essential boxing technique because it’ll give you an edge over your opponent.

You need to be very deceptive. You need to make your opponent think you’re throwing a punch when you’re not.

This will make them flinch. Then, you’ll have time to move in and hit your opponent with a few thudding blows.

You need to be deceptive so you can catch your opponent off-guard. If you’re able to do that, you’ll be able to hit him with multiple shots before he has time to react.

10. Hook and Cover

Stepping into any boxing ring you will know that your opponent is going to throw a lot of hooks so… how do you get ready for that?

Move with your hands up!

By using a high cover defence and rolling with the punches, you’ll be able to shield yourself from heavy blows.

A perfect example?

Watch Mike Tyson move:

Mike Tyson Defence Master Highlight

By raising your arm and defending your face, you’ll be able to deflect these blows and let them land on your arms and shoulders.

Quick tip: When training next, after every combo you throw, move both your feet and that head of yours as though you’re pretending to avoid a fighter’s punches.

11. Shoulder Roll

Using the shoulder roll is a great way to avoid your opponent’s punches and set up powerful counters.

This primarily helps you avoid jabs but it can work for other punches as well. For instance:

You can use the shoulder roll to avoid some hooks and uppercuts. How does it work?

When you’re in your defensive stance, your opponent may be able to touch you with a jab.

So, you’ll want to keep your chin down and your shoulder up. You’ll lean back a bit so you can avoid the punch.

Watch how this technique helps Floyd Mayweather (the populariser of the technique) evade punches quickly and conveniently:

Sports Science: Art of Floyd Mayweather shoulder roll defense

How can you do this?

Drill, rehearse, repeat… Drill, rehearse, repeat

12. Duck and Counter

Finally, you’ll want to take advantage of the duck and counter technique.

This is one of the best techniques for getting in close and hitting your opponent in the stomach.

When your opponent tries to jab you in the face, you’ll want to duck under that punch and land your own into his ribs as he moves towards you.

It takes time to learn this technique but it’ll prove to be very helpful in the ring.

Who Am I and: Should You Trust This Advice?

My name is Alistair and I’m a former athlete in boxing. I boxed as an amateur for three years and… during this time, I’ve worked with some of the best coaches and fighters in the U.K. Also:

I’ve written over 40 articles related to boxing and have edited hundreds more.

This article was written by another boxer (called Kaden), and I’ve thoroughly edited and approved of all the nuggets you’ll read in this guide (if you haven’t already read them).

Who Is This Guide For?

This boxing guide is for you…

The smart boxer out there who knows how important it is to master the basics or… in other words:

This blog post is for both beginners and advanced boxers looking to discover basic/intermediate boxing tips which they might not know or have completely forgotten about.

Is Boxing a Complicated Sport?

To the outsider, boxing might not seem like an uncomplicated sport. It might just seem like
two individuals standing in front of each other throwing punches.

It would be pretty easy to see how someone might not view boxing as a complicated sport, but there is a reason that many refer to the sport as a “sweet science”.

Boxing is much more than just throwing punches. It entails coordination, balance, endurance, timing, proper footwork, and above all else defence.

The defence might be one of the most important aspects of the entire game.

Of course, this was not intended to make the sport sound too complicated either.

While it is a sport that should be approached seriously, it is one that anyone can learn given the right
mindset, time, and training.

Conclusion

I hope you’ve found some useful tips in this post and…

While these tips are vital for your success as a boxer, the most important thing you must have to learn the sport of boxing (and something you probably already have) is:

The right mindset.

“What you put into boxing is what you get out of it” ~ Mo Farah.

Eating the right food, not skipping a training session, and scheduling rest days consistently takes both discipline and sacrifice but… the reward is always worth it.

Now I’d like to turn it over to you:

What was your favourite tip from today?

Are you going to take action on it?

We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Also: Follow us on Instagram here so you can get more helpful advice for both your boxing and your health!

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