Boxing Combinations

Most Basic Boxing Combinations

During training sessions, a boxer will throw lots of punches but when it comes to fighting in the ring, there are elements that cannot be ignored. There are basic combinations that will help the boxer grow in the sport. A good boxing combination consists of speed, power, and elegant movement.

A beginner will definitely find it difficult to have a good combination. In this guide, you will get to understand the elements that make up a good combo and even how to integrate them into your training.

Elements of A Good Boxing Combo

Hip and shoulder rotation-This rotation loads power to your next punch. You achieve this rotation by switching from left to right. Every punch you take will transition into the next effortlessly.

Changing levels-If you want to wear down an opponent then you will need to switch between body and head punches. This is especially effective where the opponent is always pulling a guard every time. You will be creating more areas to strike. These are crippling body shots and could take some time to master but they are equally effective.

Slinky– This is how you should transfer power. This means that when you throw with your left, there will be a rotation which will compress and load your right side and ready for some action

Avoiding telegraphy– Telegraphy is selling yourself short by making your next move obvious to your opponent. This normally happens when momentum is being built and you have loaded the shot too much that your arm moves unconsciously and gives you away. To avoid this, just throw straight punches.

Distance -If you are going to throw a combo then ensure that you stay outside your opponent’s range. Start with a long jab while moving forward. What happens is that the jab will cover your movement and your opponent won’t know what hit them. If you are going to enter your opponent’s range, always be prepared.

Feints – These are movements that cause your opponent to be vulnerable thereby allowing you to throw powerful punches. The purpose of a feint is to feign a punch so as to get your opponent to react, leaving them exposed before you throw in the real jab.

Basic Jabs For You

1. Jab-Cross (1-2)

You are just outside your opponent’s range. This is the first combination every boxer learns. The first jab is to measure the distance between you and your opponent and if you can reach them with your lead hand then you are certain that the cross will get them too.

You will need to move with your jab so as to cover more distance and exit the combo to the right. If you are short then you will have to duck your head and move under your opponent’s left arm after throwing a cross. This combo can be thrown from any angle.

2. Double Jab-Cross (1-1-2)

This is a very long-range jab but the danger level is low. It is referred to as 1-1-2 because the first two shots are from the same direction. This means that you will confuse your opponent especially if they are taller than you. You will easily cover long distances.

When it comes to footwork, make two steps with the jabs but if you are closer to your opponent then one step is enough. The next thing is to plant your feet before throwing a powerful cross.

Don’t move your head if there is no threat but if the counters are a threat then bobbing and weaving will save the day. Being an aggressive combo, all your angles should be forward so as to close the gap between you and your opponent. The rhythm here is fast-hard-hard, hard-fast-hard.

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

This is a jab that has two ranges, long and mid. You can be countered while throwing a hook so the danger level is medium. This combo still has the power to knock out your opponent when they do not expect it. Execution is the key and that is why this is normally the last punch. You will need to start with a distant light 1-2 then shift your body weight on your front leg just you throw the cross. This is now the position to throw in the power lead hook by spring up and release your punch.

4. Jab to the body-Cross to the head

This is a low range, low danger level kind of jab. The aim is to make your opponent think that you will be throwing low punches but you will actually come high. Floyd Mayweather is known for this tactic. The opponent will be busy protecting their body while you will be going for their head.

Your feet need to move forward with your jab as you bend your knees a bit before springing up with a cross to the head. You should be ducking your head as you throw the jab to your opponent’s body.

This combo should be executed as fast as possible so that your opponent does not realize what you are up to.

5. Jab to the head-Rear uppercut to the body

This is a long-range jab with a medium danger level. This is because you are left exposed to left hooks.

If you are the type of boxer who loves operating from a distance but still love body shots, this is your combo. This is a jab where you aim for the head first before going for the body. The first jab is a distraction.

Southpaws love this combination since their left hand is their rear.  The damage is on another level but don’t worry, even if you are not a southpaw you can still learn.

 6. Jab-Lead hook to the body-Cross

You have two ranges here, mid and short plus your chances of getting hit are low. This combo has two tricks. You can double the punches and also change the levels. Your opponent will be left guessing what could be coming next.

As for your footwork, all you need to do is move forward as you throw the jab. You need to stay close to your opponent so that you can take good body shots. Be ready to slip so that you are not countered.

How To Improve Your Combos

If you want to master combinations then you will have to do a lot of shadow boxing then implement the same in sparring. Shadowboxing improves your combo while sparring helps you learn how to use the combo in a real fight.

You will also need to know the situations where specific combinations can be applied and also on what kind of opponents. This is what is referred to as fight IQ and the best way to gain it is through experience. You will also need to watch a lot of boxing matches so as to see what those ahead of you are doing.


You now know what makes a killer combo but it is important to note that not every combo is best suited for you. Know your ability and capacity then use what works for you best. You can even come up with your own unique combos. It is all about embracing skill and practice. What you learn and apply will soon make you a boxer worth watching.