Home » Advice » My pick for the top five boxing combinations

My pick for the top five boxing combinations

Boxing combinations

Nobody can win consistently by being a one-punch wonder. The easiest thing your opponent can do in boxing is to make you miss your punch. So, you need to throw your punches in combination if you want to be able to actually hit anyone who has more agility than an octogenarian.

What characteristics are shared by all the best boxing combinations?

It’s no good simply throwing some unrelated punches one after the other. Odds are, it won’t do you any good.

Instead, you need to construct your combinations out of punches that are related in some way. Without going into it in too much detail, I’ll just say that you should be able to shift your body weight naturally with each punch. Pay attention to the combinations I recommend and you’ll begin to see how each punch leads into the next with no wasted movement.

Since the jab is your most important punch, every combination that I recommend will start off naturally with a jab.

A list of good boxing combinations

Here are some classic boxing combos, in no particular order. I assume that you are an orthodox fighter — one who jabs with his left hand. If you’re a southpaw, simply reverse these combos.

Jab — Straight Right — Left Hook

This is the classic 1-2-3 combination. It is one of the most famous — and most popular — combinations in boxing.

You’ll get your range with the jab, then throw out the straight right to get him to cover up in front of his face. As you throw the straight right, you’re shifting in towards your opponent while shifting your weight onto your lead left foot. Then, you should be able to land the left hook to the side of his head because both his hands are still in front of his face.

It’s a mistake to try to land the left hook from the same distance that you can land the straight right. You need to be closer to land a proper left hook. Therefore, the right hand is just a set-up punch. It’s not thrown with knockout power; rather, it’s just there to get his hands out of position and to allow you to shift your weight in preparation for throwing the left hook.

Jab — Straight Right — Left Hook to Body — Left Hook to Head

Like the previous combination (the 1-2-3), this combo relies on getting your opponent’s hands up and in front of his face by peppering him with your straight right hand.

But this time, you go to the body first with your left hook.

In this case, the body shot isn’t a true left hook because you don’t really shift your weight from your front foot to your rear foot. It’s actually more of an upperhook which is a blend of an uppercut and a hook. That is, your weight remains on the lead leg like it does when you throw a lead-hand uppercut, but instead of punching straight up, you’re punching in more of a rounded, hooking motion. Some people refer to this punch as a dig, a shovel-hook, a bodyshot, a liver shot, or even a rip.

After the body shot, follow up with a true left hook to the head. Use full power and make sure to shift your weight and pivot. You can even step back a bit during this punch. The left hook is a good punch to end your combinations with because you can step back to clear yourself out of danger while simultaneously guarding yourself against a counter right hand.

Jab — Right Uppercut — Left Hook

This is a close-range combination. You use the jab to get him to put up his guard while you move into range.

The right uppercut is designed to get his head up. If it lands, that’s fine, but you really want to use it to set up the left hook.

While it’s possible to throw the right uppercut without shifting your weight, to make the most of this combination it’s best to let your weight shift to the front leg so you are in position to throw a powerful left hook.

Once you get his chin up with the right uppercut, knock him out with the left hook.

Jab — Left Hook

This is a deceptive combination.

Your opponent will probably expect you to follow up your jab with a right hand punch. This is especially true if you’ve been throwing Jab — Right Hand combos at him; he should already be used to the pattern.

But instead of throwing the right hand, you simply dip over to the left without moving your right, then throw a powerful left hook. The movement you make while preparing to throw the left hook should fake him out if everything goes well. He’ll assume you’re throwing the right and he’ll bring his hands up to block his face. But the left hook will come instead.

Some people refer to this combo as “Hooking off the jab“.

Jab — Right Uppercut — Left Hook — Short Right Hand — Left Hook

Here’s one that’s a bit longer.

Again, you want to get his chin up with the uppercut, then clip it with the hook. But the short straight right hand will hit with a lot of power if he’s covering up against your left hook and not trying to throw punches back at you.

If you manage to land something, use the final left hook as a knockout punch. If not, use it to clear yourself out of danger and regroup back into your boxing stance.

Ways to modify these boxing combinations

A great way to increase the effectiveness of these combos is to add a double-jab or a feint at the very beginning. Or, jab (or feint) to the body and try to get your opponent’s hands down before you launch into your combos.

I hope you get something out of these basic boxing combinations. They should give you some things to think about, and if you master them you’ll be well on your way towards learning an effective offense. Let me know what your favorites are!

Not having any success learning to fight from the internet?
Check out my review of the best boxing training DVD.

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Reza May 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Hey, thanks for sharing these tips! I’m working on perfecting the last one!

Reply

Jef June 18, 2010 at 9:50 am

Nice article, I’ve got another very effective combination:

(Jab)-Left Uppercut-Left Hook-Right Hook-Left Hook to Body

It starts with a jab because that’s a way to start a combo, but it is not necessairy.
With the Left Upper and the Left Hook you make your opponent move his head to the right and meanwhile defending himselve on the left side, which gives you a lot of open space to land a good Right Hook.
You finish him with a Left Upperhook, like your knuckles are a knife that you stab in his liver.

Reply

seve August 4, 2010 at 2:49 am

I use a boxing combo from a boxing instructional DVD by Chris Getz called the seven deadly sins . -try it ,it flows quite well.

Jab-cross- left upper cut-cross-left hook-Right upper cut -left hook -step out

-try it ,it flows quite well.

Reply

Joseph September 7, 2010 at 5:41 am

May I suggest for my own boxing combination……..

JAB…RIGHT UPPER CUT (BODY), LEFT UPPER CUT (BODY), LEFT HOOK AND STRAIGHT…..

don’t ask why simply just do it…..

Reply

Dan September 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm

How about;
Jab, cross, left hook, right upper cut, left hook, right hook, left upper cut… Then if you can finish them off with a cross.

Reply

Byron Garcia November 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Ima try it out on my next fight.

Reply

Lloyd December 4, 2010 at 2:55 am

Well I liked 12 out 12 left hook left hook and (right uppercut left hook full force) out

Reply

Sal December 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Jab-Cross -Left Hook -Thia Kick-Right elbow.

Reply

David December 14, 2010 at 10:26 pm

People seem to think that boxing is only punching(NOT TRUE)
Without the proper foot-work a boxer would have trouble with balance and power!

Reply

Vic December 19, 2010 at 12:13 am

thanks I like these combos

Reply

Marc December 29, 2010 at 5:40 pm

I like this combo: Jab with left-body. Jab again with left-head. Cross Right-head. Left Hook to body. End with Right uppercut. Optional left hook to face afterwards. I like to use this against the bag. I’m still finding a place that accommodates fights around here (Corning, NY)

Reply

joe January 16, 2011 at 11:53 am

I like to start off a fight with a leg kick left jab right hook left uppercut

Reply

Humphrey January 21, 2011 at 1:01 am

Just give em the ol’ 1-2 i reckon. Or butterfly kick they ass.

Reply

david k February 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm

here’s one that i have found tried and true, it’s all aimed at the head and its a 10 punch combo that flows naturally and with extreme power and speed. JAB, LEFT HOOK, RIGHT UPPERCUT, LEFT HOOK, RIGHT HOOK- at this point he should be knocked out because this is the power part of the combo, if he is a real boxer you may need to finish him off with this combo, or switch the combos around, either way it works best all together.. JAB, JAB, CROSS, JAB, RIGHT UPPERCUT. THIS IS A VERYYY FAST COMBO.

Reply

Zac March 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm

When you throw the 1-2, or even the 1-2-3, do you step in with the jab? And if so, do you also keep the back foot planted throughout the combination. I’ve seen videos where guys will slide the back foot forward as they throw the cross. I guess it is for balance, but I’ve never had a problem with just stepping in with the the front foot as I jab and keeping the back foot planted throughout the combination. I only bringing my back foot forward after I have completed the combination, or slide my front foot back into its original position depending on whether or not I want to advance. What do you think?

Reply

Marcus March 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I’ve got one that is a little bit outlandish, but I’ve been training in martial arts for eleven years and can confirm that it is effective if done correctly.
11 Piece: Jab, Jab, Straight, (Forward Hand) Hook, (Power Hand) Triple Uppercut, (Forward Hand) Hook, (Power Hand) Hook, (Forward Hand) Double Hook.

Reply

michael April 20, 2011 at 5:44 am

thanks for the tips , very usefull to use specially when sparring once you master it on the bag it flows wonderfully whilst sparing .

Reply

victor May 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm

this havs been very useful for me and ive been golden gloves for two years straight 1,2,3,rightupper cut,2,3,2 works everytime

Reply

ricky warner June 16, 2011 at 4:30 am

I am an older guy (62 now) and boxed fron age 6 through 17.
The first combo that I ever learned is still my favorite. It goes like this sharp left hook and bring back quickly (not all the way because your next move is ready before that ) and shift weight to left then a left hook (most people aren’t ready for a hook early in a fight right after first jab) and many try to duck it so punch for the neck area and you will nearly always connect , then a right cross and then hypothetically a left jab to retreat from opponant.

However, if you have landed strong with your cross just keep jabbing and crossing and throw in an occasional uppercut if your guy is still standing.

Per your punch number pattern it is 1-3-2-1. However if delivered with power already it would be 1-3-2-3-2 etc ! Ya gotta have a good quick jab before you can think about boxing and that quick hook after the the jab takes nearly everybody by surprise !

I realize that these are all head shots but if you are connecting there is no better place to be!

Reply

shalvin July 4, 2011 at 7:50 pm

1,2,hook,straight,hook
Way to fast to block and powerfull.

Reply

Remi July 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Step in with a Jab (Head) – Right Hook (Body) – Left Hook (Body) – Right Hook (Head) and Step out with a Left Hook(Head)
If you do it fast and with good movement, the other guy won’t even be able to touch you.

And a variation for the combination 3 thats listed up there.

Jab-Right Uppercut- Stiff Jab
Good combination to send your opponent backwards

Reply

Patryk July 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Big shoutout 2 the author and all peeps posting! Appreciate your work!

Reply

johnathan July 22, 2011 at 9:04 pm

cool , im not a boxer but i love 2 tip around with my bag at home, sweet lots of affective combos der, next step learn them

Reply

barker August 14, 2011 at 3:00 am

JAB-STRATE RIGHT-LEFT HOOK-******STRATE RIGHT****** dust added a strate right to the top 1 its pritty afecive i bet at lest 1 of’em will hit

Reply

mike mison August 31, 2011 at 8:26 am

jab,left hook to body right hook to body, left hook to head right hook to head and move back

Reply

Jun Fan September 12, 2011 at 7:10 am

I’m a southpaw so… right jab-right jab-left hook-right bodyshot-left bodyshot-right hook-left uppercut.

Reply

Devin Lathrop September 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

Won my fight with #2 heck yeah

Reply

Mikey November 3, 2011 at 5:48 am

Heres one I like to use as a southpaw:
Cross left – Right hook to the body – right hook to the head – left hook to the body…
For an orthodox that would be:
Right- Left body hook – left hook to the head- right hook to the body

Reply

tyler January 31, 2012 at 11:59 am

if you step n with a jab make sure you follow with a block on what ever hand. if not theyll find that open spot an take it to there advantage. heres a combo… LEFT BODY. RIGHT HOOK. TWO JABS. THEN THROW A HAYMAKER TO RIBS.

Reply

danny wood February 6, 2012 at 11:05 am

i have a tight gaurd my only real openning is the right hook to the body but can take them well so i let the first two land then drop my left shoulder and counter with a left upper cut. they have no defrence against it and because there transfering theer weight its deffo cappible of being knock out blow :) just thaught i would share that try it out when your next sparring p.s remeber the name

Reply

Cody March 15, 2012 at 4:51 am

I’m a smaller guy. Fought at 150 and I’m only 5″6. I always did 2 test jabs to weasel my way in. One to the body next to tge head. I’m a southpaw so my fav combo Was left body, right hook, left uppercut, right jab right cross Your equilibrium is solid and so r ur pivots. It depends on tge naturality of the boxer. Shadow box and see how ur feet balance. I like some of the combos listed. Happy fighting

Reply

reuben April 18, 2012 at 10:33 am

I’m a kickboxer,but I’m starting to love jus boxing.the combo I eva leant and stil lov is,jab,straight,left hook to the body and right upercut to the chin.happy boxing

Reply

mike ward April 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm

thanks im just lerning how to box and theese tips are helping

Reply

mike ward April 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm

they are nice combinations is it a good idea to use weighted gloves?

Reply

Steve Noonan May 22, 2012 at 5:06 pm

everyone seems to leave out the foot work , i am not seeing any combos with any foot work, like slipping or what ever. all these strait forward combos are OK but the real art is in the foot and hip movement. just saying guys.

Reply

diego June 3, 2012 at 12:14 am

double jab, right, left uppercut, right, left hook, right, jab, slip, pivot, Bob and weave, jab, straight right to the body come up with a left hook.

Reply

Ben June 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Thanks guys some really good combos On here used the fast jab jab cross jab right upper cut yesterday in grading fight and got a KO of it looked good on the vid to! Thanks heaps fellas keep up the good work!

Reply

zorgo June 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm

indeed, these combos work very well

Reply

j. June 28, 2012 at 9:38 am

http://artikelssociologie.blogspot.it/2012/05/best-boxing-and-kickboxing-combinations.html

good article, I used some of your combo’s to add my own article, I hope U dno’y mind

Reply

sugan September 26, 2012 at 11:33 pm

itz an amazing comanation thank you for sharing

Reply

sugan September 26, 2012 at 11:35 pm

hi guy can u try this jab cross jab turning back kick it messy shot then anything

Reply

Micheal Tyson December 28, 2012 at 7:56 pm

2 straight rights followed by a left hook followed by a right uppercut and left hook, jab out/move

Reply

ali March 26, 2013 at 7:21 am

Here atip for all u• Putting all powerful punches and train that
For long time will give you unexpected power and speed punches
For example right cross right hook left hook right cross this is really
Good one

Reply

Fran May 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Best combo ever right hook, right hook, right hook followed by a right hook. Your opponent will never expect u to throw that many right hooks in a row and will grow truer as hooks go on. So catch them off guard with a right hook. Even if ur a lefty

Reply

admin May 18, 2013 at 11:16 am

Throw in a headbutt or two and you’ll never lose!

Reply

Kru Allisha August 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm

These are classic and great combos. We’ve been able to adapt these for Muay Thai as well in our sessions, combining these combos with knees and kicks. Appreciate the article and advice very much. Keep it coming; we’re staying tuned.

Kru Allisha – NYC

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: