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The difference between a straight right and a right cross

A right cross punch in boxing.

In orthodox boxing, the long-range right hand is a power shot. If you land it, you’ll probably hurt your opponent.

Sometimes, you hear this punch called a “straight right“, and other times it’s referred to as a “right cross“.

Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, they really shouldn’t be. They are two distinct punches.

The right cross

The right cross takes its name from the fact that it crosses over your opponent’s lead hand. It loops slightly, taking a curved path to the target.

When your opponent is lazy in returning his jab to the guard, you might be able to hit him with a right cross. Or, if he uses the peek-a-boo guard to thwart your straight punches, you can catch him with a cross to the temple.

Vitali Klitschko lands perfect right cross on Kevin Johnsons chin.

Vitali Klitschko lands perfect right cross on Kevin Johnson's chin.

The straight right hand

The straight right is a straight punch. It goes straight up the middle, between your opponent’s guard.

Klitschko slams a straight right between Chris Arreolas guard.

Klitschko slams a straight right between Chris Arreola's guard.

The straight right is probably a faster and more powerful punch, but the right cross is used when the situation dictates a different strategy.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

jeff December 17, 2010 at 10:54 pm


I have a question for you..

I am boxing in korea and they train you to throw a right in two ways. First to throw it and then turn the fist as you get to your opponent…. or throw it straight so that your hand is straight. As in index finger on top and pinky on the bottom. I am used to turning my fists from north america.

do you know why they do this?



Trent April 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Korean martial arts are known for that late “snap” twist .

Its hard to put in word but you have to focus on its difference.

just like a karate roundhouse compared to a tae kwon do one, in tae kwon do the twist is last.I find the TKD roundhouse to be more accurate and controlable in certain situations than a Karate one, which i think feels like brute power and is unforgiving.

Ive noticed when i snap last its naturally easier and quicker for me to return my fist, almost like the snap is reflexsive and helps pull your hand back faster. idk. just my 2cents.


Ivan June 12, 2011 at 6:53 am

You know your boxing. That is probably the best example and explanation about the right cross and how it is a variation of the straight right and not of the right hook. In French the word for hook is crocheté which sounds similar to cross. The word crocheté in the meaning of hook has been adopted in many languages in Europe, so the cross is easily misunderstood as a long hook (swing). The similarities between a swing and a cross are more than the differences which are in many cases academic and theoretical. Great job, thank you.


connor January 10, 2012 at 7:37 am

hi they teach you to frow straight shots with your thumb up first so that you dont get the habbit of rasiing your elbows too soon coz thats what happens when people losse power in their shots through turning there fist too soon than at the last split second o the shot


Efim July 20, 2015 at 6:31 am

Very good explanation


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