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Top 7 Boxing Punching Combinations with Tips and Mistakes

Top 7 Boxing Punching Combinations with Tips and Mistakes

To widen your arsenal and to take your boxing punches techniques to the next level, you must be aware of maximum punching combinations. Moreover, you should be aware of how to execute them.  The best way is to use them whenever you want to catch the opponent off guard or they seem effective finishers. Below are some simple yet effective basic boxing combinations you should add to your arsenal.

Here are the seven top punching combinations in boxing that help boxers gain an advantage and win their fights:

1.      Jab-Cross (1-2)

 In the boxing classes, the first combination that you learn is Jab-Right Cross. You can use it simply when your opponent is coming forward while you are on the outside. You can also make use of this when you are standing in the pocket.

Jab is one of the major weapons in boxing because you can use it to set up the cross and other powerful punches in multiple ways. This combo is incredible for causing distraction, blinding opponents, and finding comfortable range for your KO strikes.

A fast jab can make your opponent lose their guard, and the right cross can land them on the ground. This combination can be your key to winning fights if you master it.


For performing this punching combination perfectly, the following steps can help you:

  • In the start, shift your weight towards your back foot
  • Throw a jab
  • Step ahead with your leading foot for extending the jab
  • When your jab moves back to the guard, start to extend your cross
  • Your rear leg should catch up with the front foot and must pivot into the shot while you focus on extending the cross
  • Step back into your stance

In this punching combination, we need only one step as we alternate the hands. At the time of performing this combo, go for the orthodox stance. This will help you throw a powerful cross as your body will have more freedom for rotation.

Some Possible Jab Cross Combos

You can throw many 1-2 combos at your opponents, including the following ones:

  • Jab to the head, cross to the head (1-2)
  • Jab to the head, cross to the body (1-2b)
  • Jab to the body, cross to the head (1b-2)
  • Both jab and cross land on the body (1b-2b)

2.      Jab-Jab-Cross (1-1-2)

 If you are looking for a way to trick your opponent, a double jab cross or 1-1-2 is the perfect punching combination to use. Most of the time, your opponents expect a 1-2. In that case, going with a double jab cross can be a surprising move for them.

By throwing two jabs followed by the cross, it becomes easier to cover the distance than 1-2 combinations. Most boxing trainers consider this punching combination best and encounterable.


  • Start with your boxing gloves tucked in front of your face with elbows pointing down.
  • Twist your hips at the time of extending your lead hand to punch your opponent. Keep in mind that your punch should go straight from your chin level. Along with that, do not drop hands after the first punch.
  • Before your punch hits the target, rotate your fist so that your knuckles become parallel to the ground as your punch hits.
  • As soon as your jab hits, return it and go for another followed by a cross.

Going this way can help you execute your double jab cross combination in an impactful way.

Mistakes to Avoid

To throw a perfect 1-1-2, you should avoid the following common mistakes that many boxers make.

  • Transferring Weight Too much

Do not transfer too much weight forward in your primary boxing stance. Remain on your rear leg while throwing this combination at your opponents. Your jabs can miss the target and doing so will disturb your balance, which may end up leaving you open to a counter attack.

  • Dropping right hand

Many newbie boxers drop their right hand when they throw a punch. This is an open invitation for counter punches and jab-cross hits to your face.

  • Failing to turnover hand and snapping the punch

Many boxers fail to turn their hands over and snap the punch. Always turn your hand over and rotate your wrists and make knuckles parallel to the ground before your punch hits the target.

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

Jab-Cross-Hook-Cross is another basic, yet important boxing combination. It is simple to throw as you have to go with a left-right-left-right punching combination. You start with a jab to open your opponent’s guards, and follow it with three power punches: cross, left hook, and cross.

If you are able to land these three punches accurately, you can beat any opponent you want. When throwing this combination, you must ensure that your first two punches are quick, followed by two powerful punches.


You need a strategy even if you are going to execute something as basic as this. Here is a scenario for efficiently performing the 1-2-3-2.

Set It Up with a Jab

Jab is a primary and a long-range punch that can be a perfect start for any combination. The right way to use a jab is by throwing it straight at the rival's face, as it will create openings for the rest of the punches in this combination. You can throw a jab at any part of the body and even feint opponents to make them shift or lose their guard.

Do the Damage with a Cross?

Always throw the cross with your dominant hand. This is a b punch that follows the jab in a 1-2-3-2 combination. To make it efficient and not to let the opponent counter, throw it right after the jab to cause maximum damage.

You can throw this punch on the body and the head according to the situation to do the most damage to your opponent.

Open the Side Angle with Hook

The left hook is the first power punch that you throw following the right cross. This punch is dangerous as it comes from a tricky side angle and is hard to predict. This punch can have a concussive effect as you can rock the opponent’s head with it.

If your opponent has blocked the initial two punches, it can open them up. You can target this punch to the opponent’s head or body.

Complete The Combo with a Cross

You must finish up all of your punching combos, including 1-2-3-2 with a cross. As you are looking to attack your opponent, the right way is to end up in the combination with a right-hand power punch. If you like, you can also add different punches to this combo to make it more effective according to the fight conditions.

Related Reading: Boxing Fundamentals: Everything You Should Know About Boxing

4.      Cross-Left Hook-Cross (2-3-2)

Most of the punching combinations are long-range and performed from a distance. For example, you cannot throw a jab when your opponent is right in front of you. In close quarters situations like these, the cross left hook cross is a perfect combo that you can use to make the opponent pay the price for entering your close range.

This is a power-based combo that does not start with a jab that boxers use to test or get the opponent’s reaction.


To execute this punch correctly while keeping yourself safe from the counter, keep your left hand up to guard your chin when you throw a powerful cross with the right hand. From here, you will be in the best position with loaded hips to throw a hook to the jaw of your opponent.

Always make sure your right hand is in the face guarding position. Without wasting time, follow the hook with a powerful right-hand cross. When throwing this 2-3-2, you have to be closer to your opponent. This combo will not work if you try it from a distance.

5.      Jab-Cross-Left Uppercut-Cross (1-2-5-2)

 Another top and effective punching combo in boxing is the jab-cross left uppercut cross (1-2-5-2). This combination is much similar to 1-2-3-2, except you use the left uppercut instead of the left hook.

Using the left uppercut can surprise your opponent as it comes from below. In case you find your opponent hiding behind their guard with their head down or coming to charge into you, the left uppercut can help you pop their head followed by a right-hand finish.


To throw this mid-range combo effectively, start by throwing a jab at your opponent, whether on body or face, followed by a speedy cross. After using the cross, to be in a position to throw a left uppercut, you should lean slightly outside your lead foot. That should also be quick and powerful.

Then rotate your body to a position from where you can throw a cross from above and behind them to land it on the target effectively. The right time to go for this combo is when your opponent is shelled up in a high guard stance.

This will allow you to make the most with this 4-punch combination.

6.      Right Uppercut-Left Hook (6-3)

 If you are too close to your opponent and are unable to throw straight punches, combining the right uppercut with a left hook is an excellent way to go. This powerful combo is exceptional for making opponents pay the price for coming too close.


The perfect execution of this combination requires you to load your hips and get some power in your uppercut before pivoting to throw a shot. Also, keep your left hand close enough so you can go for a hook in quick succession.

Throwing an uppercut knocks the opponent’s head upward, allowing you to make a quick placement of the left hook.

7.      Jab-Cross-Hook (1-2-3)

Adding the left hook to your basic jab-cross combo can also be a great technique to hurt your opponents. In this combination, your main attack is the left hook, as it always helps you catch the opponent off guard. Before using this combo, make sure you are within the range to hit your opponent.


Firstly, set up a jab followed by a cross with low power to create a distraction. While doing so, ensure that your head is not in the middle but is leaned slightly outwards to your lead foot. This will help you avoid any kind of counterpunches.

After throwing the cross, pause, so that your opponent thinks that you are not following up with the next punch. The cross might also cause the losing guards of your opponent. Sensing vulnerability, throw a left hook when your opponent does not expect it. You can throw a hook to the jaw and body where you see it appropriate or when you find the opponent off-guard.

Develop Your Own Combinations

Do you want to know more punching combinations to surprise your opponents? You don’t have to learn any additional combinations, but you can innovate these combinations in the way you want. The following are some innovative combinations that you can develop from the basic ones.

Double The Cross

Do not always go for throwing any combination in the same way, as this makes it easy for opponents to predict your next punch. Make some variation. For example, when you go for a jab-jab-cross after the first jab your opponent expects a second jab. Here you can surprise him with a double-cross.

Going that way will make your boxing moves unpredictable for opponents and can provide you the opportunities to find them off guard. This will happen because they try to block your punches on the wrong side, and you hit them on the open side.

You can use this approach with all of the combos to develop some new ones.

Lighten The Left Hand

Numerous newbies attempt to throw every punch with full power. That is not the best strategy. Variation in punching power is crucial in terms of lasting the whole bout. For example, throwing every jab or hook with full power, you can lose balance if you miss.

You can use light punches for distracting opponents or to catch them off guard for big punches.

Faking the Punches

Faking or feinting your punches can also give you a window to land deadly punches on your opponent. For example, if you are aiming for a double jab-cross combo, you can throw one or two fake jabs to make the opponent defend on the wrong side before you hit a cross.

Similarly, faking out the first, second, or even third punch of a combination can also create a distraction to provide you the opportunity to cause real damage.

Change The Target

Always aiming for the same target while throwing any combo during a boxing match makes you predictable for your opponent. You can be left open for counters if opponents predict your attacking areas or if they’re able to successfully block or slip your attacks.

Always change your target area for your punches while developing your combos. If you aim jabs to the head, surprise your opponent by landing it on the body.

Throw Speedy Punches

It is recommended to keep your punches light. But it does not mean to keep them slower and provide your opponents any opportunities. Lowering the power of your punches allows you to throw them quickly and land the maximum number of strikes on your target. 

Another way to get an advantage over your opponent is mixing speedy yet light punches with some powerful ones. Low-power punches will distract them, while high-power punches will wreak havoc.


If you want to be a good boxer, these punching combinations are integral to understanding, countering and beating your opponents. Keep adding more combinations to your arsenal to stay at the top of your game. There are several other famous combinations as well as your imagination and creativity to explore and advance in the sport.

Related Reading: 5 Boxing Secrets That Only A Pro Boxer Can Teach You

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