The Different Types of Punches in Boxing

by | Jun 2, 2021

Female Boxer
Female Boxer

There are three different types of punches in boxing and they are:

(1) Straight-arm

(2) Hook

(3) Uppercut

Please understand, these three broad categories contain many variations of said punches. Commonly, trainers expand these three categories into what’s known as the eight punches of boxing. 

The Eight Punches of Boxing

The punch number system is the core of boxing training. As a result, trainers can quickly call combinations. The number system is:

  • (1) Jab
  • (2) Cross 
  • (3) Lead Hook
  • (4) Rear Hook 
  • (5) Lead Uppercut 
  • (6) Rear Uppercut 
  • (7) Lead Rip or Body Hook
  • (8) Rear Rip or Body Hook

The even-numbered punches are executed with the dominant hand — which is the right hand for an orthodox fighter. And alternatively, the odd-numbered punches are executed with the left hand of the orthodox boxer. 

It’s important to understand that the eight punches target different areas of the body. That is to say, punches can strike the jaw, cheekbones or the torso. To accommodate hitting different body parts there are variations in technique which are punch specific.

Beyond the Eight 

Excitingly, there’s a pugilistic world of extravagant or colourful punches beyond the eight. And such strikes include the overhand right or haymaker, superman punch and bolo. Adding such less-conventional punches to your boxing game will expand your offensive repertoire. But use them wisely. The shock value of receiving an unconventional punch can throw your opponent off his/her game or even result in dropping him/her to the canvas with knockout force. The best defence can be an unpredictable offence. 

Each Punch Has a Purpose 

The deeper you go into your boxing education the more you’ll appreciate that each punch has its subtleties and nuances. Because each punch has a purpose. And that purpose can be as simple as delivering a knockout blow, moving backwards behind defensive jabs or something more complex as you set up your opponent with feigns, speed variations and numerous combinations. 


Start at the beginning and wax on, wax off. What does this mean? Well, do the basics first. This involves appreciating, understanding and ultimately mastering the different types of punches in boxing — and this begins with learning the eight. 

Yours in Boxing,