The Jab and Hooks – Close the Ground Tyson Style!

by Fran on February 14, 2011

Boxing Combinations a la Tyson!

If, like me, you grew up watching a young Mike Tyson cut a swathe through the heavyweight division in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, you will have noticed the speed at which he followed up his jab with subsequent hooks.

Take for instance the Tyson demolition of Larry Holmes.  The boxing combination that signaled the beginning of the end for Holmes was a step in with a jab and a crashing right hook to the jaw.  What was more impressive than anything was the fact that Larry regained his feet at all after that shot, even if he was allowed only a short stay of execution.  Tyson’s speed and accuracy was chilling.

A sign of a great fighter is this ability to be out of range one second, then in the flap of a hummingbird’s wing be in range and unleashing killer shots.  Tyson did it then, Pacquiao does it now.  There is a knack to it though, and in this article I want to give a brief introduction to the process of combining the jab with the hooks.  I’ll present the combination below, then read on for a useful little insight:

  1. Throw the Jab combined with the move forward
  2. Throw the mid-range right hook
  3. Finish with mid range left hook.

Some Things to Note…

  • Rather than throwing the jab at precisely ‘long range’, get a little closer (somewhere between long range and mid range; check out the article on Range Finding in Boxing for more information.)  By getting that little bit closer, this means that the jab will strike further through the target leaving you slightly closer to a hurt opponent.
  • The jab provides the leverage for the crunching mid range right hook.  Because you’ve got slightly closer following the jab, you can extend the right hook that little bit further.  This means that you’ve been pragmatic and flexible in your attack, just like Tyson and Pacquiao!  You’ve combined the requirements of long range and mid range to deadly effect!
  • The final left hook is the ‘icing on the cake.’  You’ve hurt the opponent and following the right hook you’ve provided yourself with massive leverage to launch the final hook…Kapow!

So we’ve ‘tweaked’ range, finding intermediate ranges in order to get the job done.  I hope this has prompted some thoughts on effective boxing combinations, please let me know if it has by posting a comment or question below!



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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan June 15, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Hi Fran,
This is kind of a silly question however I am going to ask it anyway…When hitting the heavy bag I tend to try to hit it very, very hard…I feel as though I should and that is what it is there for, but should I really be trying to knock the stuffing out of it or should I ease up and focus more on technique?


Fran June 20, 2016 at 6:36 pm


Generally speaking, yes. However, there is no harm completing some rounds where you just opt for raw power. There will be some degradation of technique but from a strength and conditioning viewpoint it’s probably a plus. As i said though, my overall focus is on ensuring that the boxers maintain technical discipline in gym time…power follows 🙂


patrick L March 10, 2013 at 12:24 pm

When u jab from an orphodox stance i find it quite hard to jab and then hook with the same arm as im nt realy that good with my left hooks but realy gd with the right hooks, do u have any tips to try and get my left hooks or any left punch as half as gd as my right so i can throw any left punch or right without 1 bein mre afective than the other p.s i have learnt alot frm ur techniques that others have failed to break dwn so thnx mate.


Fran March 15, 2013 at 9:21 pm


Your right hook will always be stronger than your left (dominant hand and all that). But that’s not to say that it will hurt an opponent any less. Try not to compare it with your right. Just be sure that when you use short left hook, that it’s as short as possible. And as always, explosive drive off the front foot.

Hope this helps, thanks for the question.


Paul Smith August 30, 2011 at 10:56 pm


Mentioning Tyson was a GOOD move to get my attention, but breaking down the thought process and steps to needed to emulate the knock out combinations like he did, was a GREAT move!



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