Left Uppercut at Long Range – Slick and Smooth!

by Fran on May 4, 2010

About the Long Range Left Uppercut

We have discussed in other articles that the ability to control an opponent at long range requires a number of skills.  Effective footwork, sound body movement, convincing feints and strong hand defences (blocks and parries) are all key.  To add the ‘killer touch’ to this battery of skills, it is important to use a variety of long range punches in order to penetrate the defences of the opponent.  The long range left uppercut is a very effective shot to use, and, because using the left hand (lead arm) more often than not carries less risk than the backhand (right hand) it is also a conservative shot and as such can be used more often.

The long range left uppercut is often used in conjunction with the jab and is extremely useful against an advancing opponent.  The shot plays a vital role in breaking down an opponent’s defences and is often a pre-cursor to a subsequent fusillade of long range and mid range shots.  Put simply, the most skilled boxers use this shot regularly at the highest level as it adds a further dimension to long range work and is very difficult to effectively defend against with blocks and parries.  Watch the video, master this shot, and you are on your way to boxing success!  Any views, share them by commenting!

The Mechanics of the Long Range Left Uppercut

The mechanics of the punch can be explained as follows:

  1. From the boxing stance, the first action is a push from the front foot which in turn rotates the upper-body in a clockwise direction so that the hips and shoulders align with the opponent.
  2. As the rotation of the body is taking place, the left hand accelerates toward the target with the palm facing upwards.  The trajectory of the shot is in effect a gentle arc that ends at the target.
  3. As the fist approaches the target (having covered about 75% of the distance), there is an uplift in the path so that the fist rises, clenches and ’snaps’ on to the target.
  4. The fist returns  to the ‘home’ position as per the boxing stance.

Common Faults with the Long Range Left Uppercut

The problems that may occur when throwing a long range left uppercut are:

  1. As with other long range left hand work, there is an urge to try and hit too hard.  The desire to throw the punch hard often results in the boxer’s weight transferring to the front leg.  This has the effect of impairing the balance and making the boxer very vulnerable to counter-attack.
  2. The punch is ‘telegraphed’, or tell-tale movement takes place before the punch begins it’s journey.  These movements are often the elbow lifting to the side or the fist dropping slightly, both of which are dead giveaways.
  3. The boxer allows the punch to become an upper-body movement.  Ensure that the rotation of the upper-body is generated by the push from the front leg.

The long range left uppercut is really effective ‘on the backfoot’ i.e. moving out.  The shot is a great set up for the right cross as a result of the rotation of the body which takes place as the uppercut accelerates toward the target; it’s a real shot for the connoisseur!  Enjoy the video and feel free leave a comment!



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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

jeremiah November 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm

im getting more fluid every day i practice but i need a training workout showing combinations of footwork,piviting,some defensive actions and punching-counterpunching thanks fran your the best


Ivan July 6, 2011 at 5:47 am

Nice punch that comes handy even against taller opponents. It can be a disruptive counter or a slick lead. You are right about Roberto Duran using it to amazing results for example against Iran Barkley. What I noticed is that Duran rarely( if at all) rotates the palm upwards, probably because the target was too high and it was awkward. The palm was facing sideways but this did not seem to lessen the head-snapping effect. It allowed him to double up instantly with a long hook or a jab, with him it’s hard to tell but they all seem to hurt. Or he would slap away Barkley’s jab after landing his own long left, making room for an overhand right. I am sure there are better examples of big names using the long left uppercut but Duran pops up first in my mind.


Fran July 8, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Thomas Hearns used to pull it out occasionally as a precursor to that killer right hand. It also works very well following a jab. If the first jab lands, the long left uppercut will almost certainly land and will set up a following straight back hand perfectly.


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