The Right Hook at Long Range – It’s Not a Right Cross!

by Fran on May 14, 2010

About the Long Range Right Hook

The difference between success and failure when throwing a punch can often be very slight.  As a boxer, you may be constantly trying to nail an opponent with a right cross at long range, but somehow your opponent manages to block just at the right time, or slip or duck the shot almost by accident.  The more you persevere with the right cross, the more frustrated you get that it doesn’t land!  So what do you do?  One of the first options you should think of is using the long range right hook.  Now, the untrained eye may struggle to identify the difference between a long range right hook and a (straight) right cross.  True, the differences are subtle, but they should be easily identifiable to someone who knows what they are looking for.  Here’s the secret; it’s all about angles! Watch the video, then read on.

The long range right hook is a shot that capitalizes on an opponent’s assumption that the incoming shot will be straight.  In actual fact, the shot arrives at the target at the end of a very gentle arc which in military terms ‘flanks’ the lead hand of your opponent.  Furthermore, because this is a right hand (the orthodox boxer’s stronger arm), it can often be landed with bone-splintering power on the side of the jaw.  In short, the right hook at long range is a subtle shot that is understood and used by expert boxers.  It’s very much a punch for the purist and when you distinguish the difference between the right cross and the long range right hook then your ring generalship will be much improved and your ‘shots landed’ percentage will without doubt increase!

The Mechanics of the Long Range Right Hook  

 

The mechanics of the right hook at long range can be explained as follows:

  1. From the boxing stance the initiating action is a push from the back foot.  This drive from the back foot generates the power to rotate the hips in a counter clockwise direction.
  2. As with the right cross, there is a significant rotation of the hips.  Let’s view the boxing stance  on the face of a clock on the ground.  The left hip would be in the starting position at 11 o’clock.  The right hip would be in the starting position at 5 o’clock.  Following rotation, the right hip will be at 2 o’clock and the left hip would be at 8 o’clock.
  3. As the upper body is rotating, the lead leg (left) bends at the knee.  This bending of the knee allows the hips to rotate as needed.  The rotation takes place around the central axis as described in the video.
  4. During rotation, the right hand accelerates toward the target.  The fist travels along a gentle arc, straight then right to left.  This arc allows the long range right hook to ‘flank’ the lead hand of the opponent.  The long range right hook leaves the home position slightly earlier than when throwing the right cross; this is something you will have to ‘feel’ for in order to accurately release the shot at the right time.
  5. As the fist nears the target (having covered about 75% of the distance), it rotates inwards so that the palm is facing down towards the floor.  At the last moment, the fist clenches and ‘snaps’ on to the target, having swung from right to left around the opponent’s lead hand.
  6. The fist returns along a straight line, returning to the ‘home’ position as per the boxing stance.

Common Faults with the Long Range Right Hook 

 

There are a number of common problems that can occur when throwing a long range right hook, unsurprisingly all very similar to those faults that occur with the right cross!  Anyway, here they are:

  1. Rather than a push from the pack foot which ‘drives’ power through the leg and into the hips, the boxer may often ‘spin’ the back foot.  This results is a significant reduction in the potential power delivered by the shot.
  2. The punch is ‘telegraphed’, or tell-tale movement takes place before the punch begins it’s journey.  The most common giveaway on the cross is a ‘drawback’, the result of trying to hit too hard.  When the shot is telegraphed, it is very unlikely to land cleanly.
  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 back leg and that you don’t end up with an ‘arm’ shot.
  4. The boxer ‘bends’ the body off the central axis.  Again this will reduce the power of the shot.
  5. The final common fault is that often the left hand will drop from the ‘home’ position close to the cheek.  I’m sure there’s no need for me to point out why this is a bad thing!
  6. Finally, the shot can travel on too wide a trajectory (i.e. it goes too far to the right before swinging in to the left).

Enjoy the video.  Please feel free to leave a comment!

Cheers

Fran

The Mechanics of the Long Range Right Hook

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Roland May 15, 2013 at 7:10 am

Dear Fran,
Is the long range right hook also understood as the overhand right ? or are they different punches ? thanks !
-Roland

Reply

Fran May 17, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Very similar Roland, maybe with a slight downward trajectory (to travel ‘over’ the hand coming toward you). Thanks for the question.

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dios2416 April 16, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Great Job! I just start watching the videos and I am learning a lot.

Thank You.

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Fran April 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Thank you and you are welcome.

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J June 24, 2012 at 12:45 am

I like this punch i noticed mayweather likes to do this punch alot! but how do you defend something like this? you treat it as a cross it angles around your block, you cant really slip because you will wind up running into the punch, and a parry will more than likely miss, i was trying to figure out for months why mayweathers straight right crosses would angle out now i see thats because it isnt a straight and your explanation explains to me why mayweathers foot somewhat goes out more when he throws his lead its more of a swinging motion rather than anything, can you please let me know if im accurate and by the way i am beginning to become an advocate of this site, wow just amazing :), but i definitely would like to know how to defend this punch thank you

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Fran June 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Hey J

Firstly, thanks for the support for the site, I very much appreciate it.

There are a couple of things that I would consider. Firstly, I would not write off the lead hand block. Think about one of two things. Whereas you block a straight right with your elbow directly below your blocking hand (at 6 o’clock), block a long range right hook with your elbow on the same horizontal line as your blocking hand (9 o’clock). The allows you to apply more strength into the block. Alternatively when using the lead hand block, combine it with a push away.

Secondly, if all else fails, the double arm block doesn’t!

Thanks J

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Juks January 28, 2012 at 3:57 am

I’m struggling to see the benefit of this long hook over a regular overhand right. It just looks to me that a majority of the time, blocking the right cross would also block this long right hook. I guess if you have a guy who likes to bob and weave you could clip him, but I just don’t see the benefit of it over other techniques.

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Rich January 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Hi Fran,

Around the 2 minute mark you talk about not bending too far away from the central axis. I emphasise this too, particulary with new starters.

However, recently I have started getting some of the more experienced lads to deliberately move their head off the centre line as they punch to avoid any incoming shots.

Any thoughts on this? Is this something you teach the more experienced lads during pad work? I was never taught to move my head as I punch and I have never really seen anyone taught this either. If you are ever stuck for a topic for article / video I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Cheers,

Rich.

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Fran January 5, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Rich. Moving the head off centre line when punching works very well, a good one is when a jab comes your way and you can sneak an ‘overhand’ right in. So the shot lands over the top as the opponent’s jab is extended. The shots thrown like this are usually scoring shots rather than power shots, but we like scoring shots don’t we. As long the boxer understands the slightly increased risk and they don’t allow it to become a regular habit, then it’s all part of a rich and varied boxing style. Good coaching is what that is Rich.

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jase November 10, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Yeah John Watson has got a good future ahead of him game as they come. Thanks Fran

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Jase November 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Was watching the Rees/Watson fight on Saturday and both fighters made great use of this punch to the bodyI noticed though that they landed knuckles up as opposed to palm down is there any pros or cons with your hand positioning Fran.

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Fran November 9, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Alright Jase

Hope you’re well. Good thing to spot that. I think that the thing about body shots that sometimes is overlooked is the precision of the shot. The most effective body shots don’t hit the ribs, they land in the ‘fleshy’ bit just below the ribs. An upside down, shallow ‘V’ from the solar plexus to the point above the hips and on the side of the torso. So, bringing us back to your point about the hand position, I think the palm down provides the best chance of the full fist landing in the fleshy bit. Knuckles up though could mean that, if it lands at the right angle, puts all of the power through the 2 outside knuckles and this could have more impact. I’d generally coach the palm down approach as in the amateurs the ‘knuckles-up’ could be more likely to be interpreted as a slap by the referee, but would also expect the boxer to try both out. If a shot lands, it’s a good shot.

Thanks for the comment jase, I’ll check that fight out, heard it was a belter but shame for John Watson, good boxer and a local lad as well.

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svenjamin May 24, 2010 at 3:37 am

Thanks for the good instructions, as always. Keep it up!

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Fran May 25, 2010 at 6:24 am

Not a problem Ben. Thanks for returning, it’s appreciated. I’ve got an article on the way about the pivot (switching of the feet) that may interest you.

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