About the Mid-Range Left Hook
As we've discussed in other articles, a boxer during a contest is either in range or out of range. When in range, we consider ourselves to be at long range, medium range and short range. It follows then that for each of the uppercut and hook 'categories' of punches there are at least three different types; short range, medium range and long range. Each of these are thrown depending upon a number of variables, the main one being where you are in relation to your opponent.
The mid-range left hook is a tremendously versatile shot. When deployed after other skill elements, in particular the inside slip or any right hand shot such as the right cross , it is a devastating weapon in a boxer's arsenal. When used in isolation, particularly on the retreat against an oncoming opponent, it is a wonderful scoring shot which clearly demonstrates a boxer's accomplished capabilities. Watch the video, and don't forget to check out the section on common faults below the video. Leave a comment letting me know what you think!
The Mechanics of the Mid-Range Left Hook
The mechanics of the mid-range left hook can be explained as follows:
- From the boxing stance, the first action is a push from the front foot which in turn rotates the upper-body slightly so that the hips and shoulders will align with the opponent.
- As the rotation is taking place, the lead arm, in a distinctive 'L' shape, accelerates towards the target.
- As the fist approaches the target, the palm is facing down towards the floor. after the fist has travelled about 75% of the way to the target, the fist clenches and the shot 'snaps' on.
- As the shot is accelerating towards the target, the boxer's weight is transferred to the back leg.
- After the shot lands, the arm returns to the 'home' position as per the boxing stance.
Common Faults with the Mid-Range Left Hook
The common faults that often occur when throwing a mid-range left hook are:
- There is an urge to try and hit too hard. The desire to hit the opponent too hard often results in the boxer's weight transferring to the front leg. If the shot lands, then this isn't too bad (although you shouldn't be under the impression that more 'power' has been generated...it hasn't), but if the shot misses then often the boxer will end-up in a 'tailspin.' Being in a tailspin in front of an opponent waiting to unload heavy shots is a recipe for disaster.
- The right-hand drops as the shot lands. This is a really common fault with inexperienced boxers. Be very aware of this, if you don't believe me, look at the best knockout article of Donald Curry knocking out Milton McCrory in 1985 and I promise you'll never drop your right hand again!
- The boxer allows the punch to become an upper-body movement. Ensure that the rotation of the upper-body is generated by the drive from the front leg.
I mention in the video presentation that you should not try to put too much power into this shot. That's not to say that the mid-range left hook is not a power shot. Look at and think about throwing a mid-range left hook after a right cross or an inside slip. In each of those skill elements, the body has rotated in an anti-clockwise direction. From this position, throwing a mid-range left hook can harness that stored energy to enable massive (clockwise) drive and rotation. If this shot lands cleanly on the jaw then a period of great calm may very well descend upon the opponent! What comes next? Check out the mid-range right hook, which is a very logical follow up to the mid range left hook.