About the Short Range Right Hook
Infighting, inside fighting, or boxing at very close range, tests a boxer's skills to the limit. The margin for error is slight and there is real need to provide a significant threat to the opponent whilst maintaining a solid defence. The 'Fight Tactics - Range' article provides some background on short range boxing and is well worth checking out if you have yet to do so. As part of the battery of skills used during infighting, the short range right hook is absolutely vital, and when used in conjunction with other short range shots has the potential to bring proceedings to a swift conclusion! Watch any Evander Holyfield fight and you'll see how adept he was at delivering the short range right hook with both speed and power. It's probably the single most powerful punch that a right-handed (orthodox) boxer can throw. A right hook thrown at short range is massively destructive, make no mistake about this.
As you watch the video and work your way through the article I hope that it becomes apparent that, as with many other shots, the art of delivering the perfect short range right hook is economy of movement coupled with explosive drive from the legs. Whilst throwing the shot with maximum power is all well and good, it should be appreciated that a boxer is most vulnerable when throwing a shot, particularly a short range shot! Take careful note of the mechanics of the shot and focus on ensuring that it travels as short a distance as possible. The shorter the hook, the more powerful the impact and the more protection that you retain as you throw the punch. OK, watch the video then be sure to leave a comment!
The Mechanics of the Short Range Right Hook
The mechanics of the short right hook can be explained as follows:
- From the boxing stance, the first action is an explosive thrust from the back foot which in turn drives a major rotation of the the hips and therefore the upper body.
- The front leg bends in order to accommodate the rotation of the body.
- As the rotation is taking place, the right arm (backhand) accelerates toward the target at a 45 degree angle (unlike the mid-range right hook which lands horizontally or uppercuts which land vertically.) This acceleration takes place over a very short distance, often no more than 3 to 6 inches, and is generated as the result of a 'whiplash' action.
- As the shot approaches the target (palm facing towards you), the fist clenches as 'snaps' onto the target.
- After the shot lands, the arm returns to the 'home' position as quickly as possible, as per the boxing stance.
Common Faults with the Short Range Right Hook
The common faults that can occur when throwing a short range right hook are:
- The boxer allows their body weight to transfer 'over' their front leg. Whilst there is a redistribution of weight, allowing the momentum of the shot to 'pull' the body behind it will result in a loss of balance, tipping you forward and to the left...right into the path of an opponent's right hand...bad news!
- The left hand can drop as the shot lands. This is a common fault with inexperienced boxers as their focus is on the right hand and not the left hand in the guard position.
- The boxer allows the punch to become an upper-body movement. Ensure that the rotation of the upper-body is generated by the thrust from the back leg.
- The boxer should not 'lean' on the opponent when fighting on the inside. This is not only against the rules but will reduce potential for punching at a high rate and can lead to overbalancing forward if the opponent suddenly retreats.
Remember that short range punches such as the right hook travel only a few inches. It stands to reason then that a boxer can often throw as many as 4 or 5 alternated short range shots per second. These shots will not only be delivered at a rapid rate, but also carry quite a bit of 'punch' and the opponent will know that they've been hit!