Left Uppercut at Mid-Range – The Classic Boxer’s Punch!

by Fran on March 15, 2010

About the Mid-Range Left Uppercut

Uppercuts are technically the most difficult shots to master.  If we look at the two mid-range uppercuts, the right uppercut (back hand) involves more actions for the body to undertake and as such is more difficult.  This said, the mid-range left uppercut is still a challenge, in particular because it requires a modified rotation of the hips, unlike that described in the other shots covered such as the right cross , mid-range left hook or mid-range right hook .

As with the mid-range left hook , the mid-range left uppercut is not in isolation a ‘power’ shot, it is more appropriately described as a scoring shot or a set-up shot for other power shots (e.g. as a pre-cursor to a right cross ).  To generate true power in the shot, it should follow a skill that provides extra leverage, for example an inside slip or a mid-range right hook .

When learning the mechanics of this boxing technique, ensure that you keep an eye on the trajectory of the shot.  Don’t let the left hand drop too low as the shot goes, otherwise you could be on the very wrong end of a big right hook coming back the other way!  Boxers always look good when they land a well placed uppercut, it’s a shot for the purists.  Master this shot and other shots will come easy!

The Mechanics of the Mid-Range Left Uppercut

When throwing the uppercut, be aware that the left forearm will provide some defensive cover, allowing oncoming straight shots to be blocked.

  1. From the boxing stance, the first action is a push from the front foot.  The push or ‘thrust’ should be ’sharp’ and should drive the left hip upwards and clockwise at the same time.  The right hip rotates in line with the left hip.
  2. As the rotation is taking place, the left hand rotates clockwise by 90 degrees, so that the palm faces you.
  3. As the shot approaches the target (accelerating as with all other punches), the forearm should be perpendicular, with the elbow pointing directly at the ground.
  4. As the shot lands, the fist clenches, ‘snapping’ onto the target.
  5. On completion, the arm is returned to the starting position as quickly as possible, providing effective defence against counter attack.

Common Faults with the Mid-Range Left Uppercut

The following problems can occur when throwing the mid-range left uppercut:

  1. Remember that if an uppercut lands and the arm is not vertical, then it’s technically not an uppercut it’s a hook.  Whilst this isn’t a particularly troublesome problem (based on the logic that if a punch lands then it’s a good punch), understanding the distinction between hooks and uppercuts will assist your understanding of boxing punches.  It’s also worth noting an uppercut should travel between the opponent’s guard, so if it’s vertical it has more chance of not being deflected.
  2. The left arm drops before the shot goes, exaggerating the uppercut.  The boxer can feel that by winding the shot up in this way that more power will be generated.  This is not true as all that happens is that the punch is telegraphed and a big hole is made in your defence before your shot even gets near the target.

Work on the uppercuts, they really are masterful shots to throw and provide an excellent weapon, particularly against the kind of opponent who seeks to rush forward to get inside a longer reach.  Leave any comments or questions below and I’ll post a response.



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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Gold August 21, 2017 at 2:23 pm

You explained the distance of a short range uppercut. Almost toe to toe, head to head, with your opponent. And the short travels about 4-6 inches vertically up and under the chin (hopefully).

But you didn’t quite explain the distance of a mid range uppercut. Are you able to do that now.


Fran August 22, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Hi there

Yes sure, and this is the same for the hook. The ‘absolute’ mid-range uppercut is the just about the length of your upper arm from you (obviously the upper arm will be at a slight angle when the shot lands). That make sense?


Andy September 15, 2011 at 10:18 am

I like the idea of this shot. I guess if its not telegraphed too much (you dont need it to be really powerful) then the opponent wont see it coming as they will most likely be watching for a jab coming straight at them, not the uppercut sneaking in from below.

So, A quick snappy uppercut to jolt the head back as a set up, and a big right cross/hook to follow up. As the shoulder would already be pulled back from completing the uppercut you would have max power.

does this sound about right?

Will give this a go next time im sparring
Cheers Fran


Fran September 15, 2011 at 10:53 am

Sounds absolutely on the money Andy. You might want to play on the expectation of the jab by throwing in a nice feint, this should increase the chances of the uppercut landing.

Hope it works out 😉


ElFinito January 28, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Thanks alot Fran.


ElFinito January 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Fran, you’re throwing a left uppercut from the boxing stance. Something that i don’t like too much, although i have nothing against it. So, assuming after a right hand has been thrown, you have your feets (and with that your whole body) SQUARED or AT 12 o clock (hope you understand this ) and knees bent, RIGHT? Now, when i throw the uppercut from THIS POSITION (not from the normal stance) should i:
– pivot at 45 degrees to the right ?
– pull my right shoulder back ?
– and stay with the weight on the front leg ?


Fran January 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm

El Finito

Thanks for the question, I think I understand what you mean. Pivoting after the right cross and before the mid range left uppercut is a good option, this would look top class if the uppercut landed. There is a question about changing range here as well; the opponent may need to move forward slightly to allow a true mid range uppercut. An alternative to this would be to lengthen the uppercut slightly to allow for the longer range. The right shoulder would come back, although the first action of the uppercut would always be the thrust off the front foot. The benefit of throwing the right hand is that you can get more leverage into the uppercut itself.
Good question friend, hope the answer helps.


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