The straight power punch is thrown from the rear hand. For right handed boxers, this is the right hand. Unlike the jab, the weight of your body is thrown behind this punch because of the rotational movement of your torso. The force should originate from the ball of your foot and travel upwards.
The right hand is thrown straight at the opponent while the shoulder and fist turn over. You should pivot off of your right foot while violently twisting your hips to the left. It is helpful to think of the foot pivot as if you are crushing peanuts under your foot. The ball of the foot is planted firmly while the heel pivots around. In his book, Boxing Mastery, Mark Hatmaker says, “Drive with the ball of the rear foot. The heel can be raised from the floor but not the ball of the foot.” 1 When throwing any punch, especially a power punch, you should aim to punch through your opponent rather than at him. Your target should be 2-3 inches behind his head. This visualization will help you punch with maximum power.
In his book, The Boxer’s Workout, Peter DePasquale cautions, “Don’t get ‘right-hand happy.’ Novices invariably throw too many straight right leads, which are easily defensed.”2 Unless you’ve got the “Ali-Quick”, I wouldn’t suggest throwing any straight right leads when just starting out. You’ll set yourself up to get countered.
In Boxing: The Complete Guide to Training and Fitness, Danna Scott says, “Don’t drop your left while you’re throwing your right” and “Don’t pull your right hand back (or cock it) before you execute your punch or you will telegraph your intent to your opponent.” 3 These are two very common mistakes that new boxers make and since they often happen subconsciously, it will take many repetitions to get out of those habits.
The guides below have picture demonstrations of performing the boxing punches which illustrate how your body should look from multiple angles at all points during execution (i.e. They show a series of pictures from a side angle as well as from the front of how a punch should look before throwing it, in the middle of throwing it, and at the point of impact, etc.)
1. Hatmaker, Mark. Boxing Mastery. Chula Vista, CA: Tracks Publishing, 2004.
2. DePascale, Peter. The Boxer’s Workout. New York: Fighting Fit, Inc., 1990.
3. Scott, Danna. Boxing: The Complete Guide to Training and Fitness. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, 2000.