“It was in one lighting instant on the evening of March 8, 1971, that Joe Frazier reached the zenith of his brilliant career, landing his ‘smoking’ left hook on the jaw of the Greatest, whose protective right hand was well out of position at the moment of impact. Muhammad Ali struggled to his feet and after the mandatory eight-count miraculously pressed on.”
- Peter DePascale 1
Right handed fighters throw left hooks and left handed fighters throw right hooks. The hook is considered more deadly than a straight shot if thrown properly because it arrives from outside your opponent’s peripheral vision. Also, since it travels in a curve, it can sneak behind an opponent’s high guard.
The hook is thrown with the arm locked in a 90 degree angle perpendicular to the floor. The fist can be either turned downwards or with the back of the hand facing the opponent. (I prefer the latter.) The locked left arm is thrown across the body while pivoting off of the lead foot. As with the straight right, and all power shots, the force should originate from the foot. The hips should be violently twisted to the right (if throwing a left hook), as the punch is delivered. In Boxer’s Start-Up, Doug Werner says, “…bring the punch to completion by tucking it into [your] chest.” 2 Unlike straight punches that return back to position along the same path that they took when being thrown, the left hand should be pulled back to position using the same momentum that was used to throw it.
1. DePascale, Peter. The Boxer’s Workout. New York: Fighting Fit, Inc., 1990.
2. Werner, Doug. Boxer’s Start-Up: A Beginner’s Guide to Boxing. San Diego: Tracks Publishing, 1998.
3. Frazier, Joe. Box Like the Pros. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2005.