Nice one Carlton, now youve opened a can of worms
(1.0) THE REAR HAND ATTACK
(1.1) Hierarchy of Boxing Attacks
A boxer is said to have twelve basic offensive tools;
1 The Jab
2 The Straight
3 The Left Hook
4 The Right Uppercut
5 The Left Uppercut
6 The Right Hook
Each of these punches can be thrown to the head and body. (6 x 2 = 12 punches.)
I have applied a numeral representation for each punch. The numbers not only represent the importance of each punch in my opinion, but also then frequency of use.
No. 6 as you can see is the Right Hook. The least used. The least useful punch(?)
It is the least used because of complications I will touch on below.
But with twelve basic tools at our disposal, a coach would be negligent not to teach it.
(1.2) THE DIFFICULTY IN LANDING RIGHT HOOKS
Landing a right hook can be difficult and extremely dangerous because of two separate issues.
(1.2.1) Physical Complications
Firstly, the rear hand, shoulder and hip are the farthest from the opponent. In order to land this punch we have to establish range, with a foundation quite close to the opponent.
Our boxing stance projects our front foot, hip and shoulder forward, a defensive barrier in front of your centre line; with the right foot, hip and shoulder taking up the rear; the engine responsible for generating forward momentum.
As such, the boxer must be very close to land a true Rear Hook and there is always the danger of squaring up and being tagged yourself.
(Please bear with my mechanics;)
In order to attack with a rear hook; the rear foot, Hip and shoulder must be sufficiently close to pivot on the rear foot, rotate the rear hip internally, rotate the rear shoulder internally
and direct the force with a shortened rear lever onto the side of the opponents temple or jaw.
As a pale, impolite Irishman, I am a product of one of the best amateur boxing systems in the world. I have trained all over our country and I have also had the good fortune to train and compete extensively abroad. I can only recall two occasions where a coach sought to educate me on the rear hand, (for me the right.)
Previously, I outlined the twelve basic punches. These are the essentials that a boxer must learn. However, the range of strikes available is not restricted to this list. There are modified punches, there are hybrid punches, there are punches with different angles, weighting and paces; all for different purposes.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of the right hand.
Throw the right hook is an instruction commonly called from ringside. It is easier to see openings from the ring apron and this can be quite a good instruction.
IF the boxer has been schooled correctly on his right hands.
Because in reality, the right hand is the most bastardised punch in boxing.
Consider this; for the head alone the rear hand can be used to throw; The Straight. The Cross. The Overhand. The Hook or The Swing.
Referring to these referred to as simply right hands is evidence to the gradual dilution of our sport. A lazy generic term cannot do justice to the intricacies of the sport or the craftsmanship of its masters.
(1.3) REAR HAND PUNCHING
The straight is the principal rear hand punch. Having already secured the opponent in range, momentum is generated from the rear foot. A 90 degree pivot and slight dip of the hips will send weight violently forward. The right arm is extended, rotating so that when the arm reaches full extension, the fist will simultaneously rotate with the palm facing the floor and the knuckles facing the ceiling. The rear shoulder is retracted to add velocity and your rear shoulder will travel to the fore, The front foot acts as a brake mechanism, so that the weight travelling forward will not allow the boxer to stumble forward or over reach. The rear arm travels straight. It does not cross the centreline of the body. Standing straight if you raise the arm, this will show you its trajectory. Any further extension is a result of the rotation of the hips and shoulder; propelling the punch toward the opponent
The Cross is a punch from the rear hand which is allowed to cross the centre line. In my experience this punch is most useful in aggressive situations when pursuing the opponent. The range is closer than that of the straight and when thrown less rotation of the hips is utilised. If the straight sees the rear shoulder travel 180 degrees, the cross sees the shoulder travel only 90 degrees. This punch has the benefit of bringing the rear shoulder across the chin, for a nice physical barrier against an opponents left hook.
The rear overhand is commonly confused with the hook. An aggressive attack this punch looks to land over the high lead glove of opponent. With the same pivot mechanics as the above, the overhand sees the boxer form a 45 degree bend at the elbow. This means the punch will not travel straight and instead arc outside and over the opponents lead glove. The overhand will have a crashing effect travelling downward on the opponent and will often be used to try and crack a tight guard. The punch lands with the palm downwards and in experience, this is a good injury preventative as the muscles of the forearm are not under tension, allowing the blow to land solidly without damage to the boxers wrists.
The hook is the phantom punch of boxing. Everyone has claimed to see it, but Im not sure how many people have actually seen this punch. To throw a rear hook, the distance must be closed and the opponent in fixed range. Weight may be transferred back to the rear hip, loading for the punch.
The lead foot may be adjusted to allow space for a lot of power to transfer forward. The rear foot, hip and shoulder pivots forward violently and the punch is directed with the elbow bent as range requires. The fist lands with a hammer grip; the palm facing the boxer and knuckle facing the opponent. It is easy to get weighed down in detail, but inside or outside this punch must be thrown quickly. I will try to link an example.
(1.3.5) The Swing
The Swing is the most natural attack.
Similarly to the hook the swing has a lateral trajectory and may be targeted to travel over the shoulder on route to the chin.
The name betrays a less calculated attack; but this sweeping punch can be a great finisher as evidenced by Kovalev.