Well, I feel body punches are have a value for real.
1) Don't know under what rules you compete. If catches are allowed (MT, MMA), body kicks bring some danger. And for almost every art with full contact strikes and gloves: getting a elbow spiked into your foot, or even shin, isn't cool. But your gloves would protect your hands against his boney spikes for a great deal. At least that are my findings so far.
2) Punching his body will make him doubt where your hands are going. Face jabs set up body jabs and vice versa. You don't need to go full on body, but plant some doubt in his mind. Think of throwing a 4 shot combo, say inside low kick, cross, lead hook, outside low kick. Make it a liver hook, and chances get bigger you catch him. Besides that, it fucks with your mind if strikes are landing all over you.
3) Besides that, every body shot is one. They suck, make your hands drop, make you suck wind. Getting them in where you can seems like a good idea to me. Doubling a jab to the body, jazzing up 1-2's with one to the body, etc. You don't need to get too cute, but if you get maybe 10 in a round, you prolly note some difference after the second round.
Do whatever you feel is best, but I feel I started landing more when I started throwing my hands to the body. Good luck eiter way!