January 12, 2015
January 12, 2015
Manny Pacquiao

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THE cross is a powerful punch that should be used sparingly, and is in most cases a counter-punch or a follow-up punch when the target has already been opened up by using a jab. Key things to remember when throwing the cross are:

  1. Retain a solid base
    When throwing a back-hand shot to the head or body it is important that the boxer doesn’t fall in towards the opponent i.e. over-reaching. Over-reaching causes the boxer to lose balance and therefore a stable base; secondly, once the power and balance base is lost it opens up a potential counter-punch for your opponent.
  2. Keep it subtle
    A common error in throwing a good cross is showing the punch before it is actually thrown. In this case boxers often draw the back hand back before throwing it – this becomes very obvious to the opponent.
  3. Punch straight through the target
    The effectiveness of a cross is increased if the power is directed straight through the punch target. In many cases, due to the angle of attack, boxers punch across the target rather than straight through it – this reduces the effect of what could have been a powerful punch. To combat this it is important to line up and punch through this line.
  4. Get your hand back fast!
    Remember that after throwing a back-hand your target area is wide open to counter-punches, therefore you must recoil the punch back along the same line to its guarding position.

Cross to the head

  1. From the boxing stance, the first action is to slide the front foot forwards towards your opponent – this moves you within punching range.
  1. Drive off the rear foot, pivoting the hips and shoulders violently around the centre axis. Let the front-hand side of the body act as a hinge.
  1. Drive the rear hand, fully extended, at the target.
  1. Rotate the forearm and shoulder.
  1. Keep the arm relaxed until approximately three inches prior to impact.
  1. At the moment of impact, ensure the palm is facing down. On impact, the bodyweight should stay balanced over the centre of your base.
  1. Keep the front hand in a guarding position and see that the shoulders remain horizontal throughout.
  1. If using a single cross, wait until the shot lands then push away off the front foot and slide the rear foot backwards, making sure that you maintain your boxing stance and therefore solid base.

Cross to the body

  1. From the boxing stance, the first action is to slide the front foot forwards towards your opponent – this moves you within punching range.
  1. Simultaneously squat down to a 90-degree angle at the front knee – still maintaining a solid base.
  1. Get the shoulders in line with the target.
  1. Ensure bodyweight is balanced over the centre of your base.
  1. Keep the trunk upright and pivot at the hip and shoulders to drive right through the target.
  1. At the moment of impact, the palm is down and the thumb is turned inwards.
  1. Recoil the punch back along the same line.
  2.  Carry the front hand in a high guarding position.

This article is an extract from a larger piece in Total Fight Training, the ultimate guide for combat sports participants, currently available on the Boxing News app on iTunes, Google Play and from www.pocketmags.com

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