Boxing Basics: How To Throw The Perfect Straight Right Cross

By January 1, 2014November 9th, 2021No Comments
right punch with thai pads

Today we’re going to talk about some Boxing basics and put a microscope on how to throw the perfect straight right hand.

The straight right hand is also called the Cross in Boxing and is a powerful knock out punch.

When you throw the straight right hand, keep your elbow in.  Think of keeping your elbow in front of your belly button as you execute the punch.

Many people new to Boxing will bring their elbows up when they throw a straight right hand.  This makes the punch easier to perceive by your opponent.

As well, it’s easier to defend.

It is natural to lift your elbow up as you throw the straight right.  The straight right hand is very similar in movement to throwing a ball.

Almost everyone in the world has thrown a ball at some point in their lives, but few people know the Boxing basics to throw a straight right hand properly.

Skill transference means taking a skill that you already possess and then relating it to a new unlearned skill that is similar.

So when executing a straight right, your brain will associate the movement with throwing a ball, thus bringing your elbow up and out.  It’s a completely understandable Boxing basics mistake but one that is important to correct.

When people new to Boxing throw a straight right hand, a common error is to pull the left hand back away from your face.  You will get more power if you pull your left hand back as you throw a right hand.

Look at how you throw a ball: you draw your left hand back to amplify the rotational speed of your shoulders and thus you are able to throw a ball further.

With boxing too, you want to maximize the rotation of your shoulders by pulling your left shoulder back as your right shoulder drives forward; however, you still want to keep your left hand up by your mouth guard ready to receive any counter attacks your opponent may throw at you.

Many people, when throwing straight punches, will retract their punches in a circular manner.  This mistake only makes them susceptible to easy counter attacks.

Straight punches go straight out and straight back.  Do not throw your punches down like you are throwing a ball into the dirt.

Virtually every single person I’ve ever taught how to Box telegraphs their straight right hand right before they throw it.

They’ll throw their straight left jab perfectly – straight out and straight back while keeping their right hand glued to their mouth guard.

But when they throw a jab and right cross combo, they’ll pull their right hand back first like they’re loading it up, cocking it, pulling it back for extra power.

When you’re sparring, doing so only sends your opponent a signal that you’re going to throw the right hand and makes you easier to counter attack.  Throw the right hand directly from where it is and it will be tougher for your training partner to perceive and thus counter attack.

A common Boxing basics mistake when throwing a straight right cross is to transfer your weight too far forward.

This mistake is dangerous as you will be off balance.

When you execute the Straight Right you still want to be able to defend his counter attacks and you also want to be able to follow up with subsequent punches.

The proper weight transfer for the Straight Right cross is 10%.  That’s it.

When you throw the Jab, you want to have a fully balanced weight transfer.  50% of your weight on one foot and 50% of your weight on the other foot.

When you execute the right hand, transfer 10% of your weight forward.  You’ll now have 60% of your weight on the lead left foot and 40% of your weight on the rear right foot.

A 10% weight transfer forward will:

  1. Ensure sufficient power development for your Straight Right hand
  2. Allow you to maintain a high degree of balance to deal with counter attacks
  3. Create the proper body positioning to effectively throw further attacks after carrying out the Right Hand.

To facilitate rotation for the straight right hand you need to pick up your right heel.

If you just leave your right heel on the floor, you will not be able to rotate very much.

The problem that many people have is that they pick up the right heel only a bit.  You need to fully pick up your heel and turn it.

Turn your right knee so that it points to your left knee.  Drive the toes of your right foot into the ground and twist like you are squashing a bug or putting out a cigarette.

When throwing the straight right hand, many people only bring their right shoulder forward.

This is a mistake.  You need to also pull your left shoulder back.

This movement is called the Anterior/Posterior Sling.  The Anterior/Posterior Sling is

basically how the human body generates rotational force.  One hand pulls back as the other hand drives forward.

Almost every sport or physical activity, from throwing a ball swinging a golf club, employs this principle.

You need to pull one shoulder back as you are driving the other shoulder forward.

Think of the steering wheel of a car.  As one pulls down to turn the wheel, the other hand drives up.

To increase the power of your straight right hand, pull the left shoulder back as you drive the right shoulder forward.  This is the reason so many fighters have such developed back muscles.  (Look at pictures of Bruce Lee or photos of Roy Jones Jr.)

Many people think that Boxing is basically pushing and you need to only do pushing exercise to develop punching power.

The push from one shoulder is only one half of the power development.  It is also the pulling force from the opposite shoulder.  It is this opposition that creates powerful rotational forces.

Many people feel the need to whip their head forward and to the left as they throw a straight right hand.

Doing this will pull your weight too far forward and throw you off balance, thus leaving you open to counter attacks and making it difficult for you to throw subsequent attacks.

Your accuracy will also be affected.  Think of your straight right hand being a rifle.  When you fire your straight right hand, you want your head still, just like you want your head still as you fire a rifle to maintain your aim.

Something almost guaranteed in Boxing is that your training partner will be moving his head.  If your head is moving as well, then it’ll compound the problem.  Imagine running with a rifle and trying to hit a moving target at the same time.

Keep your head still as you throw the right hand and your accuracy will improve, you’ll be able to defend counter attacks better and you’ll be in better position to follow up with additional punches once the straight right lands.

I hope you found this article on Boxing basics and the straight right hand helpful to your training!

Ritchie Yip

Ritchie Yip

Ritchie Yip is the Head Instructor for InFighting Training Centers located in Downtown Vancouver and Brentwood Burnaby. InFighting Training Centers offers programs in Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bootcamp Conditioning Classes and Personal Training