How To Throw A Left Hook

Ah yes. The old left hook.

Tried and trusted. A punch that has stood the test of time.

A very useful shot in the sport of boxing but one not to be thrown wildly and only at the appropriate time when set up.

At all levels in the sweet science.

When one thinks of legendary fighters over the years who have used the punch to good effect — there’s been more than a few.

Joe Frazier probably the best left hooker in history.

At heavyweight one also recalls the devastating left hook of New Zealand’s David Tua.

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Some said he was a one trick pony because he relied on it so much.

What a trick to have though.

Off the top of my head as for the lower weight classes…

The Miguel Cotto vs Antonio Margarito rematch springs to mind.

Cotto exacted revenge with it no less.

A dish best served cold. In his case a left hook dish for his Mexican rival.

Some time after the first fight had happened the left hook proved key for the Puerto Rican on the night.

Here’s a look at his left hook in action:

(Boxing Now YouTube)

Perhaps Margarito thought because so much time had passed that Cotto wouldn’t have the spite still.

Wrong.

He bust his eye up properly with the left hook on the night.

Like a surgeon with it. Laser-like.

One must know the fundamentals of how to throw a left hook firstly however.

At grass roots level in the sport.

Here coach Barry of Barry’s Boxing gym breaks it down:

(Hat tip Fit Builders YouTube)

Lethal left hook is right.

Let’s go over four key takeaways from that.

Stance and Motion

Weight on his left side.

Elbow tucked in close to the body.

You want to be aware of what’s coming back at you.

Certainly before throwing a power punch like this. You don’t want to be left wide open.

Full rotation of the body and hips next. Done to turn the hook over fully.

Power sourced through the body. Transfer of the weight in the pivoting and rotation of the movement all in the one.

Everything all turning over together.

Turning of the hand and fist at the end upon impact.

Right at the very end.

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Equipment Used

Water bag can be advantageous for hooks and uppercuts.

Primarily given the angle of the fist upon impact with the target.

Heavy bags better for more straight punches down the middle or over the top.

Footwork

The key to the motion has to do with the rotation of everything.

Not just of the body but starting from the pivoting of the foot.

Notice the way he pivots the ball of his foot to commence the motion.

This is done to initiate the transfer of weight.

To allow the body to open up when distributing weight into the punch.

Practice

As you can see the fighter above clearly is natural at throwing the left hook.

Due to repetition of the drill.

Practice is the name of the game here with the left hook.

If you are left handed naturally it will be a bit more of a natural shot obviously.

That said, even right handers can train it to be a natural punch after a while.

Keep listening to your coach.

Coach Pat Barry above and his pupil break things down about as good as it gets in the sport.

Good luck on learning how to throw the perfect left hook.

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