Top 11 Variations of the Straight


The jab is likely to be the punch that any given boxer knows how to vary. This is for good reason as the jab has many uses and applications. But fewer boxers know how to vary up the straight or the 2. Other than the common variations of the 2, it would be difficult for a boxer to come up with anything else. In this post, I will give short descriptions of selected variations of the 2 that I’ve come to known and that I’ve seen professionals and amateurs utilize. For more in-depth information about any one of them, refer to the individual posts (most of which forthcoming) dedicated to each.

Note: I exclude some “variations” from the list because they either combine two distinct and common boxing maneuvers (e.g. 2 with a slip, double 2) or there is question as to whether it is an actual variation of the straight (e.g. straight to the body, 2 from the Philly Shell)

Top 11 Variations of the Straight Rear-Hand Punch

  • Straight– simple straight rear-hand punch, thrown down the pipe, lands with a near straight arm, common with mid to long range engagement
  • Cross- straight rear-hand punch, thrown across the body to the lead side, commonly thrown through the target, especially when in-fighting
  • Jabbing 2- rear hand thrown straight forward (mainly) with the arm, little power but aids as a distraction as such a punch, essentially a jab, would normally come from the other side
  • Overhand Straight– a straight right thrown “over” the pipe, with its target being the opponent’s forehead, commonly thrown as a way to land the straight on an overly defensive opponent
  • Underhand Straight- used by Guillermo Rigondeaux, a straight right thrown with an upward palm, like a long-range uppercut, commonly thrown downward as doing otherwise risks injury, used for opponents who are accustomed to bending down to slip a regular straight.
  • Overhand Right- used by Gennady Golovkin, a looping right hand thrown over the puncher’s body, traveling downward on landing, powerful but slower than the regular straight, commonly used during mid- to close-range engagements
  • Chopping Right- used by Thomas Hearns (and a young Floyd Mayweather Jr.), a cross thrown downward, landing with the puncher’s palm or forearm (if he misses), usually aimed at opponents who are shorter, slipping, or rolling, also commonly used during mid to close range engagements, name comes from the fact that the mechanics of the punch are very similar to chopping wood with an axe
  • Lead 2- used by Floyd Mayweather Jr., a long-range straight right, “primed” for firing by having positioned beforehand the feet, torso, and weight in a way optimal for the straight, very quick straight but obvious when being set up, commonly done with a high guard and with a bit of a forward lean
  • Straight From Under the Pipe- used by Guillermo Rigondeaux, a straight right thrown “under” the pipe, done after one’s legs are bent or after ducking or even after crouching, with its target being the chin or somewhere near the bottom of opponent’s guard, commonly thrown as a way to land the straight to the body or when the puncher has lowered her level
  • Looping 2- used by Erislandy Lara, a looping, long-range rear hand resembling a rear-hand hook, thrown with the same mechanics as the regular straight but looping around the opponent’s guard, commonly used when the opponent focuses on defending against punches straight ahead of him
  • Corkscrew 2- a regular straight but with an emphasis (or over-emphasis) on twisting the hand, arm, and shoulder to provide more support and snap, commonly used in place of the regular straight

Honorable Mentions; Non-Variations of the Straight

  • Double Straight- used by Oscar De La Hoya
  • Back Skip 2- used by Guillermo Rigondeaux
  • Straight and Hug- used by Floyd Mayweather Jr.
  • Superman Punch- could be used in showboating but used by various MMA fighters
  • Step Through Straight- used by Manny Pacquiao

Author: Loc Ho

Loc Ho was assistant coach, team captain, and boxed at 139 lbs, 132 lbs, and 125 lbs for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s boxing team from 2016-2019. He has trained hundreds of novices and seasoned athletes and created the program’s year-long training curriculum that has taken complete beginners to elite collegiate competitors. With Loc as assistant coach for three years, the program placed six athletes regionally and nationally, including the program’s first men’s national champion at 119 lbs and a national runner-up at 195 lbs. Loc is currently studying law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

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