Punch Numbering System in Boxing


This will be a short post about the punch numbering system in boxing. The numbering system can vary from coach to coach, gym to gym, but there is a standard system which most people learn when they first start boxing.

What is Punch Numbering:

It is the assignment of punches in boxing to a certain number. It allows for ease of transcribing combos and memorizing combos. It is also easier to refer to a punch as its number than to say to what specific punch you are referring.

The typical numbering system used by gyms and coaches is as follows:

Jab: 1

Straight/Cross: 2

Lead Hook: 3

Rear Hook: 4

Lead Uppercut: 5

Rear Uppercut: 6

A simple combo would therefore be: 1-2-3-4-5-6 or jab-straight-lead hook-… In order to refer to the body version of a punch, add a “b” to the number of the punch, e.g. 1b = jab to the body.

Note that the numbering system can vary in order to accommodate a more granular set of punches (e.g. a coach wants to name the straight “21” and the cross “22”) or to deceive others of what punch one has in mind for, say, a match where a coach tells his boxer to do a “2” that would actually be the 4 or rear hook.

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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