Target Areas in Boxing


USA Boxing specifies that the target area in boxing is everything in front of the boxer’s ears. This means that not only is the face a part of the target area but also the front of the body, i.e. everything under and in front of the armpit is also a part of the target area. In this post, I will briefly specify what targets one should aim for and the notable effects of hitting each area, provided that each is hit hard and accurate enough.

Target Areas

Starting from the head down, the targets are:

  1. Temples- often produces “zombie” knockouts, dizziness,  jelly (aka chicken or stiff) legs, and concussions; see example
  2. Nose- produces flash knockdowns, broken nose, stinging pain at the nose and bloody nose (both of these are very distracting); see example
  3. Jaw- produces knockouts, broken jaws, jelly (aka chicken or stiff) legs, inability to control one’s body, and concussions; see example @00:50
  4. Chin- produces flash knockdowns (or a knockdown similar to the one produced by a hit to the jaw if hit by a hook), broken jaws, and concussions; see example
  5. Throat (uncommon)- produces difficulty breathing and choking sensation
  6. Heart (uncommon)- rumored to produce paralysis
  7. Sternum (uncommon)- produces difficulty breathing, coughing, sensation of compression, and breathlessness
  8. Solar Plexus- produces breathlessness, sharp wrenching pain followed by lingering radial pain, and nausea; see example @02:33
  9. Liver- produces sharp debilitating pain, and breathlessness; see example

The main target areas, that is, what you should aim for, are the chin and solar plexus. Punches to the ribs may eventually hurt your opponent, but punches to the solar plexus have a higher chance of damaging your opponent. The same goes for the punching to the chin. Both of these target areas are central targets, meaning that if you don’t hit the chin or solar plexus exactly, you have a high chance of at least scoring.

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