Leaping hooks are one of the weapons you can use to close the distance against an opponent when boxing. A leaping left hook is the easiest to land when you’re fighting in an orthodox stance since it has less distance to cover than a right hook. The reverse is true when you’re fighting out of a southpaw stance.
Once you’ve closed the distance against your opponent with a leaping left hook, you can follow up with more shots to take advantage of the openings you’ve created.
Legendary heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is one of the best to ever do it when it comes to starting combinations with leaping hooks.
Mastering The Leaping Hook
Let’s go over the basics of how leaping hooks are thrown before diving into some sweet combinations you can start with them. Here’s how to throw a leaping hook, assuming that you’re starting in an orthodox stance:
- Step forward with your left foot while changing levels and leaning left. This loads weight and energy on the foot, putting you in position to push off it.
- Push off your front foot and leap forward towards your opponent. Your rear foot should go up in the air as you leap forward, so you land in your fighting position. To increase the effectiveness of the technique, pause for a microsecond after leaning left to disrupt your opponent’s rhythm.
- Throw a left hook as you make your leap. The punch often finds its mark while your rear foot is still in the air. The power the punch lands with comes from pushing your left foot into the ground, so don’t neglect that little detail.
A leaping hook is an effective way to reset your stance, cut off the ring, or close the distance on an opponent. The attack lands with enough power to end a fight when done correctly. Leaping hooks are more effective if you’re good at loading and unloading weight off your front leg when boxing.
The effectiveness of Tyson’s leaping left hooks was increased by his peekaboo style that required constantly shifting weight on and off his front foot. Opponents couldn’t tell if he was just going through the motions or getting ready to throw a leaping attack when he shifted his weight to his left foot.
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of how leaping hooks work, let’s take a look at some effective combinations you can add to your arsenal:
1) Leaping Left Hook To A Right
A leaping left hook is a simple way to set up attacks with your right hand. Matter of fact, boxing instructors often teach you to do so since throwing a right keeps you more protected defensively. Your chin naturally goes up, and your posture straightens when throwing a leaping hook. A right cross naturally tucks your chin down while lowering your stance.
This technique does not require any special steps. Simply throw a leaping left hook and immediately follow up with a stiff cross. The hook should put you in position to land the right with devastating power.
2) Leaping Left Hook To The Body To A Left Hook
Here’s an effective way to keep your opponent guessing after establishing your leaping hook. Instead of going for their head when you leap in, land a hard punch to the body and follow up with a hook to the head. The punch to the body prompts your opponent to drop their guard, leaving them open for the follow-up to their head.
Throwing the first combination we discussed above also helps to open up this attack. When your opponent expects you to follow up with a right cross, you surprise them with a left hook.
The reverse of this combination is equally as effective. You can throw a leaping hook to the head and immediately follow up with a hook to the body.
3) Double Leaping Left Hooks
This combination is effective in various combat sports like MMA, Muay Thai, and boxing. It’s an effective combination, and it puts you in position to clinch up with your opponent. It’s also an excellent way to catch opponents trying to escape from a corner.
There are a few variations for this attack. You can jump in with two leaping left hooks, throw a leaping hook and follow up with a regular hook, or follow up a hook with a leaping hook.
4) Jab To Leaping Hook
Your jab can be used to set up most attacks used in boxing, including the leaping hook. The jab forces your opponent to drop their right hand to parry the attack, opening them up for a hook. Leaping into the hook makes it harder for your opponent to evade the attack by leaning back or backpedaling.
You can also use a jab feint to coax your opponent into dropping their hand before you throw a leaping hook. Extend your right leg after throwing the leaping hook to restrict your opponent’s movement. You can also use a jab or jab feint to set up a leaping hook to the body.
5) Leaping Hook To Hook Combo
Here’s an effective way to land a barrage of heavy punches on an opponent. The combination starts with a leaping hook to the body, forcing your opponent to drop their guard. That is followed by a leaping hook to the head that gets you up close with your opponent. You then follow up with a right hook to the body and two left hooks to the head. Your opponent won’t have the slightest clue where the next punch is coming from at that point.
Practice Makes Perfect
Try these boxing combinations on a heavy bag and start using them during your sparring matches to get the timing down. That way, you’ll start throwing these combinations without even thinking about what you’re doing.
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