How To Defend And Counter The Overhand Right In Boxing

How To Defend And Counter The Overhand Right In Boxing
Boxing Tuesday

Few shots are as devastating as a well-executed overhand right in boxing. It is one of the most powerful punches a fighter can eat inside the ropes, so learning how to avoid it is crucial. Defending an overhand right starts with a few basic factors – distance,angles, and positioning. When these areas are mastered, the rest falls into place.

Throwing an overhand right can put the attacker in a shaky position, should a defensive fighter know how to counter it. There is vulnerability to exploit when boxers get too comfortable throwing this shot – we outline exactly what they are, below. 


Snapshot Of The Overhand Right 

The overhand right is easy to fall in love with. This punch has a seemingly perfect mixture of being relatively easy to throw yet utterly devastating when it lands. For this reason, the less astute student may rely on it at times when they have skipped training or are looking for an easy way out. 

The first step to defending the overhand right is knowing how to throw an overhand right. When you examine and invert the anatomy of this weapon, you will be in the best position to stop it.

Due to this shot’s looping, unpredictable trajectory, its final path can sometimes be tough to predict. But this awkwardness can be turned back on the opponent to create opportunities from counters, especially when you know it’s coming.


Preparing To Defend The Overhand Right In Boxing

When it comes to the overhand right, your boxing stance and position are vital. These dictate the proximity to danger and will make it either easier or tougher for your opponent to connect. There are a few other roadblocks to put in place if you are to avoid being stung by this shot. 


Defensive Positioning

It is crucial to remember that there is no one right way of defending the overhand right. This will come down to how and where it is thrown from, as well as the height and range of your opponent. Therefore, it is vital to adjust your positioning to the specific threat coming your way.

One of the first things learned in beginner’s boxing defense classes is stance. There are two stances, with most overhand rights thrown by orthodox fighters. The most dangerous of these is the looping overhand right, which tends to be aimed toward the left side of the head. 

The attacking fighter may follow up a jab with this shot or throw it individually to counter a stray jab. If your lead hand strays from its defensive position – assuming you are fighting from an orthodox stance – you are exposed.


Knowledge And Reads

You must have a measure of your opponent’s style and shot range before you attempt to counter the overhand right. Reads are vital in guessing both their execution and when adjusting your defensive positioning before countering. 

It is generally a good idea to “feel out” your opponent before countering the overhand right in boxing. It is likely that, if they like to throw it, you will need to defend it first. Take mental notes of where they are throwing the shot from, their form, positioning, and other factors that may help when countering it. 


Anticipation And Confidence

How To Defend And Counter The Overhand Right In Boxing

Timing is key to countering the overhand right.

Defensive positioning and knowledge of your opponent are necessary for defending the overhand right. As with lead hooks or uppercut punches in boxing, knowing what the opponent has in the locker can narrow down their attack. 

When you have a general idea of what’s coming, it’s easier to anticipate. But when defending the overhand right, you must be confident in making split-second decisions. Especially when looking to counter with shots of your own. Thankfully, there are multiple boxing partner drills and exercises that help with both.


Tips For Countering The Overhand Right

There are two general types of the overhand right. One is the classic, textbook shot thrown over the opponent’s jab while the other is more of a haymaker, designed to cause maximum damage. Both can be showstoppers, but the latter is often wider and more unpredictable.  

Regardless of how this is thrown, you must understand how key elements of your style play into how you defend and counter. What works best for the outside fighter may not be as effective for the inside fighter defending the overhand right. But here are just some ways to defend and counter.


1) Block And Counter Right

When your opponent throws the right, perform a standard block using your left glove over your chin. Ensure your chin is tucked inside your shoulder – turn slightly inward, rotating your hip as you absorb the shot. 

The counter window will be open momentarily as your opponent draws their right hand back. This will give you the chance to hit back with a snapping right hand of your own, which can be seriously effective.


2) Block And Right Uppercut

Similar to the standard block and counter right, you must be in the right position to block the incoming overhand right. Raise your left glove in line with the incoming shot to block, keeping your chin tucked away but ready to throw the counter.

The uppercut is particularly effective when the opponent is leaning into their punch. If your uppercut counter is timed correctly, your opponent’s compromised stance and lack of balance could cause them to hit the deck. 


3) Slip And Left Hook To The Body

If you are confident that you can time your opponent’s overhand right, slipping and countering with a left hook is another option. This is not as easy to do against faster, slicker boxers, but can be devastating to the attacker. Especially if they are backing their punching power over their balance and defense.

When the punch has been thrown, bend your knees and move your head to the left – from here, you have an opening to land a left hook to the body. Just remember that timing is crucial with this maneuver, as you do not want to walk into a looping shot.


4) Duck And Left Hook To The Head

Perfecting this counter to the overhand right takes a lot of practice. Again, timing is crucial as you must anticipate the shot, react, and move into the right position very quickly. Aim for the midway point between your opponent and your position.

Instead of moving your head to the left, drop your weight and duck under the opponent. Push your lead leg inside theirs, moving inside as they make their way to you. The opening here allows you to land one or two shots – you can also pivot into a secondary position to fire off more punches.


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