Lead Uppercut In Boxing – Pros And Cons

The uppercut is a very strong and effective punch in boxing. Using it, you can seriously damage your opponent. But is it possible to use the uppercut as a lead punch or the first punch in the combination?

In general, the uppercut is quite a rare punch in boxing rings. It is the most difficult punch from a technical aspect of boxing. In addition, the uppercut is usually used at middle and short distances, making it quite difficult to perform this punch as a lead punch. Besides, the uppercut will be visible if it’s used as a lead punch. Also, the boxer will open his defense for a long time during this punch, which is very dangerous.

But, if you want to execute in a fight a leading uppercut, we can go into a bit more details and compare it to other punches. That way you can better understand why the uppercut is not so useful as a lead punch.

Why Should You Never Lead With An Uppercut

It is already clear that the uppercut is unsuitable for the leading punch in a fight. First of all, the uppercut is quite a seeable punch. That’s why it is usually covered up in various combinations or a clinch. Of course, there are exceptions when a long lead uppercut can be executed.

It is usually thrown as a punch, as moving backward, or as a counterattack. The problem lies precisely in the technique of executing this punch. In the correct technique, to perform an uppercut, for example, with the front hand, you must first turn the body a little bit. In this way, you prepare or load your uppercut.

That is why it is better to throw one of the punches with the backhand to invisibly prepare the uppercut. This way, the preparation of the uppercut will be disguised. Also, if the boxer can load an uppercut lighting fast, it should only be thrown at middle or close range. It’s just visible at a long distance.

And in addition to the uppercut, you will need to throw a whole series of punches to hide it somehow. Also, if you want to throw a double uppercut, you’ll have to load the body twice for it. This will take a lot of time, which you just need in the fight. The good old jab is best suited as the ring’s lead punch.

Jab is a great middle and long-range punch. Also, a jab is a fast punch, which is very important in the fight. Thanks to its speed, you can hit double and even triple jabs. You can also use a jab to control your opponent and keep him at a needed distance.Jab is also great as an attacking punch, a feint, or a starter punch of combinations.

But Is An Uppercut Still A Good Punch

An uppercut is a great punch in boxing. A properly delivered uppercut is a powerful short punch. It comes through at a dangerous angle for the opponent. It often leads to a knockout in the fight. The definite advantage of the uppercut is that it is powerful, and it is difficult for the opponent to see it coming.

The disadvantages include that the uppercut is effective only at short distances. Also, it is dangerous because it involves open defense at its execution.

When Should You Throw Uppercut

Uppercuts are especially effective in close-range fighting. At this point, the fighter has little space to execute a powerful punch. It is executed with the front hand as well as the backhand. When the opponents face each other in a clinch, these punches are often thrown singly.

They can also be thrown very effectively in combinations. For example, a distracting jab first, then a right swing, and then a powerful left uppercut. This punch can often be a knockout punch and cause serious damage to the opponent.

Uppercut Execution Recommendations

Bend The Knees

Before executing the punch, you must bend your knees a little bit. The power of the punch comes from the lower part of the body. At the moment of the punch, the hips bend slightly toward the floor, and the punch itself is directed upwards.

This moment is the most difficult technique part of the uppercut. The point is that the uppercut gets its power not from the legs straightening but from the rotating movement of the hips and body. That’s why the center of mass must be as low as possible.

Rotate the Body

The rotational movement of the hips and body is a must when executing the uppercut! This is where the power of the punch lies, as the hips give it rotation. Turn the foot of the punching hand toward the body rotation during the punch.

The heel of the other foot should be on the floor. The rotational motion of the hip is transferred to the torso and shoulder. This is where the power of the uppercut comes from.

Return The Hand Back To Starting Position

The hand with which the uppercut was thrown must return to its starting position after reaching the required distance. If missed, it returns to the athlete’s chin or goes down to make another uppercut. Thus, the uppercut trajectory should have a point of return, which should be balanced.

Typical Mistakes In The Execution Of An Uppercut

Raising The Hips

When executing a punch, the boxer squats slightly, lowering his body and straightening up after his hand. This is the most common mistake. Many people think that if they straighten up when executing an uppercut, it will give the punch extra power due to the upward movement of the torso.

However, that is not the case. As already explained, the uppercut’s power comes from the hips’ rotation, not from a push off the ground. In addition, the upward movement will disbalance the body, and the fighter will become an easy target for a counter-attack.

Straight Body

As written above, it is wrong to use only the shoulders and legs for the punch, leaving the body straight. It is also important that the twisted body allows you to quickly turn back and execute another punch.

Stop Point

Refrain from stretching the uppercut in space so that the fist goes too far. An extended uppercut will open you up for a counterattack. Measure the distance to the target and bring your hand back immediately, whether you reach the target or not. Your hand should not fly over your opponent’s head if you miss.

Hands Lowering

After performing an uppercut, never put your hands down; it makes you an easy target for a counterattack.


The uppercut is a powerful punch that each boxer must have in his punches technique. A lead uppercut will be wrong because it’s just too visible. You better use your lead uppercut as a part of some combination. I hope this post was helpful to you. Good luck in boxing.

Gregori Povolotski

I have been practicing martial arts since 2007. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a huge passion for combat sports, especially Muay Thai and boxing. Helping people on their martial arts journey is what drives me to keep training and learn new things. Read More About Me

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