Don't say I didn't warn you!
Just a quick heads up the Shovel hook is the upper hand you are looking for.
Also known as the Mexican uppercut or the destroyer
The fastest way to get confident when boxing is learning basics, the defense, and the offense in and outs.
Really it all starts with your feet, and you can read my articles on footwork if you want to start from the bottom up.
Today we are starting on the offense side of things with a punch. To get started, you don't need any fancy equipment or a gym. Let’s break down what you need at a bare minimum.
Mirrors are helpful to see yourself while you practice. They aren’t a necessity, although they do help tremendously if you have one.
A smooth ground that's level enough to make sure you don’t roll an ankle or trip and get injured.
That’s really it, see simple, you can do this anywhere!
The shovel hook is used to creating an angle that is unfamiliar with what the opponent is used to seeing, creating more openings in their defense.
After you throw it once or twice, your opponent has to think about another angle to block.
Overall we want this punch to land on the body. Its main goal is to hit the liver, located on the right side of everyone.
Okay, but what is a shovel hook, and what does it look like?
Imagine an uppercut met the hook and they had a baby, and power and speed met, and they had a baby. Those two babies met and had a baby, that baby would be the shovel hook a.k.a huppercut a.k.a hookercut a.k.a whatever else you could name it.
No, but seriously it is right in between either of those punches. It’s not a full uppercut or a full hook.
The elbow is at a 45° angle, and the punch travels at the same angle upward.
Set up in your basic boxing stance, balanced with the knees bent.
Pivot on your back foot, bringing your rear shoulder forward with it. Curl your rear shoulder halfway to your lead foot and pause once your head is over your front knee.
Both hands should be on the cheeks for protection.
Drop your left hand and rotate back punching at a 45° angle aiming at your opponent’s bottom rib. Rotate back with your rear foot into starting position.
Keep your opposite hand up that you are not using as you rotate back, and once you complete the punch, bring your punching hand back as well.
This is where that mirror can really come in handy, and no, not to look at yourself and how good you may look.
You want to be able to spot your own bottom rib in the mirror and use that as guidance as to where you should punch.
Top 3 mistakes ready set go!
Pivoting your rear foot sounds easy, but more often than not, we forget more than half the time. You will lose your mechanics, speed, and power on the wind-up.
Winding up your body with a pivot is the proper technique. Winding up your arm for extra power is a lie that Popeye taught us after you eat some canned spinach.
Dropping your hands for balance is a beginner move. I understand it because I was once that beginner. Balance isn’t easy when the full body is in motion.
One way you can get better at finding your balance is by practicing footwork technique - step by step, broken down, as I mentioned earlier.
You can follow it up with its natural partner, the right downward angled hook, which comes over and down in the opposite direction, downward onto the other side of the jaw.
Also known as working the ladder from the bottom to the top.
This is a good combo to keep your attack going!
Film study helps with the learning process. You read about it, watch it, and apply it.
Bernard Hopkins vs. Oscar Del La Hoya: Hopkins hits De La Hoya with a shovel hook to the liver ending the fight in the 9th round.
Amir Khan vs. Marcos Maidana: Khan lands a liver shot with a tight shovel hook in the 1st round, sending Maidana to the canvas. Besides, the knockdown the rest of the fight is really worth watching as well.
Run through your mechanics for the best delivery on your punch, keep that elbow at a 45° angle swinging upwards, and hit hard to that liver and watch them crumble.
Those are some of the best boxing tips for beginners learning the shovel hook. You don’t have to fall into the trap of all the fancy moves and equipment to get you started or take you to the next level.
You need patience, consistency, and effective training.
Build on good habits early, so you don't have to tear down the foundation and rebuild all over again.
If you want more in-depth knowledge of specific questions, check out our home page for more tips.
Let me know what other tips I may have missed or what you'd like me to cover by leaving a comment.
I cant wait to see you in the future on the next one. Keep swinging, champs!