by Alexander "The Great" Enriquez • January 04, 2023

Make them miss, make them pay! A famous saying that holds true to this day.

Welcome back to Boxing Undefeated, here to highlight the most important parts of Boxing!

This round we are slick we are smooth we can’t be touched we are slipping your 1, 2’s

A great way to counter your opponent is off of the head movement you will use to slip punches.

Not all punches will be slipped, not all head movement is considered a slip.

Ok, so you don’t feel like absorbing the punches on the glove. Your hand is hurting, you get stuck, or you just feel like there is a better way. This is where we look into our toolbox and pull out the slips.

This defensive technique is advanced compared to using your hands for defense. 

Using reflexes, timing and technique will be key!

Not enough boxers to this day use head movement effectively, we need more of it as I consider it to be a core value of boxing skills to have.

What Is The Slip?

Do you ever hear that a good defense is a good offense? This is a prime example of what a slip means. 

Using head movement to avoid impact, you will use the whole body to slip straight punches. Positioning yourself past their line of defense after they have fired leaves an opening for you to counter their attack.

Slipping should not be confused with a dip also known as a roll. These two are used for different punches. However, you can dip on straight punches but you can’t slip on hooks. Slipping hooks is dangerous because your head will be moving horizontally in the same direction as the punch.

Why Do We Slip?

If you have ever seen the famous picture of Muhamed Ali slipping Joe Frazier's hook with a step back, then you know how good it looks and that if the greats use it you should use it too!

If you have ever sparred or hit a double end bag the most tiring thing in the world is missing that target.

It becomes frustrating and mentally becomes defeating. Doing this to your opponent will open them up offensively to take more chances.

When they do, this is your opportunity to counter. 

When Do We Slip?

Slipping is for everyone tall, short, lengthy, stocky. The fighters that may use it more are shorter fighters working their way in. Mike Tyson is a great example! 

If you trust your body’s ability to move out the way in time while setting you up for that counter as a Canelo Alvarez would do you would rely on slips. 

The rest of us who aren’t built like a Mike Tyson with legs and power or a Canelo Alvarez with cat-like reflexes, you should slip when:

  • Head punches Jabs/Crosses are being thrown
  • Your opponent is throwing a punch/combinations
  • You are finished throwing a punch/combinations
  • While you are throwing punches
  • Your opponent is loading up a big punch
  • You are a smaller opponent getting past their guard
  • You are eating a lot of punches clean
  • You need to switch up what look you are giving an opponent

When Don’t We Slip?

When slipping goes wrong it’s not fun and can be tiring, draining you of unnecessary energy being used! You want to maintain every advantage you have.

Do not slip when: 

  • Your opponent is throwing hooks
  • They have figured out your rhythm, they will time you
  • You are out of range, wasted energy

How To Slip?

There are two ways to slip a jab: One you slip on the outside, two you slip on the inside.

For beginners, slipping on the outside to start is recommended. 

Start by thinking like this. In the middle of your face, there is a straight line that goes through you. You want to get off that line. This line represents a straight punch either a jab or a cross your challenger will throw at you.

Eyes up. Very important to always have your eyes on your opponent! You want to see if there are more punches coming or if your opponent has over-committed exposing themself for a counter.

Hands up of course.

Use your legs, not your back, start by bending your legs in your boxing stance.

This is how you save your back from wear and tear. Bending your legs gives you explosive movement and balance.

Rotate your body altogether. No delay. Foot pivots, oblique contracts, shoulder rotates forward and in hand is up but you are still able to peek around the glove.

Miss by an inch! Again we want to make them miss and make them pay. We should be in a position to attack after they miss. If you are falling off balance or find yourself out of range to counter you have gone too far.

Stay compact, tighten up and you will see you can slip faster using less energy. Win-win!

Get out of the way after you have slipped once, twice maybe three times you best be either punching or moving your feet to create a new angle. Do not bring your head back to the center without being ready to exchange punches.

Slipping in front of your opponent works for so long until they figure you out and time you or get you with a combination of punches.

A common question you might be wondering is do I step while slipping?

If you are long and tall don’t give up your advantage, until it’s time to switch gears.

If you are shorter and need to work your way in step in and close that gap!

Last but not least, if you both are about the same height and reach, it’s up to you how you slip.

Are you aggressive or do you like to sit in the pocket and exchange punches? Up to you!

Slipping Outside

Also, known as the weak side. This slip is safe and super effective, you will be on their weak side. Meaning you are out of the line with their next punch. Most novice and even experienced fighters punch opposite hands, rarely doubling on the same side.

Once you make your way to the weak side you either punch or rotate farther onto that side making them adjust their feet and when they do that when you attack because they are off-balance.

Slipping Inside

Known as their strong side, they are accurate and precise when moving into their next punch. For this slip, I would recommend you punch when you get inside if not another head movement immediately.

Another move you can do after you get inside, step in deeper to muffle their punches and start working their body. Shoulder shrugs them off balance and follow up with straight punches as they are going backward.

Key Points

  • Use your legs, hips, abs, and shoulder to slip simultaneously. Not just your head
  • This movement should be tight and compact, don’t over slip
  • After you slip a punch strike back, move the feet, or keep slipping
  • Slip to their weakside rotate on and start working
  • Slip to their strongside work right away or keep moving

How To Slip Punches?

Analyze what punches are being launched at you. A good fighter does not only rely on natural ability or hard work from drills. They use their brain! Smart fighters are the best fighters because they will be able to adapt and overcome.

  • If your competitor is throwing straight punches you slip!
  • Hooks do not slip! You will be meeting the punch if you slip into it, increasing the damage about to be done.
  • Uppercuts you can slip, lean back, parry.

Following you want to pay attention to details of how you perform the slip, a sufficient slip is a powerful move to have. Here are some extra tips.

  • Keep your stance tight, no wide legs. Legs are essential to doing anything right in boxing, too wide and you get stuck, too narrow and you are top-heavy. Start with feet shoulder-width apart staggered then adjust accordingly.
  • Hands up don’t drop your guard to counteract for balance. This is a bad habit and is very easily exploited by top-level fighters. Kick this habit now along with gaining control of how you move your body. Stay in control!
  • Time the punch, avoid slipping too early. This takes practice and real-time sparring to get good at. You want to anticipate up until a certain point. 

You never really know what punch is coming till it’s thrown be patient and find a balance between reacting and anticipating.

  • Keep your body weight over the knees if you are past them to outside you are most likely off-balance. This one goes back to being in control of how you are moving your body. 

Self-awareness is key because judges score on who looks like they are in control of the fight. 

If you look sloppy while your competitor looks tight and sharp. On looks alone you can be losing that round or the fight, to the judges, he/she seems in control, and it’s just a matter of time till you fall.

Keep in mind the judges are human too what looks good must be good. Show them who is in charge in that ring!

Slip and Roll

I like using the word dip instead of roll. The reason being is shoulder roll is nothing like a roll under a punch it’s completely different. 

One of them you are straight up and the other bending your legs creating a U-shaped letter in the air.

Anywho that’s my preference.


After a slip, a common follow-up head movement is to roll. These two movements go together like pineapple on pizza. 

That’s right I love Hawaiian cheesy fluffy crust pizza with miny pyramid cut pineapples, fight me about it! 

You know why they go together so well, I‘ll tell you why

After a straight punch more than half the time, it’s followed up with another straight punch which is still ok to dip under or a hook and this is the one you most definitely want to dip as it comes for your brain cells. 

How to slip and roll is a lot of moving body parts but when done the right way is fluid with ease.

Rolling a.k.a dipping will be covered on my dips segment along with more worship on my stance with warm saucy pineapple pizza ok? Ok! Got it

Moving on.

Boxing Slip Drills

How do I get good at slips? How do I practice boxing slips? Where do I practice these slip drills? What equipment do I need?

All great questions asked by you champs, love the thirst to get better, that’s what makes champions keep working hard!

These are some drills you can use.

Slipping Punches Drill

Getting good at slips

Start by using a mirror to check your form as you slip.

  • Head over knees not past it 
  • Shoulders rotating slightly forward
  • The opposite foot is pivoting to rotate the hips

How do I practice slips?

If you have nobody to punch you, you can use a rope, a slip ball, or shadow box.

In this case, you have a coach or friend have them throw jabs at you under control and slow.

  • Shadowboxing is the easiest way to practice use your imagination and put yourself in scenarios when you would have to use the slip.
  • The rope set it up at about shoulder height. Start with the lead shoulder touching the rope.

Squat and step diagonally resetting yourself on the opposite side of the rope. To get back squat again and step horizontally across reset to your stance and you are done.

  • A slip ball is fun and I would say is a step up. You lose sight of the slip ball as it passes your head ending up behind you. Your slip doesn’t end here though. 

Now you must slip again as it approaches the back of your head. Don’t turn around use your instincts and timing skills. A light push to start, and a harder push as you get better.

  • You have a coach or a buddy, use them to help get almost the real thing. Under control at a slow tempo have them pump out jabs and crosses.

As you get better speed up the tempo to your desired training intensity. 

Where do I practice slips?

You can practice them anywhere if you don’t have a gym!

The best places to practice are in front of a mirror, or in the ring.

The mirror is always great for corrections you can make on yourself. 

But to put this to its best practice is inside the ring, the reason I say this is you are in your environment where you will be using a slip. And where you are in the ring matters.

You can slip in the middle of the ring or even the outside. As you get closer to the ropes you can still utilize the slip but your back is up against the ropes. 

It's best you do a couple of slips and tie them up or turn them onto the ropes. Do not stay there

Common Mistakes

  • Using the back instead of the legs
  • Overusing the slip
  • Leaning outside the knees
  • Losing balance
  • Losing eye contact
  • Slipping to early
  • Slipping too wide
  • Dropping your guard
  • Stance is too wide
  • Staying in front of your opponent after your done

Fighters who mastered the slip

Mike Tyson, Muhamed Ali, Pernell Whitaker, Canelo Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather

You made it through another round now go and practice, killas!

Alexander "The Great" Enriquez

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