Learn To Throw Uppercuts Like A Pro With Legendary New England Boxing Trainer Jimmy McNally
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran of the squared circle—drilling the fundamentals is essential in the development of a fighter and helps commit striking movements to muscle memory.
The uppercut is a fundamental strike every fighter needs to know and drill often. This is the punch that can daze your opponent and open up larger shots and it can also deliver a knockout payload to the hardest of chins. But it’s best to learn the fundamentals of the punch from a boxing expert.
“I think of Oscar de la Hoya with some of the uppercuts he threw,” McNally said. “He was a lefty that fought like a righty and he would throw right hands to get his opponent to duck under them. As they would go down, he would rip these vicious uppercuts that were devastating.”
Unlike straight punches like the jab and the cross, the uppercut is a circular punch similar to the hook or the overhand right. McNally said another difference between the punches is how a fighter steps when throwing the shot. When throwing straight punches fighters typically lean forward. Whereas with the uppercut you’re leaning back on your leg to the side you’re throwing from to get your power, said McNally.
For example, if you’re throwing the uppercut from the right side, lean back with the right leg and vice versa. Now that you’re leaning back, throw the punch with the inside of your glove facing you, striking in an upward motion, advises McNally. Be sure to twist your hips and push off with the leg that you are leaning your weight on, said the trainer. The punch is most effective when defending against a fighter who is coming in low and for devastating body shots.
McNally stresses overemphasizing your defense by keeping your guard high while throwing this punch. Do this bringing your free glove to nearly the crown of your head when throwing the punch, said the trainer. This will help against your opponent catching you with a hook on the counterattack.
“When I’m throwing an uppercut and leaning down, I have to overemphasize my protection in front,” McNally said. “Your hand that’s normally here [cheek level], you’re going to want to bring it up higher. They can come down with a left hook...there’s a counterpunch to be.”
Add The Hook
After throwing a successful uppercut and you will want to follow up with a left hook, encourages the coach. Should you catch your opponent with this combination, it could lead to victory in the ring. McNally said you can practice the uppercut on a ball bag or with a partner wearing punch mitts. Practicing your uppercut with a heavy bag can be problematic and could lead to injury, said the couch.
“I have a lot of hockey players that come in here and I always tell them, ‘I don’t advocate fighting, but if you’re gonna fight, this is the punch you want to learn,’” said McNally about the uppercut.
Who is Jimmy McNally?
New England boxing trainer Jimmy McNally is one of the top east coast amateur trainers for his development of talent who often go on to become regional golden gloves champions. McNally, himself, was the New England Golden Gloves champ throughout the 1970s and later went pro until a car accident cut his career short. Mc Nally also trained former two-time WBA Heavyweight Champion John Ruiz early in the fighter’s career.
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