Boxing Cross vs Boxing Hook

Gamecocks hit in different ways.

In naked heel with natural spurs, spur hitters are preferred.

  • preferred boxing punch style: hook or swing (slightly extended hook)
  • hitting with their spur point

In naked heel with tape spurs or spurless, shank hitters are preferred.

  • preferred boxing punch style: cross (aka straight)
  • hitting with their shank (their spurs are less effective as they do not properly point them when hitting)

In steel game, grounders more often will hit with shuffles.

  • preferred boxing punch style: hook or swing (slightly extended hook)
  • tie the weapon about 1 o’clock alignment; closely along the direction of the natural spur

In steel game, flyers more often will hit with full extension of the leg.

  • preferred boxing punch style: cross (aka straight)
  • tie the weapon about 12 o’clock for proper alignment to be more effective; going out a little than the natural spur

Take with Grain of Salt.

We can use other boxing punch style terms and other gamecock sub-categories, but for simplicity, the above are the general categories that will explain the differences of these gamecock hit styles.

The steel game alignments above are also more of a generalization.

In reality, there are lots of different types of grounders and different types of shufflers. Same goes with flyers – there are different types of flyers too. Then there are other steel game hit styles not in the list above.


  • Shank hitters and flyers are hitting more often using a boxing cross punch style (aka straight).
  • Spur hitters and grounders are hitting more often using a boxing hook or swing punch style.
  • A gamecock will use different punch styles and its combinations depending on what they think is needed in the whole duration of the game or combat sports.

Boxing Punch Styles


A hook is a punch in boxing. It is performed by turning the core muscles and back, thereby swinging the arm, which is bent at an angle near or at 90 degrees, in a horizontal arc into the opponent. A hook is usually aimed at the chin, but it can also be used for body shots, especially to the liver.

Hook punches can be thrown by either the lead hand or the rear hand, but the term used without a qualifier usually refers to a lead hook.

When throwing a hook, the puncher shifts his body weight to the rear, or supporting foot, allowing him to pivot his lead foot and torso, swinging his lead fist horizontally toward the opponent. Sometimes, depending on style and what feels comfortable to the individual, the lead foot is not pivoted. Pivoting increases the power of the punch, but leaves one lacking in options to follow up with, such as the right uppercut or right hook.

The hook is a powerful punch with knockout power.

Variations of the hook are the shovel hook or upper-hook; they are body punches that combine characteristics of both the hook and the uppercut.

Another variation on the hook is the check hook, which combines an ordinary hook with footwork that removes a boxer from the path of a lunging opponent.

A semi-circular punch thrown with the lead hand to the side of the opponent’s head. From the guard position, the elbow is drawn back with a horizontal fist (knuckles pointing forward) and the elbow bent. The rear hand is tucked firmly against the jaw to protect the chin. The torso and hips are rotated clockwise, propelling the fist through a tight, clockwise arc across the front of the body and connecting with the target. At the same time, the lead foot pivots clockwise, turning the left heel outwards. Upon contact, the hook’s circular path ends abruptly and the lead hand is pulled quickly back into the guard position. A hook may also target the lower body (the classic Mexican hook to the liver) and this technique is sometimes called the “rip” to distinguish it from the conventional hook to the head. The hook may also be thrown with the rear hand.


The swing is a type of hook, with the main difference being that in the swing the arm is usually more extended.


In boxing, a cross (also commonly called a “straight”) is a power-punch like the uppercut and hook. Compubox, a computerized punch scoring system, counts the cross as a power-punch.

It is a punch usually thrown with the dominant hand the instant an opponent leads with his opposite hand. The blow crosses over the leading arm, hence its name.

A powerful straight punch thrown with the rear hand. From the guard position, the rear hand is thrown from the chin, crossing the body and traveling towards the target in a straight line. The rear shoulder is thrust forward and finishes just touching the outside of the chin. At the same time, the lead hand is retracted and tucked against the face to protect the inside of the chin. For additional power, the torso and hips are rotated counter-clockwise as the cross is thrown. Weight is also transferred from the rear foot to the lead foot, resulting in the rear heel turning outwards as it acts as a fulcrum for the transfer of weight. Body rotation and the sudden weight transfer is what gives the cross its power. Like the jab, a half-step forward may be added. After the cross is thrown, the hand is retracted quickly and the guard position resumed. It can be used to counterpunch a jab, aiming for the opponent’s head (or a counter to a cross aimed at the body) or to set up a hook. The cross can also follow a jab, creating the classic “one-two combo.” The cross is also called a “straight” or “right.” The cross has been widely disputed as one of the most powerful, if not the single most powerful punch in the boxer’s arsenal.

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