You’ve Got to Throw the Right!

A jab might be safe, but in boxing, as in life, winning usually involves some level of risk

By David Magnusson  |   Dec 14, 2017

Go to a mirror. Any mirror. Get into a fighting stance. Got it? Now throw your money punch: a straight right cross. (If you’re left-handed, that will be a straight left. Throughout the article, keep this in mind.) Throw it in real time a few times. Mix it up a bit. Get on the balls of your feet. Throw a jab then the right. Double up on the jab then thrown the right. I am very serious. Keep doing it. Jab-jab-right!

Now slow it up a bit. Take it down a notch. Try for 50 – 60% speed. Throw the straight right. Do you feel the power? Can you imagine connecting with a perfectly thrown right?

Try This

I have no doubt (and you must be honest with yourself) that after you throw the right you aren’t bringing that right exactly back to the side of your head. In fact, I bet, it comes back a lot lower from where you throw it from.

Now that you know that, throw the punch again. I bet that now it returns back to where you throw it from. But if you’re not 100% conscious of doing so as it takes place, you will usually bring your right back lower than where it was.

“So what!” you say.

Well, if your opponent can time you just right, he/she can throw that counter left-hook and drop you on your rear end—or worse. The fact is, any time you throw that strong straight right, whether you bring it straight back or not, you’re wide open to a well-timed counter strike.

So now what do you do?

You can avoid the counter-hook by keeping your right up high and throwing nothing but left jabs. But no good fight was ever won by just jabbing the night away. After a while, your opponent, knowing full well that a left jab almost never knocked anyone out, will “take it on the chin” (or nose), walk right through your poor excuse of an offense, and proceed to get in close and hurt you to head and body.

Somewhere along the way, you’re going to need to reach out and extract some respect. You’re going to have to leave yourself open, if even for a short instance, in order to push your objective. You’ll need to know, long before you throw that right, that you have trained very hard, and fully believe that you can absorb a counter shot should you be caught by one.

In other words, you must know yourself. That will always be half the battle.

Beyond the Ring

So what does all of this mean outside of the ring? Nothing, literally speaking. But metaphorically speaking it means a lot. This is about your career, your goals, and your life.

This is about taking some calculated risks in order to move forward, knowing full well that you can do it. Being able to know you can do something means that you also know you can sustain any pushback you may receive, be it some intra-office backstabbing, career sabotage, or embarrassment (like that perfectly thrown Joe Frazer left hook).

Keep jabbing and nothing else, and you will lose far more than you win. A jab is safe and it creates distance, but it rarely wins fights. Great boxers work behind the jab to set up that right for the win. In life, you need both.

We all need to manage risk and weight costs and benefits. We all need to put in the work and show up. But when life is coming at you fast, you also need to know when a calculated risk is worth taking. Sometimes you need to go big! Risk aversion, as a life plan, is a great way to let your life get away from you and see your dreams unrealized.

Now go out there and get to work!

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David Magnusson

David Magnusson

Magnusson is retired as the chief of Havelock (N.C.) Police Department. He spent 30 years with the Miami Police Department, retiring there as a major. He is a graduate of American Military University with a Master's in Military history. Chief Magnusson also boxed as an amateur for twenty-six years.
David Magnusson

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