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Hip punches in boxing: Crippling shots more significant than most think

By Lee Cleveland, FightSaga - August 26, 2023

I’m not advising this but…

If you can get away with continually unleashing powerful shots to the hip of your opponent, his movement will be impacted quite a bit.

When a fighter repeatedly lands punches on the hips, don’t be tricked into thinking he’s constantly missing body shots – ESPECIALLY when the more stationary fighter is the culprit.

Interestingly, the fighter with inferior lower body movement always seems to be the guilty party.

We saw Canelo Alvarez whack Floyd Mayweather on the hips several times but the better-case scenario was when Orlando Salido absolutely feasted on Vasyl Lomachenko’s hips in their 2014 encounter. As a result, Lomachenko, a fighter known for being able to glide across the ring using his impeccable footwork, resorted to holding and clinching throughout.


His legs probably felt like jello, compliments of all those hip zingers.

Moreover, since punching power is generated mostly from the hips, foot movement wasn’t the only element of Vasyl’s game that may have been impacted. The sciatic nerve branches into the hip and buttocks and runs from the lower part of the spine down the back of both of your legs to the feet. It forms an ‘electrical cable’ of sorts to and from the brain. When that nerve is aggravated, it generally causes pain, weakness, or an altered sensation in the legs.

Are hip punches considered low blows?

Yes, but a referee seldom deducts points for hip punches because they are not centrally targeted. Unlike shots that land on a fighter’s groin area, hip punches are not nearly as eye-catching or easily noticed. Also, fighters more easily absorb hip shots than hard punches to the groin so you’re not as likely to see a fighter crumble to the canvas from being hit on the hip.
However, over the course of several rounds, those shots can be debilitating.

I was hit really hard in the right hip once during sparring and it hurt like mofo but the pain wasn’t the worst feeling. I remember this ‘buzzing jolt’ that ran from my feet up my legs that felt really weird. I called timeout, hopped around the ring for about 10 seconds, and resumed sparring soon after.

In a real boxing match, fighters usually won’t have that luxury.