Can You Jump in Boxing? 4 Helpful Rules (2022 Updated)

While jumping in a boxing ring may seem like a very common move to distract your opponent and technically use that momentum to deliver a powerful punch, why most boxers do not try such tricks? Is jumping illegal in boxing or are there any other reasons? Let see:

So, Can you Jump in Boxing?

You can jump in boxing and it’s completely legal to throw jumping punches while hitting your opponent. Some boxers are able to use this technique effectively to gain an advantage in terms of power and speed but most professional boxers avoid jumping in the match due to its possible counterattacks.

Further in this guide, I’ll explain why the jumping punches are so effective in terms of power but still why they are not used by pro boxers. Keep reading:

Is a Jumping Punch Legal in Boxing?

Jumping punch is legal in boxing as long as it is performed in a proper way. Jumping punches definitely increases your power but that doesn’t mean they are useful in every fight. Although jumping punches are used by a few pro boxers, they are easy to detect and may expose you to a counterattack.

There are so many variations of jumping punches out there but only a few of them are legal and proven to be effective over a period of time.

It includes the Gazelle punch, Gazelle jab, and quite a popular superman punch. I’ll dig into each of these jumping punches and explain to you how you can take advantage of them in your next match:

1. The Gazelle Punch

The Gazelle punch (Also known as kangaroo punch) starts with lowering your body a little and then pushing yourself off the ground to generate a huge momentum. It is usually combined with either a lead hook or an uppercut to deliver an excellent knockout shot with maximum power.

There are very few boxers like Floyd Patterson, Joe Frazier, and Wladimir Klitschko, who popularised this punching technique and are able to throw this punch effectively. The additional power of this punch comes from your leg muscles when you push yourself off the ground.

Thanks to this jumping punch, Floyd Patterson also known as a knockout artist in the middle of the last century and Joe Frazier were able to knock out Muhammad Ali in their first fight.

How do you do a Gazelle Punch Properly?

  1. Lower your body a little by slightly bending your knees
  2. Balance weight on both of your legs and lean on your toes
  3. Twist your body at the hips
  4. Get ready to release the hook with your punching arm
  5. Jump off the ground and deliver the punch with the proper timing
  6. Try to keep one of your feet on the ground just before the impact

When to Throw a Gazelle Punch?

Technically, you should use this punch when you have created a lot of space and you have a solid opportunity to close the distance and catch your opponent off guard. It is also useful when you want to fight from a distance due to your opponent’s unfair reach advantage.

While this jumping punch does have a surprise factor and explosiveness in it, you should never try to use it against a skilled counter-puncher.

Of course, your speed of delivery is the main key here. If you’re unable to execute and time this punch efficiently then it may leave you exposed to a solid counterattack.

Also Read: Does Boxing Build Muscles?

2. The Gazelle Jab

Though you can call it as another variation of a Gazelle punch, it is more beneficial in terms of its power and reaches. In this kind of jab, the basic body setup remains almost the same, you just have to change your final shot.

After you launch yourself off the ground, instead of combining with a hook punch, here you try to go for a more linear and straight jab to the face of your opponent.

So many iconic professional boxers including middleweight Marvellous Marvin Hagler and Manny Pacquiao used to like this jumping punch technique and never miss the opportunity to hit their opponent and finish off the match.

The key advantage of this punching style is, it allows you to cover a very large distance while being more explosive than a normal Gazelle punch.

Also, rather than leaving you exposed, the Gazelle jab offers you a great opportunity to quickly pivot away and use another attacking technique to continue your offense.

How to Execute a Gazelle Jab Properly?

  1. Drop your body posture and bend your knees a little
  2. Put your weight on both feet and lean on your toes
  3. Keep your jabbing arm back, close to the body
  4. Get ready to throw the shot with your jabbing arm
  5. Jump off the ground and deliver the jab with the proper timing
  6. Try to properly connect your fist with an opponent for better impact
  7. Keep one of your feet close to the ground

When to Throw a Gazelle Jab?

Although this jab is a more secure and improved version of the Gazelle punch, it is still one form of a lead arm attacking technique.

You should only use this technique when the situation demands you to close a large distance very quickly and you considered yourself a quick yet accurate puncher.

Also, try to use this punch sparring in combination with other attacking techniques in order to confuse your opponent and increase your success rate.

3. The Superman Punch

Superman punches when executed efficiently, definitely add extra power to the punch but it is not commonly used by world-class professional boxers. It is mainly because they are quite easy to detect and may expose you to a counterattack.

Another reason why superman punches are popular in MMA but not in boxing is the rules related to kicks in boxing. MMA fighters usually set up their superman punch by fainting a kick, which is not that effective in boxing.

Read this detailed guide on the Pros and Cons of Superman Punch in boxing and how you can use it to your own benefit!

Why Do People Jump in Boxing?

While there are few drawbacks of jumping in the boxing match such as bad landing and explosive counterattacks but once you master the technique, it offers you a lots of benefits.

Many boxers such as Manny Pacquiao and Joe Frazier used to apply this technique quite efficiently and won most of their matches.

Jumping punches allows you to counter the unfair advantage of your taller opponent, especially when you have to keep a little distance due to your short reach.

Also, jumping provides you with a momentum that adds extra power into your punches and increases your winning chances due to its surprising element.

My Final Thoughts on Jumping in Boxing

As a general rule, jumping is legal in boxing, and boxers are allowed to throw jumping punches. But most professional boxers do not try to attempt jumping due to its efficiency requirements and possible counterattacks against jumping punches.

This does not mean you should just ignore this technique altogether. Jumping can be very helpful for you especially when your opponents have an unfair advantage in terms of reach and you suddenly got an opportunity to close the distance quickly and catch him/her off guard.

Overall, jumping is not essential but one of the good to have skills for boxers and you should definitely practice during your training.


Priya Dorge | Cargofighter

Priya Dorge

Priya Dorge is a passionate boxer and author, dedicated to sharing her expertise in the world of combat sports. With her deep knowledge and experience in empowering individuals in their journey has garnered a loyal following, making her a trusted resource in the martial arts community.