Bolo Punch - What Is It And Why it's a Must-learn Skill
bolo punch

Bolo Punch – Why You Should Add It To Your Boxing Skills

A bolo punch originated in the Philippines. The word "bolo" is a Filipino word for "machete." This machete is used to cut sugar cane.

Those who plan to employ bolo punch in boxing must imagine themselves swinging a sword in waist level. They must do it as if they're cutting those long sugar canes.

Turning the punch this way doesn't require a lot of power or strength. What it needs is a technique. Cutting sugar canes using a machete under the heat of the sun does not have to entail much force.

Otherwise, the person cutting can't stand the heat and humidity considering that he has to cut one sugar cane after another. Not to mention the fact that he has to do it for miles and miles for days.

How to Use the Bolo Punch

If the cutter is right-handed, then the machete will be held by the right hand. The weight of the sword allows the side to be handed down.

When hitting the cane, the hips will turn first as the arm holding the machete swings forward. In other words, an easy twist must be done, coupled with a swing in an underarm fashion.

Note that a bolo punch is a waist-level whip punch that is usually aimed at hitting the liver. It looks like a hook and uppercut combined. Ideally, it has to be thrown at 4-5 o'clock from the perspective of an orthodox boxer.

The Bolo Punch Back in the 70’s

Traditional boxing consists of four kinds of classic swings. However, a bolo punch is not one of these. Before, a bolo punch is a type of punch that is thrown exclusively by the left hand.  It is a low-level swing towards the opponent’s midsection.

If your swing type move is aimed at hitting your opponent's head, then it could probably be an angled hook. Back in the late 1970s, there was not much confusion about what can be considered as bolo punch or not.

It was during this time that a bolo punch was recognized as low-level swing aimed at hitting the gut or the midsection. It's a straight arm whip-like action.  Back then a bolo punch was found to work more effectively using the left hand.

It was also seen as more powerful when applied to target the opponent's liver. It works as a body shot and is not useful when used to hit the head of the opponent.

The Modern Variations of Bolo Punch 

Today, you will find a lot of variations of the bolo punch. Some people use bolo punch as a distraction. You drop your hand and make your wide sweeping throw apparent to your opponent's eyes.

This time, your opponent's eyes are on your side that is making a sweeping motion. It will now become more comfortable for you to throw your other arms. Others would choose to drop their right hand while also making circular motions.

Once the opponent's eyes gravitate on the side that's causing the flashy show-off punch, a stiff jab or hook is thrown using the lead hand.

But, if the opponent's eyes are on the side that is not making the sweeping motion, it will be your chance to follow through with a devastating full punch.

Bolo Punch is The Most Effective Hand-Based Attack to the Internal Organ

fighters exchanging punches

Although there has not been any apparent explanation, a bolo punch can be so powerful. Some boxing experts refer to it as the most effective hand-based attack to the opponent's internal organ.

A bolo punch beats a long left hook directed at the liver. It can also beat a short left hook targeting the same body spot. Its effect is likened to a hardback kick wherein the heel directly hits the liver.

When used with much expertise, a bolo punch can beat a left shin kick that is directed at the opponent's liver. There is something about the bolo punch point impact in which the brutal effect is not based on power.

If a bolo punch is not able to knock out the opponent, it can at least reduce his strength for as much as fifty percent. This makes bolo punch so useful in making the opponent more vulnerable.

Read Also: Boxing Techniques and Tricks That Will Help You Win

How to Practice the Bolo Punch

You have to practice this kind of punch on the bag before deciding to use it on actual fights. Keep in mind that the entry can be too risky. It is an advanced technique that seasoned boxers use that leaves them wide open.

So, you have to practice it well a hundred times first. If you practice it by hitting the bag with a lot of power, you could be doing it wrong.  A bolo punch requires speed and breath control. You have to work on your acceleration and fast whip.

Focus on throwing a fast yet loose strap as you rise a little and turn into the hit. When you breathe right, and not much strength is exerted chances are you are doing it right.

To reiterate, a bolo punch is a whip which means it's a long fluid movement much like swinging the machete. Other boxers describe such move as a "slap" so it is not a power shot. Therefore, you don't have to use all of your strength when throwing a bolo punch.

Famous Boxers Who Use the Bolo Punch

kid gavilan practicing with speed bag

Besides Kid Gavilan, there are also several other famous boxers who used the bolo punch. These are Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Calzaghe, Ceferino Garcia and Roy Jones Jr. If you keep practicing it, who knows? You could be among this list.

If you have mastered the basic boxing punches, you can rehearse the bolo punch. Remember, it can leave you too open to your opponent.

Use it accurately, or it could go against you. One good thing about practicing it is that not all boxers use it. This means you will have the chance to become a formidable fighter if you master the bolo punch.