Clinching is a necessary part of any competitive sports. However, it can sometimes be missed during the training. Boxing Clinch: All You Need to Know will provide you with the information you need about this technique.

Why Do Boxers Clinch?

There are two reasons why a boxer clinches in a match. First is the fact that the boxer is exhausted already and has no other choice but to clinch.

Second is because one of the fighters is getting beaten severely, and the need to stop the assault is necessary.

Clinching can actually be used as a survival technique. This fighting technique is used by most boxers when they can’t afford to do it in a match, and the reason is usually that of exhaustion.

Getting yourself into a clinch usually takes a lot of effort to do, and it makes you spend more energy than what it usually takes to get out of the path.

Clinching is essential in situations like getting cornered, finding no way out or escaping from the consecutively punch of the opponent seems impossible.

When these situations happen in a match, clinching will help break the opponent’s momentum.

Therefore, learning how to clinch is vital for everyone who wants to become a competitive boxer.

The Goal of Clinching in Boxing

US Navy boxers in sparring session

The primary goal of clinching is to hold up the opponent. Capturing both arms of the opponent under your own will prevent him from giving you constant attacks.

Stopping the attacks of your opponent will keep you away from losing, but it doesn’t mean that you can clinch to win.

Though clinching may help in a match, you can’t do this for long. Usually, holding or tying up your opponent in a game is against the rules, and the referee has to break you apart. But even for a short while, clinching will help you get out and stop an onslaught.

How to Clinch

In a situation where you can’t seem to move against the attacks of your opponent, clinching will help you get away.

To clinch, you need to capture both hands of your opponent under yours.

Once you have done that, place your forehead in your opponent’s shoulder, hold him tightly, and put all of your weight on your opponent to keep him from moving.

To start a clinch, move closer to your opponent with your defenses up, and your elbows held close together.

Aim your arms forward just above your opponent’s elbow to hook both of his arms into yours and pull him closer to you.

Lean closer and do not let your opponent break the clinch.

To stop him from breaking out, keep his lead leg in between your legs and make use of your opponent’s movements to balance yourself.

Once you’ve done clinching, take all of the time to rest yourself, control the output of your body’s energy and breathe.

While on a clinch, look out for an opportunity to do headshots while he’s still on a clinch.

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How to Safely Break Out of a Clinch

pro fighters exchanging punches

Breaking out a clinch is actually dangerous because both of your hands are tied up with your opponent’s hands, thus lowering your guard.

The first person to get his hands out of the hold can effortlessly shoot a punch on exit which can actually lead to a proficient combination, making one of the boxers take the initiative.

If the referee didn’t take the chance to separate you and your opponent, and you suddenly want to exit the clinch, you have two ways to get yourself out – shove out and spin out safely.

1. Shove out

While in the clinch, take your hands in quickly and shoot a robust pivotal shove to your opponent’s chest while stepping back simultaneously. You can even use the shove as a way to hop backward rapidly.

At any rate, you need to make sure that you shove hard enough to break your opponent’s balance.

Aside from that, make sure that your opponent can’t land any punch or throw a jab as you try to break the clinch.

A safer way to shove out is to leave your lead hand to hold your opponent’s leading arm and use your other arm to set up the shove.

Then, guide your opponent’s leading arm as you shove out. This will ensure a safe and prosperous way out of the clinch.

2. Spinout

Quickly decide which side is comfortable for you to spin out of the clinch. It is usually done based on the lead hand of the boxer who wants to break free.

Using your lead hand, take hold of your opponent’s arm just above his elbow and control it.

Push your opponent’s arm across your chest and down at about 45 degrees as you step on the side you choose and around your adversary.

After spinning out, take the opportunity to throw a punch from your lead hand—either a left hook or a straight right is suitable.

If you are trying to learn to clinch, you might also want to learn how to spin out and throw a punch using your lead hand.

However, if the referee tries to break the clinch, step back accordingly and do not attempt to land a cheap shot just by cheating.

You need to realize that you are in a boxing match where a lot of cheap shots are already tried.

Instead of trying to cheat and trying to land a cheap shot, protect yourself at the possible punch that your opponent will possibly throw at your direction.


Even though clinching can’t push you to win the match, it is still a great technique if you have no other way out from your opponent.

Using the clinch for the right reason will help you break the momentum build up by your opponent and take the chance to turn the tables around.

Practicing how to clinch while still in training will help you know what to do when you are already in a match. Boxing Clinch: All You Need to Know summarizes all the information you might need before facing the challenges of a boxer.

Check out this great video on how to clinch: