“I have already stated that attack is the trump suite in boxing, and have also pointed out that attack does not necessarily mean rushing or charging at or after your opponent. Attack, indeed, commences earlier than hitting. For the ideal punch, or perhaps it would be better to say the best punch, the most effective one, is a good, stiff counter, to a ducked, brushed aside, or otherwise evaded lead.
It is usually best, whenever possible, to “draw” your opponent into a lead before hitting out on your own account. The advantages gained thereby are four in number. In the first place, you have forced your opponent to commit himself to a decided step and can therefore be moderately certain of what he is about to do. Secondly, you have to a very large extent deprived him of the ability to change his position and guard swiftly enough to deal successfully with any offensive you may yourself adopt. Thirdly, by his mere action of hitting out, you will or should secure an opening of sorts, can or should make him present you with a fair target at which to aim. Fourthly, and most important of all, you will have borrowed some very considerable force from him to add to the power of your own “counter” delivery. For the more speedy and the heavier his advance or lunge towards you in the action of punching, the heavier and more painful will be the “dig” with which you meet him on his way.”
The Straight Left and How to Cultivate It, 1910, by Jim Driscoll