Punching can be defined as the acceleration of weight. Thus it follows that the primary concern of punching would be to figure out the best way to 1. position the body in such a way as to be able to call on the most weight possible for any given punch and 2. once that weight is there to be thrown, to get it to its target (accelerate it) in the most efficient way. A punch, is not really a punch, unless it can meet this criteria. Always remember that weight is your weapon. It exists within your body like an invisible energy and through the careful manipulation of your body you can control this weight and channel it into your fists.
With that said, there is a great deal of dispute when it comes to throwing the right hand. However, if we can say that the previous requirements I've mentioned are true - then working from this base we can deduce that there are ways to throw the right hand so as to best meet those requirements, with other ways less effective at accomplishing that end.
Ultimately with the straight right the hips must turn and, upon finishing this turn, have the body's weight resting over the left leg. The turn exists only as a way to get weight over the left leg. The arm surprisingly has nothing to do with this process.
The most important thing is getting the weight over the left leg. To borrow a phrase from Grey the arm exists only as an expression of the shifting of weight over the left leg. What the arm is ultimately doing is simple. As the weight shifts over the left leg the arm is carried along with it so as to capture this weight inside of it. In essence, the arm is simply catching a ride. The real work is being done by the turning of the hips and how much weight this turn is attempting to send over the left leg. The weight must end over the straightened left leg (or at least relatively straightened). If the leg is too bent at the knee or too far in front of you, then weight won't transfer cleanly over your left leg. It will spread over and won't go cleanly over your leg. The straight right reaches full power at the end of the punch (as the weight goes over the left leg) thus if the left leg doesn't fully and cleanly take this weight (due to a left leg which was too bent at the knee or a stance which was too wide) then full power can't be reached.
This ends the actual description of what a straight right hand is. The following section will only concern itself with how to maximize the power of a straight right hand to its fullest extent and the things that must be done to do so. You may not want a very powerful straight right as to have this requires that certain alterations must be made to your stance. Alterations which are only effective if other alterations in other areas are made along with it.
The more weight sent over to the left leg, the stronger the punch. The faster the hips turn, the stronger the punch. (weight x acceleration = power)
So working from this point our mission seems more clear and we can reduce our dilemma down to two main problems:
1. How do I get the most weight possible into this punch
2. What is the most efficient way to turn my hips. Which ultimately is the same as asking: what is the most efficient way to accelerate this weight
Before I get into anything else, I want you to imagine yourself standing in front of a door. Your goal is to slam that door as hard as you can. How might you go about doing that?
The door slightly open so that it is only open say, a few inches. You slam it as hard as you can. The door shuts with minimal force.
You try again. This time you open the door halfway and you slam it as hard as you can once more. The door shuts with much more force than it did before but still not as hard as what is possible.
You try one more time. This time you open the door completely. The door is as open as it can be ensuring maximum turn. You slam the door as hard as you can and it shuts with tremendous force greater than any previous attempts.
Notice how the more the door was able to turn the more force it was able to generate. The body is also similar in this respect. If you throw your straight right from a squared up stance, it would be like slamming a door that were only open a few inches. Your kind of punching power is more annoying than it is fearsome. If you throw your straight right hand from a stance that is not entirely squared - which is to say, you're somewhat more slant - you're able to turn your hips more and thus, to better accelerate your weight over your left leg. Your right hand isn't bad. If you throw your right hand from a stance that is very slant then you give your hips maximum room to turn. Your straight right is stronger than anyone else.
The theme of this seems to be that (be it the door or a straight right hand) more turn equates to more power. So that the more your hips turn, the more power is generated.
This flows nicely into the next logical thing to ask. Now that I understand the best way to accelerate this weight (from a maximum slant, and thus with the most turn) where exactly am I getting this weight from anyway? What I'm going to describe now is a very old stance that was once commonly employed a long, long time ago. I haven't seen fighters employing this whatsoever recently. It was common to the early 1900's fighters and began to die out going into the 40's along with every other strategy that had been so carefully constructed from these now dead eras.
If you are standing from a very slanted stance (every single fighter did back then) then it is possible to shade most of your body weight so that it is resting over your right leg. When done properly one looks as though he is leaning as you can see Benny doing there. Anyway, this is done for a couple reasons:
1. with the weight primarily behind you (over your right leg) you can push off of your right foot to jab which results in a very hard, stiff jab
2. by leaning your weight over to your right leg you thereby raise up your left shoulder so that it is just above chin level and higher than your right shoulder. This facilitates shoulder rolling. It makes the movements involved in rolling right hands off of your shoulder more efficient as it is now less involved to get underneath your shoulder.
and most importantly
3. It puts the bulk of your weight on your right leg so that it can be shifted all they way over to your left leg. Because you are standing slanted you - unlike other fighters - have a back and a front. Most fighters who stand more squared only have left and right. Let me explain.
Your right leg is essentially behind you. It is your "back". Your left leg is essentially in front of you. It is your "front". From the slanted stance your hips turn from back (the right leg side) all the way to the front (the left leg side). Perhaps now it has already become clear to you why holding most of your weight over your right leg is so critical in throwing a straight right hand. Because when you throw this punch, you are transferring all of your weight from behind you (the right leg) all the way to in front of you (the left leg).
Through this method all of your body weight is being accelerated from back to front. As the body's weight is being shifted from back leg to front leg anything that gets in its way is going to absorb a tremendous amount of force.
This is the most efficient way, in addition to the most powerful way, a human being can throw a right hand. It is a deadly punch. The most powerful punch that is possible in boxing; as it is the only punch which can incorporate all of the body's weight in one single progression of back to front. The left hook, though also extremely powerful when thrown properly, cannot assemble up and move as much weight as this punch can.
Well that is what I think. This should lead into an interesting discussion because I know for a fact that essentially everyone has a different idea of how they think a straight right should be thrown. It will be interesting to see how they can defend their methods.