The Hole Punch has a defense mechanic where he punches holes in the floor with his Hole Puncher teeth, breaking certain spaces to hinder your progress toward him (often targeting the spaces that occupy the ring closest to him.) and scrambling the spaces. These spaces can be identified by their face having a hole. If he steps on one of these traps, Paper Mario falls in, losing a turn. Paper Mario can walk over a broken ON space on his way to the boss.
The Hole Punch's main attack has him close one of his Hole Punchers on Paper Mario's face, dealing damage and inflicting defense down (half defense) (This stacks). Healing items, however, are more effective for Paper Mario. Paper Mario can get the cut-out pieces to restore himself.
After you cut enough of his health down, the Hole Punch will prepare a new dancing attack. He flips over and then flips, though players can use an Earth Vellumental to dodge it.
The Hole Punch can be defeated in two ways: draining his health normally or exposing his weak point and striking it.
Upon defeat, the Hole Punch decides to leave the mortal world with a bang and counts down to his defeat explosion. The Hole Punch's dying explosion restores the Mushroom People back to their normal selves.