The Boxer (the out-fighter)
The boxer also known as an out-fighter always keeps a distance between himself/herself and the opponent. They fight from the outside, come in to hit, and then immediately back off again. The boxer fights with longer and faster range punches. Within this style the boxer relies on weaker punches such as the jab. Most boxers are likely to get the win by point decisions rather than a knockout. Don’t get me wrong there were and are some out-fighters that have great knockout records.
Out-fighters try to control the fight by using the most important punch in boxing, the jab. They use the jab to keep their opponent at range. They also use fast footwork to avoid their opponents from closing in. The boxer has the ability to control the pace of the fight. They are masters at their offence and defense. By the end of a fight they have presented more skill and conditioning than a brawler.
Examples: Muhammad Ali, Roy Jones Jr., Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya, Pernell Whitaker, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Winky Wright, Larry Holmes, Billy Conn
The Puncher (brawler/slugger)
The puncher also known as the brawler or slugger, is a fighter who is recognized for his/her punching power. They use their raw power instead of skill in the ring unlike the boxer. Most fighters using this style lack mobility in the ring and come across difficulty pursuing fighters who are fast on their feet. The puncher would rather throw harder and slower punches, such as hooks and uppercuts. They also tend to ignore combination punching. Their slowness and predictable punching sometimes leaves the puncher open for counterpunching.
The puncher usually has a hard chin and doesn’t mind taking a few punches to get that one punch they want. Punchers do throw fewer punches but the ones they do land leave behind devastating damage for their opponents. A puncher has dangerous single-punch power, which leads them to a high knockout rate. Against most fighters they are given what is called a “punchers chance”. This style can be effective against the swarmer style. Yes the swarmer is inside throwing combinations but the puncher only needs one solid punch to land, which can result in a knockout.
Examples: Diego Corrales, George Foreman, Mike Tyson, Arturo Gatti, Sonny Liston, Rocky Marciano, Manny Pacquiao, Felix Trinadad, Max Baer
The In-fighter (the swarmer)
The In-fighter also known as the swarmer likes to stay close to their opponent. They are very aggressive fighters and are always pushing forward fighting their way inside to unleash intense combinations of uppercuts and hooks. The In-fighter needs to have a good chin because in order to get in they usually get hit a few times, mostly by the jab. Once inside they can maneuver and become more effective.
In-fighters have great footwork and amazing speed. The In-fighter gets inside to foul up their opponent’s ability to throw counter punches. Their punches are always thrown in close and in combinations. After a while the nonstop pressure starts to wear down their opponent. This can result in a win because they out condition their opponent, not because they knock them out. Some In-fighters would wear their opponent down and then still have enough left to deliver that knock out punch. Their conditioning is like that of no other. The boxers (the out-fighter) technical skill is no match for the In-fighter. The boxer doesn’t have time to think and set up punches.
Examples: Mike Tyson, Shane Mosley, Joe Frazier, Bernard Hopkins, Rocky Marciano, Jack Dempsey, Jake LaMotta, Tommy Burns, Carmon Basilio, Ricky Hatton
The Boxer-Puncher has a combination of two styles in one. They have the technical skill and grace of a boxer and also the damaging power of a puncher. Boxer-Punchers do well against a pure boxer and an In-fighter. The speed and mobility of a pure boxer is easily matched by the boxer-puncher. They do well against an In-fighter because they do have extra power and that shuts down the pressure from the In-fighter. They do have a downfall and that downfall is a big puncher. If that puncher lands one big power shot that may be a knockout.
Examples: Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, Erik Morales, Tommy Hearns, Travis Simms, Ike Williams, Joe Gans, Alexis Arguello