There are many styles of boxing. Four basic styles are used to describe boxers. These styles were first used to describe fighters in the early 20th century. They have not been altered since. These four styles include the boxer (the in fighter), the puncher/brawler/slugger, the in-fighter/swarmer and the boxer puncher. These styles only give a brief overview of a boxer. Every boxer is unique within their own style, but some boxers combine more than one style of boxing.
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The Boxer (the Out-fighter)
A boxer, also known as an “out-fighter”, keeps a distance from his/her opponent. They start from the outside and come in to hit. Then they immediately return to the inside. Boxers use longer, more powerful punches. This style allows the boxer to use weaker punches like the jab. The majority of boxers will win the fight by points decisions, rather than knockouts. There were and still are out-fighters with impressive knockout records.
Out-fighters use the jab, which is the most powerful punch in boxing to control the fight. To keep their opponent from getting too close, they use the jab. To keep their opponents away, they use quick footwork. Boxers are able to control the pace of a fight. They excel at both defense and offense. They are more skilled and well-conditioned by the end of a fight than any 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)
A puncher, also known as the brawler and slugger is a fighter who is well-known for their punching power. The puncher uses his/her raw power in the ring, not the skill of a boxer. This style is not well-suited for fighters with limited mobility and have difficulty following fighters who are faster. The puncher prefers to throw slower and harder punches like hooks and uppercuts. They are also more likely to ignore combo punching. They can sometimes leave the puncher open to counterpunching due to their slow punching and predictable patterns.
The puncher has a strong chin and is not afraid to take a few hits in order to land the one punch they desire. Although punchers may throw fewer strikes, the ones that they land do cause severe damage to their opponents. Punchers have a dangerous single-punch punch power which results in a high knockout rate. They are allowed to have a “punchers chance” against most fighters. This can be used against the swarmer style. Although the swarmer throws combinations, the puncher needs only one punch to land, which could result in a knockout.
Examples: Diego Corrales, George Foreman, Mike Tyson, Arturo Gatti, Sonny Liston, Rocky Marciano, Manny Pacquiao, Felix Trinadad, Max Baer
The Infighter (the swarmer)
The In-fighter, also known as the swarmer, likes to be close to their opponent. They are aggressive fighters who push forward to get inside and unleash powerful combinations of hooks and uppercuts. An In-fighter must have a strong chin as they are likely to be hit several times by the jab. They can move and become more efficient once they are inside.
In-fighters are fast and have amazing footwork. In-fighters get inside to stop their opponent from throwing counter punches. They throw their punches in close range and in combination. The constant pressure eventually wears down the opponent. This could result in a win as they outcondition their opponent and not because they knock them out. Some In-fighters will wear down their opponent and still have enough to punch them out. Their conditioning is unmatched. The technical skills of the boxers (the Out-fighter) are no match for those of the In-fighter. The boxer has no time to think or 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 Punch
The Boxer-Puncher is a mix of both boxing and punching. They possess the technical skills and grace of a boxer, but also have the devastating power of a puncher. The boxer-punchers can take on both a pure fighter and an In-fighter. Boxer-punchers can match the speed and mobility of pure boxers. Because they have more power, they can take on an In-fighter. However, they do have a downside. That downfall is a big puncher. A puncher who can land one powerful shot may win the fight.
Example: Ray Robinson, Joe Louis and Alexis Arguello.
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