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Types of Boxing Styles

Updated on September 13, 2014

Choose Your Style

This article informs readers on the difference & the importance of these types of boxing styles.

If you participate in boxing, or watch boxing, you've heard it before- styles make fights.
It's true.
There are some that think otherwise, but a majority of those folks think the phrase means that the less skilled boxer can trump the 'better' boxer. What I believe it implies, is the ability for one style to subdue another if used effectively. Type 1 can beat type 2, while type 3 is the kryptonite of 2 and less advantageous against 1 and on and on and on. That's an empty example with no meaning I understand but I do believe the phrase. I get excited and interested when I hear of an outside fighter taking on an inside fighter, or even two brawlers going at it. Just thinking of the dynamics in my head and picturing where the fight could go is fun enough.

So for the beginners or those interested in learning the sweet sport of boxing, this article talks briefly about the different types of boxing styles. Now, they may have different names in different areas but I'll try to name some of their variants:

+ Boxer, Outside Fighter, Out-Fighter
(think Muhammad Ali, Roy Jones Jr., Willie Pep)
Outside fighters use a lot more tactics in the ring than most other styles. They keep their opponent at bay utilizing jabs and long range attacks. The jab being the most effective part of their arsenal because it allows them to create a gap between both fighters and maintain on the 'outside'. These fighters are typically very quick on their feet, have notable reach, great hand speed, and look to outclass their opponent by wearing them down as opposed to going for a knockout. Other boxing styles will try to get inside of the outside fighter's space, but these fighters use a great deal of technique to make that option null.

+ Boxer-Puncher, Swarmer, In-Fighter, Inside Fighter
(think Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Rocky Marciano)
These fighters look for that knockout by breaking down their opponent through combinations. They fight primary in close range, applying constant pressure to close the gap and make way for shots. A boxer-puncher must be well rounded in offense and defense. They can get in & out when needed, they have a good chin, stamina, power, and great defensive bobbing and weaving. Getting inside creates opportunities for these fighters. They can attack the body, diminish the power of an opponents jab or cross, they can get an opponent trapped in a bad spot and they can deliver viscous uppercuts when available.

+ Brawler, Slugger, Hard-Hitter, One-Puncher
(think Micky Ward, Sunny Liston, George Foreman)
These fighters bring the heat. When I say 'heat', I mean sheer knockout power. In contrast to the outside fighter who uses technique to essentially score points; the brawler is hungry for that big hit that will leave their opponent on the mat. They lack finesse and are a little slower on their feet. They make up for this by being able to drop the other fighter at any given moment in the round. Brawlers rely on their hooks and uppercuts and being able to take a punch because those types of punches leave you wide open to counters.

+ Counter-Puncher
(think Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., James Toney)
These fighters are also very intelligent in the ring. They incorporate defense as their main ally, waiting for their opponent to slip or make a mistake. When that happens, the counter-puncher will take advantage and deliver a precise blow that could quite certainly end the match. Floyd Mayweather attaches this style with his defensive style called the Philly Shell. Within this 'shell' he is able to avoid punches (virtually causing them t bounce off him) and return fire. These fighters are trained in blocking or avoiding attacks in a certain way to open up their opponent and read the opportunities. You can imagine how quick you must be to pull this off. To fight a counter-puncher, the opponent must be able to change their combos as to not be predictable, and it would greatly help feint in order to draw out the counter-puncher in his own game.

+ Peek-a-Boo
(think Mike Tyson)
Introduced by the great trainer Cus D'amato, the peek-a-boo style of boxing requires the boxer to hold their gloves high, covering/blocking the majority of the face. Mike Tyson made this boxing style famous showing it off with his bouncy weaving and ability to make his opponent throw, miss, and eat a hard punch. These peek-a-boo fighters have quick reflexes, ducking, bobbing, weaving, and substitute blocking for effective side to side head movements. Since the fighter is primarily in a low state, they are able to rise with a powerful hook or uppercut. The combination of attacks plus head movement within the combos makes the peek-a-boo fighter a definitive threat.

+ Balanced, Hybrid
These fighters mix and match styles to fit their need and what they want to accomplish between the bounds of the ring. Some fighters will use several styles to throw off their opponent and gain an advantage.

There are likely other styles, some that haven't been utilized too often but these are just a few. Within these boxing styles are the boxing stances you choose to use. There is the southpaw fighter and an orthodox fighter. This stance is generally determined by which is your power hand. Right handed fighters will be orthodox, with their left foot forward and left hand as the jab hand. Southpaw are left handed power punchers who stand right foot forward with the right hand as the jab. These boxing styles can dictate how effective one boxer is to the other. Generally speaking, the tide goes as follows:
Inside fighters are effective against outside fighters, outside fighters are effective against brawlers, and brawlers are effective against inside fighters.
This is not taking into account the skill levels, experience and overall mental toughness of the fighter.

The next segments will touch on the different types of punches, why choosing a boxing style is important to advancing your interest in boxing, and much more.

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      I love boxing

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