Boxing styles and technique

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Throughout the history of gloved boxing styles, techniques and strategies have changed to varying degrees. Ring conditions, promoter demands, teaching techniques, and the influence of successful boxers are some of the reasons styles and strategies have fluctuated.

Contents

A straight right demonstrated in Edmund E. Price's The Science of Self Defence: A Treatise on Sparring and Wrestling, 1867 Blow2.jpg
A straight right demonstrated in Edmund E. Price's The Science of Self Defence: A Treatise on Sparring and Wrestling, 1867

Boxing styles

Primary styles

There are four generally accepted boxing styles that are used to define fighters. These are the swarmer, out-boxer, slugger, and boxer-puncher. Many boxers do not always fit into these categories, and it is not uncommon for a fighter to change their style over a period of time.

Swarmer

The swarmer (in-fighter, crowder, or pressure-fighter) is a fighter who attempts to overwhelm his opponent by applying constant pressure—taking away an opponent's usually superior reach. Swarmers tend to have very good head movement in order to get inside. Good power, a good chin, and a tremendous punch output (resulting in a great need for stamina and conditioning). This style favors closing inside an opponent, overwhelming them with intensity and flurries of hooks and uppercuts. They tend to be fast on their feet which can make them difficult to evade for a slower fighter; or are great at cutting off the ring with precise footwork. They also tend to have a good "chin" because this style usually involves being hit with many jabs before they can maneuver inside where they are more effective. [1] Many swarmers are often either shorter fighters or fighters with shorter reaches, especially in the heavier classes, that have to get in close to be effective.

Commonly known swarmers are:

Out-boxer

The out-boxer (out-fighter, boxer) is the opposite of the swarmer. The out-boxer seeks to maintain a gap from their opponent and fight with faster, longer range punches. Out-boxers are known for being extremely quick on their feet, which often makes up for a lack of power. Since they rely on the weaker jabs and straights (as opposed to hooks and uppercuts), they tend to win by points decisions rather than by knockout, although some out-boxers can be even aggressive [2] and effective punchers. [1] south african best time hit was 6 second that went to am extreme knock out.

Commonly known out-boxers are:

Slugger

If the out-boxer represents everything elegant about boxing, the slugger (brawler, puncher) embodies everything brutal about the sport. Many sluggers tend to lack finesse in the ring, but make up for it in raw power, often able to knock almost any opponent out with a single punch. [1]

Sluggers' punches are often slow but have more body and follow through. This is advantageous in punching through an opponent's guard and creating an opportunity to follow with further blows.

Most sluggers lack mobility in the ring and may have difficulty pursuing fighters who are fast on their feet but that is not always the case. Compared to swarmers and out-boxers, sluggers normally throw fewer but harder shots and rely less on combinations. Sluggers often throw predictable punching patterns (single punches with obvious leads) which can leave them open for counterpunching. [1]

Commonly known sluggers are:

Boxer-puncher

The boxer-puncher possesses many of the qualities of the out-boxer: hand speed, often an outstanding jab combination, and/or counter-punching skills, better defense and accuracy than a slugger, while possessing slugger-type power. The boxer-puncher may also be more willing to fight in an aggressive swarmer-style than an out-boxer. In general the boxer-puncher lacks the mobility and defensive expertise of the pure boxer. Boxer-punchers usually do well against out-boxers, especially if they can match their speed and mobility. They also tend to match up well against swarmers, because the extra power often discourages the swarmer's aggression. Boxer-punchers can be hard to categorize since they can be closer in style to a slugger, swarmer, or an out-boxer.

Commonly known boxer-punchers are:

Sub-styles and other categories

Counterpuncher

A counterpuncher utilizes techniques that require the opposing boxer to make a mistake, and then capitalizing on that mistake. A skilled counterpuncher can utilize such techniques as winning rounds with the jab or psychological tactics to entice an opponent to fall into an aggressive style that will exhaust him and leave him open for counterpunches. For these reasons this form of boxing balances defense and offense but can lead to severe damage if the boxer who utilizes this technique has bad reflexes or is not quick enough.

Southpaw

A southpaw fights with a left‐handed fighting stance as opposed to an orthodox fighter who fights right‐handed. Orthodox fighters lead and jab from their left side, and southpaw fighters will jab and lead from their right side. Orthodox fighters hook more with their left and cross more with their right, and vice versa for southpaw fighters. Some naturally right-handed fighters (such as Marvin Hagler and Michael Moorer) [3] [4] have converted to southpaw in the past to offset their opponents.

Commonly known southpaw fighters are:

Switch-hitter

A switch-hitter switches back and forth between a right-handed (orthodox) stance and a left-handed (southpaw) stance on purpose to confuse their opponents in a fight. Right-handed boxers would train in the left-handed (southpaw) stance, while southpaws would train in a right-handed (orthodox) stance, gaining the ability to switch back and forth after much training. A truly ambidextrous boxer can naturally fight in the switch-hitter style without as much training.

Commonly known switch-hitters are:

Equipment and safety

Headgear is no longer mandatory in amateur and Olympic boxing. Ouch-boxing-footwork.jpg
Headgear is no longer mandatory in amateur and Olympic boxing.

Boxing techniques utilize very forceful strikes with the hand. There are many bones in the hand, and striking surfaces without proper technique can cause serious hand injuries. Today, most trainers do not allow boxers to train and spar without hand/wrist wraps and gloves. Handwraps are used to secure the bones in the hand, and the gloves are used to protect the hands from blunt injury, allowing boxers to throw punches with more force than if they did not utilize them.

Headgear protects against cuts, scrapes, and swelling, but does not protect very well against concussions. Headgear does not sufficiently protect the brain from the jarring that occurs when the head is struck with great force. Also, most boxers aim for the chin on opponents, and the chin is usually not padded. Thus, a powerpunch can do a lot of damage to a boxer, and even a jab that connects to the chin can cause damage, regardless of whether or not headgear is being utilized.

Stances

In a fully upright stance, the boxer stands with their legs shoulder-width apart and their rear foot a half-step in front of the lead foot. Right-handed or orthodox boxers lead with the left foot and fist (for most penetration power). Both feet are parallel, and the right heel is off the ground. The lead (left) fist is held vertically about six inches in front of the face at eye level. The rear (right) fist is held beside the chin and the elbow tucked against the ribcage to protect the body. The chin is tucked into the chest to avoid punches to the jaw which commonly cause knock-outs and is often kept slightly off-center. Wrists are slightly bent to avoid damage when punching and the elbows are kept tucked in to protect the ribcage. Some boxers fight from a crouch, leaning forward and keeping their feet closer together. The stance described is considered the "textbook" stance and fighters are encouraged to change it around once it's been mastered as a base. Case in point, many fast fighters have their hands down and have almost exaggerated footwork, while brawlers or bully fighters tend to slowly stalk their opponents. In order to retain their stance boxers take 'the first step in any direction with the foot already leading in that direction.' [5]

Different stances allow for bodyweight to be differently positioned and emphasised; this may in turn alter how powerfully and explosively a type of punch can be delivered. For instance, a crouched stance allows for the bodyweight to be positioned further forward over the lead left leg. If a lead left hook is thrown from this position, it will produce a powerful springing action in the lead leg and produce a more explosive punch. This springing action could not be generated effectively, for this punch, if an upright stance was used or if the bodyweight was positioned predominately over the back leg. [6] The preparatory positioning of the bodyweight over the bent lead leg is also known as an isometric preload.

Left-handed or southpaw fighters use a mirror image of the orthodox stance, which can create problems for orthodox fighters unaccustomed to receiving jabs, hooks, or crosses from the opposite side. The southpaw stance, conversely, is vulnerable to a straight right hand.

North American fighters tend to favor a more balanced stance, facing the opponent almost squarely, while many European fighters stand with their torso turned more to the side. The positioning of the hands may also vary, as some fighters prefer to have both hands raised in front of the face, risking exposure to body shots.

Punching

James J. Corbett hitting a punching bag, 1900. James J. Corbett with punching bag cph.19131.jpg
James J. Corbett hitting a punching bag, 1900.

The four basic punches in modern boxing are the jab, the cross, the hook, and the uppercut.

Less common punches

Defense

Henry Armstrong blocking and parrying at a 1943 U.S. Army exhibition. Henry Armstrong (Boxer).jpg
Henry Armstrong blocking and parrying at a 1943 U.S. Army exhibition.

There are 3 main defensive positions (guards or styles) used in boxing:

All fighters have their own variations to these styles. Some fighters may have their guard higher for more head protection while others have their guard lower to provide better protection against body punches. Many fighters don't strictly use a single position, but rather adapt to the situation when choosing a certain position to protect them. [1]

Related Research Articles

Boxing Full contact combat sport

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves and other protective equipment such as hand wraps and mouthguards, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring.

Kickboxing Stand-up combat sports

Kickboxing is a stand-up combat sport based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate mixed with boxing. Kickboxing is practiced for self-defence, general fitness, or as a contact sport.

Muay Thai Combat sport of Thailand (lit. "Thai boxing")

Muay Thai , sometimes referred to as "Thai boxing", is a martial art and combat sport that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. This discipline is known as the "art of eight limbs" as it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees and shins. Muay Thai became widespread internationally in the late-20th to 21st century, when Westernized practitioners from Thailand began competing in kickboxing and mixed-rules matches as well as matches under muay Thai rules around the world. The professional league is governed by The Professional Boxing Association of Thailand (P.A.T), sanctioned by The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT).

Jab

A jab is a type of punch used in the martial arts. Several variations of the jab exist, but every jab shares these characteristics: while in a fighting stance, the lead fist is thrown straight ahead and the arm is fully extended from the side of the torso. This process also involves a quick turn of the torso. It is an overhand punch; at the moment of impact, the pronated fist is generally held in a horizontal orientation with the palm facing the ground.

Cross (boxing)

In boxing, a cross is a punch usually thrown with the dominant hand the instant an opponent leads with his opposite hand. The blow crosses over the leading arm, hence its name. It is a power punch like the uppercut and hook. Compubox, a computerized punch scoring system, counts the cross as a power punch.

Bolo punch

A bolo punch is a punch used in martial arts. The bolo punch is not among the traditional boxing punches.

<i>Boxing Legends of the Ring</i>

Boxing Legends of the Ring is a boxing video game for the Mega Drive/Genesis and Super NES consoles. The boxers are represented by 2D sprites seen from over the shoulder of one of the fighters. The title of the game refers to the famous boxing magazine, The Ring, which the game is licensed to associate itself with. The following famous middleweight boxers are represented in the game: Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Durán, Thomas Hearns, James Toney, Marvin Hagler, Jake LaMotta, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Rocky Graziano.

Hook (boxing)

A hook is a punch in boxing. It is performed by turning the core muscles and back, thereby swinging the arm, which is bent at an angle near or at 90 degrees, in a horizontal arc into the opponent. A hook is usually aimed at the jaw, but it can also be used for body shots, especially to the liver.

Eddie Futch was an American boxing trainer. Among the fighters he trained are Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, and Trevor Berbick, four of the five men to defeat Muhammad Ali. Futch also trained Riddick Bowe, Wayne McCullough and Montell Griffin when they handed future Hall of Fame fighters Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones Jr. their first professional defeats. In Baltimore, Maryland, the Futch Gym boxing gymnasium is named after the trainer. Eddie Futch married Eva Marlene Futch March 21,1996 until his death. Futch often called her "The love of his life."

Punching power

Punching power is the amount of kinetic energy in a person's punches. Knockout power is a similar concept relating to the probability of any strike to the head to cause unconsciousness or a strike to the body that renders an opponent unable to continue fighting. Knockout power is related to the force delivered, the timing, the technique, precision of the strike, among other factors.

Footwork (martial arts)

Footwork is a martial arts and combat sports term for the general usage of the legs and feet in stand-up fighting. Footwork involves keeping balance, closing or furthering the distance, controlling spatial positioning, and/or creating additional momentum for strikes.

Peek-a-boo is a boxing style which received its common name for the defensive hands position, which are normally placed in front of the boxer's face, like in the baby's game of the same name. The technique is thought to offer extra protection to the face whilst making it easier to jab the opponent's face. The fighter holds their gloves close to their cheeks and pulls their arms tight against their torso. A major proponent of the style was trainer Cus D'Amato, who didn't use the term peek-a-boo and instead referred to it as a "tight defense." The style was criticized by some because it was believed that an efficient attack could not be launched from it.

Orthodox stance Way of positioning the feet and hands in combat sports

In combat sports such as boxing, an orthodox stance is one in which the boxer places their left foot farther in front of the right foot, thus having their weaker side closer to the opponent. Because it favors the stronger, dominant side—often the right side, see laterality—the orthodox stance is the most common stance in boxing and MMA. It is mostly used by right-handed boxers. Many boxing champions including the likes of Jack Johnson, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Marco Antonio Barrera, Evander Holyfield, Rocky Marciano, Ingmar Johansson, Roberto Durán, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Amir Khan, Jay Bobby, Johnny Tapia, Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Lennox Lewis, Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev, Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko, Maguila, Canelo Álvarez, Tyson Fury, and Teófimo López have fought in an orthodox stance.

Southpaw stance The stance for a left-handed boxer (strongside forward) and some other combat sports

In boxing and some other sports, a southpaw stance is where the boxer has the right hand and the right foot forward, leading with right jabs, and following with a left cross right hook. It is the normal stance for a left-handed boxer. The corresponding boxing designation for a right-handed boxer is orthodox and is generally a mirror-image of the southpaw stance. In American English, "southpaw" generally refers to a person who is left handed.

One-two combo

In boxing, the "one-two combo" is the name given to the combination consisting of two common punches found in boxing – a jab followed by the cross. In boxing parlance, fundamental punches are commonly assigned numbers by trainers and in this case there is the jab (#1) and the cross (#2).

Uppercut

The uppercut is a punch used in boxing that travels along a vertical line at the opponent's chin or solar plexus. It is, along with the cross, one of the two main punches that count in the statistics as power punches.

Lucas Martín Matthysse is an Argentine former professional boxer who competed from 2004 to 2018. He held the WBA (Regular) welterweight title in 2018 and the WBC interim super lightweight title from 2012 to 2013. Matthysse was known for his aggressive pressure fighting style and formidable punching power. He is the brother of former world champion Edith Soledad Matthysse and former professional boxer Walter Matthysse.

References

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  3. "Marvin Hagler – The Marvelous One!".
  4. "Michael Moorer".
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  6. Dempsey, Jack, 'Stance' in Championship Fighting Explosive Punching and Aggressive Defense, 1950
  7. Four Common Types of Punches https://myboxingheadgear.com/types-of-punches/
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