Any seasoned boxer will have undoubtedly heard the phrase that “style makes fights". Whether you watch the sport professionally, or if you just head down to your amateur boxing club once in a while, you’ll soon realise that most players have completely contrasting styles – and this makes the sport.
Boxing style is something that can overcome quality and even if a boxer is regarded as being better overall than their opponent, they may just struggle to cope with the techniques that are thrown at them. Bearing this in mind, how would you class your boxing style?
They’re not the most powerful boxers out there, but the typical out-fighter is usually hugely strategic and relies on tactical know-how. They are always trying to keep a safe gap between themselves and their opponent, utilising jabs and punches from a distance to achieve this. Want a prime example? Look no further than the legend of Muhammad Ali.
As you would expect, any out-fighter has to be quick and have a decent reach to pull off this style. Their main aim is to keep plugging away at their opponent, regularly scoring points as they net their punches.
Unsurprisingly, the in-fighter is the opposite to the above. Rather than create space, they are constantly “in the face" of their opponent and attempting combination punches. The pressure they apply is relentless although this means that as well as being strong from an offensive perspective, they also have to know when to defend.
The nature of the in-fighter means that they have to have great stamina in order to keep up with their high-tempo style. It also goes without saying that they have to be able to move around freely, while most have strong chins to combat the moments where they are on the back foot and receive a barrage of punches.
This is another strategic fighter, who isn't necessarily the hardest hitter in the ring. Defence is their best method of offence, with most counter-punchers simply waiting around for their opponent to slip. They are constantly looking to block and dodge any punches sent their way, and respond whenever they see an opening.
Naturally, the above means that speed is a necessary attribute for any counter-puncher. The only way to beat an opponent of this style is to be as unpredictable as possible, and attempt to catch the counter-punch off-guard. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez are probably the pick of the examples.
A lot of the styles that have been discussed focus on an element of finesse. The hard-hitter certainly doesn't fall into this category and instead concentrates purely on brute force. They are always seeking that one-off, knock-out punch in a bid to slam their opponent onto the mat. Point scoring will never be an issue, the only thing they are looking for is that opportunity to land a lethal hook or uppercut and end the fight prematurely.
It’s hardly a phrase you’d expect to hear in a sport as brutal as boxing, but the peek-a-boo style is probably one of the most dangerous around. This is a style which Mike Tyson based his career around, with the boxer generally keeping his gloves high and protecting his face at every opportunity. They are just waiting for an opponent to throw a punch, so they can immediately dodge and respond with their own attack.
Naturally, any peek-a-boo boxer is athletic and has tremendous reflexes. They will usually rely on a lot of uppercuts as well, simply because they regularly find themselves in a low position.
Whatever style you take advantage of, you've got to remember that each takes years to master. To give yourself the best chance of success in the ring, take a look at our boxing training equipment.