Boxing Styles

Boxing Styles

There are three accepted boxing styles that are used to define boxing fighters. They are a. the in-fighter, b. the out-fighter and c. the brawler.

a. Inside-fighter


In-fighters are the most exciting boxers to watch because their style favour closing inside an opponent, overwhelming him with intensity and flurries of hooks and uppercuts. In-fighters tend to be agile on their feet which can make them difficult to evade for a slower fighter. They have a good “chin” ( can take punishment) because this usually involves being hit with many jabs before they can maneuver inside where they are more effective.

In-fighters include Mike Tyson, Joe Frazier, Rocky Marciano.



Out-fighters are the opposite of the in-fighters because they tend to close the gap between themselves and their opponents. Out-fighter seek to maintain a gap and fight with faster, longer range punches and 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-fighters have notable knock out punches. Outside fighters are extremely quick on their feet, which often makes up for their relative lack of power. Out-fighters are often regarded as the best boxers on account of their desire to win a fight by wearing an opponent down and outclassing an opponent by strategy, rather than simply knocking him out.

Notable out-fighters include Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes.


George Foreman

Brawlers often stand for everything that’s brutal in boxing, because they 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. This ability makes them exciting to watch, and their fights unpredictable.

Many brawlers tend to lack mobility in the ring and have difficulty pursuing fighters who are fast on their feet. They prefer the harder, slower punches (such as hooks and uppercuts) and ignore combination punching. Their slowness and predictable punching patterns (single punches with obvious leads) often leaves them open for counterpunching.

Famous brawlers include Sonny Liston, George Foreman, Rocky Marciano.

Hybrid boxers( fighters that can mix their boxing styles)

These boxing styles are merely archetypes that many boxers fall into ,and some notable fighters transcend any one category, such as Mike Tyson, who was known as a brawler, and was a very intense in-fighter in the first half of his career. He had the strength of a brawler, but the combinations, his agility and ferocity of an in-fighter,earned him his reputation. Also Muhammad Ali, was known for his footwork and fast jab, could mix it up on the inside with fast flurries, using his large frame and fast handspeed for more power.


joe frazier

A swarmer is a boxer who attempts to overwhelm his opponent by applying constant pressure. These fighters have a very good bob and weave, good power, a good chin, and a tremendous punch output. They also have great stamina but a boxer who uses this style tends to have shorter careers than boxers of other styles. Sustaining the adequate amount of training required to execute this style is nearly impossible throughout an entire career, so most Swarmers can only maintain it for a relatively brief period of time leading to the gradual degradation of the ability to perform this style,leaving him open to increasing amounts of punishment.

Famous Swarmers include Rocky Marciano, Mike Tyson, Joe Frazier.

Comparison of boxing styles.

Brawler vs in-fighter

Brawlers tend to overcome in-fighters, because the in-fighter likes to be on the inside, where the hard-hitting brawler is most effective. The in-fighters flurries tend to be less effective than the power punches of the slugger, who quickly overwhelms his opponents. A famous example of this is George Foreman defeating Joe Frazier.

If the in-fighter is a ‘meatbag’ for the brawler, they tend to succeed against out-fighters. Out-fighters prefer a slower fight, with some distance between themselves and the opponent. The in-fighter tries to close that gap and unleash furious flurries. On the inside, the out-fighter loses a lot of his combat effectiveness, because he cannot throw the hard punches.

The in-fighter is generally successful in this case, due to his intensity in advancing on his opponent and his good agility,which makes him difficult to evade. An example of this type of fight is the first fight between Ali and Joe Frazier, the Fight of the Century.

The out-fighter tends to be most successful against the brawler, whose slow speed (both hand and foot) and poor technique make them an easy target to hit for the faster out-fighter. The out-fighter’s main key is to stay alert, as the brawler only needs to land one good punch to finish the fight. If the out-fighter can avoid those power punches, he can often wear the brawler down with fast jabs, tiring the slugger out. If he is successful enough, he may even apply extra pressure in the later rounds in an attempt to achieve a knockout.

Hybrid boxers tend to be the most successful in the ring, because they often have advantages against most opponents. Pre-prison Tyson, able to overwhelm any in-fighter with his tremendous power, was also able to use his in-fighting footspeed to close in on and knock out many out-fighters who tried to stay out of his range, such as Michael Spinks.
Muhammad Ali’s speed kept him away from hard hitters like Sonny Liston and George Foreman, but his strong chin allowed him to go the distance with Joe Frazier.

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One Reply to “Boxing Styles”

  1. no mention anywhere of the Pac Man…speed, power, endurance…he has he makings to go down in history as one of the greatest, even though he considers himself a Politician more than a fighter…though might they not be one and the same? metaphorically speaking, that is…

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