Boxing is a very diverse sport, and there are many styles and techniques that you need to know to master the art of boxing. Everyone has their own technique and style, but they typically always fall into the following categorizations:
There are three main types of boxers. Let’s take a look at each type, and discuss them in greater detail:
Pure Boxer or Counterpuncher
The pure boxer remains a safe distance away from their opponent, and they control the pace of the fight. These boxers are all about timing and ring smarts. Floyd Mayweather is a prime example of a pure boxer and counterpuncher. For all of Mayweather’s flaws, he remained undefeated because he understood the basics of boxing and knew how to get out of the way of punches like nobody else in the world.
Boxer punchers are well-rounded, and slowly break apart their opponents. These boxers rely on their punching power too much, and this may result in them losing the fight. Don’t get me wrong, these boxers are smart and talented, but they're always looking for the one knockout punch to end the match. Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Marquez are two boxers that fall into this category.
The greatest brawlers of all time may have been Mike Tyson and Joe Frazier. These are exciting fighters, and they put relentless pressure on their opponents. Aggression and punching power are needed for these boxers, and they normally lack in the defensive area, which leaves them open to counter punches and potential lockouts.
There are several different categories for techniques and boxing. Let’s first start with stances:
Orthodox and Southpaw Stance
The two stances in boxing. The Orthodox stance leads with the left foot, while the southpaw will lead with the opposing foot of their opponent. Normally, the southpaw will have their right foot forward.
If a boxer is not versatile in their techniques when attacking, their opposition will figure out their moves, and they will not have a long career. There are several different punches that are available in boxing, and these include:
- Cross: A straight punch that is thrown with the backhand. This is the most effective power punch.
- Hook: The hook is performed in a semi circular motion, and generates a lot of power. This punch is meant to hit your opponent’s side.
- Jab: A punch that is thrown with the lead hand depending on the stance of the fighter. This punch may be weak, but it is very effective when setting up a power punch and to wear your opponent down.
- Overhand: The overhand punch is thrown with your back hand, and requires the utmost precision, as opponents will see this punch coming from a distance.
- Uppercut: A punch that arises from the bottom and normally lands on the opponent’s chin. You can obviously uppercut the opponent in their gut, and you want to be very careful, as this punch is dangerous if missed. If you miss an uppercut, you’re going to leave yourself open for counter punches and be off-balance.
The style and techniques that you use in boxing will define who you are as a boxer. There are also many other considerations, such as footwear, blocking and parrying, clinching and holding, and other defensive techniques that we did not cover. But you need to master all of these techniques (offense of and defensive) to be a complete boxer in the ring.