Professional boxing as we know it is a sport that is already more than a century old. As time passes, different styles come and go; new techniques are developed, some evolve and adapt, and others become outdated and forgotten.
These are some styles that are commonly used in modern boxing. We will be brief, but at the same time, will try to cram in as much detail as possible when explaining or illustrating them.
Note that boxers, although they can be identified with one style, do not stick to that one technique throughout their entire career or mix them up so that they do not become one-note pugilists.
Also called as in-fighter, crowder, or pressure fighter, a swarmer is someone who applies constant pressure to their opponent. Their imposing presence strikes fear to the opposition, and they usually win by stoppage.
Some of the commonly known swarmers include Henry Armstrong, Joe Calzaghe, Ken Norton, José Luis Castillo, and Carl Froch.
The out-boxer or out-fighter is the opposite of the swarmer. They fight from a distance, using their long reach to their advantage. They are not known for their power, but they win by being quick on their feet.
If swarmers need conditioning to maintain their energy the entire bout, out-boxers require cardio to outlast their foes as they are always on the move, both to look for angles to attack and to evade getting hit themselves.
Some recognizable out-boxers are Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr, Larry Holmes, Wladimir Klitschko, Chris Eubank, Amir Khan, Jersey Joe Walcott, Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, and Pernell Whitaker.
A slugger, also called a brawler, is someone who is out to deal damage. Unlike the swarmer, they plant their feet and they either let go a barrage or they rely on that one forceful hit.
Them being a stationary target does not mean they are easy to land punches on, as they employ a variety of methods on defense. That said, their philosophy is to hit first and hit hard.
Notable sluggers include George Foreman, Shane Mosley, Arturo Gatti, Vitali Klitschko, “Sugar” Shane Mosley, and Ruslan Provodnikov.
Double end bag training forged 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐲 ‘𝐏𝐚𝐜-𝐌𝐚𝐧’ 𝐏𝐚𝐜𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐚𝐨’𝐬 timing and hand speed, attributes that allowed him to ascend to the top of the boxing world.
If this was a video game, a boxer-puncher’s build is what one may be considered as balanced. They have the agility and hand speed of an out-boxer, plus the punching strength of a slugger. They are fun to watch when they are on their element.
Prominent boxer-punchers are Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao, Saul “Canelo” Álvarez, Félix “Tito” Trinidad, Marco Antonio Barrera, Roy Jones, Jr, Terence Crawford, and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Other common boxing styles
Aside from the four mentioned above, there are other styles that are either unique in themselves or are variations of the ones already discussed. We will briefly describe each one of them and then enumerate some examples.
Counterpuncher – a counterpuncher are sly foxes. They wait for their adversary to make the first move, then they find the opening where they can land their blow.
Popular counterpunchers are Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Jr, Canelo Álvarez, Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Márquez, and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Switch-hitter – switch-hitters are either ambidextrous or are strong with either hand. They would change stances in the middle of the fight to throw off their enemies.
Famous switch-hitters include Tyson Fury, “Prince” Naseem Hamed, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Terence Crawford, and Roy Jones, Jr.
There you have it. These are just some of the many styles of boxing that are being used today.
If you are going to be a boxer, what style would you like to use or learn? As a spectator or fan of the sport, which style do you like to watch?