It’s not enough to have a good chin, fast hands, and a stout heart when you step into the ring. You also need to be ready for anything your opponent throws at you. If you want to stay safe when boxing, you need to know what kind of fighting style your opponent favors and how best to counter it. It helps if you know about the different types of boxing styles in the first place so that you can strategize accordingly. To help you better understand the various types of boxing styles in existence and which famous boxers epitomize those styles, we’ve put together this helpful guide on all things boxing style related. Let’s get started!
What is a Boxing Style?
A boxing style refers to a fighter’s preferred method of fighting. When you talk about boxing styles, you’re really talking about the different strategies boxers use while in the ring. One of the most important things when analyzing a boxing match is the different styles of the two fighters. It’s especially important to consider your opponent’s style when you’re fighting in a professional boxing match. After all, you can’t win a fight if you don’t know how to fight in the first place! Basically, you can think of boxing styles as a combination of a fighter’s preferred range of striking, their desired pace, and the style and type of punches they like to throw. Both you and your opponent will have boxing styles that are opposite to each other, so the real trick is to know how to counter your opponent’s style while using your own boxing style to your advantage.
Types of Boxing Styles: Stance and Footwork
The first thing to consider when analyzing your opponent’s style is their stance, along with the way they move their feet in the ring. A fighter’s stance will determine how they throw punches, defend themselves, and deal with incoming blows. The two most common stances in boxing include the inside fighting stance and the outside fighting stance. The inside fighting stance is characterized by the lead foot being placed inside the width of the opponent’s feet. The lead shoulder is placed close to the opponent’s midsection. The rear foot is placed outside the opponent’s feet. Fighters who use the inside fighting stance typically have quick hands, strong jabs, and an aggressive in-and-out fighting style. The outside fighting stance is characterized by the lead foot being placed outside the width of the opponent’s feet. The lead shoulder is placed outside the opponent’s midsection. The rear foot is placed inside the opponent’s feet. Fighters who use the outside fighting stance typically have strong lead hooks and a style that involves less movement in the ring compared to inside fighters.
Types of Boxing Styles: Hooking Style
A hooking style is a boxing style where a fighter uses their lead hand to deliver powerful hooks to the head and body of their opponent. Hooking styles are effective against aggressive inside fighters because they allow the fighter to keep their lead foot outside the opponent’s feet at all times. Hooking styles are also advantageous in situations where the fighter is being pressured or pushed back. The hooks are used to push the opponent away, allowing the fighter to maintain control of the fight. Because hooking styles use the lead hand to deliver powerful hooks, the fighter’s rear hand is used to parry and deflect incoming blows. This leaves the fighter’s midsection vulnerable to body shots, so they must be careful not to leave themselves open.
Types of Boxing Styles: Slip-and-Slide Boxing Style
A slip-and-slide boxing style is characterized by the fighter’s ability to “slip” incoming punches and “slide” out of the way of punches they can’t avoid. A fighter who uses a slip-and-slide boxing style is extremely difficult to hit because they move their upper body (head and shoulders) to the side when avoiding blows. Because the fighter’s body doesn’t move backward, it’s difficult for their opponent to hit them with power punches. Fighters who use a slip-and-slide boxing style also tend to have good movement and excellent footwork. Fighters who rely on footwork to outmaneuver their opponents typically use a slip-and-slide style.
Types of Boxing Styles: Switch-Hitting Boxing Style
A switch-hitting boxing style involves the fighter switching from orthodox to southpaw stances during the fight. Switch-hitting is used to confuse the opponent and keep them off balance as they attempt to adjust to the sudden change in stance. Switch-hitting is typically used by fighters who are strong using both their lead and rear hands. This allows them to throw quick combinations with both hands and take advantage of their opponent’s confusion as they attempt to switch back to orthodox. A switch-hitting boxing style is advantageous against aggressive inside fighters who are trying to maintain distance, as it allows the fighter to switch to southpaw and use their rear hand to push the opponent back.
These are the various boxing styles in the sport. A fighter’s preferred boxing style can be determined by analyzing their preferred range of striking, desired pace, and style and type of punches they like to throw. You can also use a fighter’s stance and footwork to determine their boxing style. Fighters who use a slip-and-slide boxing style are extremely difficult to hit because they move their upper body to the side when avoiding blows. Fighters who use a switch-hitting boxing style switch from orthodox to southpaw stances during the fight to confuse their opponent and keep them off balance.
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