Boxing is an art. If you desire to move away from the street fighting of your youth and into the role of a boxer that truly understands the discipline of the sport, you will want to focus on your style. Think back to Muhammad Ali’s famous proclamation that he “floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee” in the ring. He did not just come out at the bell and try to pound his opponent into oblivion. He had a fluid style about him in the ring that made it almost impossible for his opponent to even connect with Ali. As a result, it was only a matter of time before Ali was able to come in for the knockout. It is that perfect style that you will want to work out in the ring.
What is Style?
In the boxing world, style can best be defined as the purposeful and deliberate approach that each fighter takes with them into the ring. Some boxers are considered outside fighters, others are a brawler or slugger, while others adapt to a style of inside fighting. No one style should be perceived as more effective than another, as it is up to the individual and what he or she is more comfortable with. You may start out as a brawler and realize that you are more comfortable as an outside fighter. The important thing is to work on perfecting your style and making it sizzle every time that you are in the ring.
The Outside Fighter
An outside fighter will work hard to keep a certain distance between himself and the person he is fighting. The goal here is to fight with punches that are fast and come from a longer range. This type of fighter commonly uses the jab. Individuals using this style will try to wear the opponent down, and this is best represented by how Muhammad Ali fought. Outside fighters may not accumulate a high number of knockouts, and will tend to win by decision. If this is your style, you will find that you develop a methodical and deliberate approach to every fight, and that begins with each punch that you throw. You will need to have a lot of endurance if you are an outside fighter.
When you think of a brawler, just think of George Foreman. This is a type of fighter who might lack the endurance of an outside fighter, but can more than make up for it by the ferocity of the punches he throws. Sluggers might not be as mobile as other types of boxers, so they have difficulty running down fighters that are faster on their feet. They will work hard to deliver knockout punches, lest they become too predictable to their opponents. Because brawlers tend to not be very fast, they are also accustomed to taking more punches than other boxers, so are able to withstand a barrage of hits while they wait for their own perfect opportunity to strike.
As the name implies, inside fighters prefer to stay close to their opponent. You will frequently see this type of fighter hitting their opponent with a barrage of intense punches, using a combination of hooks and uppercuts. If you want to use this style, you will want to have a solid chin, because you will likely be hit quite a bit by jabs yourself. Inside fighters are typically on the small size for a boxer, because their size prevents them from throwing punches when they are far away from their opponent.
One of these three main styles of boxer likely defines where you are right now. Knowing who you are as a boxer will help you perfect your craft and make you more effective in the ring. Try not to switch up your styles, as perfection comes from repetition.