The 4 Styles of Boxing - Which One Are You?
What Are The Four (4) Boxing Styles?
There are some key characteristics that will classify you into one of the four (4) main boxing styles. Boxers are generally categorized as a swarmer, an out-boxer, a slugger or a boxer-puncher.
How do you know which one you align most with? Here we will break down each style and give you examples of famous boxers who use that style. Keep reading to learn about the 4 styles of boxing.
Also referred to as an in-fighter or crowder, swarmer boxers are high energy, high endurance and relentless fighters in the ring. The swarmer boxer can be compared to a swarm of bees. They will chase their opponent through the ring, change their fighting angles at any given moment and will generally stay on top of their opponent until they prevail.
Swarmers are aggressive, have great technique and can pack incredibly powerful punches (they can also take punches too!). Because they tend to stay close to their opponent, they risk taking more punches compared to other boxing styles.
Famous Swarmer Boxers:
- Jack Dempsey
- Mike Tyson
- Rocky Marciano
- Joe Fraizer
- Manny Pacquiao
Unlike the swarmer, the out-boxer likes to keep their distance and move about the ring to tire their opponent. One of the most famous representations of an out-boxer is Muhammud Ali. Ali’s famous “floating” around the ring followed by quick footwork and even faster jabs was meant to catch an out-boxer’s opponent off guard and pack multiple jabs in a matter of seconds.
Since an out-boxer keeps a solid distance from their opponent, they are masters at ducking and dodging opposing strikes throughout the match. Out-boxers tend to move around the ring, making balance and quick footwork key for an out boxer’s success.
Out-boxers are also commonly referred to as out-fighters.
- Muhammed Ali
- Laila Ali
- Jack Johnson
- Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
- Sugar Ray Leonard
Boxers who fit into this boxing style tend to pack some of the most powerful punches known in the boxing world. Also referred to as a puncher or brawler, fighters in this style tend to (or at least try) to win their matches by knockout.
Sluggers tend to have a thicker and very strong body type and can put all of their strength and weight into their punches. This also allows them to take heavy blows.
You typically do not see a slugger dancing around the ring or overcrowding their opponent. Instead, they look for opportunities to strike their opponents powerfully and precisely to ensure a knockout.
Famous Slugger Boxers:
- George Foreman
- Micky Ward
- Rocky Graziano
- Evander Holyfield
This style tends to be a combination of an out-boxer and a slugger. Like an out-boxer, a boxer-puncher has mobility, stamina, and accurate footwork, but can also pack a devastating hit, similar to a slugger.
This style is well-rounded, and can adapt or favor different styles depending on who they are competing against. A boxer-puncher can typically go up against any style of boxing. They will out-muscle a swarmer, hit heavy with an out-boxer, and tire out a slugger with their mobility.
- Thomas Hearns
- Lennox Lewis
- Joe Louis
- Sugar Ray Robinson
Choosing Your Boxing Style
Still wondering what boxing style you might be? The truth is it can take months of practice to really know your style. To get started, practice punching on a heavy bag or speed bag, shadowbox in the mirror and study some of the boxers listed above (How To Use a Boxing Bag). If a certain style piques your interest – start practicing (Why You Should Start Shadowboxing).
The strategy above will grow your strength, increase your muscle memory, and increase your boxing knowledge. You can even incorporate technology into your routine with FightCamp’s Punch Trackers. These small and lightweight trackers can be slipped into your quick wraps and will give you real insight into your punch count and you can track your progress.
When you’re ready to get in the ring, you’ll find your boxing style will start to develop when you begin training with punching mitts or spar with another opponent. The truth is that you really don’t know how you will react in the ring until you actually try it.
The best place to start is with the basics and work with a professional trainer like the ones at FightCamp.
The Author: Tommy Duquette is the Co-Founder and Head of Content at FightCamp. He is a former US Boxing Team member with 136 fights under his belt and qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials as the #2 seed. He has 18 years of experience training clients in boxing and fitness. Tommy is also USA Boxing Coach certified.