The different fighting styles in Boxing

Boxing is an art which involves many different fighting styles, such as pressure fighting, out-boxing, slugging, counter punching, and boxer-punching. If you’re a boxing fan, chances are you’ve witnessed all of these styles. Mastering these requires a very high level of skill. This is why patience is one of the most important characteristics in the early stages. Check this blog post out to read about the five different fighting styles in boxing. 

Man practicing boxing fighting style with punching bag

Pressure Fighting

The purpose of pressure fighting is to unleash a high count of punches on the opponent. This keeps the opponent in defensive mode for long periods of time. Take note: this is a great way to wear your opponent down over the course of a match. 

While defense is key, judges tend to favor the aggressor in boxing matches. It makes sense when you consider the influence of the crowd in a match. Pressure fighting is the best way to become the initiator in a match due to the high volume of punches thrown.  

With the intense energy exerted, this style requires high levels of cardiovascular endurance and dynamic conditioning. Sign up for a membership with one of our personal trainers today who will surely boost your conditioning accordingly!

Pressure fighting is one of the most popular styles. It’s safe to say Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao’s demonstration plays a driving role due to his influence and remarkable career.


Opposite from a pressure fighter, an out-boxer lives on the outside, utilizing their reach and height advantage over their opponents. This style requires crafty technique: long, effective jabs. Out-boxers aim to dismantle their opponents with accuracy, connecting with jabs from the outside. This prevents opponents from closing the gap and getting on the inside.  

As you can imagine, decision-making and patience play a pivotal role in out-boxing. But, an even advanced aspect to out-boxing are knockouts, proving a high-level of skill.

You may be wondering, what from out-boxing knocks a boxer out? They don’t involve “kill” shots. They don’t. But, the opponent of an out-boxer’s stamina weakens throughout a match from clean, accurate, and consistent shots. Therefore, resulting in a knockout. 

You may have watched Floyd Mayweather before, and thought, “What’s the hype? He doesn’t seem dominant.” Well, that’s because Floyd Mayweather is an out-boxer, one of the best ever. And he’s dominant. The difference is, he’s patient. Mayweather waits until the end to showcase the damage he’s built up over the course of the match. 

The greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali, was an out-boxer as well. There must be some sense to out-boxing, right?


Slugging is the least strategic style of boxing. Instead, strength and force are the most important aspects. This style works for boxers who can overwhelm their opponents with their force and live with the repercussions. The biggest repercussion is getting hit back due to poor defense. Like I said, defense is key and very risky to lack while boxing. 

Although sluggers use little strategy, they do use technique. The main technique used in this style is to work their way inside and trap the opponent along the ropes. Or even better, in the corner. This puts the boxer in the proper position to do what he does best: slug. 

Micky Ward knows a thing or two about slugging. 

Counter Punching Fighting Style

Counter punching requires advanced skill, talent, and pristine technique. The name “counter punching” is self-explained. Defense plays a huge role as counter punchers dodge their opponents shots, presenting them with impactful, spot-on counter shots.

Counter punching is one of the most frustrating styles to defend. They often present high percentage targets, then masterfully and swiftly slip out of danger, and capitalize with a counter shot.

Counter punchers fool their opponents, and use every strength of the sport to their advantage. This is why you only see knowledgeable, skilled, and gifted boxers fighting this style. Counter punchers who fight at a competitive level deserve an applause. Not only can they fight, but it shows they are masters of the style. 

However, just like any style, there are cons. The biggest downside is the lack of activity. As I mentioned, counter punchers start with defense and await the fight to play into their hands. With how boxing is called, this plays against the counter puncher. Plus, counter punchers often get outworked. 

Ray Robinson is an all-time great who was a counter puncher. This video should paint a picture of the style’s mastery.


Boxer-punchers combine all of the fighting styles into one, an extremely versatile and challenging style. These prestigious boxers can switch from finessing any style over the course of a round. This requires a deep, elite level of mastery. 

Typically, boxer-punchers start from the outside and work their way in, another frustrating style to fight against. These range combinations can easily irritate opponents, forcing them to slip-up in a round. Counter-punchers capitalize on their opponents’ mistakes. When they recognize their opponent is struggling, they apply pressure in hopes of coming out on top. 

Boxer-punches are known as the most challenging fighters to face because of their offensive versatility. They always present different looks, making it hard for an opponent to adjust to the boxer’s fighting style.

Juggling a load offensively, boxer-punchers tend to lack defensively. Many fall into the trap of solely focusing on showcasing their various offensive fighting skills. 

Former heavyweight legend Mike Tyson was a dominant boxer-puncher and was iconic over the course of his career. It takes a special level of talent to develop an efficient boxer-punching style.  

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Looking to explore boxing? Check out this blog post for a beginners guide!

The Different Fighting Styles In Boxing

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