Boxing style refers to strategic approach of the boxer to fighting. Every boxer has a unique style which is influenced by his physical and mental abilities, and in some cases also by boxing style of his opponent. Most boxers can be categorised into one of the following 5 boxer styles:
Out-fighter. Fighters who use this style try to keep a distance between themselves and their opponent. They rely on fast, longer but weaker punches and as a result, they usually win the matches through points rather than knock-outs. A successful out-fighter needs good reflexes, hand speed and footwork. The most famous out-fighter was Muhammad Ali. This boxing style was also used by the Welsh boxer Joe Calzaghe.
In-fighter or swarmer. In contrary to an out-fighter, an in-fighter tries to stay as close to the opponent as possible and hitting him intensely. But since an in-fighter is close to the opponent, he needs a good chin to be able to withstand the jabs before being able to strike. Most boxers who use this strategy are usually shorter and have a shorter reach than their opponent although there are also many examples of in-fighters who are tall and are good in out-fighting as well. An in-fighter attacks continuously and uses shorter figure as an advantage in both defence and attack as a missed punch throws the opponent out of balance and allows the in-fighter to throw a counter punch. Some of the best know in-fighters include Mike Tyson, Rocky Marciano, Wayne McCullough and Ricky Hatton.
Boxer-puncher. A boxers who uses this style to defeat his opponent is focused on winning through knock-outs rather than scores. The strategy is very similar to that used by out-fighters but generally, it involves less mobility and relies on a combination of technique and power. Many boxer-punchers have the ability to knock out the opponent with a single punch. The best known boxer-puncher was the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson, while this strategy was used by the British boxer Lennox Lewis.
Brawler or slugger. This style is based almost exclusively on the punching power. Unlike boxer-punchers who are well-rounded, brawlers usually lack mobility and often face difficulties fighting opponents who use speed and footwork in the ring. Since lack of mobility and slower movements make them predictable, brawlers must be able to withstand lots of punches in order to be able to continue fighting. Boxers who used this style include John L. Sullivan, George Foremen and John Duddy.
Counter puncher. Boxers who utilise this strategy typically wait for their opponent to make a mistake in order to use it against him. This style of boxing is based on defence and avoidance of the opponent’s punches. A counter puncher must have very good reflexes, hand speed and accurate punches. Some of the best know counter punchers include Marvin Hagler, Vitali Klitschko, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and Jerry Quarry.