An Overview of Boxing Styles

Boxing Styles

Boxing has existed for over 3000 years, if not longer. First recorded mentions of the sport come from Ancient Egypt. However, the martial art has endured throughout history. Understandably, with 3000 years of history, many boxers have developed different techniques and styles. In this article, we would like to go over the different boxing styles, and the boxers that use them.


In-fighting, pressure fighting, or swarming is an aggressive style of boxing, focusing on quick, close-quarter attacks. Swarmers are methodical fighters, balancing attack and defense and utilizing quick footwork to change between an offensive and a defensive stance.

Some of the greatest boxers of their time have been in-fighters. With the most notable one being Mike Tyson. Known for his strong punches, aggressive style, and quick footwork, Tyson drew in a ton of fans, and brought boxing back to the forefront of the combat sport industry.

Today, boxing remains one of the most popular martial arts. Boxing gyms are full of would-be pros, boxing PPV events are still some of the most popular of all time and fans flock to betting sites hoping to put down a bet on their favorite boxers. 

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The opposite of an in-fighter would be an out-fighter, or an out-boxer. The name comes from the fact that out-boxers look to create a distance between themselves and their opponent, as they lack power, and rely on speed. 

Most out-boxers rely on their speed, quick footwork, and fast punches that make up for the lack of power. Fans of the sport will note that an out-boxer usually relies on jabs and straights rather than hooks and uppercuts. 

Some of the most popular out-boxers of all time are people like Floyd Mayweather, Sugar Ray Leonard, and of course, the G.O.A.T. himself, Mohammad Ali, who is by far the most popular out-boxer of all time. 


While boxing is a martial art that combines skill, elegance, and brutality, many view it as just a simple act of aggression. And indeed, there are even professional boxers who view it as such. Those kind of boxers are the brawlers. 

Brawlers excel in fierce, aggressive attack power, and possess the best knockout capability. The style’s main characteristic is that practitioners can deliver a powerful blow from any angle, which naturally requires a strong balance.

Defensively, brawlers might incorporate grapples in order to smother opponents and leave them vulnerable to a power punch. Where brawlers fall short is mobility. They tend to have trouble with quick footwork, and faster opponents. Though, of course, this is not always the case. Notable brawlers include George Foreman, Jake LaMotta, and Jack Dempsey.


Peek-a-Boo is a defensive fighting style, characterized by a fighter blocking attacks and countering. The name is derived from the baby game of the same name, in which a parent places their hands in front of their face, and revealing it to make the child laugh.

The technique is similar in many ways to the children’s game “peek-a-boo,” which is also where it gets its name. A boxer hides their face using their arms, and reveals it only to counter an onslaught from their opponent. The style also includes a lot of head movements, and dodging techniques, including bobbing, weaving and blindsiding. Some of the most notable peek-a-boo fighters include the following: 

  • Mike Tyson
  • Floyd Patterson
  • Joe Hadley
  • Jose Torres


The boxer-puncher combines the qualities of an out-boxer with the raw power of the in-fighter. Focusing mainly on speed and accuracy to deliver devastating blows, a boxer-puncher is exactly what they sound like. A boxer whose greatest asset is their punches. 

Boxer-punchers are the most unpredictable among the four styles, and are often considered the most dangerous. The reason is because they are a sort of jack of all trades, meaning they can switch up their technique mid-fight. Versatility and strength are the boxer-puncher’s greatest assets.

One of the greatest boxer-punchers of all time is Evander Holyfield, who served as Mike Tyson’s greatest rival in their prime. Other notable boxer-punchers include: Kid Chocolate, Lennox Lewis, Manny Pacquiao, and Sugar Ray Robinson.

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