May 3, 2007

Boxing styles

There are three generally accepted boxing styles that are used to define fighters. They are the in-fighter, the out-fighter and the brawler.
In-fighters are often considered the most exciting boxers to watch. This style favours closing inside an opponent, overwhelming them with intensity and flurries of hooks and uppercuts. They tend to be agile on their feet which can make them difficult to evade for a slower fighter. They also tend to have a good "chin" because this usually involves being hit with many jabs before they can maneuver inside where they are more effective.

Notable in-fighters include Shane Mosley, Jake LaMotta, Ricky Hatton, Jose Luis Castillo, Julio César Chávez, Joe Frazier, Bernard Hopkins, and Roberto Duran, nicknamed "manos de piedra" (hands of stone).

Out-fighters (also known as an "out-boxer" or "boxer") are the opposite of the in-fighter. Where the in-fighter tries to close the gap between himself and his opponent, the out-fighter seeks to maintain that gap and fight with faster, longer range punches. Since they rely on the weaker jabs and straights (as opposed to hooks and uppercuts), they tend to win by points decisions rather than by knockout, although some out-fighters (such as Lennox Lewis, Irish Gil King, and Felix Trinidad) have notable knockout records. They attempt to control the fight by using their jab to keep their opponent at range, and using their strong footwork to evade any opponent that closes in. In fact, outside fighters are known for being extremely quick on their feet, which often makes up for their relative lack of power. Out-fighters are often regarded as the best boxing strategists on account of their desire to win a fight by wearing an opponent down and outclassing an opponent, rather than simply knocking him (or her) out with brute strength.

Notable out-fighters include Muhammad Ali, Pernell Whitaker, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Lennox Lewis, Felix Trinidad, Winky Wright, Gil King, Larry Holmes, Hilario Zapata, and the outspoken Australian Anthony Mundine.

If the out-fighter represents everything classy about boxing, the brawler (also known as the 'slugger', 'hard hitter' or 'one puncher') often stands for everything that's most brutal in the sport. Sluggers tend to lack finesse in the ring, but make up for it in raw power, often able to knock almost any opponent out with a single punch. This ability makes them exciting to watch, and their fights unpredictable. Many brawlers tend to lack mobility in the ring and have difficulty pursuing fighters who are fast on their feet. They prefer the harder, slower punches (such as hooks and uppercuts) and tend to ignore combination punching. Their slowness and predictable punching patterns (single punches with obvious leads) often leaves them open for counterpunching.

Famous brawlers include Cruz Horua, Arturo Gatti, Eric Esch, George Foreman, Rocky Marciano, Manny Pacquiao, David Tua, Mike Tyson (after his prime), Nigel Benn, Gerald McClellan, Diego Corrales and former featherweight champion Naseem Hamed.



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