Different Types Of Punching Power

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How Do I Develop Punching  Power? How Do I Snap My Punches Better?

So many times, coaches are asked these questions among the first few concerns from aspiring boxers.

What is lost on many people is it is not just the Mike Tyson’s of the world that are born with natural punching power. Though many are not born with the natural gift of many typical power punching fighters, no matter your body type or muscle mass, it is finding what works for you when turning weight and staying on balance that finds your power.

There are many different body types and many big punchers through boxing history without a muscle on their frame.

Below we will look at different types of styles, their punches and how they found their power due to comfort in their own frame, their style and confidence in their ability


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Knockout artist Rocky Marciano lands a solid right hand to his opponents jaw


Traditional Power Puncher

Examples: Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Adonis Stevenson, Shane Mosley.

In most cases, built like a tank. There’s little to explain with natural born power punchers. No matter their body type, their frame is normally covered in muscle.

Tyson being the perfect example of a fighter that can hit hard in spite of himself.


Despite being 54 years old, Mike Tyson still has incredible punching power


Like Tyson, many traditional power punchers tend to share similarities with ‘The In-Fighter’ in using a pressure first style. Where the two style of boxers differ is the options a power puncher caries.

While In-Fighters tend to use pressure to be most-effective in their punches, a power puncher will often have the ability to throw deadly punches from any position. Pressure is often used by these competitors as the fastest means of execution.

Often times these athletes can make up for lapses in technique with the ability to end the fight with a single punch.


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Ferocious power puncher George Forman sends Ken Norton to the canvas


No matter a height advantage or disparity, staying at the end of a power punches shots spells disaster for opponents.


George Foreman was one of the most prodigious power punchers of all time



Examples: Lennox Lewis, Thomas Hearn, Oscar De La Hoya, Erik Morales

Though not often in possession of the natural punching ability of a power puncher, a quality Boxer-Puncher many times will score equally impressive highlight real knockouts.

Like the name explains, the Boxer-Puncher uses a cross-style between an in-fighter and outside boxer. It is most successfully executed with the effective aggression and ring control of an in-fighter and the timing, footwork and angles of an outside boxer.

Typically, an athlete with a strong understanding of the sports fundamentals, a boxer-puncher often has the greatest ability to adapt in a fight among these styles.

Based in fundamentals, a boxer-puncher’s body can type vary more than any of these categories as well.

Oscar De La Hoya, a prime modern-era example of a terrific boxer-puncher, used pressure behind his jab, picking his shots from new angles with his famous left-hook.

While Thomas Hearns, a 6-foot-1, 147-pound fighter who carried booming punching power, used the same fundamentals as other great boxer-punchers, but with a build more typical of an outside boxer. Using a style that was perfect for him, Hearns would often have stronger punches then his physically stronger opponents.


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Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns delivers a fierce knockout blow


Instead an outside boxer uses their movement and control the pace of the fight, often leading to knockouts based on fatigue of their adversary. Due to this style many fights with end in decision for these boxers. Knockouts also often occur when an outside boxer can find their punch distance on their foe, timing shots with superior speed to their opponents.

It often spells devastating results when opponents are hit with a shot they did not see, from an angle they did not expect. The outside boxer tends to give opponents a false sense of security to help themselves find the openings to land these blows.

Most (but not all) outside boxers are taller fighters that must keep opponents on the end of their punch to be successful in finding their power. Though most outside boxers have a reach advantages, shorter fighters like Floyd Mayweather Jr and Pernell Whitaker prove a great understanding of punch distance will give them the ability to use this style.

The In-Fighter

Examples: Julio Cesar Chavez, Joe Fraizer, Ricky Hatton, Antonio Margarito

Often mistaken as a brawler, the In-fighter use a specific set of skills often fighting in what looks like a phone booth size space.

An in-fighter applies constant pressure on opponents to put them either on the ropes or into a distance where their punches are most effective. To be successful in this style, good conditioning and stamina is key.

Finding their distance is a must for these fighters’ success. Often times finding distance will lead to a high punch output.

Power punches from the in-fighter will be found in close quarters, most famously from Julio Cesar Chavez and Ricky Hatton with short hooks to the liver and uppercuts to the sternum. More head-hunting focused boxers like Joe Frazier, while a big body puncher found great success with his close-quarters hooks and overhands to the head.


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The legendary Julio Cesar Chavez lands a devastating hook to his opponents jaw


The typical in-fighter is short is stature and applies pressure and resorts to in-fighting to make up for their lack of reach. This is not always the case, as many athletes find themselves most comfortable on the inside despite having height and reach on opponents.

Such is the case for Antonio Margarito. A boxer taller than the majority of his opponents throughout his career, Margarito applied constant pressure, most effective when he gave his reach away, opting to fight on the inside.


What all these very different fighters have in common is one thing, they are all comfortable in their own skin. That did not happen overnight. Just like anyone stepping into class, sparring or into their first fight, it took time, repetition and hours of practice to find that comfort.

Just because Thomas Hearns was not built like a traditional power puncher, he adjusted to his style and was one of the biggest punchers in his division, as a 6-foot-1, 147-pound string bean. What worked for others, sometimes does not work for everyone.

Next time you hit the bag, hit the pads or lace the gloves for sparring. Look at what has worked for you, how you’re built and slowly, inch-by-inch, your identity as a fighter will grow.

Written by Lev Jackson