Boxing Techniques and Styles

Boxing is a sport that only incorporates the use of your arms but your legs are just as important to get out of harm’s way. It may seem simple to only use your fists when fighting an opponent, but there are many different styles and moves that make up the sport of boxing.

You may have heard the saying “styles make fights” and that couldn’t be any truer, but the top pound-for-pound fighters can adapt to almost any style. If you want to actually learn how to box, I recommend the How To Box In 10 Days Online Course.

The following boxing techniques and styles are:

Different Boxing Styles

Pure Boxer / Counterpuncher

These types of fighters embody the whole science of boxing. They use their smarts in the ring to maintain a safe distance between themselves and their opponents, and they pick their spots to attack.

They may lack punching power although that’s not always the case, or they’re just weary of getting hit and prefer to fight defensively.

The ability to control the pace of a fight to their advantage is their strong-point and generally, this kind of style would be favored against others. Great footwork, reflexes, timing and ring smarts are attributes of a pure boxer/counterpuncher.

Examples of Great Pure Boxers / Counterpunchers are:  Floyd Mayweather, Pernell Whitaker and Ivan Calderon.

Boxing Techniques and Styles

Floyd Mayweather ducks De La Hoya’s right hand.

Boxer Puncher

A boxer puncher is similar to a pure boxer in the sense that they have the ability to box, but they also have good punching power which they will utilize. They can break opponents down slowly or can even knock out their opponents with a single well placed shot.

They’re well rounded fighters with a good technique but can rely on their punching power too much sometimes, which can put them in danger of losing a fight.

Examples of Great Boxer Punchers are:  Miguel Cotto, Nonito Donaire and Juan Manual Marquez.

Boxing Techniques and Styles

Juan Manuel Marquez lands a rear uppercut on Mike Alvarado

Brawler / Slugger

Perhaps one of the most exciting styles to watch is that of a brawler/slugger. They can generally lack one or more of the following: Great footwork, defensive abilities, ring smarts and speed.

However, they make up for it by using pure aggression and relentless pressure to break down their opponent. Often, their defensive flaws and aggression leaves them open for counterpunches, so the ability to take a good deal of punishment is essential.

Examples of Great Brawlers / Sluggers are: Julio Cesar Chavez, Joe Frazier and Marcos Maidana

Boxing Techniques and Styles

Julio Cesar Chavez throws an overhand at Meldrick Taylor

Boxing Techniques


There are two stances which a fighter can adopt. The common Orthodox stance which your left foot is your lead or the Southpaw stance which is the opposite, where your right foot is in front. Southpaws are usually left handed although this isn’t always true, it just depends on what stance the fighter feels natural with.

How a fighter decides to stand or keep their hands depends heavily on their style. Pure boxers/counterpunchers sometimes would keep their hands low to lure their opponents to throw a punch and miss, then they would quickly strike the opening. Brawlers tend to keep their hands up to cover their face because they usually don’t have the reflexes to avoid punches with their feet or body movement.


There are five main punches:

boxing techniques and attacks

1) Jab – The most important punch in boxing is the jab. It’s a punch that is throw with the lead hand from a stance positive. It’s the weakest punch but the most effective as it allows you to set up power punches and also to keep your opponent at bay. Some fighters have very strong jabs which stuns their opponents while others have a pawing jab, which does nothing more than gauging distance.

2) Cross – A cross is a straight punch thrown from the back hand from a stance position. Of all the power punches, this is the most effective from a distance because it travels in a straight line which means that it’ll hit the target quicker. The ‘one two’ is a classic combination of a jab followed by a cross.

3) HookThe hook is a semi-circular punch that is aimed to land at your opponents side. It’s a punch that can generate a lot of power and increases the chance of a knock down or knock out because sometimes your opponent cannot see the punch coming (often referred to as their blindside).

4) Uppercut – An uppercut punch rises from the bottom and is usually used when your opponent puts their head too low or in front of their lead foot. It’s also a risky punch because if you miss, you’ll be off balance and leave yourself open to counter punches.

5) Overhand – The overhand is a punch thrown with your back hand and travels over your head in a looping fashion. It’s a wide and dangerous punch that requires good timing to land because it’s easier to see this punch coming from a distance.


To hit and not get hitis the name of the game.

  • Footwork – An outside fighter relies of their footwork to avoid punches. They need quick feet to bounce in to attack and then bounce out to defend. It’s an effective and safe way of defending but requires a lot of energy.
  • Slipping – To slip a punch you need to have good reflexes. It involves you turning your hips and shoulders slightly to avoid a punch coming towards you.
  • Bobbing and Weaving – Moving your head sideways and bending your knees to evade incoming punches and then popping back up in a position to punch is referred to as the bob and weave technique.
  • Blocking and Parrying – To effectively block punches, you need take punches  on your shoulders, arms. Keeping your hands up to slap punches away is called parrying, which requires good reflexes.
  • Clinching / Holding – This form of defensive is not pretty to watch, but at times is necessary, especially when you’re hurt or dazed. Clinching involves getting in close to your opponent and then tie up their arms so that they can’t throw any punches.

It’s a temporary defence as the referee would break up a clinch to resume fighting, but gives you precious time to recover. However, some fighters may not be hurt but would clinch as part of their strategy or style.

To get the most out of your training, I highly recommend the following top-rated boxing training & boxing equipment articles:

Advanced Boxing Workshop Course (improve balance, footwork and punching power)
How To Box In 10 Days Course (quickly learn all the boxing fundamentals)
Dancer's Footwork For Fighters (utilize dance drills to improve boxing footwork)
How To Choose A Heavy Punching Bag
Top 10 Best Heavy Punching Bags
Top 10 Best Boxing Gloves

  • Printez O. Stroman

    Mike Tyson is not a brawler, he’d be a boxer puncher.

    • Curtis Bickham

      Took the words out of my mouth.

      • are you okay?

        He was more of an aggressive counterpuncher

  • Get your facts straight.

    I agree with Printez. “They can generally lack one or more of the following: Great footwork, defensive abilities, ring smarts and speed”. You could not be more wrong when describing Tyson. This is extremely flawed and objectional. Please do more research on the topic before you subject us to this garbage.

    • Even in his prime, I would say that Tyson’s style was more similar to a brawler/slugger than of any other style, albeit a great one. However, when he started declining he was even more of a brawler as he lacked head movement and footwork.

  • Pavla

    very nice boxing well done!

  • Curtis Bickham

    Tyson was a counter puncher. No way was he a brawler. If you missed him, you paid the ultimate price. Arms up, constant head movement, looking for his opponents to make a mistake…he was brilliant in the ring.

  • Fabrizzio Monsalve Salcedo

    Floyd may be a counter puncher but he is not a pure boxer because he doesnt have amazing footwork, his defense is on his philly shell and leaning back and mike tyson was not a brawler and julio cesar chavez wasnt a brawler he was a slugger with good head movement

  • Cuban Missile

    Adrien Broner ain’t slugger.

  • mrphyjammusashi

    How is Tyson put in a category of a brawler who doesn’t know “footwork, defensive ability, ring smarts and speed”? LOL! This is perhaps the most ridiculous claim I have ever heard about Tyson. Whoever wrote this nonsense hasn’t a clue about peek-a-boo style. I am a boxing coach and I teach peek-a-boo. First of all, peek-a-boo is a counter-punching style, albeit an aggressive one, that relies on its “footwork, defensive ability, ring smarts, and speed.” Tyson of course had masterful “footwork, defensive ability, ring smarts, and speed.” Stupid, inaccurate article! Too many paper-lion experts on the internet.

  • TonEP

    Sonny Liston was a pure slugger who could knock out an opponent with either hand and could end a match anytime. Liston didn’t have foot speed, but he didn’t need it. He had a battering ram of a left jab, which was usually a foretaste of the knockout to come (more often than not). Sonny Liston also possessed the qualities of a pressure fighter (or swarmer, if you prefer) in that he was always the aggressor and made opponents retreat. He generally stalked his opponents and ground them down, and anyone foolish enough to stand and trade would be hurt and summarily knocked out. Probably even moreso than Mike Tyson and arguably more than George Foreman, most of Liston’s opponents were psyched out before they even stepped in the ring with him. The most amazing thing about Sonny Liston (other than how he lost to Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali) is that he was matched tough early in his career and basically tore through the heavyweight division even before receiving a title shot against Floyd Patterson. Sonny Liston accomplished more as a contender than he did as champion.

    There are those who’d argue that Sonny Liston was a good but not great fighter. I’d strongly disagree with this assessment. Go on YouTube or watch any of his pre-Floyd Patterson fights and you’ll see that he was the personification of an “uncrowned champion.” He may not have been greatly appreciated by most fans, but Charles “Sonny” Liston definitely deserves his spot among the all-time greats.