A popular martial art and combat sport that is characterised by quick and powerful punches, dynamic footwork and stamina. Boxing has been included as an Olympic sport since 1904. The sport boasts many great fighters such as Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Rocky Marciano.
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The early signs of boxing may have begun in ancient Egypt with the sport being introduced to the ancient Olympic games in the 7th Century by the Greeks.
It is also said to have feature in Rome, during deadly Gladiator contests. This type of martial contest later came to an end during the fall of the Roman empire.
Boxing as we know it today, reappeared in England during the 17th Century with 5 weight classes: Bantam, Feather, Light, Middle and Heavy Weight.
The following aspects are important and, when combined, make for an exceptional boxer:
- Stamina - endurance is extremely important in boxing and the training regimen of boxing consists of lots of running.
- Power - weightlifting and heavy bag work features heavily in a boxers training regimen to build punching power.
- Speed and Agility - footwork is critical for setting up favourable positions for the boxer as well as evading attacks.
The Martial Art in Practice
Boxing is exclusively a striking martial art that makes use of the fists only. There are a variety of punches that a boxer can use such as:
Boxers also evade attacks through bobbing and weaving and maintain a guard over their head, chin and midsection.
There are a wide variety of boxing styles that are used to categorise fighters:
- Swarmer - is a fighter that uses constant pressure to overwhelm his or her opponent. These fighters tend to have excellent stamina, good power and a good “chin”. This pressure fighter seeks to consistently close the fighting distance with the opponent.
- Out-boxer - opposite to the swarmer, the out-boxer maintains a good fighting distance and uses faster and longer-range punches. This type of fighter uses quick footwork and comparatively weaker, yet faster jabs and straight punches.
- Slugger - unlike the Out-boxer who uses lots of speed and finesse, the slugger uses raw power and brutality during a fight. This type of fighter is able to finish a fight with a single punch but lacks the mobility and speed associated with Swarmers and Out-boxers.
- Boxer-puncher - are excellent technical fighters that also possess as much punching power as sluggers. They are able to execute and land straight punches, hooks and jabs and have good footwork.
- Counter-puncher - capitalises on mistakes made by an opponent or entices an aggressive opponent to exhaust their stamina, leaving them opened to counter punches.
- Southpaw - stands in left-handed fighting stance which is opposite to the right-handed orthodox stance. Orthodox fighters will jab with the left side whilst Southpaw fighters jab with their right.
- Switch-hitter - this type of fighter switches between orthodox and Southpaw fighting stances to confuse the opponent or disrupt the opponents fighting rhythm.
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