Commonly encountered six types of boxers
Commonly encountered six types of boxers / Pictured: Rob Powdrill | Pic: FIGHTMAG

A boxer’s individual style has evolved from technical skills continually practiced in the gym along with physical and psychological attributes. Physical attributes include height, build and reach and psychological can be aggressive or defensive in nature when competing.

Commonly encountered boxing styles are

  1. Swarmer – aggressive
  2. Out-boxer – defensive
  3. Slugger – both aggressive and defensive
  4. Boxer Puncher – both aggressive and defensive
  5. The Counterpuncher – both aggressive and defensive
  6. The Southpaw – both aggressive and defensive

1. Swarmer

The Swarmer also known as ‘the Crowder’ keeps momentum moving forward with a high rate of punches to close the range and wear an opponent down with pressure of a non-stop work rate. The Swarmer is extremely fit and well-conditioned to keep up this constant pressure tactic for the duration of the bout.

Famous Swarmers: Ricky Hatton, Erik Morales, Nigel Benn, Micky Ward

2. Out-boxer

The Out-boxer will keep an opponent at the end of their reach with long punches such as the Jab. This tactic controls distance and scores with long punches with much footwork movement to avoid being scored upon.
Offensive tactics are calculated, keeping at arm’s length range picking their shots when openings occur or luring opponent to attack and with perfect timing unload a counterpunch.

Famous Out-boxers: Muhammad Ali, Wladimir Klitschko, Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes

3. Slugger

The Slugger style relies on the strength and power of punches to win the bout, rather than on strategy and a well-placed punches. Much emphasis is placed on strength and ferocity of attacking with combination punching rather than technical skills.

Famous Sluggers: Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Ricardo Mayorga, Arturo Gatti, Ruslan Provodnikov

4. Puncher

The Boxer – Puncher is the complete package when it comes to styles, possessing the technical skills along with hand – foot speed of an Out-boxer, the power of a Slugger, and the aggression of a Swarmer. This style of boxer has the ability and skillset to adapt their fighting style to suit and overcome an opponent.

Famous Boxer – Punchers: Marco Antonio Barrera, Oscar De La Hoya, Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, Juan Manuel Marquez

5. Counterpuncher

The Counterpuncher style uses skills that require an opponent to make a mistake when punching and then capitalising on that mistake with a counterpunch or combination. A skilled counterpuncher can utilize techniques such as a feint to draw an opponent into attacking and finish exchange by landing the final punch.

Famous Boxer – Punchers: James Toney, Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley, Floyd Mayweather, Gennady Golovkin

6. Southpaw

The Southpaw styled boxer has a left-handed stance (leads with right hand Jab) as opposed to an orthodox boxer who fights right-handed (leads with left hand Jab). Southpaw boxers are generally counterpunchers and move the opposite direction to an Orthodox boxer, moving away from opponent’s power or rear hand.

Famous Boxer – Southpaws: Manny Pacquiao, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Gerry Penalosa, Hector Camacho, Pernell Whitaker, Zab Judah

You may also like: 5 tips how to improve your boxing combos skills.

Bobby Mayne
Bobby Mayne is the Head Coach at Boxrite Boxing Club and author of several boxing coaching books including the bestselling "The Art of Boxing: Your Guide to the Sweet Science". Mayne has been involved in boxing since 1981. He has trained professional boxers such as Australian Daniel Dawson to compete at the world level, becoming a world contender and ultimately the WBF World Superwelterweight Champion. He also assisted in the training of top boxers from the Philippines including Rey Megrino and Rey Loreto, who were both successful in winning their respective WBC Regional and WBO World Flyweight titles.