Does Boxing Make You Aggressive?

Violence is an inherent part of any combat sport. It blurs the lines between fighting and competition. So will a combat sport like boxing make you more aggressive and violent? Well, this depends on a variety of things like your integrity, anger management, and personality.

I think for most people, having a regimented lifestyle with rigorous training is actually beneficial. It teaches discipline and gives you a much better insight into the degree to which you can hurt someone. Respect is important within any martial art and being in an environment where respect is mandatory should theoretically result in a calmer, controlled character.

That’s not to say that some fighters won’t be aggressive. There have been several world champions that have made newspaper headlines for violence outside the ring. But will the sport of boxing actually make you more aggressive? Well, as we mentioned before, for most people, I think the regimented lifestyle would be beneficial. However, I think there are also a handful of people who wouldn’t be able to cope with an influx in power. These are usually people who have been weak or scared most of their lives. Their reactions and behavior and often just projections of how they feel about themselves.

What Makes Boxers Aggressive

There is no denying that boxing is a violent sport, and in order to be violent you need a certain level of aggression. While its difficult to filter out emotions during a fight, most boxers don’t hold any resentment or malice towards their opponents. It’s simply their job so it’s not personal for them.

What makes boxers aggressive in the ring is their competitiveness and willingness to win. These athletes often train for months before a fight, secluded from all comforts just to perform on one night. They make these sacrifices so that they can win their fights. It’s important to remember that boxing is their career, it’s how they make a living. This is why for some boxers winning a fight means so much more than reputation or rankings.

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Combine this with the immense pressure and adrenaline, it’s no surprise that boxers have the capability to be incredibly aggressive depending on the circumstances of the fight. Sometimes, boxers don’t have to be aggressive in the ring, instead, they will stay on the backfoot and counter-punch their way to victory. Other times it will be necessary to apply pressure and become the aggressor. But this is all circumstantial. The point is that boxers absolutely need and have the ability to become aggressive inside the boxing ring.

Aggressive Boxers Throughout History

  • Mike Tyson – I think Tyson is the first fighter that comes to people’s minds when they think of an aggressive boxer. His style was fundamentally based on aggression and he was able to capture the imagination of the public with his emphatic knockouts making him incredibly popular. Despite being so young with extraordinary fame and wealth, he was heavily criticized by the media for his behavior outside of the ring.
  • Sonny Liston – Liston is often remmembered because of his losses to Muhammed Ali but in his prime, he was one of the most aggressive heavyweight champions in history. He was incredibly with excellent power. Some people speculate that he cheated in his bout with Muhammed Ali by putting liniment his gloves. But regardless, there is no denying he was a great aggressive fighter.
  • Roberto Duran – Duran was arguably the best offensive fighter ever. His style was exciting as he always came forward, putting pressure on his opponents with unmatched aggression. He also possessed brilliant knockout power in either hand, earning him the nickname, hands of stone.
  • Marvin Hagler – Hagler was an incredibly talented boxer and probably the best middleweight of all time. His great attribute was that he was able to switch stances with incredible fluidity. However, he could also brawl with the best. With 77% of his fights ending in a knockout, he’s considered one of the best technical boxers and brawlers ever.
  • George Foreman – Big George will forever be remembered as the big bad puncher of the heavyweight division. During his youth he was unstoppable, knocking out both Joe Frazier and Ken Norton before falling victim to the greatest, Muhammed Ali. Foreman then went on to make a comeback during the later parts of his career and became the oldest heavyweight champion to date at 45 years old!

Why Boxers Need To Be Aggressive

Sometimes boxers have to be aggressive. However, this aggression should be controlled. Boxers need to have this aggression because they need to be able to finish a fight if they get the opportunity. Staying the ring when you could potentially finish a fight puts both you and your opponent at further risk. This is because they are likely to absorb more punches and you’ll still be in danger of getting hit by a lucky punch.

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Aggression is also sometimes necessary in order to win fights. Coming forward and applying pressure on your opponent can also often win you rounds in professional boxing as it shows ring generalship. However, uncontrolled aggression can be detrimental. Fighting off emotion often causes you to make mistakes or take irrational decisions. Being tough and strong is important in a physical sport like boxing but being smart is imperative. You’ll often find elite boxers use their IQ to beat their opponents by making calculated game plans and adjusting to the style of their opponent.

Is Boxing a Violent Sport

Yes, there is no denying that boxing is an incredibly violent sport. But providing that there are no personal issues between the fighters, there should be no anger. You’ll want to beat someone and hurt them but not because you don’t like them, but because you want to win.

This is a difficult concept for people who don’t box to grasp. But the truth is that this is something that boxers don’t even consider when in the ring. Fighting is inherently violent but in a controlled environment, it creates a great spectacle that many people are willing to pay to watch.

Violence and animosity have always been a part of human culture. They are things we gravitate towards for some reason. People have fought in colosseums for centuries because of their appetite for violence. This desire for violence ultimately sells tickets and ensures that everyone gets rich. Like most things in this world, boxing is really only about money and without it, I’d be surprised if the sport was allowed to continue. Put simply, boxers are just doing their job and violence happens to be one of the implications of the sport.


So does boxing actually make you aggressive? Well, it depends on the person. As we mentioned before, some people may really benefit from living a regimented lifestyle and having respect instilled in them. While others may behave wildly from a sudden influx of power.

Aggression is a fundamental element of the sport. It just needs to be well controlled. Some people aren’t aggressive because they can’t be, or don’t know how to be. Others have naturally aggressive personalities but suppress and control themselves because its the right thing to do. Not doing something because you can’t isn’t impressive. But wanting to do something but still resisting is.

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