What Is The Best Boxing Style? – Technical Breakdown

The issue with this question is that there is no definitive answer, which will vary depending on the subject. But that’s not very helpful. So in this article, we’ll be breaking down the various styles within boxing and how to develop into a style as a fighter depending on your particular circumstances and tendencies.

Personally, I think a sound boxer-puncher will fare best against the majority of opponents. A lot of other styles can be massively successful but this is just the style that I see being the most successful in the current era of boxing. This isn’t to say that it’s overall the best or even the style you should develop. Rather it is simply a recurring theme in today’s day and age.

These are the five main styles in boxing today. Some people use different names for them but they are all easily recognisable by their characteristics:

Out-Boxer Boxing Style Explained

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An out-boxer is a fighter that likes to keep far. They’re often quite tall and slim for their weight division and that means they’ll usually have an extensive reach that they’ll utilise. A fast-pumping jab is essential for an out-boxer. They need to establish distance so they land heavier shots as the fight progresses. Out-boxers hate fighting a dirty, scrappy match. They don’t want to be up close in the clinch or against the ropes. They need space in order for them to be successful with their approach and they therefore often opt for a larger ring.

The key to being successful with this style is establishing the jab. Using plenty of feints and awkward movement can make you extremely effective with this style. A good example of this is Dimitry Bivol, all of his shots are long and he has a fantastic jab that he used to defeat Canelo Alvarez. Even when Bivol is pressed, he still maintains range and uses excellent shot selection in order to use his physical advantages to their full potential.

The downside to this style comes in the clinch. If you’re a tall, thin, out-boxer, it becomes very difficult to generate power in the clinch because you can’t get the leverage and extension that is required when you’re so up close. This can leave you susceptible to pressure fighters, who will make the fight grueling and push into the inside and unload body shots. Who emerges victories in these counters often depends on how well the out-boxer can establish distance with the jab.


  • Dimitry Bivol
  • Wladimir Klitschko
  • Devin Haney

Profile – Who this style typically suites:

  • Tall with long limbs
  • Big reach
  • Fast Jab
  • Good footwork

Slugger Boxing Style Explained

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A slugger style isn’t predominantly used by strong and durable heavyweights with a big punch. They are often relatively flat-footed, lack technical finesse, and have a lot of natural power. This means that they aren’t well suited to the amateurs but can flourish in the professional game.

The idea behind the slugger style is to use natural toughness and brute strength to drive your opponent backward and put them on the back foot. By applying this pressure, your opponent won’t be able to find a rhythm and they will eventually start to struggle with the pace. As they are being pressed, the slugger will unload heavy shots to the body and head and keep walking forward. However, this style doesn’t work for many people because it requires you to be incredibly tough and have a big punch. Usually, heavyweights will carry these characteristics but sometimes you’ll find sluggers in lower weight divisions.

The most notable boxers with this style are probably Rocky Marciano and George Foreman. Both of them great world champions and legends in the sport of boxing. However, while there are many great champions who use this style, it won’t be recommended for beginners. It is incredibly physically demanding and a style that not everyone can learn.


  • George Foreman
  • Rocky Marciano
  • Joe Frazier
  • Jack Dempsy

Profile – Who this style typically suites:

  • Natural toughness
  • Strong
  • Good chin
  • Strong Cardio

Counter Puncher Boxing Style Explained

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A counter puncher is typically a very crafty and patient fighter. They don’t like to engage aggressively and will typically flick out their jab to find a response from their opponent. If they find a reaction, they will capitalize on it by setting up traps and waiting for their opponent to make a mistake. Once they see their opponent has weakened, they’ll turn up the pressure and start attacking aggressively.

Counter punchers are among the hardest boxers to face simply because they are so patient and calculated. You really can’t afford to make mistakes against them, especially in an astute boxing match. Often, the best way to approach counterpunchers is with brute force and grit. Making the fight ugly is often the best way to victory. Take, for instance, Joe Frazier in his bouts against Muhammed Ali or Marcos Maidana in his first fight with Floyd Mayweather.

On both occasions, the punchers had to bring the fight to the boxers and put on immense pressure to see any form of success. If you throw single shots and fight in a pattern, a good counterpuncher will take notice of this and fight a response. For instance, if every time you throw a left hook, you follow up with a right hand, a counterpuncher will anticipate this, and the next time you throw the combination, they’ll counter with a carefully placed punch of their own.


  • Muhammed Ali
  • Floyd Mayweather Jr
  • Sugar Ray Robinson
  • Vasyl Lomachenko
  • Oleksander Uysk

Profile – Who this style typically suites:

  • Fast reflexes
  • Good balance
  • Natural timing
  • Patience

Pressure Fighters Boxing Style Explained

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Pressure fighters or swarmers are my favorite fighters to watch from a sporting perspective. They have the power of sluggers but they are typically much more explosive and use fast combinations and aggressive head movement to get to get inside. They also usually have technical finesse and great boxing fundamentals. Fighters like Manny Pacquiao and Mike Tyson are prime examples of pressure fighters.

They have fast hands and feet and are constantly trying to win the battle of position and generalship in the ring. You will rarely see them on the back foot and they always want to impose their will. This mindset and the physical attributes of these fighters result in exhilarating fights that often end in a knockout.

As is the case with counterpunchers, you need great reflexes for this style and a natural intuition for fighting. However, because of the forward movement, an extra layer of toughness is also required. This style is perfect for someone who is fast, aggressive, and tough.


  • Manny Pacquiao
  • Mike Tyson
  • Issac Cruz

Profile – Who this style typically suites:

  • Fast hands & feet
  • Natural explosiveness
  • Typically shorter

Boxer-Puncher Style Explained

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This is quite a modern, refined style of boxing. Many great fighters have had their own adaptation over the years but it has become a staple among dominant champions of this generation. As the name suggests, the boxer-puncher style effectively consists of a fighter who has great boxing fundamentals and many of the characteristics of out-boxers and counterpunchers.

However, they also have devastating power which means they have an equalizer in all of their fights. This means that despite their dominance, they may lose rounds throughout a fight as a sacrifice in order to get the stoppage. Simply put, they are well-rounded fighters who can box and punch and use both skills hand-in-hand in order to be as dominant as they are.

I think the most notable example of this in the modern era is Canelo Alvarez. Some people would label him as a counterpuncher but I think Saul has developed tremendously and as of now, he is most definitely a boxer-puncher. He dictates the pace of fights and pressures his opponents, while he is a masterful counterpuncher, he doesn’t only sit back and wait for his opponents to bring the fight to him. He’ll exchange punches, push his opponents to the rope, and unload massive body shots and uppercuts that have fallen the likes of Caleb Plant and Billy-Joe Saunders.


  • Canelo Alvarez
  • Gervonta Davis
  • Tommy Hearns
  • Gennady Golovkin

Profile – Who this style typically suites:

  • Big punch power
  • Boxing finesse

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