How to Win a Boxing Fight


A well-known saying describes boxing as being "the science of hitting without getting hit." To win in a boxing fight, that is exactly what a boxer must do. Yet accomplishing that in the ring can be complicated. A winning boxer must combine aggressive offense with skillful defense, and apply those skills in a way that maximizes his strengths and exploits the opponents weaknesses. Finally, a boxing match is fought and judged under a set of rules, something a winning boxer tries to take into account as well.

  • Study your opponent or potential opponents if possible, and learn how he fights. Professionals often know who they are matched against in advance, making this a straight-forward matter. Amateurs might be matched with one of several opponents at a tournament, so several possibilities must be accounted for. Talk to people who have fought that man before, ask your trainer to visit the opponent's gym or go yourself and watch whatever video is available.

  • Develop a basic plan for fighting the opponent and tailor your training in the gym accordingly. If the opponent is fast or a southpaw (left-hander), spar with southpaws or men who are even faster. Practice moves that exploit flaws in the other man's style. If you see he drops his right hand after throwing a straight right, work on counter left hooks in the gym to exploit that.

  • Build on your basic game plan for the fight by thinking through what to do if the opponent adjusts during the fight. If your best assets are quick hand speed, long reach and a sharp jab, you need a back-up if your opponent responds by staying right in front of you and smothering your speed and jab with dozens of punches at close range. In this particular instance, you can either work on side to side movement, offsetting the other man's bull rush, or develop a strong uppercut to smash him on the inside.

  • Stay calm as you enter the ring. You can use a lot of energy just from stomach butterflies or being too excited. Some fighters pray, others stare at the other guy and run through their game plan, and still others remind themselves that if the other guy isn't a little scared too, then he must be stupid.

  • Throw punches remembering that there are judges watching. If the judges cannot see that you are scoring clean, hard punches and you fail to score a knockout, you might as well not be punching at all. Long, straight punches thrown in the open are very easy to see. If you prefer to fight at close range, try to keep the fight in the center ring where at least two judges will have a view of what you are doing.

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  • Championship Streetfighting: Boxing As A Martial Art; Ned Beaumont; 1997
  • Coaching Olympic Style Boxing; US Amateur Boxing; 1994
  • Photo Credit Shadow boxing image by Andrei vishnyakov from
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