A Needs Analysis looks at the sport and the athlete(s), assesses the demands the sport places on the athlete and considers what qualities the athlete needs to maximize performance and minimize their risk of injury – along with the needs analysis, I have also included some general information on boxing styles, etc.
Boxing is a combat sport where two fighters aim to strike (punch) each other above the waist (torso and head) with a clenched fist to score the most points or knock their opponent out.
A knockout or KO refers to when the opponent cannot get up before the referee counts to ten, while a technical knockout or TKO refers to when the fight is stopped because the opponent is unable to go on.
Amateur boxing consists of males performing 3 3-minute rounds and females performing 4 2-minute rounds, with both having 1-minutes rest between rounds.
Professional boxing consists of males performing up to 12 3-minute rounds and females performing up to 10 2-minute rounds, with both having 1-minutes rest between rounds (many pros will start at 4-round fights and build up to 10-12).
Note: Professional boxers earn a “purse”, a set amount of money agreed upon before the fight.
Boxers need to be extraordinarily fit to compete, hence the term “fighting-fit”.
Boxers need a great aerobic base to last the duration of a fight and recover from bouts of high-intensity work. This base is primarily built through boxing training sessions and long-duration steady-state work, which also assists in weight cuts – body composition is key for any sport with weight categories.
Muscular endurance is also key for maintaining good footwork, a strong guard, and a high volume of strikes.
Boxers require great anaerobic fitness to allow for repeated bouts of high intensity work. This ability is built during boxing sessions and is assisted by the conditioning sessions in this program.
Boxers require good speed and power to avoid shots and deliver fast and powerful strikes. This requires good strength, which also helps to ensure the boxer is not bullied around the ring.
They also require good reactions, hand-eye coordination, and agility. Boxers will develop perceptual intelligence (reading multiple cues) during sparring sessions, etc.
There are many weight divisions, aka weight classes/categories, across the different specs of boxing, such as the male and female amateur divisions, Olympic boxing and professional boxing, and new weight classes have been added in recent decades, aka “Tweener Divisions” – you can find every weight category online.
Note: The WBC created the Bridgerweight division to sit between Cruiserweight and Heavyweight.
There is also what is known as the “Original 8” or “Traditional/Glamour” divisions:
- Light Heavyweight
Boxers will either be Orthodox (left arm and leg forward) or Southpaw (right arm and leg forward).
The stance is usually dictated by the dominant hand, with left-handed people using a southpaw stance, using their right hand to jab (lead/front hand) and their left hand (rear/back hand) to throw the more powerful straight punches. However, some fighters can effectively switch between the two stances (switch-hitters).
Southpaws are considered more awkward to fight as most boxers use an orthodox stance and therefore, this is the stance they are most used to coming up against in training.
Amateur boxing differs from professional boxing in that they are far more focused on point scoring and moving in and out of range. On the other hand, pros will often place themselves more firmly and go for knockout shots more frequently.
Although every boxer has their own unique style, there are many clear style types that we see:
Out-Fighter / Counterpuncher: These boxers fight at a distance and stay out of range. They are often tall and have good range (long reach: long arms). A counterpuncher will utilize techniques that capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes.
In-Fighter / Swarmer: These boxers like to fight at closer range. They are often shorter and use their low centre of mass to slip and roll their way into the inside (close range) – two in-fighters pitted against each other often create an exciting bout (styles make fights). These fighters can also be described as “Pressure Fighters” as they will often put constant pressure on their opponent.
Brawler / Slugger: These boxers tend to be powerful and aggressive and go for the big strikes and brawls.
Boxer-Puncher: These boxers tend to utilize a mix of the above styles.
If you are interested in my Strength and Conditioning for Boxing Paperback Program, you can grab a copy from Amazon by clicking HERE
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