Slugger boxers are the heavy hitters of boxing. The slugger boxing style is also referred to as the brawler as they don’t have great technique and are more like street fighters.
A slugger aims to go for the knockout and get the fight over with as fast as possible.
Throwing heavy punches for 12 rounds can be extremely tiring so their game plan is to get it over with in the first half of the fight.
What is a Slugger in Boxing?
The slugger boxer possesses immense power that can knock out an opponent in one punch and leave them on the canvas getting the 10 count.
This is the main attribute that they have and use as they want to defeat the opponent as quickly as possible.
The brawler doesn’t have much of a defense but their offense is their defense as other style fighters will constantly be backing away.
As they don’t have much of a defense they also have to be able to take punches. But as these are generally bigger guys, that’s something they can do.
The slugger’s technique isn’t beautiful to watch like an out-boxer is, but one thing they can do is break an opponent’s guard with one hard punch. This opens them up so they can then land a clean punch to the face or body.
The beauty of a slugger is that both their hands can deliver devastating blows, not only the stronger back hand. Having power in both hands can sometimes look like they’re swinging which is why the technique is deemed poor.
Sluggers are usually slow on their feet which means they can spend a lot of the fight chasing quicker boxers around the ring.
Although, some sluggers also have decent mobility and speed just look at George Foreman in his prime.
How to fight a Slugger Boxer?
If you’re an out-boxer then you already have an advantage over the slugger. This is because you can keep them at an arm’s length whilst moving out of the way of those heavy punches.
Though, fighting a brawler as a swarmer-style boxer is extremely hard. This is because one of the best ways how to fight a slugger boxer is to not allow them to get close.
As a swarmer, that is your style, getting close and then applying pressure once you’re inside. A slugger wants you to get close though so they deliver those knockout punches. This is why Joe Frazier lost both his fights against George Foreman.
Boxer-punchers and out-fighters have a natural advantage as they can more easily maintain a distance. This is done by circling a lot, side stepping, and pivoting.
Then, when there is a gap you can start going in and out throwing punches quickly. As well as counter punching whenever possible.
As a slugger boxer doesn’t have the best stamina, it is possible to wear them down. Then in the later rounds, you have the chance to go for the knockout if you have the power.
This is a risky strategy though as they also only need to land one punch to win the fight.
The other option is to keep throwing potshots and countering when possible to win by decision.
Famous Slugger Boxers
- George Foreman – One of the best heavyweight boxers of all time
- Deontay Wilder – Has one of the hardest punches ever
- Gennady Golovkin
- Micky Ward
- Evander Holyfield
- Rocky Graziano
- Roberto Duran
The slugger boxing style is the least attractive of the four boxing styles, but pretty punches don’t also win fights.
A brawler has so much power in their punches that all it takes is one punch to take down an opponent. They’re not quick on their feet, but they’ll keep coming forward looking for the knockout.
If you get two slugger heavyweight boxers in the ring together, you can be sure to see a lot of hugging and hard punches. This isn’t always great entertainment for viewers like a boxer-puncher against a brawler is.