By Robert Elmore: There is room in boxing for all styles and this is what makes boxing so great. Boxing has enjoyed the hit and not get style of Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali, while others have enjoyed the come straight ahead pressure fighters such as Jake Lamotta Beau Jack, and Antonio Margarito. Brawlers seem to be successful against other brawlers or boxers who are not that skilled enough in neutralizing their attack. In fact, I would even go as far as to stay that brawlers hate boxers.
They love for their opponents to stand in front of them while they tee off. But when they face a fighter that gives them movement of any kind it’s called running. Brawlers have one style and are often one dimensional. If a good boxer takes away the one thing that makes a brawler a brawler; which is usually corner the opponent and unleash a barrage of punches; they are rendered helpless. Some of them don’t know how to cut the ring off. They follow their opponent around the ring and their defense is almost non-existent. Their defense is their offense. The danger in this is the brawler is more susceptible to being hit.
The boxer seems to understand the sweet science a little better. They practice the art of stick and move; counter punching; good lateral movement; good defensive skills ;cutting off the ring all while launching an attack that causes the brawler to second guess themselves. There are pros and cons to the boxer and brawler. The pros for the brawler are people will shell out the money to see them fight because they are guaranteed excitement. The cons they are susceptible to brain damage and physical injuries once they hang up the gloves. Some of boxing heroes have slurred speech or can barely speak at all. The pros for the boxers are, their health is intact when they retire, they make some money go on to the next phase of their life. The cons are the casual fan will not shell out money to see them unless it’s a brawler versus boxer type of a fight, but there have been exceptions.
Brawlers often get frustrated when they can’t impose their will on their opponent. But what does it prove for a boxer to stand in one place and take punch after just to say he has a chin? It proves nothing except the fact that he got hit on the chin. In boxing, punches will land. But the object is not to get with the same punches over and over. Let’s look at some examples. In 1990, Meldrick Taylor and Julio Cesar Chavez clashed. Chavez administered a beating to Taylor that resulted in a facial fracture, two swelled eyes, and was urinating pure blood. That same Chavez took on Pernell Whitaker and the results were nowhere near the same. Whitaker out boxed Chavez, used excellent movement, punched to the body, stood in the trenches, and put on a virtuoso performance. In 1964, Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston with speed, movement and combination punches. Liston wasn’t able to bore his way inside like he did against Floyd Patterson.
Ray Leonard embarrassed Roberto Duran in their second fight. Leonard was flat footed in their first bout which resulted in Ray’s first lost. And Floyd Mayweather bested his mandatory challenger Robert Guerrero with precise punching and movement. Guerrero was able to rough up Andre Berto with his bullying tactics. But against Floyd Mayweather none of that occurred. Robert’s father, Rueben screamed at the end of the fight “he ran like a chicken. I thought he was going to stand toe to toe”. Floyd did move, but only when he needed to. He stood in front of Guerrero, but Robert didn’t have any answers to Floyd’s defense. On top of that, he got countered whenever he threw something.
A boxer is not a chicken if he doesn’t stand in place and get his face bashed. It just means the brawler may need to makes some adjustments in their game plan. They don’t have to change their style, but just add a few wrinkles to it. If not, when they meet a pure skilled boxer, they will continue to be frustrated.