Boxing in a Street Fight

When the sweet science of boxing can help you deliver a can of whoopass

I'm not telling you to go out and start street fighting because you learned a punch or two, but picture walking out of a bar or school and getting jumped by a couple of guys intent on giving you a beating.  Are all these cool boxing techniques you are learning for inside the ring, going to save your ass on the outside?

The boxing skills you learn here and from your trainers can definitely help you in a street fight, but you are going to have to modify things a bit.  It's like any environment, learn to adapt and survive.  Don't and Darwinism will take over.

I have to say thanks to Nathan Teodoro for posting an article on boxing as a viable form of self defense.  Prior to reading it, I hadn't really thought of the applications of boxing outside of the ring.  As you can see from the video, boxing absolutely is a viable form of self defense.  I especially like the jab that knocks the one attacker out.

Turkish man Beats Mob with Boxing

Things to Remember if You Bring Boxing to a Streetfight:

1.  Don't Duck - Bringing your head down invites a kick or knee to come up.  Slipping is good, side to side is good, bringing your head into striking range by something hard is bad.

2.  Disrupt Attacks - Use your jab to stop forward momentum of your attackers.  If they get a hold of you, all the boxing skill in the world won't save you.

3.  Keep Moving - highly effective in the ring, imperative outside of it.  Again, if you're a static target, you can be taken down and pummelled.

4.  Don't Break Your Hands - Nathan mentions in his article that you should not hit with closed fists for fear of breaking your hands.  Better to go with open palm strikes and eye gouges and the like.  Well, if you're a boxer, I'm not so sure.  Trying to go with those other things could open you up to different injuries if you are not familiar with them.  I'd continue punching, just be selective where you are hitting (don't be slamming into someone's forehead for instance)

5.  Stay on Your Feet - If you are overcome, boxing will not help.  Hard to jab on your back.

This is where MMA, in my opinion, has greater application. (see Boxing vs MMA


So, why do you bother with a website about boxing, if it is inferior to MMA in a real life application. From your writing, it sounds like you have not actually fought as a boxer. I have,in and out of the ring and I have never known a boxer to be beaten in a street fight. I've only lost one in my life and that was to my brother, who was also trained by my father, and I was about 11 or 12, I think. I have lost in the ring because of not being prepared but boxing has absolutely served me well in street situations. I just don't get where all of this "boxing doesn't workin on the street" crap comes from. Go find a boxer and pick a fight with him in a parking lot. It will be a brief and painful education. Thanks for letting me put in my two cents worth.

yer i agree, but if your fighting more than one opponent, get overwhelmed, and it gets taken to the ground, MMA could definetly swing in your favour, there are so many variables in a street fight, so essentially on any given day......... but the person with the combination of heart and physical power is, the majority of the time, going to win

on the other hand against multiple opponents, boxing is better. all boxers train to do(essentially) is striking. grapples and locks on the ground will do crap. if there is more than one person and you have gotten one in a lock or submission grapple, what can you do next? get kicked in the face. if you are a boxer and you can keep it off the ground, stay on the jab and you can knock out your opponents. but there are many variables. and i do not believe the heart is what will win it. it is the ability to think under high adrenaline levels(nervousness basically, you know what i mean), strength and skill does matter

I quite agree with the tips mentioned in the article. I am not a great boxer at all but I try to train hard. My experience would rather suit to what was written, especially if you fight somebody trained in martial arts. When you are not accustomed to being hit by legs or being grabbed, you simply react as you were drilled and it it can be a problem.
There are differences in a game of boxing and a street fight and you should be aware of that...

no it wont. running like hell will

Although I agree that boxing offers many advantages in the ring (most MMA fighters train in boxing for a reason), I have to say that in a street fight, boxing is a step up from no training but can't compare to MMA. Although in the cage MMA does incorporate joint locks and chokes, in a street fight, anybody who trains in MMA who has half a brain will know better than to pull guard or try and take the fight to the ground. The difference is when the opponent doesn't just stand up and try to punch. Sprawling, kicks, knees, and an efficient ground game to get back up quickly are huge difference makers. I have never seen a street fight where 2 guys just try and box each other. If a boxer gets tackled then what? Someone who trains in MMA can easily get up from the ground or avoid being taken down at all. So, although I have the utmost respect for boxing, if I'm ever in a street fight I would much rather have experience in MMA over strictly boxing.

just because someone boxes in the ring doesn't mean they LOSE the ability to fight in the street. if you are a boxer with half a brain, you know not to use boxing rules in the street. boxing isn't a limitation, it's an advantage like mma. if you box, that doesn't mean you don't know how to fight on the ground. in a street all rules are out the window right? there is no such thing as a boxer in a street fight, or an mma fighter in a street fight, they all become street fighters out there. there are rules in mma that aren't in the streets either. there are pros and cons to both.

no gloves
able to end the fight with one punch if accurate.
give sever body damage in short amount of time.
boxers are the masters of fists PERIOD
majority of street fights start with punches.
speed and power

no gloves :P
more things to adapt to
generally weaker kicks, unless you know how to kick
no clinching without probably being taken to the ground
no gloves

no gloves
less to adapt to
everything you know about fighting is well put together
you can comfortably clinch because you'll know what to do next

no gloves :P again
generally weaker punches than boxers
the most common type of start to a fight is with the fists, so a boxer is better in that field
it's harder to choke someone out since they have the option of low blows.

Boxing really does help, im 18 and have been in my fair share of fights, most of which I have won, i started boxing at 15 and it paid off in those situations, I might not be here now, I could be dead, but boxing is for self defence in a street fight, you shouldnt go around and start fights because you know how to!!!

In a street fight, who would win a boxer or mma, im eager to know as i wud liek to start mma or boxing sometime soon

it depends on the type of fight. if an mma fighter gets a hold of the boxer, the boxer is more or less dead. then again, just because you are a boxer doesn't mean you box in a street fight. in a street fight you will do mma regardless because anything goes. but the point is, if you are a boxer in the ring and you rip all the regulations away in the street and your primary goal is to box while keeping other options open, you can end the fight in a matter of seconds because you have a higher chance of ending the fight with your first punch. if you box your accuracy should be good. there is no such thing as boxing in the street even if you are a boxer. everyone who fights in the street is a street fighter. no rules. people think boxers can't handle it in the streets, but those same people forget that we won't be limited by the rules. low blows are legal, weapons are legal, kicking is legal even if you are a boxer, and etc. it's all legal until you get caught. again, a boxer becomes a street fighter in the street much like an mma fighter does.

I know from the training that I have received, and the courses I have taken, is that there is a huge difference from wanting to learn how to grapple, box, submission wrestling, etc, for sport and fitness in a gym vs having to survive a street fight. While all of it will give you the upper hand over some one with no skills at all, when you feel that you life is seriously in danger you are going to gouge, bite, headbutt, and do what ever it takes. Learning how to chain bits and pieces of different sports/ disciplines will give you the decisive advantage. I don't think that you can honestly say that one is always going to be better over the other. It's all situation dependent. Just my 2 cents.

Great article with some good tips.

I think there are some big myths when it comes to boxing and martial arts.

The average boxing would destroy the average ma guy.

Boxers have way better hands and in most street fights its who hits first, hardest and fastest that wins. If you put a good fighter boxer against a mma guy in a street fight the boxer would win because its fists flying and the boxer has the advantage - a boxer can naturally gain forward momentum and continue with good tight punches which is crucial for winning street fights.

Boxers can hold and punch so they are able to deal with basic grappling.

There have been some great fighters that have been killed in street fights by going to the ground, even though they where winning they where stabbed or beaten by others joining in.

Grappling can be a disadvantage when it comes to street fighting, you cant afford to waste time holding someone when 3 others guys are hitting you.

Boxing is great for self defense - as anything its not complete but I would say in most terms its way more effective than most martial arts in a street fight.

I wrote an article specifically for boxing on street fighting here :

I never fight, so I don't know much. But to say that the difference between MMA and Boxing is only about taking your opponent down. Joint lock might be another advantage against many people if you use it properly.

In the ring, you don't break people's arm. In street fight, lock the join and break it as soon as you get a hold on it will effectively put your opponent down for the rest of the fight. While with punching, he might get down, but as you fight the other guy, he will had the chance regain his form and get up again.

Just my thought, not sure if its right, like I said, I don't have any experience with fighting ^-^.

Yeah MMA has a chance once on the ground...but you gotta get him on the ground. Once you are in the arms reach and they are enraged, seeing red...they are looking to take your head off. I ave nver seen mma fighters get into it b t in college I have seen boxers fight. There was never even a chance to get to the ground. Usually it was two hits. Them hitting you and you hitting the ground.
If they did a combo on you...
I've seen quite of few jaws broken by boxers in street fights. They are not gonna give you the chance to get them to the ground.
And unless you bound their fists, they are still lookin to knock your block off even if they are on the ground

Boxing is definitely valuable in a street fight. It is far more advisable to end a fight with a few powerful punches than to prolong a dangerous situation with grappling. However, I'm not taking anything from wrestling either. Boxing, wrestling and possibly a realistic art like muay thai boxing would hold up better in the street than something like karate IMO. A powerful, quick, well trained boxer would be quite hard to beat in a street fight and damn near impossible for someone out of shape or poorly trained, which describes a good deal of "streetfighters."

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