From the Golden Age to Today: The Evolution of Boxing Style and Technique
By Rachel Jones - July 12, 2023

Boxing has been a popular sport for centuries and has gone through various transformations over the years. From the “sweet science” of the sport’s golden age to the high-energy, fast-paced style of modern-day boxing, the evolution of boxing style and technique is fascinating to examine.

During the golden age of boxing in the 1920s and 30s, the sport was characterized by technical mastery and strategic planning. Boxers like Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney employed a scientific approach to the sport, studying their opponents’ movements and weaknesses to develop a winning strategy. They were known for their accurate punches and precise footwork, as well as their ability to evade their opponents’ attacks.

In the 1950s and 60s, boxing saw the emergence of fighters like Muhammad Ali, who brought a new level of showmanship and charisma to the sport. Ali was known for his unorthodox style, using his speed and agility to move around the ring and avoid his opponents’ attacks. He was also a master of the “rope-a-dope” technique, where he would rest against the ropes and let his opponents tire themselves out before launching a counter-attack.

Getty Images/ Patrick McCullan/ Sean Zanni

The 1980s and 90s saw a shift in the sport towards a more aggressive and high-energy style. Fighters like Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield were known for their power and ferocity in the ring, relying on quick, powerful punches and a relentless approach to overwhelm their opponents.

Today, modern-day boxing is characterized by a combination of these different styles and techniques. Fighters like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao have perfected the art of defensive boxing, using their footwork and head movement to avoid their opponents’ punches and counter with quick, precise jabs. At the same time, fighters like Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin bring a more aggressive and powerful approach to the sport, using their strength and heavy punches to knock out their opponents.

The evolution of boxing style and technique has seen a constant evolution, with each era bringing its own unique approach to the sport.