Brawlers, or sluggers, are fighters who typically fight at medium range and rely on their punching power to try and win fights by knockout. Because their fights often end early by KO, they typically do not have great endurance. Brawlers or sluggers typically have an advantage against swarmers because they can stop their aggressive forward movement with their power, but a disadvantage against boxers/outfighters who use their endurance, range, and technical proficiency to outbox them over many rounds.
Fighting a Slugger or Brawler
Beat a Brawler by Making Them Move
Because brawlers do not have lots of endurance, you always want to make them move. Never fight them toe-to-toe, but rather fight them while constantly on the move.
This also helps to minimize their power. Without being able to set and establish a firm foundation, much of their power is taken away. If you get stuck in a corner, and a slugger can establish their foundation and use their whole body to throw punches, you are in trouble.
Beat a Brawler with Straight Punches
While running circles around a brawler, use your jab and cross heavily. These are quick punches that you can throw to their head, and immediately move away. Hooks and uppercuts take more commitment to throw, and give a brawler more time to begin their own attack.
Circle them, throw a jab, set, throw a 1-2, pivot away, keep moving.
Beat a Brawler by Counterpunching
Because brawlers punches are big and slower, they are susceptible to counterpunches if you can make them miss.
Remember, don’t try to slip a punch and move inside for long combos. Counterpunches against a brawler should be quick and hard, followed immediately by you moving away again.
Beat a Brawler by Protecting your Body
Don’t forget to protect your body when fighting a slugger. While knockouts are typically blows to the head, sluggers can deal lots of punishment out to your core, weakening you and making you an easy target for a knockout
If you have to take hits from someone this strong, make sure you know how to properly take a hit, and make sure that you have developed a strong core. This can be the difference between losing and winning a fight against a brawler.
Beat a Brawler by Utilizing the Clinch
If a brawler gets inside, they can be devastating. If a brawler reaches this positions against you, don’t be tentative to engage them in a clinch. While clinching is not pretty, it holds a part in every boxing strategy, and must be used when the situation calls for it.
Remember to move immediately when the clinch ends.
Beat a Brawler by Staying Patient
Ultimately, you must remain patient against the brawler. You can not play “their game,” but must take your time and win on points. Be better conditioned, be smart, and be patient.
How to Fight Swarmers and Outfighters
Learn more about how to fight swarmers, or how to fight outfighters.