View Full Version : Are fighters and punchers born...or can they be made?

05-08-2009, 01:09 PM
Both Teddy Atlas and Freddie Roach have stated that both fighters and punchers are born and not made.....I am not sure whether I agree with that or not. How do you explain Tommy Hearns having a low amount of kayos as an amateur but one of the most devastating punchers of all-time as a pro? I agree that Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Roberto Duran, and Jack Dempsey were natural fighters......but Ali, Joe Louis, Marciano(who wanted to be a baseball catcher), and Holmes(who had his heart questioned even before turning pro)? Is it just me or do both punchers and fighters are made instead of being born? I always thought that training, work ethic, heart, and character made the bulk of a fighter's success. I agree that genes or GOD given talent plays a role.....Are both fighters and punchers really are born instead of made? Why or why not?

05-09-2009, 01:25 AM
The power is inborn. Then taught all the techniques, timing etc.

Michael Frank
05-09-2009, 06:32 AM
Since so many fighters were guys who were beaten up by others before they turned to boxing, I'm guessing that they learned to fight; it wasn't inborn.

As to power, it seems the best fighters I can think of became more powerful punchers as their pro careers progressed, so while clearly some guys on the streets can KO someone without any boxing training, I'm guessing that power is developed as well. As you noted, Hearns is a great example of a light hitter who became a power puncher with training. Power tends to be something an athlete carries into a variety of sports: a big puncher likely could hit a baseball out of the park or ring the bell with the heavy mallet at the state fair.

I'm sure the answer to the question is very fighter-specific, however.

05-09-2009, 08:45 AM
It may be that some boxers become terrific punchers after they become physically mature. Also consider the fact that amateur bouts are short in duration, which gives a boxer less time to stop his opponent.

Jack Dempsey fought in a number of four-round bouts in California during the late 1910s, but his knockout percentage in such bouts was very low. Can one conclude that Dempsey wasn't much of a puncher based on such evidence?

- Chuck Johnston

05-09-2009, 02:41 PM
Teo Stevenson was known primarily as a no-hit, jabbing boxer until a Russian coach came to Cuba and showed the big guy a few things. We know how that worked out. PeteLeo.

05-10-2009, 09:50 PM
Timing and speed. Combine that with the momentum of the other fighter, spells IMO power.

Fulmer charging Robinson full speed ahead. Robinson, stops, really digs in, turns over a lighting fast hook, just as Fulmer surged forward....Ice

Otherwise power in the sense that we know it does not exist.

Why? Effective punching power depends on the recipient and how much he can take. Duran, mostly beat his opponents down over the long run. He was effective at helping his opponent reach his limit of punishment by being immaculately skilled in firing at the right time in bunches. If his opponents all had the skill of Leonard and the chin of Hagler, Duran would not be considered the great power puncher many consider him.

Foreman and the rope-a-dope. Me and you would have tasted the canvas begging for death using Ali's um, technique. Yet Ali was fine.

Timing, speed, and what the other is doing when you hit him = "power"

05-12-2009, 05:25 PM
I think about the guys in high school who were weaklings but 20 years later they are black belts and bench press over 500lbs. I think it is a combo of both nature(what GOD gave them) and training, but mostly training made instead of being born. Rodney Moore is another example. This guy was a slick boxer then later evolved into a puncher. I also believe that I had read that Jack Dempsey believed that punchers are made instead of being born. I also believe that fighters are mostly made instead of being born. Then again I could be wrong. I am not a hall of fame trainer like both Atlas and Roach but it just does not seem right about their statements.

05-16-2009, 07:51 PM
The reason Hearns had so few KO's as an amateur is twofold: 1- As a simon pure Tommy was a boxer & a mover & focused on boxing instead of setting down on his punches & taking people out.

2-He still hadn't grown into manhood. As he got older, matured & put on natural weight he accrued the power he became known for.

As to the question of whether these talents are innate or acquired it's a yes & no for me. As to punching you can learn technique, angle & timing to vastly improve BUT ... True power is innate & you have to be born with it at your core to manifest it.

Boxing on the other hand while it takes top notch athleticism, hand-eye coordination & ungodly refelexes to be a truly great one - see, Benny Leonard, gene tunney, Kid Chocolate, Barney Ross, Billy Conn, Ray Robinson, Kid Gavilan, Luis Rodrigues, Ray Leonard, Sweet Pea & Floyd Mayweather for example - BUT ... with at least a good allotment of all these requirements & with the proper training & will a fighter can become a top notch boxer.



05-16-2009, 08:43 PM
Gordoom is right. Pure power is innate. You are born with it. But punching can be taught. A knockout can be taught. Tommy Hearns and Benny Leonard are two examples of men who wernt powerful by nature innate, but through timing and boxing ability along with coordination became knockout punchers. Many powerful punchers had less knockouts than men who learned to box and hit correctly. Mel Turnbow, Walter Hafer, George Chuvalo are three who come to mind who were powerful punchers but less effective in ko power than some others who had the skill.
Tommy Hearns had much less innate power than Mickey Goodwin, but Tommy was much more the banger in a boxing match. Ya gotta have the skill.

05-18-2009, 12:58 PM
I think that Pernel Whitaker hit hard, but he never thought KO. He never kept that train or thought for a entire fight. He was always enjoyed boxing for the art of it.

I think Pernell scorned KOing a fighter, as opposed to making a fighter who thought the a KO on Pernell was indeed possible.

Pernell had the right timing and speed but he never deployed it for destructive purposes. Not to my sight, but when I watched him fire at Buddy McGirt I could tell that if he had the conviction he could have been a puncher. You could hear his gloves land.

I believe a fighter must possess power punching as an attitude and a way of life.

SR Leonard is a rubics cube to me because he had awesome power and speed, but not the timing of Robinson. He did not have the timing because Robinson timed his punches for KO effect where as Leonard timed his punches for scoring unless pushed to the former.

peter murphy
11-05-2012, 02:30 PM
boxers and punchers are born ,you either the first gift or the second gift if you have both gifts then your doing well

11-10-2012, 02:56 PM
Timing, speed, and what the other is doing when you hit him = "power"

I would have to add in technique and delivery. But, removing everything, some humans naturally exert more force throughout their bodies when applying a punch or kick etc. Foreman is a prime example. Just loaded with naturally heavy hands. Not really fast, because if he had an extra 10 percent delivery speed he may well have killed some men. Imagine giving Foreman Joe Louis' delivery and Mike Tyson's speed?