Tuesday, 12 September 2017 22:29

'Mexican-Style' boxing: What is it, really?

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Hispanic fight fans have always embraced brave fighters who stand toe-to-toe in the ring and fight with bad intentions.

Hence, being considered a true Mexican fighter is like wearing a badge of honor, regardless of whether you're Mexican or Latino.

"Forget about all this 'points' stuff, someone is getting KO'd."

"Let's throw down... Mano y mano."

They are considered boxing's ultimate tough guys... The basas*es in a bada*s sport.

However, whenever we see a fearless, aggressive fighter with a 'balls to the wall' style, he's often dubbed 'Mexican' by casual observers.

Does the public really understand Mexican-style boxing? 

Mexican-style boxing: Not all body shots, blood and bravado

“I would argue that a Mexican Warrior is one that has heart, passion, and fights with all he has until the very end with intuition and intelligence, “Canelo told BoxingScene.com recently.

"A Mexican warrior will not die in the line of fire, but will cunningly be three steps ahead of his opponent. No one can teach you to be a warrior. It’s something innate that unites all Mexicans – that fire is what propels us to survive and thrive.”

“When Golovkin or a lot of his fans refer to fighting “Mexican style” it is describing a style in which a fighter is gutsy, comes forward aggressively, is throwing power punches just to throw them and engages in unnecessary exchanges."

“If you look at all the great Mexican fighters who have become world renowned world champions like Salvador “Chava” Sanchez, Erik “El Terrible” Morales, Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Márquez, and Ricardo “Finito” Lopez just to name a few, they weren’t the biggest brawlers – they were intelligent with their boxing, were able to outclass their opponents and knew how to use their bodies to achieve their victories.”

As it relates to what is - or should be - considered 'Mexican style,' Alvarez is spot on. However, I beg to differ with his assessment of Golovkin wasting punches. As an amateur, Triple G had over 350 fights and was never stopped or floored. Moreover, he's been a dominant, undefeated world champion as a pro. One would be hard-pressed to say Triple G sometimes throws shots without rhyme or reason.

... But back to Mexican-style boxing.

When casual fans see a relentless, offensive-minded fighter like Julio Cesar Chavez Sr, they too often get the wrong idea. To the untrained eye, the great Chavez appeared to be 'brute force' in the ring, mauling opponents one after another thanks to his incredible punching power, fearlessness and steel chin.

...But it took a lot more than that for Julio to become successful, not to mention an all-time great.

Chavez had incredible defensive prowess, even for an elite level fighter. He also knew how to cut-off the ring effectively, set traps, dissect opponents and implement strategies on the fly based on an opponent's strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, Julio was no fool - He didn't absorb unnecessary punishment to prove he was a tough guy. Hence, opponents quickly learned he was very difficult to hit flush.


Canelo vs GGG News
Date: September 16, 2107
Broadcast: HBO PPV (US)

Division: Middleweight
Champion: Golovkin (Consensus)
Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas


Casual fans, or those who have never boxed before, often don't notice the subtle movements and many other nuances of the sport.

Boxing rewards skill and ring intelligence, so machismo without strategy, technique and solid defense is nothing more than "ring stupidity" and can only work in tough guy contests. Boxers, even natural punchers, who employ a style of 'all brawn with limited technique and no brains' only get as far as the local hospital.

Canelo and Triple G are your quintessential ‘Mexican-style’ prototypes.

 Let's do this... Mexican-style!

Lee Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.