There are many great features available to you once you register at Neowin, including:

  • Richer content, access to many features that are disabled for guests like commenting on the front page
  • Access to a great community, with a massive database of experience on hard & software issues, gaming and recreational activities, and more
  • Access to the Neowin IRC - you could make a friend from across the world and talk to them live
  • Access to Neowin contests & subscription offers and forums that are not open to guests/li>
  • It's simple, and FREE! · Register here

Boxing: The Toughest Sport of All


 Share

Recommended Posts

Source

What's the toughest sport of all? Good question. Ranking different sports from toughest to easiest is very subjective -- not unlike ranking fighters on a pound-for-pound basis. It's also a good way to start a debate ... and sports fans love a good debate!

ESPN.com tried to answer when they assembled a panel of eight 'experts' - sports scientists, academicians, journalists and an athlete - to determine the most and least demanding sports. Each panelist ranked sixty sports on ten different categories/skills that go into athleticism:

ENDURANCE

STRENGTH

POWER

SPEED

AGILITY

FLEXIBILITY

NERVE

DURABILITY

HAND-EYE COORDINATION

ANALYTIC APTITUDE

The responses of the panelists were then totaled and averaged to arrive at a degree-of-difficulty number for each sport on a 1-to-100 scale. At the end of applying all that math and science to a question which can never be truly 'solved', guess what sport was deemed to be the toughest of all? You guessed it ... BOXING! Hard to argue with that conclusion as none of the other 59 sports on the list involve an opponent whose primary objective is to knock you unconscious . . .

More info and a chart

We sized them up. We measured them, top to bottom. We've done our own Tale of the Tape, and we've come to a surprising conclusion. Pound for pound, the toughest sport in the world is . . .

Boxing.

The Sweet Science.

That's the sport that demands the most from the athletes who compete in it. It's harder than football, harder than baseball, harder than basketball, harder than hockey or soccer or cycling or skiing or fishing or billiards or any other of the 60 sports we rated.

In Page 2's Ultimate Degree of Difficulty Grid, boxing scores higher than them all.

But don't take our word for it. Take the word of our panel of experts, a group made up of sports scientists from the United States Olympic Committee, of academicians who study the science of muscles and movement, of a star two-sport athlete, and of journalists who spend their professional lives watching athletes succeed and fail.

They're the ones who told us that boxing is the most demanding sport -- and that fishing is the least demanding sport.

We identified 10 categories, or skills, that go into athleticism, and then asked our eight panelists to assign a number from 1 to 10 to the demands each sport makes of each of those 10 skills. By totalling and averaging their responses, we arrived at a degree-of-difficulty number for each sport on a 1 to 100 scale. That number places the difficulty of performing each sport in context with the other sports we rated.

On the grid below, click on each sortable category to find out how our 60 sports rank in each skill. A glossary key is included at the bottom of the grid that explains each category.

So put on the gloves, get in the ring and let the roundhouse hooks begin.

I concur with the panel of judges that Boxing is thee most difficult sport. Whats cool is the grid in the second link. Check it out, fishing is the least most difficult sport lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grouping all martial arts under one hat in that survey is just ridiculous and some of those numbers just do not make sense. I agree boxing should be on top but in my mind there is no way football and basketball should rank higher than Judo for example and Judo should most definitely rank higher than Wrestling (all in my opinion of course).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say UFC.

UFC fighters are winded in three rounds most of the time. Majority wise, look at the physiques between boxers and MMA dudes (not counting heavyweight boxing, pretty pathetic at the moment). Boxers are more chiseled and carry a ton of stamina. Plus, the pillow gloves allow a boxer (with a decent beard) to sustain more punishment over a longer period of time whereas in MMA you can score a quick knockout. Some things to ponder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally think (Irish) Bare Knuckle Boxing is the toughest

Its only gypsies/travellers/pykies that practice that "sport"

Its not toughness, they are just too stupid to know its hurting them.

0905box2.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say that High Altitude mountaineering is much tougher, but i dont think they even took this into account. In boxing you couldnt suffer from Blood filling in your lungs and slowly killing you while frostbite knaws at your hands and feet.

Or while your climbing at FL270 (27,000ft) where it is hard to breathe even with oxygen......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone inform ESPN that boxing IS a martial art. They're making a distinction between boxing and martial arts, but they're not defining what "martial arts" is. Is it mixed martial arts? Is it all martial arts as practiced within their own discipline put into one group? If so how many and what other disciplines did they study? That fact that they're so vague makes me wonder.

I'm not going to take that "study" very seriously.

UFC fighters are winded in three rounds most of the time. Majority wise, look at the physiques between boxers and MMA dudes (not counting heavyweight boxing, pretty pathetic at the moment). Boxers are more chiseled and carry a ton of stamina. Plus, the pillow gloves allow a boxer (with a decent beard) to sustain more punishment over a longer period of time whereas in MMA you can score a quick knockout. Some things to ponder.

I really don't know what having a nice physique has to do with either sport because at that level it has nothing to do with stamina or strength. If you want to watch nice physiques there is the WWE.

In fact, too much muscle will be a determent and you'll gas out faster. You need more oxygen to feed that "nice physique." I'll use Fedor Emelianenko [picture] as an example. Top MMA fighter in the world. He can arguably decimate any man from any close combat discipline (in an MMA setting of course) and he is by no means chiseled, or a "looker". If you think he's out of shape, he just went two rounds with a man (who's background was a kick-boxer mind you) who was outweighing him by 60 pounds and who was putting that weight on top of him for most of the fight.

Second, they're not referred to as UFC fighters. They're mixed martial arts fighters, and I wouldn't use the UFC as a barometer for MMA fighters because it is not the premier MMA organization. Not to discount the physical condition of UFC fighters.

Third, you're comparing the two as if they're the same. Boxing is a sport where you're constantly standing on your feet and are regulated to using your fists. MMA involves more than boxing. For one, there is grappling, which is a hell of a lot more tiring and requires more stamina than merely boxing. Try going for a shoot on someone several times in a match and see if you're still as fresh as if you were just boxing with them. Don't let their physiques fool you. Furthermore, in PFC they have 10 minute opening rounds, followed by two 5 minute rounds. That says more about their physical condition than I can explain.

Fourth, boxing gloves are heavy and bulky and thus detract from aim AND speed. MMA gloves are light and are worn only to offer minimal protection to the puncher, so they do not inhibit the punchers punching speed nor aim. This is why when someone gets hit in the right spot, they go down immediately. Moreover, to add to that point, with boxing gloves you can hit as hard as you want without fear of hurting your hand. Since MMA gloves provide minimal protection to the fighter, if you hit a hard spot like the forehead or elbow, you'll feel it. Also, since boxing gloves are much bigger they provide an unrealistic defense as you can block with them. With MMA gloves, punches are more inclined to slide through and penetrate a guard, as they would with a bare knuckle fight.

Boxing and MMA are both very tough sports and similar in that they're close combat striking sports. However, since it's a culmination of all martial arts, there are so many more variables that go into and thus a greater degree of difficulty. While in boxing you pretty much know your opponent is either going to hit you in the head or body with his fists, and he's going to do it standing up. I'd rank MMA above boxing in each of those categories.

EDIT: Fixed typo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really don't know what having a nice physique has to do with either sport because at that level it has nothing to do with stamina or strength. If you want to watch nice physiques there is the WWE.

Normally a lean build usually indicates that an athlete has trained well in preparation. What this has to do with a muscular WWE man is merely off the point. If you compared Sumo wrestling and running, whom would last longer and what do they both look like? This does not discount the fact that certain athletes genetics work against popular beliefs. Its few and far between though. Then you have making weight in boxing where fighters actually fight at dangerously lower weights than they normally would. This hasn't really hit MMA yet since they have large gaps in weight classes from what I'm accustomed to.

In fact, too much muscle will be a determent and you'll gas out faster. You need more oxygen to feed that "nice physique." I'll use Fedor Emelianenko [picture] as an example. Top MMA fighter in the world. He can arguably decimate any man from any close combat discipline (in an MMA setting of course) and he is by no means chiseled, or a "looker". If you think he's out of shape, he just went two rounds with a man (who's background was a kick-boxer mind you) who was outweighing him by 60 pounds and who was putting that weight on top of him for most of the fight.

Again, I never used the word muscular and there is no disagreement there but not in the sense that a fighter would lose stamina. Thats not entirely true. Except for heavyweight boxing, the reason you would not want to pack on muscle is for stiffness and the ability to block punches. Having large triceps hinders the ability to block body shots as you would not be able to pull your elbows flush to the body. Also, you just dont need triceps as much as biceps since a proper punch is pulled not pushed i.e. the snap.

Second, they're not referred to as UFC fighters. They're mixed martial arts fighters, and I wouldn't use the UFC as a barometer for MMA fighters because it is not the premier MMA organization. Not to discount the physical condition of UFC fighters.

Easy there touchy fella, UFC is a division with different rules but still fight with MMA discipline. The two terms get mixed all the time because of the UFCs introduction in the US. The person I quoted used UFC initially. If I addressed the subject originally it would have used the MMA moniker to avoid unneeded protest about a stupid word. I'm an experienced fan of MMA as with most contact combat sports but I'm not going to let the confusion bother me that much, its silly.

Third, you're comparing the two as if they're the same. Boxing is a sport where you're constantly standing on your feet and are regulated to using your fists. MMA involves more than boxing. For one, there is grappling, which is a hell of a lot more tiring and requires more stamina than merely boxing. Try going for a shoot on someone several times in a match and see if you're still as fresh as if you were just boxing with them. Don't let their physiques fool you. Furthermore, in PFC they have 10 minute opening rounds, followed by two 5 minute rounds. That says more about their physical condition than I can explain.

I never said they were the same, in fact wasn't my not treating them the same the reason you wrote such a defensive post?

Fourth, boxing gloves are heavy and bulky and thus detract from aim AND speed. MMA gloves are light and are worn only to offer minimal protection to the puncher, so they do not inhibit the punchers punching speed nor aim. This is why when someone gets hit in the right spot, they go down immediately. Moreover, to add to that point, with boxing gloves you can hit as hard as you want without fear of hurting your hand. Since MMA gloves provide minimal protection to the fighter, if you hit a hard spot like the forehead or elbow, you'll feel it. Also, since boxing gloves are much bigger they provide an unrealistic defense as you can block with them. With MMA gloves, punches are more inclined to slide through and penetrate a guard, as they would with a bare knuckle fight.

Sorry but this is where you are just wrong. Boxing gloves are not used to protect your hands, they are used to protect fighters and prolong boxing matches. There is a real controversy over this due to the deaths of boxers. Accepting so many blows has caused many internal head injuries. The good thing about MMA is that you can only take so many bare knuckle cracks and you're out. Limiting the amount of punishment you need to endure. Solely on this fact alone makes boxing a tougher sport.

I don't think there is any MMA fighter in the world that could hit as fast as Manny Paquiao wearing 12 ounce 'pillows'. The speed detraction is nill.

Boxing and MMA are both very tough sports and similar in that they're close combat striking sports. However, since it's a culmination of all martial arts, there are so many more variables that go into and thus a greater degree of difficulty. While in boxing you pretty much know your opponent is either going to hit you in the head or body with his fists, and he's going to do it standing up. I'd rank MMA above boxing in each of those categories.

EDIT: Fixed typo.

If the MMA were truly recognized in the ESPN rankings as a separate sport it should rank higher than being lumped into a category with Karate imo. What MMA is working through right now is getting a dominant style as was the transformation in boxing years and years ago. Which is actually what caused matches to get boring if you get what I'm saying (not including corruptness). MMA has a little ways to go, and Ill be following along watching the transformation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.