Qualityof Punching in some arts?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rank the punching proficiency of the average practitioner from the following arts:

1) Boxing (Professional)
2) Kickboxing (Professional)
3) Muay Thai (Professional)
4) MMA (Professional)

On this scale, "10" will represent the proficiency of the average boxer (since I think that few would dispute that, at the highest levels of the sport, boxers exhibit the most proficiency at punching), and "1" will represent the average Joe on the street. So where would you rank the average practitioner of these arts at the highest levels in termrs of the Punching Proficiency (e.g. power, accuracy, etc.).

I'm anxious to see what you guys think.

1) Boxing 2) Kickboxing 3) Muay Thai in that order. you kind of answered your question yourself already :P of course you can argue about kickboxing and muay thai, but i'll go out on a limb here and say that muay thai concentrates more on kicking than kickboxing - iirc they even have a 7-kick rule in kickboxing.
In my opinion MMA is hard to put into that order because the gloves are different and the others are only standup.


kickboxing=7 i have seen American Kickboxers with HORRIBLE boxing form.

MT=7 same as above, except i have seen better hooks throwin in MT fights.

MMA=5- meaning they have hands,  you have to, but they dont focus on BOXING as a skill like they do their other skills.

Just my two pennies.


Yeah see I pretty much think that it goes in this order:

1) Boxing
2) Kickboxing (Full Contact)
3) Muay Thai
4) MMA

But I don't know where they, with the exception of boxing, woudl fall on a scale of 1 to 10, but I really don't think that Kickboxers and Muay Thai guys are at the same level when it comes to their punching. Does anyoen else agree to me that American Full Contact Kickboxers, generally speaking, have better hands that Muay Thai guys?

Regardless, if anyone else could also rate the average practitioners of those four arts on a scale of 1 to 10, I would appreciate it.

I'd say 5 for all of them. Answer is in the question 'how would you rate the average...' Depends on the training the individual gets, not the art they are training in.

in pure boxing form yes, I would agree with these ratings

I agree with CockneyBlue

Do people still do American rules kickboxing? Seems like its all MT

One thing to keep in mind about boxers superiority with hands is their
ability to use their whole body in terms of bobbing and weaving when
setting up combos. This gives an added dimesion to their punching
power and their ability to land. A really big dimension.

However, these habits can be bad ones in a MT fight and expose
oneself to ugly things like knees to the face. Given the defensive
posturing required to fight MT plus the need to work all the other
weapons (kicks, clinch, etc..) you don't see the punching at the same

When you spend ALL of your time boxing, the hands are obviously going to be at a higher level than someone who spends most of their time training other tools. Also, you are generally only as good as your training partners. Boxers work constantly with other good boxers, therefore, the hand level is going to be pushed even higher.

Kickboxers work only kicking and punching.

Muay Thai fighters have to work kicks, punches, clinching and knees as well as elbows.

MMA fighters have to work kicking, punching, knees, clinch work, elbows, headbutts, throws, takedowns, grappling, groundstriking, submissions, etc. Thus, the average, or even most, MMA fighters have HORRIBLE striking skills in a boxing environment.

IMO, Boxing being a 10, I would probably give the average kickboxer a 7-8, a Thai fighter 5-6 and a MMA fighter a 3-4.

I'm basing this on what I would expect to happen if you were to throw each into the ring under boxing rules.

Kickboxers spend more time throwing hands and some compete in both. Some pro's are even boxers that weren't good enough to compete in boxing, so they chose KB'ing instead.

MT fighters just don't spend as much time boxing, on the average, and they don't need to.

MMA fighters are generally HORRIBLE boxers. Most are just sluggers or they bypass punching all together.


Anyone else wanna chime in?

I would, in general, have to agree with whats already been posted....




MMA = 4

But unfortunately, this is just TOO general. Each of the sports has fighters who are world-class opponents with their hands. The more skills a fighter just use in the ring, the less boxing skills are a deciding factor in the fight.

Thanks for the contribution Khun Kao (I was waiting for your reply since I posted...lol), but don't you think that maybe there is a bigger difference between the punching quality, in general, of Full Contact Kickboxers and Muay Thai guys? Perhaps I haven't seen enough Muay Thai.

Regardless, keep the posts coming guys.

It's dangerous to use pure boxing form in MT IMO (or MMA) just look at how freely they do steps and throw punches without getting kicked in the thigh in American Kickboxing match.

MMA involves lot smaller gloves, that enables swing punches (ala Igor or Fedor) lot more effective, however if this was with boxing gloves, they would be easily covered.

There are three factors which decides punching quality IMO 1) The rule 2)type of glove 3)how much space it takes during their training regimen.

Yeah, I really wouldn't put MT's boxing too far below that of Full Contact. Don't get me wrong, on average FC fighters hands are better, but a lot of that is due to the game itself.

That's why I kinda made that disclaimer after my ratings. There are fighters in FC, MT, and MMA who are world-class boxers.

But, if I were to make any edit, I'd put FC at about a 7.5. Not quite worth an "8"....

this sort of discussion is, frankly, silly. Better punching FOR WHAT?...

under boxing conditions, a boxer is better trained. IE no elbows, no knees, no kicks and no clinching. People seem to forget that clinching is in fact illegal in boxing, you see tons of it on pro level, but it is still illegal and isn't getting you any points...

In pure western boxing they charge in behind the punches, the front load the leg, they lean the head in, lots of work on body punching, etc...

The only other sport where this has any cross over is American Kickboxing, because it's rules make it basicly boxing with above the waist kicks (which can be dealt with the same way)...

If you've done Muay Thai, you've seen plenty of times a guy try and body punch vs the two hand neck tie/plumm, only to find out that with the clinching, knees and leg kicks (elbows if it's pro) that it doesn't work.... at least not the way it works in western boxing

as for MMA though, got to say it again, the level of stand up is still pretty low....


I'm sorry that you think this sort of discussion is pointless and I disagree with you.

I, for the sake of my own curiosity, wanted to know how proficient the average practitioners of Full-Contact kickboxers, Muay Thai fighters, and MMA'ers would be at punching, compared to boxers, if they fought under boxing rules.

I did not ask this question in order to make it seem like I was saying that boxing in any way is even close to being an ultimate proving ground for what is effective in a fight or anything else of the like, I just wanted to satisfy my own curiosity and to know how well any of the skills typically developed by the practitioners of aforementioned arts would crossover into western boxing (for a variety of personal reasons), a question that you answered quite well.

Furthermore, even if someone was a straight boxer, if they were to cross over into MMA, it would be more than likely that their hands would be better than most even though they developed their punching skills in an environment where nothing but punches was legal. If you want proof of this, just consider the fact that the people who are, generally speaking, the best at takedowns in MMA are those who are, generally speaking, the best at no-gi takedowns in an environment where no striking or submissions of any sort are allowed, i.e. wrestlers. Even though they developed their skills in an environment that was not MMA, all that they have to do, after a few months or, at the most, a year or two of training, is to slightly adapt the basic skills that they've acquired in another setting but which nonetheless does carry over into MMA. Likewise for the guys who tend to have the best guard work. So I wanted to know which practitioners from which arts, if they were to cross over into MMA, would be more likely to raise the bar high when it comes to the punching in MMA, much like Mark Coleman did for takedowns in MMA and countless BJJers for groundwork in general.

But my primary reason for asking was in order to know which of the three arts, i.e. FC kickboxing, Muay Thai, or MMA, given their rules, would generally develop skills and attributes, as far as punching was concerned, that would most easily crossover into western boxing. If you think that my question is still silly, then too bad for me.

If anyone else wants to chime in on this discussion, it'd be appreciated.

It's a good discussion, FightStudent.

Your examples of wrestlers excelling in takedowns in MMA is good, also, and has further validity here. If a wrestler learns just enough BJJ do know how to use their wrestling skills to their own advantage, they are a formidable force to deal with. This has been proven again and again.

MMA fighters that have had boxing experience or even originally come from a boxing background are always feared on the feet, and for good reason. Once they learn enough of the other aspects of the MMA game to stay in their game or how to stay in a punching game on the ground, they will be hard to beat.

Far more knockouts occur in all events from punches rather than they do kicks. If a boxer learns enough of the kicking game to beat it, he is a horrible fighter to face. Once he gets inside, most kickboxers can't compete at that level. The same can be said of the neck tie. If he learns how to deal with it and work inside it, he'll be hard to beat.

It's like any other science. If you want to learn that area you go to the experts in that game. If you want to really improve your hand game you have to go to those who specialize there. You have to spend some time, however little, isolating that area of training and then bring it back into your complete game. You don't have to do this to be a great fighter. But, if it's hand skills you want to develop, boxing is clearly the best way.


Boxing - 10
Full Contact - 7
Muay Thai - 6
MMA - Depends on the fighter, some are like a 5 while others are 2

I understand both FightStudent and lkfmdc's point.

On the one hand, "yeah!" it is kinda silly. But on the other hand, "yeah!", it is a good discussion to assess the GENERAL skill levels involved in each of the sports.

The important thing to take from this discussion, IMO, is that despite the 'general rule of thumb' that there are exceptions to every rule. There are guys with world-class boxing skills in each of the mentioned sports and it would be a mistake to approach any of these sports with the mindframe "Oh, their fighters don't have as refined hand skill as a boxer...."