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"The punch is mightier than the sword!"
In general parlance, boxing is a combat sport where two fighters square off in fisticuffs. However, once in a while writers remember that boxing is considered a martial art and it is used as a fighter's style of choice outside the ring. In these cases, boxing techniques and skills will be presented as as valid as any other martial art, Red Boxing Gloves
optional, depending on the seriousness of the work.
Generally an Extremity Extremist
, since traditionally boxing has no kicks. Expect Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs
if the fighter is sufficiently strong. Compare Good Old Fisticuffs
, which is about untrained fighters are equal to trained martial artists (and they'll generally use some boxing moves, as it's the most "accessible" martial art for them to witness).
A subtrope of Bare-Fisted Monk
. Technically a subtrope of I Know Madden Kombat
assuming the character was trained in boxing for sport.
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Anime and Manga
- Chibodee Crocket from G Gundam uses a mishmash of "American" techniques and weapons, but his primary fighting style is boxing based. In fact, his Gundam can eject its football shoulder pads and attach them to its fists to boost its punching power.
- Ikki Takeda "The Puncher" in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is a boxer who frequently matches up with martial artists. Although he twice lost matches against Kenichi, the first match he was only using one hand and the second match was stopped by his trainer. He later does much of his training in the underground fighting rings, where he goes against people of all sorts of fighting styles and wins with his fists.
- Interesting manga example from Black God is Kuro. Kuro, a Mototsumitama, is often frowned upon for using boxing, a human fighting style, when she fights. Which is funny because she usually wins.
- Minai from Corpse Princess. In the DVD exclusive prequel episode, when Minai is asked if she has any fighting skills after becoming a Shikabane Hime, she says she knows some boxing, which becomes her fighting style against Shikabane.
- Alex Louis Armstrong, also known as "the Strongarm Alchemist" from Fullmetal Alchemist uses a form of fisticuffs passed down his family (FOR GENERATIONS!) with a side order of alchemy.
- One Piece:
- Franky is a cyborg whose enhancements run on cola. However, he will resort to boxing techniques (called "Franky Boxing!") when he's out of cola, thus without his strongest weapons.
- Foxy generally fights with boxing style, with spiked boxing gloves. Although he's known to use dirty tactics whenever he's got a chance.
- Ryoko, protagonist of Okami-San uses boxing techniques, and even has a pair of electrified boxing gloves
- Star Upper, a Toyless Toyline Character from Beast Wars II turns into a kangaroo and is skilled at boxing in both modes, being an intergalactic champion.
- YuYu Hakusho: Murota is a bit character who gains the ability to read minds at one point. He uses the powers to become a successful boxer, but also cleans the floor with some of Yusuke's allies using boxing moves.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL has Alito, one of the Seven Barian Lords, whose signature "Battlin' Boxer" monsters fit this archetype. He also fights like a boxer himself.
- Yuu from Holyland starts out using boxing because it was the first thing he picked up. He moves away from pure boxing as the story goes on.
- In Kill la Kill, Takaharu Fukuroda has a boxing gimmick, augmented by his uniform that gives him incredible Super Strength and Super Speed and his metal Power Fists. However, he's not above using kicks in a pinch, and his metal gloves can sprout spikes.
- In Rurouni Kenshin, Saito Hajime is a swordsman, but fights like a professional boxer when barehanded. This allows him to wipe the floor with Sanosuke Sagara, who learned to fight in the streets and is normally able to defeat martial artists with Good Old Fisticuffs.
- Ichirō "Alex Rodriguez" Shinjō from Beelzebub is one of the six Rokkisei in Saint Ishiyama Acadamy and the club president of the box club.
- Wildcat from The DCU uses no weapons and was a Badass Normal until a Retcon slowed his aging. He's just a champion boxer who fights crime in a cat mask.
- The Champion of the Universe, a cosmic-level entity in the Marvel Universe knows many fighting styles and has access to the Power Eternal. Despite this, he used the power primarily to hone his body to physical perfection (as opposed to other wielders of the power who use energy blasts or more creative uses), and chooses to go from planet to planet, challenging the best of the planet to boxing matches with the fate of the planet on the line should he win.
- Daredevil's fighting style is described by Danny Rand as "old-school jujutsu— with a little New York Irish Boxer thrown in for good measure." Makes sense, considering Daredevil's father was a professional boxer.
- Batman is noted to include boxing among the 127 styles of martial arts he is a master of. Not that surprising, since one of his mentors in hand-to-hand combat was the above-mentioned Wildcat. As this article notes, Batman's use of boxing was even more pronounced in his golden age appearances, where it seemed to be his primary striking-style.
Films (Live Action)
- Twister from Ip Man 2 is the British boxing champion. He manages to beat an extremely skilled martial artist to death in a match, despite the fact that Twister was wearing gloves and the martial artist was allowed to use kicks and throws, while Twister only used punches. He even nearly defeated the titular Ip Man, who bordered on Invincible Hero.
- Fearless: Jet Li's character faces off against representatives of three separate fighting styles; among them is a British boxer, though he gets easily defeated by Jet Li's kung fu.
- In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, the villain Professor Moriarty is briefly described as a former boxing champion, during the climactic fight scene against Holmes' hybrid-bartitsu-esque style.
- Happy Hogan in Iron Man 2 spends a couple rounds in the ring early on. Much later, he uses the same skills to take down a mook. While Black Widow takes out all the rest.
- In Black Knight, Jamal uses boxing moves to defeat three medieval bullies, who were quite strong but clearly didn't know how to fight, and were confused by Jamal's stances and footwork.
- The protagonists of Louis L'Amour's works are often trained in boxing (a suspicious number by the frequently name-dropped real-world boxer Jem Mace), and tend to find themselves up against fighters who use less scientific methods, or had been used to simply relying on size and strength to beat weaker opponents. L'Amour himself was a professional boxer when he was younger.
Live Action Television
- Marvelous Marc Mero (formerly known as "Johnny B. Badd") used a boxing gimmick as a professional wrestler in the WWF. He came to the ring in boxing trunks rather than Underwear of Power and used boxing moves (albeit bareknuckle) when he could.
- Consequences Creed, an Expy of Apollo Creed from the Rocky films, from TNA fought like this.
- Elijah Burke aka D'Angelo Dinero was a former boxer. In his wrestling matches, he often uses punch combos, and is fast enough to do Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs for real.
- Villains And Vigilantes adventure There's a Crisis at Crusader Citadel. The Shrew (Sheila Brewster) was a member of the Crushers supervillain team. She was a former boxer who used her boxing skills in combat against superheroes.
- A few in the Tekken series:
- Akihiko Sanada from Persona 3 and Persona 4 Arena was a boxer before he became a Persona-user, and his style of fighting is still based around boxing moves.
- Balrog from Street Fighter II, a big Scary Black Man with big Red Boxing Gloves. Notably, his name in the Japanese version was M. Bison, an obvious play off of real life boxer Mike Tyson. The M. Bison name was then given the Big Bad to avoid being too obvious. In the tie-in comic he is soundly trounced by Ryu, who then claims that a fighter who neglects his entire lower body and two of his limbs has no right to call himself a martial artist.
- Dudley from Street Fighter III is a British boxer who's a Quintessential British Gentleman, though he does have a few illegal techniques in his roster. (Some fans posit that he may only use the illegal techniques we see in the series' tournaments and street fights, not in actual boxing matches.) He's also never seen without his big blue boxing gloves.
- T.J. Combo from Killer Instinct, he even wears Red Boxing Gloves while some of the other fighters use swords and even laser swords. He's an expy of Balrog from Street Fighter II. In the reboot however, he's much more of a mixed martial artist, adding grabs and kicks to his moveset.
- Yugo Ohgami, from Bloody Roar, is a professional boxer, who also uses martial arts and street fighting. This makes him more of a MMA-style character, though boxing is his primary means of attack.
- Art of Fighting has Mickey Rogers, a former boxing champion who lost his career after he accidentally killed a man in the ring. Despite this, he isn't limited to punches, thanks to his "Burning Upper" and "Rolling Upper" projectile attacks; giving him a play style similar to Sagat.
- The King of Fighters
- Heavy D!, as the leader of American Sports Team, uses standard boxing techniques in the KOF tournament.
- Vanessa combines boxing with flash stepping for truly Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs and insane combos!
- Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers gives us Rick Strowd, a champion Native American lightweight prizefighter (and former casino boxer) with some pretty wild and acrobatic maneuvers. He was in the running for a spot on the KOF '99 roster, but lost out to fellow newcomer Li Xiangfei. Rick's electric moveset has since been partially assimilated by the aforementioned Vanessa, who in 2002 has access to his Hellion special and even uses his Gaia Gear P-Power as a HSDM .
- Makoto Nanaya from BlazBlue has this as her fighting style. Being superhumanly strong helps, though she is one of the least empowered characters in the series.
- Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams: Roberto Frois is a half-Japanese Christian missionary whose weapon of choice are the "Exorcising Beads" implanted in his arms. Whereas the other characters use weapons like swords, almost all of Roberto's attacks are boxing techniques done by his fists (though he does have a roundhouse kick as one of his techniques). This means that when you use the special Counter Attack "Issen" as Roberto, you can actually slice through your enemies with your fists the same way if you would be using a sword.
- Tokugawa Ieyasu from Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes, as a part of his Character Development, shifts from being a spear-wielder to a bare-fisted boxer. Complete with wearing a boxer's hoodie.
- Little Mac from Punch Out appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an Assist Trophy, where he hits opponents using boxing techniques and dashes. He's actually one of the most useful Assist Trophies. He later became an Ascended Extra, becoming playable in Wii U/3DS. Everything he does is based around boxing. No cheap shots; just quick, clean, and powerful punches.
- The Pokémon Hitmonchan from the first generation games is a Pokémon able to use almost any punching technique (including elemental punches), and has built-in Red Boxing Gloves. Up until Generation IV, it was pretty much useless, since the elemental punches were based on its awful Special Attack rather than Physical Attack, which as a boxer is obviously its better stat.
- God Hand allows players to build their own combos, which of course lets players customize their moveset to use nothing but boxing moves. Even so, based on cutscenes and boss fights, Gene definitely has several boxing techniques and characteristics in his canon fighting style.
- Night Shift of Skylanders was a retired professional boxer before becoming one of the Skylanders in charge of protecting Cloudbreak.
- Esther de Groot, of the Bobbins Verse, is a skinny goth girl who often wears a tutu. She fights under the Marquess of Queensbury rules, and her record when last reported was 28 fights, won 27 (14 by TKO), drawn 1. And as she demonstrates here, she's perfectly able to employ these skills in no-holds barred combat with other martial artists, even if she's not above using dirty tricks and psychology to get an edge on them.
- Yang, the Bare-Fisted Monk in RWBY, has a fighting style that's a mishmash of many styles under Rule of Cool, but boxing techniques and stances are among her most visible influences. Based on her blocking and footwork (specifically how she slides to dodge attacks), she fights like a boxer, with some martial arts training to integrate her legs.