Powerstar asked in SportsMartial Arts · 9 years ago

Can old boxers match up to old martial artists ?

It is quite common to find old martial artists who can defend themselves from younger and stronger opponents. I didn't read about any old boxer who can defend himself from young ones. Is it due to the limits boxing has and the superior technicality in martial arts?

10 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hey there

    That would depend on the old boxer and the old martial artist.

    Judge not the style but the one practising it .

    Also you make it sound as if a boxer would only use punches in a fight outside the ring, self defense situation.... Not true, their advantage would be their punching ability, but the boxer is not set to ring rules and may kick etc aswell as punch, but boxing punching would be their strong point obviously

    However the Karateka would have a much larger toolbox is techniques to choose from, but still it depends on both people and how skilled they are.

    One good box from a skilled boxer could knock anybody out even kill somebody depending on where they hit, the same with a good Karateka, one good strike or kick could kill or knock somebody out, break bones whatever depending on where they hit .... Karate has the advantage, but it depends on whos applying it ..

    Kind regards


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  • 9 years ago

    I've read a ton of stories of old Golden Gloves boxers knocking out and defending themselves from muggers.

    Older boxers have beaten younger boxers plenty of times Mike Tyson was beaten by a much older Buster Douglas, George Foreman beat a much younger Michael Moorer, retained his belt fighting off much younger competetion, Julio Cesar Chavez, Hector Commacho, all had great careers and runs against much younger opponents.

    Despite what people say, I have seen Mohammed Ali shadowbox just playing around, and even as old as he is, with parkinsons, I still believe he would put a would be mugger's lights out.

    But I do agree with the stress that competeting at a high level in a combat sport has on the body, by nature they are going to have more injuries than a hobbyist or life long Martial Artist who doesn't push his body to the limits that a professional athlete has to.

    At 65 someone who has done Martial Arts their whole life is going to be banged up sure, but he will still have greater mobility and health than any professional athlete who had to compete at a combat or even high impact sport. (Say basketball, football, or soccer).

    Hell you will be hard pressed to find many former high level athletes older than 65 or 70.

    So there is definitely a quality of life and health that doing Martial Arts allows, I am not an old timer but I am pretty dinged up, I know most older Martial Artists have bad shoulders/knees, general joint issues, arthritis in the hands, etc.

    In the end, when it comes down to do it we can do what we need to do... now the 2 or 3 weeks of soreness, pain, and limping afterwards....that is just nature.

    Just my two cents...

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  • 9 years ago

    Compare Dan Inosanto with Muhammad Ali. Both legends.

    From the time of their careers to today, who is the healthiest now?

    In my opinion, it isn't about boxers being more limited than non-boxing martial artists (boxing indeed is a martial art) but about the priority of a boxer in a fight compared to anybody else. Let me explain. Boxers in their youth have the advantage over say, your average Karate-ka, because of the level of body conditioning. They are trained to withstand massive amounts of damage and abuse while in the ring. As a result most boxers also end up with brain injuries, paralysis, etc.

    Martial artists can be seen in a variety of environments and are trained to defend themselves, defeat the opponent and to get out of hostile environment as fast as possible - at the cost of lack of body conditioning.

    When you're old, it doesn't matter how strong or fast you are if your mind isn't sharp - the reason why it's common to find old martial artists beating young ones is that their training is to develop every aspect of your mind AND body, and not just the focus on your physical strength.

    I see it this way - just because you're trained to survive a punch with the strength of a car crash to the head doesn't mean you HAVE to.

    You don't see old boxers fighting as much as old martial artists because by the time they've reached their old age, they've been broken. Old martial artists can still fight because they took care of themselves while they were young.

    I hope you understand what I'm saying.

    Source(s): just an observation from a TKD student
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  • Ippon
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Well, with the martial artisits, he is able to use a full spectrum of tricks and skills. What is the saying? "Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill." Physcially, they can't always go toe to toe and all. But, they find ways around it. They have tons of tools to choose from while their younger opponets only have a few good tools in comparison. It's an all out game.

    Boxers, are confined to boxing rules. They are way too limited. It's a sport, and physcial qualties are higly prized in sports. Sports are designed to fight fair. So, in a fair fight, the younger and stronger can ultimately prevail.

    By the way, in a street fight, several boxes have whupped younger opponets. Jack Dempsey, for one, in his 70's knocked two much younger would be muggers flat.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    This question is actually a bit complicated, but, it depends on several factors: the health of both fighters, the age of both fighters, the amount of fight experience of both fighters. Last but not least, the continued training of both fighters. The reason most older martial artists can still compete is the continuous training they put themselves through on an almost daily basis. Boxers typically train from a young age and then spend a few years as professionals and then retire and rarely keep up with their training, at least to the extent that they did when fighting professionally.

    Martial artists typically stick with the same training regimen their entire lives.

    Another factor is that there are very few areas in which martial artists can fight in a full contact arena. There is cage fighting, which is exceptionally difficult to break into even at the amateur level. Then there is K1 which is only a few places worldwide. Boxers, however, have access to not only amateur and pro boxing arenas globally, but also can try to get into cage fighting as well. So that being said a 50 year old boxer who was pro and a 50 year old martial artist who fought pro are much different injury wise. Boxing is actually statistically more harmful for a fighter’s health in the long run than martial arts fighting or even cage fighting.

    A boxer sustains many, many, many, more head injuries and even brain damage.

    A final thing to consider is the training; most martial artists don't train for sport competition like boxers do. Most martial artists practice and refine their art for several reasons: meditation, physical health, flexibility, mental stability, discipline, focus, and most importantly self-defense. The sport arena for many martial artists is severly dumbed down to limit what they can and can't do. Cage fighting allows the most, but it still doesn't allow the most effective techniques a martial artist knows, which is why you don't see kung-fu fighters (who rely on small joint manipulations, pressure point jabs and muscle tearing), real muay Thai fighters (because half of their elbow strikes are illegal), or real karate practitioners (because a lot of their real strikes focus on easily broken joints, kyokushin practitioners generally think MMA is for those who can't walk into a fight without gear).

    Boxers however, from day one are training to fight in that sport. So they don't know any differently nor do they care too. This makes them extremely efficient inside a boxing ring.

    So this extremely long response adds up to this. Let's say the terms of the match up are by a standard; that both men are of about the same age, training time, years in their respective styles, weight classes and health.

    If the fight happens in a boxing ring using boxing rules, the boxer will probably win as that is where he shines and has his experience and his train of thought. A martial artist would be having to think the whole time of the rules and what he can and can't do, which would slow his response time. He would put up a fight but the boxer would win.

    If it happens on the street or cage, the boxer is out of his element entirely. He has no training in how to respond to being kicked at or grabbed, or having his throat punched. He would put up a fight but would ultimately lose to the overall skill of his opponent. Not to say the boxer is unskilled in the least, but he doesn't have the proper skill set to respond.

    You see it a lot in cage fighting especially in amateur MMA. Everyonce in a while a boxer rises above and can defend well enough to utilize his skills as a boxer, but this is a rarity and not a rule. I will say this though, with all the skills a martial artist has and all of his varied techniques; a boxer punches very well. Pound for pound boxers on average punch about 40-50% harder than martial artists.

    Source(s): 25+ years martial arts experience and research www.wikipedia.org http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/fight... dsc.discovery.com/tv/fight-quest/fight-quest.html
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  • 9 years ago

    I know some old martial artists that are hella strong and incredibly fast so yes on the martial artists but I honestly don't know much about boxers but CTC has a good point.

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  • 9 years ago

    Competitive boxers take more punishment during their career, but someone with that much skill and experience is going to be able to defend themselves. In particular I remember hearing how a 70-something Jack Dempsey knocked out two guys who were trying to mug him.

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  • 9 years ago

    Yes, they can.

    The last thing that goes away as a boxer is technique.

    Look at George Foreman, he was again a champion when he was older.

    I would not mess with an old guy who is proficient at boxing.

    Source(s): my brain ;)
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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    It is possible, but do to injuries sustained from boxing earlier in life, it would be quite difficult for one to do so.

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  • CTC
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Have u seen what repeated brain injuries have done to Mohamad Ali?

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