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.
25+ years martial arts experience and research
· 8 years ago