The advantages of fat

Discussion in 'Boxing Training' started by NEETzschean, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. NEETzschean

    NEETzschean Member Full Member

    Feb 23, 2021
    Having a naturally high body fat % can be a huge advantage if the boxer is also well-conditioned, muscular and has a sufficiently big frame to carry it well:

    1. Wrestling/clinching benefits (easier to push them and harder to push you, easier to hold and nullify their offense while punching them, harder to get their arms around your waist, more sweaty and slippery for them, conserve your stamina and sap their physical and mental stamina through leaning and domination in the clinch)

    2. Psychological factors (underestimation, less bodily neuroticism, narcissism and pressure, greater fear of humiliation and loss for the opponent, mass as powerful and intimidating in itself)

    3. Increased punch resistance (superior shock absorption and harder to knock down)

    4. Increased punch power (provided the fat is not grossly excessive)

    The heavier man can have the confidence to box to his game plan knowing that he can always clinch if need be and have the advantage, which is a big weight off his mind and tactical advantage but the opposite applies to his opponent, who finds himself less relaxed and with fewer options to defend himself as clinching is a less effective tactic for him. Having the advantage in the clinch also enables the heavier fighter to clinch frequently in the earlier rounds, potentially hiding his own fatigue when he clinches later on as this strategy eliminates the tell.

    So why does fat get a bad rap when it's clearly so useful? One possible reason is that fat fighters are very bad for businesses; both as less marketable individuals and in how they reduce the marketability of the chiselled, low body fat % weightlifters they defeat and humiliate (encouraging yet more fighters to keep the pounds on) so the boxing industry has a strong incentive to discourage the creation and promotion of fat fighters in any way they can. Fat fighters also have a bad reputation because they are overrepresented among undisciplined journeymen and because fat people in society generally tend to be unathletic and unfit.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
  2. BCS8

    BCS8 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    SOME fat can be useful. But too often fat fighters are the result of poor conditioning.
    taama, Bogotazo, Toney F*** U and 7 others like this.
  3. NEETzschean

    NEETzschean Member Full Member

    Feb 23, 2021
    Yeah, it's in the first sentence as one of the preconditions.
  4. lepinthehood

    lepinthehood The Stoneman Full Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Fat is Fast. Everyone knows that.
    JagOfTroy and UltimateDestroyer like this.
  5. El Gallo Negro

    El Gallo Negro Active Member banned Full Member

    Nov 8, 2020
    I agree, I remember Riddick Bowe slimmed down tremendously for his rematch with Golota...on the surface you thought, wow this guy looks in great shape, he must have trained hard for this fight...
    But things got underway and you soon realised Bowe was not absorbing punches well at all.
    Holler, Toney F*** U, Dance84 and 4 others like this.
  6. TFP

    TFP Member Full Member

    Feb 20, 2012
    the argument is obviously only halfway viable at heavyweight.

    even then, fat's no great hindrance in the very short term but boxers' endurance needs to be so good.

    even a single three minute round is a long time, it's roughly the amount of time it'd take a good club runner to cover 1km. guess how many good club 1km runners are carrying round significant amounts of body fat.
    northpaw likes this.
  7. NEETzschean

    NEETzschean Member Full Member

    Feb 23, 2021
    "the argument is obviously only halfway viable at heavyweight" pretty much yeah, otherwise it tends to push you up into a higher weight category

    Part of it will depend at the pace you're fighting at. If you fight at a slower pace your endurance doesn't have to be as good. Otherwise you need greater levels of stamina to carry more weight. Obviously you won't see many fat club runners because packing excess weight is no advantage on a run, whereas it can be a significant advantage in a fight.

    We also have to consider the gas tank of the opponent: having a heavier man lean on him and dominate him in the clinch is going to deplete his physical and mental stamina more quickly, so even if the fatter man is tired his opponent may well be exhausted. The fat also protects you from being similarly dominated and having your stamina sapped.
    fists of fury likes this.
  8. chico g

    chico g Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Oct 18, 2008
    I think some boxers have a better frame to carry it, and use it to their advantage. But body types are different, and natural ectomorph guys can't afford to put on so much weight. That's the reason why I like the heavyweight division. The fat and muscle levels have a much wider range than the lower divisions.
    NEETzschean likes this.
  9. titanic

    titanic Boxing Addict Full Member

    Aug 7, 2016
    How about Disadvantages of FAT apart from boxing ? :p
  10. Deew

    Deew Active Member Full Member

    May 4, 2009
    It's all well and good for the James Toney's of this world.

    Less good for the Chris Arreola and David Tua's of this world

    And yeah, pretty much is a cruiser/heavyweight question, as we all saw what , for example, the result of fighters like Hatton doing fat camps instead of boxing camps to burn weight and how they ended up; shot and drained
  11. NEETzschean

    NEETzschean Member Full Member

    Feb 23, 2021
    Even outside fighting (and it's even better on the ground than standing up: smothering and rolling off your back) fat has huge advantages in a survival situation. Fat people are better insulated from cold, more buoyant when in water and can cope with starvation and disease better. And if they die, there's more to feast on!
    Entaowed and Salty Dog like this.
  12. Malph

    Malph Boxing Addict Full Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    Most of the advantages the OP cites are about mass. Not fat.
    taama, Bogotazo, lordlosh and 3 others like this.
  13. TFP

    TFP Member Full Member

    Feb 20, 2012
    it seems to come in handy for sumo wrestlers. but then even 30 seconds would be quite a long sumo bout.
  14. Furey

    Furey EST & REG 2009 Full Member

    Oct 18, 2009
    Ali used to carry a little around the mid section on the reasoning it provided more protection to his ribs.
    NEETzschean and Surrix like this.
  15. Surrix

    Surrix Boxing Addict banned Full Member

    Sep 16, 2020
    this requires also high level skills, almost in 99% cases clinch / standup wrestling skills are undervalued by boxing fans in internet.

    This yeah.
    It is but only in some areas.

    It depends, if boxer doesn't move enough fast then. Remember physics lessons? mass and speed makes sense.