Does Height Matter in Boxing? 4 Things You Should Know!

You may notice a shared trend of height in top athletes thought-out the sports industry. If you’re wondering, whether or not height is also a huge deciding factor in a boxing match, this is a helpful resource for you:

So, Does Height Matter in Boxing?

Height does matter in boxing which allows boxers to attack their opponent with ease by staying out of their punching range. Even though height is not a deciding factor but it definitely helps, especially when you want to play offensive and try to deliver different shots from various angles.

In this article, I’ll explain to you exactly what are the different pros and cons of being a short or tall person in boxing and how you can leverage it to enhance your game further:

What is a Good Height for Boxing?

Here’s a list of good height averages as per every weight category:

Weight DivisionAverage Good Height
Lightweight 5 Feet 9 Inches
Middleweight 6 Feet
Welterweight 5 Feet 11 Inches
Heavyweight+ 6 Feet 2 Inches
Light Heavyweight 6 Feet 1 Inch
Featherweight 5 Feet 8 Inches
Bantamweight 5 Feet 7 Inches
Flyweight 5 Feet 5 Inches

Even, extremely popular boxers like Floyd Mayweather Jr and Muhammad Ali has a height of 5.8 feet and 6.3 feet respectively. Manny Pacquiao who won championship titles in 8 different weight classes, is 5.1 inches tall.

There are thousands of examples in history of successful boxing fights that are in favor of both ends of the spectrum. Both short and taller boxers have their own specific advantages and pitfalls.

But, the question still remains is:

Is It Better to be Tall or Short in Boxing?

Even though height is not the most important factor in boxing but it definitely makes the difference. In certain situations, shorter boxers have the capability to dominate the fight while in other specific positions taller fighters have the command of the match.

There are so many techniques and practices available in boxing to overcome every advantage and disadvantage of height but it needs strict training and that’s why height becomes an important deciding factor in boxing while making the fighting strategies.

Advantages of Being Tall Boxer

Although some peoples have their own personal reasons but here’re some of the most common advantages you get as a taller boxer:

1. Can Avoid Bad Situations

As a taller boxer, you can easily maintain a safe distance from dominating opponents due to your long legs. You can move away just in a few steps and can avoid the counter shots and punches.

If you have a good height, it’s important for you to take a grasp on your footwork because a tall boxer with brilliant speed along with good “in and out movements” would be the toughest competitor for every participant in combat sports.

It’s become relatively easy for you to keep enough space in any situation while allowing yourself to attack the opponent unexpectedly. To take the most advantage of your height, I recommend you to concentrate on cardio exercises like cycling, running, swimming, etc.

2. Can Attack the Opponent Easily

Taller boxers are usually blessed with a great range of punches and attacks, thanks to their long arms. You can easily land uppercuts and even hit your opponent downwards.

At this position, it becomes difficult for short boxers to defend themselves but they can avoid such attacks by improving their head movements.

Although short boxers fail to reach up to their head for comfortable upper shots but quickly slipping face aside and then unexpectedly attacking them would be the best possible counterattack for short boxers in such circumstances.

But still, we can’t deny the benefit taller boxer gets that allows them for easy offense and dominate the game in their favor by blowing shots from everywhere.

Does that mean taller boxers are always going to dominate all the places? Long height also brings some unwanted pitfalls and you have no option but to deal with them:

Disadvantages of Being Tall Boxer

Although while researching, I came across many statements but here’re the 2 most important downsides of long heights in boxing:

1. Bigger Target For the Opponent

You might think this is silly but the height does provide a bigger target to aim for your opponent’s punches. In most cases, the situation becomes difficult to manage, especially when the opponent is very energetic and delivers punches continuously from everywhere.

Even if a single powerful shot blows off correctly, as a taller boxer, it comes challenging for you to maintain your balance in the ring and recover your stance due to a higher center of gravity.

2. Harder to Make Weigh

I know you’re aware of the different weight categories and limits assigned to them but height may come in your way as the biggest barrier. Due to higher gravity points and long, dense bones, you’re going to weigh more as compared to a short boxer.

That’s why to appear in a match in a particular weight class, you need to make your extra efforts to cut weight through exercises and follow a strict diet which can lead to energy loss and reduction in overall punching power.

Although it doesn’t matter much in the initial phase but stamina becomes more and more important in the crucial rounds and tall boxers are usually lag behind.

If you do not consider yourself a taller boxer, welcome to the club. 🙂 Let me tell you how you can leverage your height to enhance your boxing game:

Advantages of Short Height in Boxing

Here’s the deal:

1. More Punching Power

As short boxers usually need to attack in a relatively upward direction, you can take the support from your leg muscles to add up extra punching power into your attacks and makes your shots much harder.

Short boxers should focus on increasing their muscle mass because most of you guys are not going to be stressed about the weight class limit. Also, short height allows you for agile and faster body rotation and helps you to make your punches more explosive.

2. Better Defense And Balance

Stability and a better defense mechanism are other benefits you get as a short boxer. You should definitely work on your defense as your body is already complying with your boxing gloves to easily tackle your opponent’s straight shots and jabs.

You also get blessed with better stability and a sense of balance due to a lower center of gravity which I think, is quite important for long-term survival during the fight.

3. Better Control in the Clinch

Many studies are already proven that short arms are generally better at lifting as compared to longer ones and you should definitely take advantage of this fact.

When short boxers clinch the taller opponent it becomes easier to control the clinch with small arms. To achieve this boxer should push the opponent slightly backward on ropes to get an ample amount of time for clinching.

Disadvantage of Short Height Boxer

Whether you have an average or short height, you are sure to find some of these not-so-positives’ to be very intriguing. 

1. Harder to Land Head Punches

Short boxer needs to aim upward for headshots from closer range and it can be difficult especially when the opponent tries to maintain distance from them in the ring.

And, you can become easy to target if you try to recover this distance because it might cause unexpected counterattacks on them. That’s why you need to be smart enough to understand such plans.

You can easily take this pitfall by having multiple excellent punching combinations at your hand and delivering strikes at the perfect time.

2. Harder to Get a Close Range

As a short boxer, you can fight effectively only when the opponent is close to the gap. On the flip side, taller boxers can easily maintain this space and avoid any attacks by staying out of your strike range.

That’s why it becomes challenging for small-size fighters to adjust their range and taller boxers get benefits directly or indirectly. Along with this, there are so many boxing rules and regulations that make your job as a short boxer even harder.

Take a look at this amazing video clip:

Final Thoughts on Boxer’s Height

Height does matter in boxing matches and makes the fight relatively easy for a taller boxer. but, you need to understand height is not a huge factor, and being short or tall does not decide your chances of winning every time.

With that said: If you find this article helpful, do share it with your friends, and don’t forget to check out my other helpful resources listed below: