Can a Boxer Beat a Muay Thai Fighter?


Two professional boxers are fighting on arena panorama view

Boxing and Muay Thai are similar. One could argue that boxing is the main component of Muay Thai. But if both have trained the same amount of time, can a boxer beat a Muay Thai fighter?

Here’s what I know training in both:

A boxer cannot beat a Muay Thai fighter because the Muay Thai fighter will not only use punches but will also be utilizing a variety of kicks, foot jabs, elbow strikes, and knee strikes, all of which a boxer will be unfamiliar with and unable to defend effectively.

Muay Thai fighters are also super-conditioned.

Their training regime is one of the most grueling in all martial arts. At an “advanced” level in Muay Thai, fighters are conditioned to be able to absorb blows and kicks! Not duck, roll or slip as boxers are trained to do.

The above is just a peek into the riveting theme we’ll explore: can a boxer beat a Muay Thai fighter? What do you think?

In this article, we’ll check out which one’s better for self-defense, which one is more dangerous, are there boxers who’ve beaten MT fighters, and similar themes.

Let the fun begin…

Is boxing harder than Muay Thai?

Both are striking arts; however, Muay Thai is harder than boxing because it is a combination of punching and kicking. Boxers have to master how to use both hands, while Muay Thai fighters have to master how to use their hands, feet, elbows, knees, and shins.

Muay Thai is known as the “art of 8 limbs.”

Fighters have to learn sweeping and clinching techniques and how to use their fists, knees, elbows, and shins. It’s not a walk in the park.

They also have to go through a lot of grueling drills. It’s not an accident that Muay Thai fighters have that alluring lean and mean physique most men would give an arm for. It’s because being properly conditioned is integral to the “art of 8 limbs.”

The fact is that there are more things to learn in Muay Thai.

MT fighters also do a lot of drills that are not for the faint-hearted. The goal is to turn their whole body into one multi-purpose lethal weapon.

Now, learning how to be a boxer is not a piece of cake.

But it’s easier compared to MT. A boxer has to master how to use their fists, know how to defend themselves, and do some drills.

What’s better for self-defense: Boxing or Muay Thai?

Muay Thai is better than boxing for self-defense because Muay Thai offers more techniques that can be leveraged in an altercation. And for self-defense, especially against multiple attackers, having a larger number of techniques improves the chances of winning.

Most men are “natural” boxers.

The boxing stance is almost always what we adopt, even in a street fight. So, a lot of men naturally understand basic boxing skills. Some have even had some form of training in boxing.

Your attacker would most likely be good at fighting, although with no formal training.

That’s why you need Muay Thai, it’s not common, and it offers a lot more weapons. Your whole body, not just two fists, can be turned into a deadly weapon!

Muay Thai involves some form of boxing, and in addition to that, it has other techniques that could be deadly when employed.

If a person were to master just 3 MT techniques, it might just be the key ones they’d need to crush most opponents they would ever face. (All things being equal).

Which techniques? They are:

  • Knee strikes
  • Elbow strikes
  • Low leg kicks

Say both you and the opponent are fighting, and you pull back and can land a couple of low leg kicks, you’re already winning.

They would become unbalanced and, of course, in pain.

But they won’t give up. They would close the distance, stun them with a knee kick and follow it swiftly with an elbow strike!

A combo of these three techniques can bring most opponents down. They are Jon “Bones” Jones’ go-to techniques.

Perhaps that’s why he’s undefeated?

Instead of dancing around and waiting for an opportunity for the perfect blow as a boxer would, MT allows you to quickly take charge and let them know who’s the boss. MT’s better than boxing when it comes to self-defense.

Say you’re considering starting Muay Thai but aren’t sure of all the pros and cons?

Luckily, I got into all of that in a recent article. I even get into the 1 con that results in injuries over 40% of the time.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Is Muay Thai more dangerous than boxing?

Muay Thai is more dangerous than boxing as Muay Thai practitioners are injured 55% of the time, whereas boxers are injured 45% of the time.

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The reasons for this are that fighters are exposed to blows and strikes from and to multiple parts of the body. Elbow, knee, and leg kicks can cause immense damage. It is not easy to duck in Muay Thai.

There are even reports of fighters dying in the ring doing Muay Thai!

Having said that, boxers are also prone to injuries. In some cases, boxers suffer from concussions. This is something highly skilled boxers can prevent because their defense game is top-notch.

MT fighters, on the other hand, are exposed to a barrage of strikes and blows, and they’re not so easy to avoid at all.

A boxer needs to avoid an opponent’s fists, while a Muay Thai fighter needs to avoid the fists, knees, shins, elbows, kicks to the legs, sweeps…

MT’s elbow, knee, and low leg kicks are so lethal when deployed as a “combo.” Some skilled Muay Thai fighters can bring a big dude down with a strong low leg kick.

You never know if you’re going to be punched in the face, eat a knee, have an elbow crushing one’s nose, or kicked. MT is highly demanding and dangerous.

But, it’s vital to say that if you won’t be competing in tournaments, the kind of MT you’d be exposed to would be “mild.”

What if you had to choose between Taekwondo and Boxing for self-defense?

Which one, at first glance, would you say is better? Luckily, I devoted a recent article of mine to explore this question. Both are Olympic sports, but one is mostly for show and probably wouldn’t help you much in a real fight.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Have any boxers beaten any Muay Thai fighters in a UFC match?

No fighter with primarily a boxing background has beaten a Muay Thai fighter in a UFC match. However, some boxers have won against fighters with other backgrounds.

However, there is no notable boxing vs. Muay Thai win.

Folks with a Muay Thai background are among some of the most successful in UFC history. This is a testament to how effective MT is.

Of course, most fighters employ techniques from a couple of martial arts, and it’s possible to discern where their go-to techniques are from.

The following are some formidable fighters in the UFC who have a boxing background:

  • Max Holloway
  • Conor McGregor
  • Dustin Poirier
  • Jorge Masvidal
  • Stipe Miocic
  • Petr Yan
  • Israel Adesanya

But as the MMA name implies, almost everyone who fights in the UFC knows more than 1 art.

In fact, that’s really the key to winning. Know a variety of moves and techniques, so you’re ready for anything the other guy throws at you!

Suppose you’re curious about which one’s better: Boxing or Krav Maga?

Check out a recent article of mine where I explained why one is clearly better than the other. What really surprised me was how quickly a Krav Maga fighter could incapacitate a boxer.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What is the strongest martial art?

Krav Maga is the strongest martial art for self-defense. However, it is not a true martial art but a self-defense system with a variety of techniques from many different martial arts to quickly and simply incapacitate an opponent with minimal risk of injury to oneself. It also has no spiritual component.

Two of the reasons why it is the strongest are: It involves no rules, it is a “by any means necessary” defense system, and it exploits the most vulnerable parts of an opponent’s body.

Krav Maga’s logic is simple: In a high-stakes, self-defense situation, following the rules could get you killed!

So, the most important rule is that you must survive.

Or, better still, survive unscathed. This is why practitioners are taught lethal techniques. They include some that we have already seen in MT. Why?

Because it’s got no rules, KM borrows effective techniques from any martial art and self-defense systems. It’s not about tradition or adherence to some fighting patterns.

It’s about using what’s most effective in the situation one finds oneself in.

Elbow strikes, knee kicks, low leg kicks, knees to the groin (a favorite Krav Maga move), eye-gouging…are all fair game.

Strictly speaking, KM is not a martial art in the true sense of the word, and it is not about fighting.

And it is definitely not a sport.

It’s about the most effective and lethal techniques to incapacitate an opponent without any harm to yourself.

In some rare cases, it’s even about “finishing a problem”(code for killing the opponent).

Conclusion

We looked at boxing and Muay Thai.

We checked out which one’s better for self-defense, which one’s more dangerous, whether boxing is harder than Muay Thai.

Muay Thai is harder and more dangerous, and it is better for self-defense.

We also considered whether any boxer had trounced a Muay Thai fighter in the UFC, and we wrapped things up by checking out the strongest martial art.

Krav Maga is the strongest martial art. It’s designed solely for self-defense, and it’s lethal.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell was Academy Director for a large martial arts school for over 7 years, and has trained extensively in a variety of martial arts including Brazilian Jiujitsu, different styles of Karate, the Russian Martial Art of Systema, Aikido, and much more.

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