They often say that boxing is the theater of the unexpected. Anything can happen in the ring, and oftentimes, it’s extremely exciting, especially for fans watching ringside. Some fighters just have a knack for showmanship, a penchant for flair, and flamboyance that can rile up any crowd.
Most of the time, these very boxers have some pretty interesting techniques in their toolbelt – signature punches, unique only to them, and often punches that they developed themselves. These techniques became part of their fighting styles and were used to great effect.
From Manny Pacquiao’s double jab, a straight left combination, to Mike Tyson’s thunderous uppercuts, the greatest boxers in the world employed their very own signature punches in their arsenal. These punches were distinct and often flashy and were used to tremendous effect.
Let’s take a look at some of these incredibly unique weapons. Today, Evolve Daily shares five signature punches in boxing.
1) Rocky Marciano – “Suzie Q”
Legendary heavyweight Rocky Marciano finished with a professional record of 49-0 (43 KOs) when he retired in 1955. While it’s certainly no easy task to maintain a perfect slate whilst competing at the highest level of competition, the man known as “The Brockton Blockbuster” was able to accomplish this feat through his sheer toughness and unrivaled power.
That power was consistently showcased through his favorite punch, a thunderous overhand right he fondly referred to as “Suzie Q.”
“Suzie Q” was no doubt the most devastating offensive weapon in Marciano’s arsenal. It was responsible for separating many of the heavyweight legend’s opponents from their senses. Whenever it connected, that usually meant lights out for his foes. His right hand was like a brick.
It should be stated that Marciano didn’t exactly face the best opposition during his era. That’s going to be a knock on his record, but you can’t fault him for that. Nevertheless, not many would survive a clean hit from “Suzie Q.”
2) Floyd Patterson – “Gazelle Punch”
The “Gazelle Punch” sounds more like a fantasy move you would find in a popular Japanese manga, but it was legendary heavyweight Floyd Patterson’s signature punch.
Patterson was and still is one of the most underappreciated heavyweight world champions in history. He was most known for his defeats to the GOAT Muhammad Ali and his knockout loss to Sonny Liston.
However, because of the immense power of his “Gazelle Punch,” Patterson was an absolute force to be reckoned with. He ended his career with a professional record of 55-8-1 (40 KO’s), which is still exceptional even by today’s standards.
The “Gazelle Punch” was a left hook thrown in an upward trajectory, bending both knees to generate power, and then springing toward the opponent like a gazelle. Patterson often leaped into the punch, putting his entire weight behind it. He called it a “sure kill” when it landed.
3) Razor Ruddock – “The Smash”
Former heavyweight world champion Donovan “Razer” Ruddock wasn’t the most flashy and flamboyant boxer of his era. And he didn’t have a signature move with a cool name like the “Suzie Q” or the “Gazelle Punch.” But what Ruddock did have was a mean hooker-cut that could lift his opponents off their feet.
Ruddock’s signature punch was aptly called “The Smash” – simple in name, but no less deadly. It was a destructive left hook and uppercut hybrid punch thrown at a 45-degree angle, which made it extremely hard to defend against.
With “The Smash,” Ruddock was able to pulverize his opponents, targeting their fragile chins with an absolute dynamite of a punch. Whenever this punch landed, it would send Ruddock’s opponents reeling toward the ropes – that’s if they don’t go down.
The Canadian hard-hitter finished his career with a professional record of 40-6-1 (30 KO’s), and “The Smash” was a consistent part of his highlight reel.
4) Kid Gavilan – “Bolo Punch”
Arguably the greatest Cuban fighter of all time, national hero Gerardo González, more fondly known as “Kid Gavilan,” was a former undisputed welterweight world champion between 1951 and 1954.
His signature offensive weapon, the “Bolo Punch,” was essentially also a hook combined with an uppercut. It was usually thrown behind a distraction, which was commonly the opposite hand in a circular motion. After an opponent’s concentration was broken, the “Bolo Punch” was snuck in.
“Bolo” is a loose translation of the Filipino word for a machete, a broad, heavy knife typically used to cut through thick vegetation in the jungle.
With the “Bolo Punch” in his repertoire, Gavilan tallied 28 exciting KO’s in his career, which he ended in 1958 with a 108-30-5 record.
Although Gavilan wasn’t the originator of the “Bolo Punch” (that honor goes to the great Ceferino Garcia), the Cuban was probably the most effective with it. However, other great boxers like “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Roy Jones Jr., and Joe Calzaghe also used this punch frequently.
5) Manny Pacquiao – “Manila Ice”
Former eight-division boxing world champion and Filipino icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao was simply phenomenal as a young fighter in the late 90s and early 2000s. He had a fast and powerful left hand that his foes have likened to a “pistol bullet.” Thrown from the southpaw stance and with his whirling dervish style, it was explosive and lethal.
Early in his career, however, Pacquiao was considered very one-dimensional. In fact, he probably could never have become the pugilistic legend that he is today without developing his right hand to become a two-fisted beast.
With the help of his Hall-of-Fame coach Freddie Roach, Pacquiao honed his right hand to be as good as his left, and he developed a stunning right hook that was just as potent as his best offensive weapons.
Pacquiao and Roach dubbed this punch, “Manila Ice,” obviously named after the capital city of the Philippines where Pacquiao is from and because it was deadly enough to “ice” his opponents when it landed. It was a right hook that no one expected.
Hard to argue how effective it was, given that Pacquiao finished his career with a record of 62-8-2 (39 KO’s).
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