Boxing vs. Taekwondo

Boxing vs. Taekwondo

Boxing and taekwondo are two of the most practiced martial arts. Have you ever wondered how a boxing vs. taekwondo match would play out?

Let’s break it down and go over how a boxing vs. taekwondo fight would most likely go. Check out how the two fighting styles stack up below and the game plans to beat one another.

Boxing vs. Taekwondo: The Histories

Before we get into the boxing vs. taekwondo breakdown, let’s go over a little bit of each style’s histories. Here are the histories of boxing and taekwondo detailed below.

The History of Boxing

Boxing History

For thousands of years, humans have been practicing the art of boxing. Historians have dated the practice of boxing all the way back to the 2nd millennium in Babylonia.

Boxing was even one of the original Olympic games in ancient Greece centuries ago. The modern sport of boxing as we know it today began to take shape between the 1700s and 1800s.

During this time, bare knuckle boxing was one of the most popular sporting events within Europe and North America. Tough men gritting their teeth and fighting one in another in an unorganized sport without many rules.

This all changed when Welsh sportsman John Chamber came up with the official rules of boxing. These rules became known as the “Queensberry Rules” which became the foundation of the sport.

The addition of these rules led to boxing becoming organized. Soon after everything from the boxing ring, gloves, time limits, and weight classes were gradually added. 

Boxing became one of the biggest sports in the world, with the big fights being attended by thousands. Today, boxing is still one of the most practiced fighting styles and watched sports in the world.

The History of Taekwondo

Taekwondo History

Much like with karate, many assume that the Korean martial art of taekwondo is much older than it really is. In reality, the art of taekwondo was developed after WW2.

The late development of taekwondo was due to the Japanese occupation of the Korean island beginning in the early 1900s. During this time, the Japanese occupiers tried to erase Korean history and outlawed the practice of anything Korean.

This included the practice of Korean martial arts, such as ssireum, subak, and tekkyon: the older Korean martial arts, which are the foundations of modern taekwondo.

After the end of WW2, Korea was free and looked to regain their identity. The martial arts teachers, who taught in secret, came out of hiding, and began developing taekwondo.

Two of the martial artists most responsible for helping create taekwondo were  Dr. Un Yung Kim, and General Choi Hong-hi. 

Once taekwondo was developed over many years, it became the official martial art of Korea. Then after, World Taekwondo was founded, and the style became internationally practiced. 

Today, taekwondo is one of the most practiced martial arts in the world, which is practiced on nearly every continent.

Boxing vs. Taekwondo: The Differences

There are quite a few differences between boxing vs. taekwondo. Here are some of the most glaring differences between the two fighting styles. 

Punching vs. Kicking 

Boxing, of course, is strictly a striking martial art, where only punches are used. Taekwondo on the other hand includes both punching and kicking techniques. 

It is predominantly a kicking martial art, but punching techniques are taught. However, not nearly the depth as the punching techniques within boxing.

Places of Origin

The places of origin are something that differentiates these two fighting styles. Taekwondo is a strictly Korean martial art, which was developed within Korea.

Boxing on the other hand does not have an exact country of origin. It is practiced within nearly every country with each one having their one unique boxing style. However, none of these countries can claim to be the place of origin for boxing.


The uniforms that are worn within both martial arts are quite different. In boxing, boxers wear shorts, and boxing gloves.

Within taekwondo, practitioners wear a gi called a “dobok.” Those who participate in taekwondo striking competitions wear Taekwondo sparring gloves, headgear, chest plates, and shin guards.

Fighting Areas

The fighting areas of the styles are completely different from one another. Boxing matches are set in a boxing ring, while taekwondo is performed on an open mat like in karate.

Fight Times

In pro boxing, rounds are 3 minutes each and can last between 4 to 12 rounds, depending on the fighter’s levels. Within taekwondo, matches consist of 3 rounds that are 2 minutes each.

Ranking Systems

Taekwondo goes by a belt system like in traditional martial arts. Boxing has no ranking system as boxers start as amateurs and move up to professional if they’re good enough.

Boxing vs.Taekwondo: The Similarities

While boxing and taekwondo seem like they have nothing in common, they actually share a few similarities. Here are some of the similarities between boxing vs. taekwondo.

Both Include Hand Strikes

Both fighting styles include different hand striking techniques. Of course, boxing has far more than in taekwondo, but they do share this thing in common. 

Olympic Sports

Boxing and taekwondo both have the honor of being official Olympic sports. The sport of boxing became an official Olympic sport in 1904, while taekwondo received this honor in 2000. Both are among the most watched events at every Olympic games. 

No Grappling

Neither taekwondo or boxing include any type of grappling within the teachings of the martial arts. They are both strictly striking martial arts, which are performed only from a standing position.

Boxing vs. Taekwondo: The Game Plans

In a battle between two vastly different styles like this one in boxing vs. taekwondo, the game plans will be specific. Here are the fight game plans that each style will have to follow in order to achieve victory.

The Boxer’s Game Plan

Boxing Fight in Ring

A boxer has far better hand strikes than what your average taekwondo fighter possesses. The taekwondo fighter will have to rely on their range and try to get off jumping/spinning kicks.

For a boxer, they cannot let the taekwondo fighter control the range and keep them at kicking range. The boxer will have to make it a dirty fight and stay in the taekwondo fighter’s face.

If the taekwondo fighter cannot get off their kicks, they have no chance at winning a punching battle with a boxer. 

The Taekwondo Fighter’s Game Plan 

The game plan for a taekwondo fight to face a boxer is the exact opposite of the boxer’s game plan. Boxers have the best punching of any martial art and it would be foolish to try and exchange punches with them.

This is why a taekwondo fighter must use their strength, which is their powerful kicks. In order to win, they must keep their kicking distance in order to keep the boxer away and get off kicks.

If the taekwondo fighter can control the range, they should coast into victory.

The Verdict

In a battle of boxing vs. taekwondo, the edge in this bout would slightly go to the boxer. A boxer has no answer for kicks, but the kicks in taekwondo are more flashy and don’t attack legs.

The moment they miss a kick, a boxer would most likely close the distance and keep the fight in punching range. This is a nightmare scenario for the taekwondo fighter as it would be extremely difficult to regain control of the range.

With no ability to get off their kicks, a boxer would most likely dominate the fight with punches. However, if a good taekwondo fighter was able to land their kicks, it would change the tide of the fight.

But for this bout, boxing takes a slight edge over taekwondo due to the better punching and ring control. For self defense purposes, we recommend learning techniques from both of these martial arts. Knowing both punching and kicking will further improve your self defense skills.

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