Does Boxing Hurt?

By Logan •  Updated: 01/04/22 •  5 min read

It can seem like a simple question, but it provokes a plethora of responses. Some people say that boxing is the most therapeutic sport because it helps them release tension and anger. Others insist that boxing is too dangerous and too physically taxing for anyone to practice for any extended period of time.

Does boxing hurt? Well, yes it does hurt. Boxing forces you to engage in a rigorous physical activity that requires dodging, blocking, and attacking. It’s not for the faint of heart; but if done correctly it will make you stronger and instill discipline in both your mind and body. When done improperly, however, boxing can lead to injuries including brain injury and death.

It’s always interesting to consider the risks of the sport, but it’s important to remember that boxing is an essential component of combat sports. The use of gloves and protective gear contribute to the safety of fighters, but injury does happen.

Does Boxing Hurt?

Does A Boxing Punch Hurt?

A boxing punch absolutely hurts. Yes, boxers wear gloves that may cushion their blows somewhat, but one only needs to look at the way strong, trained, burly men have been knocked out in a single punch in the history of boxing. A punch that doesn’t hurt isn’t going to knock out anyone.

Granted, not everyone is Mike Tyson, and a boxing punch could describe a light tap or a wild haymaker. But on average, a boxer’s punch lands with 770 PSI, whereas your average untrained human only throws a punch that is 150 PSI.

If you’d prefer to make a calculation based on pure force, an amateur boxer strikes with 2500 newtons on average, and an elite heavyweight boxer could get up to 5000 newtons, which is not all that dissimilar from getting hit in the face with a sledgehammer.

All of this is to say the following: yes, a boxing punch hurts. Getting punched hurts in general, and the boxing glove doesn’t do much to diminish that. How much a boxing punch hurts depends on many factors, including how hard the punch is and where it hits you, but you’d be silly to go into a boxing match assuming that you aren’t going to feel any pain.

Most Common Boxing Injuries

If you need evidence that getting hit by a boxing punch has the potential to cause a great deal of pain, one needs only to look at the types of serious injuries that boxers have sustained while engaging in the sport.

Bruising and Lacerations

If you’ve ever watched a boxing match, you’ve probably seen the guy that gets punched in the face the most coming out of it looking a bit worse for wear. Black eyes, busted lips, cut eyebrows: these are all very common injuries that one could reasonably expect to receive when getting socked in the face by a trained boxer.

Naturally, anything that can cause that kind of injury is going to cause some pain, even if it’s not the most excruciating thing you could suffer from.

Shoulder Dislocation

Not all boxing punches hit you in the face. A lot of them are body shots, and a lot of those hit you in the arm. Now imagine a powerful punch that knocks your arm away from the rest of your body hard and fast. With your arm being blasted away from your shoulder that fast, having your shoulder dislocated is not that uncommon.

And naturally, a dislocated shoulder hurts quite a lot, because you’ve got bones where they aren’t supposed to be, knocking and scraping together in ways they really shouldn’t be. We suppose you could say that the injury here hurts more so than the punch that caused it, but it’s still evidence that boxing is a painful sport to engage in.


A concussion is an extremely serious injury that is very common in boxing. A result of a very forceful impact to one’s skull, concussions will temporarily impair your brain functionality, and they have a very high chance of causing permanent damage that you will have to deal with for the rest of your life. Just check on all those retired football players.

We understand that this may sound like we’re trying to persuade you to not box, but it’s important to be honest about the fact that boxing is a very dangerous sport: one of the most dangerous, actually. Everyone should know the risks they are taking before dedicating themselves to boxing.

Final Thoughts

There are all sorts of boxing punches: light jabs, right hooks, wild haymakers… but they all hurt, albeit to different degrees. The boxing gloves don’t do that much to diminish the pain, as they are actually intended to protect the boxer’s hand more than they are your face.

None of this is to try and dissuade you from getting into boxing, but make sure you know what you are getting into before you commit. Go watch some boxing matches, and see for yourself just how much it hurts for the guys competing. 

Understand that people have suffered permanent injuries, and while rare, some boxers have even died in the ring.

Boxing is a painful sport, there’s no denying that. And yes, it’s mostly due to all the punching.


Hi, I've been an avid MMA fan all my life. I've been training in martial arts for the last 5 years and wanted to share some of the tips and tricks that I've picked up along the way to help to aspiring martial artists get started.

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