Combat sports is an ever-evolving athletic competition. In particular, boxing has constantly changed throughout its long history thanks to the wide variety of athletes the sport has seen. In MEGALOBOX, boxing has undergone yet another transformation with Megalo Boxing. Certain aspects of the sport remain unchanged, such as rounds, gloves, technique, and the means of victory, but the addition of Gears for boxers has made the sport more dangerous. Boxers are now faster and stronger than ever before, with Gear technology allowing them to push the limits of pure human athleticism.
With Megalo Boxing’s ruleset change that gets rid of a round limit that could force a fight to be determined by judges if it went the distance, KO/TKOs are all a fighter has to worry about. The show also suggests that early round finishes are becoming more of a norm, which correlates to the increase in power and speed that Gear offers a fighter. This would correlate to an overall change in style for boxers to become more defensive, as one well-placed strike can end a fight instantly, even more so than current boxing. Surviving a punch that hits completely clean with a boxer’s head is going to be very hard in Megalo Boxing.
So, if we took the current Megalo Boxing champion Yuri and placed him against current unified Middleweight champion Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin, it's likely that Yuri would be able to outclass one of the current pound-for-pound best boxers because he is more acclimated to the style and changes that Megalo Boxing brings to the sport. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be competitive, but it would be similar to if there was a fight between a boxer from today and a boxer from let’s say, 40 years ago. The evolutions of the fight game will always help the more current fighter. In the case of our hypothetical, how does someone change their fighting style to be able to survive the intense punches that Megalo Boxing brings?
The first thing that might make sense is to utilize the way a Gear helps a boxer become faster and stronger to make sure they are hitting their opponent before being hit. That is one aspect of boxing, but one of the keys to making sure you can survive a punch is to master numerous defensive techniques, which a Gear might not necessarily help with. Joe’s gimmick of fighting without a Gear has shown one of the ways he makes sure to try and survive an opponent’s barrage of strikes: With his block. Blocking can keep punches from connecting, but isn't foolproof, as eventually a boxer’s arms will get tired from the damage they are taking and can start to let strikes break through. Megalo Boxing would increase the chances of this happening even faster since the punches are quicker and more powerful.
If a fighter wishes to remain defensive and avoid any strikes, there are numerous techniques they can employ other than blocking. Parrying is a way to utilize your block to set up a counter strike. A fighter can deflect an incoming strike away, leaving their opponent off balance and with the help of a Gear, parrying could be faster to pull off. Slipping punches can also help, which is when a boxer moves their body just enough to make a punch miss. This has to be well timed, though, as a slight miscalculation can see a fighter get hit if they do not move out of the way in time.
Bobbing, weaving, and ducking all work similarly to slipping punches, but with more drastic body movement to get out of the way or avoid a strike. Like slipping, these techniques need to be well-timed, as if a fighter were to bob, weave, or duck at the wrong time or the wrong way, they would be susceptible to a wide open strike that could knock them out. There is also the potential for different types of Gear that could make the speed of defensive movements faster to allow for a fighter to avoid strikes easier and lead to counter punches.
Even if a fighter masters all of these defensive techniques, though, that does not make them invincible. There's still a high likelihood that they will get hit because it's impossible to avoid every single strike. However, the chance of being hit by a punch that hits completely clean is lessened. If a fighter does get hit, it will also likely be with less impact or will not connect completely, which can allow them to survive and keep fighting. As a last resort and if a fighter gets hit and is rocked or stunned, the immediate thing to do is to grab the opposing fighter in the clinch so they can try and recover quickly before it is broken up. It comes with a risk, though, as episode 6 of MEGALOBOX shows fans still hate clinch work in boxing.
Being defensive will certainly help a fighter get hit less, but if that's all they do, then they just survive and are not going to win. Yet, these defensive strategies can lead to offense. One of the biggest weapons for a boxer is the jab. The jab is not the most powerful punch, but leads to combinations or a haymaker. In Megalo Boxing, the jab can be even more dangerous, as it could effectively stun an opponent if a boxer has a Gear that gives them enough power. A simple parry or slip of a punch can lead to a jab and then either a strong combination or haymaker that can easily end a fight under the Megalo Boxing style.
Surviving in combat sports might is much more than not getting hit. It's knowing how to pace yourself in a fight, when to dodge, parry, slip, or weave out of the way of a punch at the right time, and knowing the right time to go on the offensive. With the way MEGALOBOX allows for a more dangerous form of boxing, these survivability matchups become even more tense due to fights being shorter in length. Fighters have to be smart enough to know when to pick and choose their battles, because if they don’t, one punch will end the fight for good.