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Wrestling vs. Boxing: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on January 28, 2024
Wrestling is a grappling sport focusing on holds and ground techniques, whereas boxing is a striking sport emphasizing punches and footwork.

Key Differences

Wrestling is an ancient combat sport that involves grappling techniques such as throws, takedowns, joint locks, and pins, aimed at controlling and overpowering an opponent. In contrast, boxing is a striking sport where competitors use punches, footwork, and head movement to outmaneuver and knock out their opponent. Both sports require a high level of physical fitness, strategy, and skill, but they differ fundamentally in their methods of engagement and objectives.
The rules of wrestling vary by style (like freestyle, Greco-Roman) but generally revolve around gaining points for controlling the opponent or winning by pinning them to the mat. Boxing, on the other hand, is scored based on the number and quality of punches landed, with the ultimate goal often being a knockout. Both wrestling and boxing have rich histories and have evolved over centuries, but while wrestling focuses on a wide range of body movements, boxing concentrates on upper-body strength and agility.
Training for wrestling often includes mastering various grappling techniques, enhancing flexibility, and building core strength. Boxing training, in contrast, focuses heavily on improving hand speed, punching power, and cardiovascular endurance. Wrestlers need to be adept at maneuvering on the ground, whereas boxers must excel in maintaining balance and movement while standing. Both sports, however, share a common emphasis on mental toughness and tactical thinking.
In terms of equipment, wrestling usually requires minimal gear, often just a singlet and wrestling shoes. Boxing requires gloves, hand wraps, mouthguards, and sometimes headgear, especially in training and amateur fights. Both sports take place in designated areas - a wrestling mat for wrestling and a ring for boxing - each with specific dimensions and characteristics tailored to the sport's needs.
In cultural representation, wrestling and boxing have different connotations. Wrestling is often associated with ancient traditions and Olympic sportsmanship, while boxing is sometimes linked to professional entertainment and individualistic glory. Both, however, have been powerful symbols in literature and film, representing struggle, strength, and perseverance in various forms.

Comparison Chart

Main Focus

Grappling, holds, and ground techniques
Punching, footwork, and head movement


Control and overpower the opponent
Outmaneuver and knock out the opponent


Points for control, pins
Points for punches landed, knockouts

Key Skills

Grappling, flexibility, core strength
Hand speed, punching power, cardiovascular endurance

Cultural Connotation

Ancient traditions, Olympic sportsmanship
Professional entertainment, individualistic glory

Wrestling and Boxing Definitions


Wrestling focuses on ground control and submission holds.
The wrestler used a leg lock to secure his victory.


Boxing is both an art and a science of physical combat.
Boxing requires not just strength but also strategic thinking.


Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling techniques.
In wrestling, mastering the art of the takedown can be a game-changer.


Boxing emphasizes footwork and punch combinations.
The boxer's footwork kept him out of his opponent's reach.


Wrestling is a sport of physical and mental discipline.
Wrestling requires rigorous training and strategic thinking.


Boxing involves winning by outscoring or knocking out the opponent.
He won the boxing match with a powerful knockout punch.


Wrestling involves maneuvering an opponent into submission.
He excelled in wrestling by using his superior technique.


Boxing is a combat sport focusing on striking and defense.
His boxing skills were evident in his quick jab.


Wrestling is a test of strength, technique, and endurance.
The wrestling match showcased incredible endurance from both athletes.


Boxing is a test of agility, speed, and power.
The boxer's training focused on increasing his punching speed.


A sport in which two competitors attempt to unbalance, control, or immobilize each other by various holds and maneuvers.


A container typically constructed with four sides perpendicular to the base and often having a lid or cover.


Present participle of wrestle


What is wrestling?

Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling techniques to control or pin an opponent.

Are submissions allowed in wrestling?

Submissions are part of some wrestling styles but not in others, like Olympic wrestling.

How old is the sport of wrestling?

Wrestling is one of the oldest forms of combat, with origins dating back thousands of years.

Who are some famous boxers?

Historic figures like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson are among the most famous boxers.

What are the weight classes in boxing?

Boxing has multiple weight classes ranging from flyweight to heavyweight.

What is boxing?

Boxing is a striking sport where fighters use punches and footwork to defeat their opponent.

How do you win in wrestling?

Victory in wrestling is achieved through points for control, takedowns, or pinning the opponent.

Is wrestling a professional sport?

Wrestling exists both as an amateur sport and in professional forms like WWE.

How do you win in boxing?

Boxing matches are won by scoring more points through punches or achieving a knockout.

Is wrestling popular worldwide?

Wrestling is popular globally, with strong traditions in countries like Russia, Iran, and the USA.

Are kicks allowed in boxing?

Kicks are not permitted in boxing; it solely focuses on punching.

What is the duration of a boxing match?

Professional boxing matches typically last 12 rounds, but it varies.

Is wrestling an Olympic sport?

Yes, wrestling is a recognized Olympic sport with various styles included.

What protective gear is used in boxing?

Boxers use gloves, mouthguards, and sometimes headgear for protection.

What styles of wrestling are there?

Major styles include freestyle, Greco-Roman, and folkstyle wrestling.

Is boxing considered dangerous?

Boxing can be dangerous, with risks of head injuries and concussions.

How do wrestlers train?

Wrestlers train in grappling techniques, strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance.

What is the cultural significance of boxing?

Boxing has significant cultural impact, often symbolizing personal struggle and triumph.

How do boxers train?

Boxers focus on punch technique, speed, agility, and overall physical conditioning.

Can wrestling cause injuries?

Like any contact sport, wrestling carries a risk of injury, particularly to joints and muscles.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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