# Pro Boxer's Punch Carries Heavy Weight

Analysis of a world champion welterweight's punching force found it to be 10 times that of your average person's. Steve Mirsky reports.

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June 25, 2007  Pro Boxer's Punch Carries Heavy Weight

Back on our May 2nd episode, we talked about the brain damage suffered even by amateur boxers who wear headgear.  Now imagine going into the ring bareheaded against a professional boxer, a world champion no less.  Researchers at the University of Manchester in England were curious about just how much force a top boxer can generate with a punch.  So they enlisted local boxer Ricky Hatton, an undefeated 28 year old light welterweight and welterweight world champ.  And they had him hit a 30 kilogram punching bag with sensors attached.

The results should make any spectators who figure they could last a while in the ring with a pro think again.  Because Ricky Hatton, who’s nickname is The Hitman, generated a force of about 400 kilograms.  An average person with no boxing training can generate only about one tenth that much force with a punch.

Slow motion video found that Hatton could typically generate punch speeds of 25 miles per hour, with one blow reaching 32 mph.  The best punch speed that one of the researchers could achieve was about 15 miles per hour.

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1. 1. Altare 02:05 AM 12/5/08

Very useful information, thanks.
It's not easy to find material in the subject of the forces the body can produce!

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2. 2. Ulug'bek 06:07 PM 5/14/09

Fascinating; makes me want to work out with a 60kg bag. Note: "who's" and "whose" are two different words.

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3. 3. monospot 02:40 PM 5/20/09

You would think that Scientific American would realize that kilograms is a unit of mass not force. I assume they meant kiloponds though maybe they meant newtons.

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4. 4. gojirason 04:25 PM 12/13/09

They probably (foolishly in this instance) converted lbs of force to kilograms (though I can't imagine why. Maybe to look smart?). 880 lbs of force actually sounds about right for a strong welterweight, if about 1000 lbs is heavyweight territory (courtesy of "Fight Science").

Still, I'm suprised that the average spectator was therefore around 90 lbs of force. That seems alot lower than I would have guessed.

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5. 5. guitarfx 06:49 PM 8/22/10

you can do the same measurement right on your home personal computer using this free software http://knockouter.com

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6. 6. guitarfx 06:51 PM 8/22/10

see how it works on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KBOmjUwTJI

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7. 7. jml142 11:30 AM 8/30/10

This has to be bad "science. I hit a punching bag at an Atlantic City bar game at 88mph on Saturday night. I have an athletic build, 5'9" and 172 lbs. I have no boxing experience. 32 mph must be too slow. Consider how fast your arm has to move to throw a baseball 50, 60 or 80 mph - it has to move faster than the recorded speed to generate the force to move the ball through the air at whatever speed is recorded.

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8. 8. jml142 11:42 AM 8/30/10

This article has to be wrong. I hit a punching bag in Atlantic City 88mph on Saturday night. I'm athletic, 5'9" and 172, but never boxed in my life. Think about this. It is physically impossible to throw a baseball slower than your arm is moving. Therefore, to throw a ball 60 mph, you must be moving faster. Stupid article. Bad "science."

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9. 9. guitarfx 06:52 AM 9/2/10

88 mph is a speed of your fingers, baseball men use fingers to move a ball. But you understand that fingers are not used in boxing or karate.

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10. 10. guitarfx 06:55 AM 9/2/10

I give \$100 if you can show on youtube the video with software Knockouter from http://knockouter.com like this videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KBOmjUwTJI with only 12 m/sec - blow candle/ I can't believe, nay be you ball measure was wrong or measure machine was wrong or damadged/

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11. 11. guitarfx 07:00 AM 9/2/10

and you are wrong totaly, mathematicaly and phisicaly ball can has twice speed of punching hand. See wikipedia a punch measure articles. So your real spedd 44 may be but I can't believe in 44 mph too/

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12. 12. guitarfx in reply to guitarfx 05:50 AM 9/7/10

but may be you are realy fast man! Look at this my video "do a tearing sheet" (paper is like for computer printer or xerox, strong) My speed is 30 mph on this video, Can you do the same with you super 88 mph? :-)

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13. 13. actionmanrandell in reply to gojirason 02:52 AM 11/14/10

actually studies show that there is little difference in power between smaller lighter boxers and larger heavyer boxers because the larger heavyer boxers are slower so they can not generate as much momentum the lighter faster guys can take and generate alot of momentum because of how fast they are. thats why at one time the average boxer could punch at about 850lbs of force putting aside weight in other words the average for all boxers including light and heavy boxers

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14. 14. actionmanrandell in reply to guitarfx 02:56 AM 11/14/10

you do know that the fastest recorded punch is only 42 miles per hour

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15. 15. actionmanrandell in reply to gojirason 06:37 AM 1/7/11

actually that isnt true. studies have shown that the average boxer in general can generate around 880lbs of force. weather they are welterweight or heavyweights. ie the average weltherweight can generate 880lbs of force and the average heavyweight can generate 880lbs of force aswell. the reason is where the welterweight lacks in mass he makes up for in speed. the faster you punch the heavier your strike is.

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