Why All Champion Boxers Run 

Boxing and running have been a winning formula for elite-level boxers since the sport’s very beginnings. Whether you look into the past or remain in the present day, a championship-winning caliber of fighter will have a strict running regime as a part of their daily workout. 

Jack Dempsey, Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, and Canelo Alvarez are all legendary boxers who dominated their weight classes. But do you know what else they have in common? Their roadwork and consistent running regimen were critical to their in-ring success. 

However, you’re probably still wondering why running is so essential to boxers. We’ve listed some critical aspects of why fighters have taken to the streets throughout the sport’s history below.

The Legs 

A twelve-round boxing bout requires endurance, and 15-round fights of the past required even more. Former heavyweight champion and boxing icon Joe Frazier once said: “The most important training a boxer can do is running; it’s a formula to building a foundation to survive the 12-round distance,”.

Fighters can own the most devastating knockout power and some of the smoothest footwork known to man, but if the legs aren’t prepared to survive the later rounds of a fight, the aforementioned skills are worth nothing. 

Up-and-coming stars like David Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) know this too well. The Arizona native has taken running as one of his most serious training tools. Although the former two-time 168lb titlist is known for his quick knockout victories, he also realizes the importance of staying prepared. 

Benavidez has the potential to become a massive start in professional boxing; his unblemished record and a domineering knockout tally are just a glimpse of what he’s capable of. Should a potential meeting with Canelo Alvarez arise, Arizona sports betting enthusiasts would be wise to consider his potential to win the bout. Not only is he younger, but the Mexican heritage of both men and a win for Benavidez would propel him into the spotlight he deserves. 

But if sportsbooks knew Benavidez wasn’t road running, he’d be a heavy betting underdog and equally wouldn’t stand a chance of surviving in the ring with Canelo. 

The average boxer will run a minimum of three miles, which will be completed at least three to five times per week. Running will coincide with their gym work and sparring. Depending on the level of fighter, a routine will adjust the road running schedule to personal preference. 

Familiar Surroundings 

Gym training and road running work in unison. If you skip the gym, you will feel a negative effect on the road. If you ignore your roadwork, it will affect you in the gym.  

While running and throwing punches don’t seem too similar, both activities involve an increased heart rate, and running will assist you in the ring. 

Sprints and the adjustment of speed in which you run can significantly impact your body if you’re preparing for a prolonged night of boxing. 

Alternating intensity levels in roadwork can emulate an in-ring scenario, as the heart and body will acclimate to what takes place in a fight–focused movement and random bursts of high-volume punching. 


The world’s greatest fighters have a high stamina and endurance threshold. Alongside a typical gym routine, running will assist in the evolution of a boxer’s overall cardiovascular system – often referred to as “gas tank.”  

While trainers and gyms look for modern techniques to give their fighters an advantage, nothing will compare to the benefits of roadwork. The most skilled boxers on the planet will be outclassed if they run out of gas. 

Mental Gain 

As Mike Tyson said, he thrives on believing he owns that edge over his opponent. Of course, the physical benefits of running are endless, but owning a mental advantage leading up to a fight can make or break a competitor. 

Running is a scientifically-proven stress reliever; it additionally provides a better sleeping pattern. Both stress and sleep are the underlying factors that can have a detrimental effect if they aren’t in order, especially in a high-intensity combat sport. 


Running provides endless benefits for athletes across the board, but for boxers, in particular, it’s a no-brainer. 

Boxers receive weight-cutting advantages, a mental edge, higher lung capacity, excelled endurance, and leg conditioning from their roadwork and running schedules. The world’s most talented fighters of past and present simply wouldn’t perform at a peak level without it.