Is Boxing Harder Than Muay Thai?

There are lots of different sports in the world that are good to compare. These can be for lots of reasons, but it’s usually because the sports are reasonably similar.

Is Boxing Harder Than Muay Thai?

If sports have nothing in common, then it can be extremely hard to compare them to each other.

For example, American football can often be compared to rugby, which is played a lot throughout Europe and the Southern Hemisphere.

The great thing about martial arts and combat sports is that they all have similar basic features, even if it only comes down to the types of strikes and techniques that are used.

Two combat spots that are compared often are boxing and Muay Thai because of the way two fighters will stand in front of each other and strike for points.

Is boxing harder than Muay Thai though? Follow the rest of our guide to find out the answer.

The Art Of 8 Limbs

Muay Thai is often referred to as The Art Of 8 Limbs, which might sound a bit strange if you haven’t heard of it before.

But, basically, this means that there are 8 different areas of the body that are used for striking the opponent.

These areas are the hands, the legs, the feet, and the elbows. Because of this, there are lots of different things that the fighters must look out for when facing their opponent.

Boxing, on the other hand, only uses two limbs when fighting, which is down to the two hands.

The two sports aren’t so different when it comes to the building blocks and the initial idea of it.

However, you cannot kick, use your elbows, or use your legs to gain an advantage in boxing.

This is the main difference between the two sports, with different techniques and body parts being used in the two.

How Long Do The Fights Last?

One of the biggest things that many people don’t consider when it comes to wondering how hard these sports are, is how much stamina the athletes must have in order to participate properly and stay in the fight.

At the end of the day, you can be a brilliant fighter, but if you can’t last for more than two minutes, then you’re bound to struggle against any competent fighter.

Of course, when it comes to the lengths of the fights that are seen around the world, a lot of it comes down to the skill level and experience levels of the fighters involved.

Amateur fighters are bound to have shorter round times and a lower number of rounds, however, they all aspire to reach the same level, which we’ll look at in the next two points.

Muay Thai Fights

Two of the most internationally-recognized Muay Thai stadiums in the world are Lumpinee and Rajadammen, which hold the highest standards when it comes to the quality of the fights and the experience levels of the fighters involved.

However, the standard length for fights is 5 rounds of 3 minutes each.

There is also a 2-minute break between each round so that the fighters can get tactical advice from their coaching team and a short period to rest.

This is a similar format to the boxing setup, but you can clearly see already that there are differences between the two, if you are familiar with boxing.

Is Boxing Harder Than Muay Thai?

Boxing Fights

As we mentioned, different levels of fighters will experience different numbers of rounds and different timings, however, there is a professional format that we’ll highlight now.

Boxing matches last a lot longer than Muay Thai fights, coming in at 12 rounds of 3 minutes each. Between the rounds, there are breaks that last 1 minute each.

These breaks are used for tactical updates and instructions, as well as medical treatment if necessary.

The overall length of the whole fight would last 47 minutes approximately if the fight goes all the way through to a point decision.

Of course, if one of the fighters is beaten before the final bell, then the fight might last a shorter amount of time.

This is the same with Muay Thai, we’re just highlighting how long a fight can potentially last, rather than different cases.

Is Boxing Harder Than Muay Thai?

Well, there is no simple answer here because the two combat sports both have different areas where they might differ.

For example, if we’re considering if boxing is harder for someone’s endurance, then the answer is probably yes.

Both sports are physically demanding and will require a high level of fitness to take part properly.

However, the long rounds and the high number of them make sure that boxers will have to last a lot longer in the ring to make sure that they see the fight to the end.

In this regard, boxing is probably harder and more demanding on the endurance front. Although, Muay Thai is seen by many as more physical, and thus, harder in general.

Muay Thai requires you to use your whole body extensively to make sure that you do what you can to win.

With kicks, elbows, and lots of different punching techniques, this fighting sport is harder on the whole body.

This isn’t to say that boxing doesn’t require fighters to use their whole body, but Muay Thai uses the body a lot more and will be facing a range of different strikes in different areas that you wouldn’t see in boxing, like the shins.


So, there you have it! It obviously comes down to opinion a lot of the time, but you can’t deny that Muay Thai is a very physically-demanding combat sport and it’s hard to find many like it that will require the same fitness levels and physical presence.

Boxing is a tough sport and shouldn’t be underestimated, however, there are different aspects of both combat sports that require different levels of attention.

Hopefully, our guide has cleared up the question for you and shown you different routes of thinking. Sometimes, it isn’t always a simple answer!
Christopher Anderson
Latest posts by Christopher Anderson (see all)