This post is going to examine what chewing gum does for the jaw and we will answer why boxers are often seen chewing gum. Chewing gum does increase muscle activity in and around the jaw. The repetition of chewing can lead to increased strength of the muscles around the jaw. This is why a lot of boxers are often seen chewing gum. This does play a small part in a boxer or fighters ability to take a punch and punishment well. However the main reason why some boxers can take a punch and why other boxers are considered chinny, is due to different factors.
Neck: You have probably seen Floyd Mayweather doing neck weights. The heavy weights Floyd lifts specifically for the neck area are an important component of his daily work out. Strengthening the neck and adding muscle mass to this areas helps the head absorb impact and punishment. The extra muscle mass breaks down the original impact which can stop a boxer from being hurt by a punch and it can potentially prevent a knockout. The skinnier a fighters neck and the longer a fighters neck, means they are statistically more likely to get knocked out. However this isn’t always the case as some fighters with an amazing defence have small necks and they rarely get knocked out.
Head Shape: You might have also noticed that fighters with a larger head can take a punch better and this is true to a degree. As long as the fighter has a strong neck, the extra size of the forehead and extra bone density around the skull is a huge benefit. Just have a look at fighters like Provodnikov who could probably be hit with a baseball bat and not feel it. Now have a look at a fighter with a skinny neck and a small skull such as Gabriel Campillo, who is constantly getting hurt and knocked out recently.
It’s also worth noting that weight drained fighters are more chinny then fighters who aren’t draining their body to make a specific weight limit. Increased weight loss can lead to a loss of fluid around the skull which leads to fighters getting concussed easier when they get hit.
So The Most Important factors for taking a punch well are:
- Strong bone density around the skull and jaw. This is natural and can't be trained.
- Strong neck muscles. This can be trained and specific neck weights can be purchased for this exercise.