Are Liver Shots Legal in Boxing? | Easily Explained

There are a variety of strikes that are allowed in Boxing, but are liver shots legal?

In this page, we will explain whether or not liver shots are legal in boxing, why they hurt, and examples of Boxers throwing the shot.

    Are Liver Shots Legal in Boxing?

    Liver shots are absolutely legal for a boxer to throw at an opponent. The liver is protected by the ribs, so it's not an easy strike to land. It takes a tremendous amount of time and skill. However, once a liver shot lands, it's almost a guarantee that the opponent will collapse, as it is a knockout blow.

    liver shots in boxing

    Some people wonder why the liver shot is legal but the kidney shot isn't. The reason for that is simple.

    For a boxer to strike the kidney, they would have to hit the back of their opponent, which would be illegal.

    Similarly, this is why 'Rabbit Punches', punches to the back of the head are not legal, but punches to the front and side of the head are.

    Why Do Liver Shots Hurt?

    Liver Shots hurt due to a punch to the liver directly affecting the vagus nerve, the nerve in control of digestion and rest.


    When that nerve is hit, the fighter will feel their heart rate & blood pressure decrease, and will immediately feel dizzy and nauseous.

    Add that on top of the unbearable pain that immediately collapses the toughest fighters in the world to the floor, and it's clear why Boxers can't outlast a liver shot.

    Boxer Landing the Liver Shot

    Last year, Ryan Garcia was able to land a liver shot that debilitated and finished his opponent almost immediately.

    After landing the shot, it took several seconds before his opponent fully felt the pain of the liver shot.

    Once he felt it, he immediately went down to the canvas.

    How to Recover From a Liver Shot

    The best way to recover from a liver shot is to crouch down and control your breathing until the pain gradually begins to decrease.

    There has been some speculation that another alternative is to 'place your right hand on your liver and to lightly press it', however, that has not been verified to be a fact.

    According to Healthline, a blow to the liver may cause a Bruised liver.

    Even if the pain goes away, it's recommended to get checked out by a Doctor if there are internal injuries.

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