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How to Measure Reach in Boxing (Step by Step Guide with Pics and FAQ)


You can measure reach by standing against a wall, holding your arms out at 90 degrees, having someone else mark the end of your middle finger tips with a pencil then use a measuring tape to measure the distance between the two markings.


Key Highlights

  • The relationship between wingspan and height is the best way to understand reach advantage
  • An accurate measurement of reach when compared to height is the “Ape index” which is often use in rock climbing:
    • Average person: 0 ape index (reach = height).
    • 6′ person with 72” reach: 0 ape index.
    • 6′ person with 75” reach: 3” ape index.
  • While you can measure arm length (by measuring from top of shoulder to tip of fingers – full wingspan is likely the most objective arm measurement)
  • Factors affecting reach:
    • Arm length
    • Wider torso
    • Broader shoulders
  • Legendary boxers with notable reach for their size:
    • Sonny Liston
    • Tommy Hearns
    • Paul Williams.

Last Note: it’s not rare for acclaimed or high level boxers to have longer reaches for their height and weight class for instance: Manny Pacquiao, who stands 5’5″, reportedly has a reach spanning around 67 inches

At Home Step by Step Guide:

1. Do Some Light Stretching

Doing light stretching before hand not only will help with soreness or pain when taking measurements, but may also give you a slightly longer measurement.

Initially, I didn’t do any stretching for my measurements in the pictures shown in this post, and I found it pretty uncomfortable to hold my arms out at a 90 degree angle while taking measurements.


2. Hold Arms Out at a 90 Degree Angle

This can be done against a wall or on the floor. For the images and measurements I took I chose to do it against the wall.

Be sure to stand with your back flat against the wall. Your heels, butt, upper back, and crown of your head should be in contact with the wall.

Tip: if you find it too difficult to hold your arms out from a standing position, you may find it easier to hold your arms out while lying on the floor.


3. Using a Pencil Mark the End of Your Middle Finger Tips

Next, using a pencil, have a friend mark the very tip of your middle finger on each hand on the wall.

Again, while doing this make sure that your arms are held at a 90 degree angle and that your wrists and hands are also in line.


4. Use a Tape Measure

Lastly, using a tape measure or measuring tape, measure the distance between the pencil markings to get your reach.

For reference, I am 6′ tall and my reach measured at 73 1/2″


Tips for Measuring Reach

  • wear tighter clothing or no shirt
  • do some light stretching beforehand
  • make sure your arms are 90 degrees
  • also make sure your arms, wrist, hands are all straight across
  • Lastly, you will need a friend or someone to help draw lines for accurate measurements

Reach can also be referred to as wingspan or arm span this is the measurement from middle finger tip to middle finger tip – this is different than arm length which is a measurement that refers to the linear distance from an individual’s shoulder to their clenched fist along the same arm.

What Is Reach Advantage in Boxing?

Reach advantage in boxing means that one boxer’s arm span is longer than the others.

Reach is the measurement from middle fingertip to middle fingertip when arms are held out at a 90 degree angle (in a “T” formation). Reach is generally proportionate to the height of a fighter.

What Effects Reach in Boxing?

The factors that effect reach in boxing are:

  • arm length
  • wider torso
  • broader shoulders

These are all measured when measuring reach and will heavily effect the measurement.

Breaking Down Boxing Reach by Height and Weight Class

Below we have a breakdown of the the average height of each weight class as well as the average weight of each weight class.

This can be used as a general estimate to see if you have an average reach for your height and weight:

Weight ClassAverage ReachAverage HeightWeight Limit
Minimum weight*60-64 inches4’11” – 5’3″105 lbs (47.6 kg)
Light flyweight62-66 inches5’1″ – 5’4″108 lbs (49 kg)
Flyweight63-67 inches5’2″ – 5’5″112 lbs (50.8 kg)
Super flyweight64-68 inches5’3″ – 5’6″115 lbs (52.2 kg)
Bantamweight65-69 inches5’4″ – 5’7″118 lbs (53.5 kg)
Super bantamweight66-70 inches5’5″ – 5’8″122 lbs (55.3 kg)
Featherweight67-71 inches5’6″ – 5’9″126 lbs (57.2 kg)
Super featherweight68-72 inches5’7″ – 5’10”130 lbs (59 kg)
Lightweight68-73 inches5’8″ – 5’11”135 lbs (61.2 kg)
Super lightweight69-74 inches5’8″ – 6’0″140 lbs (63.5 kg)
Welterweight70-75 inches5’9″ – 6’1″147 lbs (66.7 kg)
Super welterweight71-76 inches5’10” – 6’2″154 lbs (69.9 kg)
Middleweight72-77 inches5’11” – 6’3″160 lbs (72.6 kg)
Super middleweight73-78 inches6’0″ – 6’4″168 lbs (76.2 kg)
Light heavyweight74-80 inches6’1″ – 6’5″175 lbs (79.4 kg)
Cruiserweight75-82 inches6’2″ – 6’6″200 lbs (90.7 kg)
Heavyweight76 inches and up6’3″ and upOver 200 lbs
Note: there are of course outliers to these numbers as these are a rough estimate

I hit at about the average reach in this table at 6′ and a ~73″ reach, but I am definitely too heavy for the average weight class as I am currently 200 lbs, and would have to cut down to ~168 lbs for the ideal weight class.

Link: Click here to see boxing weight classes explained and broken down

Is Reach the Same as Wingspan and Arm Length?

Reach can also be referred to as wingspan or arm span this is the measurement from middle finger tip to middle finger tip – this is different than arm length which is a measurement that refers to the linear distance from an individual’s shoulder to their clenched fist along the same arm.


To put it in a nutshell, a boxer’s reach is essentially synonymous with their wingspan. To be precise, reach is a comprehensive measure from one middle fingertip, across the fighter’s chest, to the other middle fingertip when both arms are stretched at full extent.

Another term you may see in boxing for wingspan or cross-chest measurement is arm line range.

How Do They Measure Reach in the UFC?

The different in UFC is that, ‘reach’ refers to the maximum length a fighter can punch or kick. Like in boxing, within the UFC, reach is the distance from one extended middle finger to another when the arms are raised parallel to the ground, which also known as the wingspan of the fighter.

Again, there should be a distinction between arm length and reach:

  • arm length: the length from their armpit to the tip of the clenched fist
  • reach/wingspan: distance from one extended middle finger to another when the arms are raised parallel to the ground

How Accurate Are Reach Measurements Really?

As with any boxer or fighter measurement, there is sometimes question as to how accurate the provided measurements are.

In general, I would take the measurements provided with a grain of salt – that includes height, weight, and even reach.

As the audience, all we can assume accuracy in measurements, but there are certainly times when a boxer’s height or reach statistics may be questioned.

Boxing Reach vs Height vs Weight Questions

Does Boxing Reach Determine Your Boxing Classification?

Boxing reach does not determine your boxing classification. Boxers are primarily classified by weight class. Neither boxing reach nor height determine a boxer’s classification.


However, boxing reach can be an advantage and can definitely effect the boxing style a fighter chooses to employ.

While it’s accurate that weight classes are primarily categorized by the weight of the boxer, reach also plays an integral role within these classifications. In most instances, a longer reach can provide a distinct advantage in a boxing match. It can allow a boxer to land punches on their opponent without being within their attack range, while also offering defensive benefits.

Having said this, reach is only one of the many factors that come into play in boxing. It’s the amalgamation of several elements like skill, technique, strategy, endurance, and adaptability to unexpected situations during the fight that determines a boxer’s success.

What’s a “Long Reach” for a Boxer and their Weight Class?

Based on the average reach of boxers by weight class, we can come up with the below numbers as being considered boxers considered having a “long reach”:

Weight ClassLong Reach for their Weight ClassAverage HeightWeight Limit
Minimum weight*64+ inches4’11” – 5’3″105 lbs (47.6 kg)
Light flyweight66+ inches5’1″ – 5’4″108 lbs (49 kg)
Flyweight67+ inches5’2″ – 5’5″112 lbs (50.8 kg)
Super flyweight68+ inches5’3″ – 5’6″115 lbs (52.2 kg)
Bantamweight69+ inches5’4″ – 5’7″118 lbs (53.5 kg)
Super bantamweight70+ inches5’5″ – 5’8″122 lbs (55.3 kg)
Featherweight71+ inches5’6″ – 5’9″126 lbs (57.2 kg)
Super featherweight72+ inches5’7″ – 5’10”130 lbs (59 kg)
Lightweight73+ inches5’8″ – 5’11”135 lbs (61.2 kg)
Super lightweight74+ inches5’8″ – 6’0″140 lbs (63.5 kg)
Welterweight70-75+ inches5’9″ – 6’1″147 lbs (66.7 kg)
Super welterweight76+ inches5’10” – 6’2″154 lbs (69.9 kg)
Middleweight77+ inches5’11” – 6’3″160 lbs (72.6 kg)
Super middleweight78+ inches6’0″ – 6’4″168 lbs (76.2 kg)
Light heavyweight80+ inches6’1″ – 6’5″175 lbs (79.4 kg)
Cruiserweight80+ inches6’2″ – 6’6″200 lbs (90.7 kg)
Heavyweight80+ inches6’3″ and upOver 200 lbs

Is 72 inches a good reach?

Straight off the bat, a 72-inch reach in boxing does indeed meet the criteria of being ‘good’. If you weigh under 160 lbs or fight at that middle class weight then yes, a 72-inch reach is good and considered longer for your weight class.

Is 77 inches a long reach?

Yes, a 77 inch is considered a long reach and is a reach that is generally had by those over 160 lbs.

The average reach across all boxing weight classes is 71 inch so a 77 inch reach is definitely on the longer end. If you weight under 160 lbs or fight at the middle class weight then yes, 77 inch reach is very good.

Average Reach for 5’4:

The average reach for someone who is 5’4 is usually ~64 inches.

On average, you’ll also notice that the reach for these individuals mirrors closely to their height, often averaging around 64 inches. However, take note that these measurements can slightly vary from person to person.

Average Reach for 5’6:

For someone who is 5’6 the average reach is ~66 inches. Their reach (wingspan) almost matches their standing height.

Average Reach for 5’7:

The average reach for someone who is 5’7 is ~67 inches.

Remember there can be a ton of individual variability ranging from the broadness of one’s chest, the length of their arms to their shoulder width all factor into determining an individual’s reach.

Average Reach for 5’8″:

The average reach for a 5’8 individual is ~68 inches.

Average Reach for 5’10:

The average reach for someone who is 5’10 often ranges between 68-72 inches.

Average Reach for 5’11:

The average reach for someone standing at 5’11 is between 71-75 inches.

Related Frequently Asked Questions:

How Do You Calculate Reach in Boxing?

You can measure reach by standing against a wall, holding your arms out at 90 degrees, using a pencil to mark the end of your middle finger tips then use a measuring tape to measure the distance between the two markings.


Is Reach More Important than Height in Boxing?

Reach plays a bigger factor than height especially in terms of average reach for a specific weight class. If you have a longer reach than others at a similar size, you will likely have the advantage.

While height often correlates with reach, it isn’t always a reliable predictor of a boxer’s spanning ability. A taller boxer may not necessarily have a longer reach, and vice versa. It’s this cross-measurement between the arm and the body that often proves decisive in a boxing match.

A longer reach offers strategic advantages, permitting the boxer to strike from a further distance, all while keeping their opponent at bay. By contrast, height doesn’t directly provide such a tangible advantage, making reach a more pertinent measure in boxing.


Does a Taller Boxer Always Have the Advantage?

In general, a taller boxer does have the advantage since they can hit their oppenent at a specific range where they cannot hit back.

However, it’s not the only factor that can lead to an advantage. Other factors like training, technique, cardio, experience, and skill are all major factors in who has the advantage.


How Is Reach Measured in MMA and in the UFC?

In MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship, “reach” is a term used to describe the arm span (as well as leg span) of a fighter. It’s an important metric because it can provide advantages in striking and grappling, particularly when a fighter knows how to use their reach effectively.

Here’s how reach is measured:

  1. Arm Span or Wingspan: This is the traditional method of measuring reach in MMA. The fighter extends their arms straight out to their sides, forming a “T” shape with their body. A measurement is then taken from the tip of one middle finger to the tip of the other. This measurement provides the fighter’s wingspan or arm span, which is commonly referred to as “reach” in MMA contexts.
  2. Leg Reach: While arm span is the most commonly referenced reach measurement, the UFC, in particular, has also started to measure and report leg reach. This is done by measuring the distance from a fighter’s hip to the ground when they are standing upright. It provides insight into how effectively a fighter might use their legs in striking, particularly in techniques like kicks.

What Was Muhammad Ali’s Reach?

Muhammad Ali had a 78 inch reach. Below are some other legendary boxers and their reach:

  • Joe Frazier:
    • Reach: 73.5 inches
  • George Foreman:
    • Reach: 78.5 inches
  • Mike Tyson:
    • Reach: 71 inches
  • Floyd Mayweather Jr.:
    • Reach: 72 inches
  • Manny Pacquiao:
    • Reach: 67 inches
  • Sugar Ray Leonard:
    • Reach: 74 inches
  • Roberto Duran:
    • Reach: 66 inches
  • Oscar De La Hoya:
    • Reach: 73 inches
  • Larry Holmes:
    • Reach: 81 inches