In combat sports such as boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts, a fighter's chin is a figurative term that refers to an ability to tolerate physical trauma to the chin without being knocked unconscious. The fictional Rocky Balboa character of the Rocky franchise epitomises the concept of a boxer with a granite chin.


A fighter with a "good chin" refers to a fighter with tremendous ability to absorb punishment in the chin or lower jaw area without being struck unconscious, which can also be called "having a beard", "good whiskers", "granite chin" or "iron chin".

Although such fighters have been knocked out, it is rare. There is a dispute as to the physiology of having a "good chin." Some believe that a strong neck that resists a sudden angular acceleration of the head is what makes a "good chin." Supporters of this belief point to Evander Holyfield and Marvin Hagler, both of whom were strong and had large trapezius muscles around the neck. Others believe that it is genetics that decides whether a fighter will have a good chin or not.

A fighter with a "bad chin", "china chin", "suspect chin", or "glass jaw" refers to fighters with limited ability to absorb punishment to the chin or jaw. Many clubfighters and journeymen may have glass chins, although it may depend on weight class or sometimes legs. Some boxing experts, such as Teddy Atlas, believe it to be a mindframe. Additionally, some fighters have been known to have better chins as a result of moving up to a higher weight class. One example of this is Miguel Cotto, who was seen as having a relatively weak chin at light welterweight but was harder to hurt once he moved up to welterweight.[1]

In 2008, Amir Khan was labelled as being "chinny"[2] and lacking a "decent chin"[3] after being knocked out in the first minute of his bout with Colombian Breidis Prescott.

Notable chinsEdit


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  2. BBC News; Dirs, Ben (2008-09-07). "Khan gone in 60 seconds". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  3. Daily Express; Hickman, Niall (2008-09-08). "Khan will not survive floor show". Daily Express. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  4. Mannix, Chris (2006-11-06). "Having a Ball: Modern Day Cinderella Man Carlos Baldomir is Going to Find Out Soon if His Glass Slipper Still Fits". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Houston, Graham (2008- 01-08). "The Ten Best Chins in Boxing History". ESPN. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
  6. Barry, Bart (2009- 04- 27). "In Celebration of Froch's Chin, Whether Wagging or Absorbing". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
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  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Heavyweight Kickboxing’s Hardest Heads
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  35. Andrei Arlovski and the Top 10 Most Questionable Chins in MMA History
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  37. Dream MMA Fight: Randy Couture vs Fedor Emilianenko
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  41. UFC 130 – Tim Boetsch plans on exposing Kendall Grove’s chin by laying his heavy hands on it
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