Gatekeeper (boxing)

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In boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts, a gatekeeper is a skillful and well-regarded fighter, but one who does not have the popularity or brilliance of a title contender. They are considered to be a cut above most journeymen. A gatekeeper will often have an impressive record in terms of wins versus losses but will have a difficult time getting people behind them and especially obtaining promotion.


Gatekeepers will frequently have the following characteristics:

  • They have a generally impressive résumé in regard to their number of wins and for the fact that they fight the best fighters of their respective era.
  • They receive little to no mainstream press and only some coverage within their sport, being paid a fraction of what hyped contenders receive.
  • They're usually students of the game and love boxing (or MMA) immensely, having good technical skills.
  • They're sometimes former contenders or top ten fighters who just never quite won a title or came that close.
  • They tend to be big time stepping stones for other proven contenders to fight, providing a serious challenge that credits contenders should those fighters win.
  • They're sometimes relegated to fight contenders to boost the contender's stock shortly before a title fight.[1]

Notable examples[edit]

The following fighters have all been described as gatekeepers:[1][2][3][4][5]

Notable MMA examples[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ondrizek, Troy (1 October 2006). "The Most Important Fighter in Boxing History". East Side Boxing. Archived from the original on 3 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Edison Miranda as The Gatekeeper? Tough Gate - Boxing News".
  3. ^ Blake Hochberger. "I Like Marquez Over Judah, Ward Over Dawson And..." The Sweet Science.
  4. ^ "Monte Barrett: The Gatekeeper Cometh".
  5. ^ "Adam Kownacki gets unanimous decision over Chris Arreola as both heavyweights break CompuBox record".