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Bear Hugger
FileBear Hugger.png
Nickname(s) Canadian Bear Hugger
Rated at 440 lbs. (200 kg)
Height 6' 3" (190 cm)
Nationality Canadian
Age 32
From Salmon Arm, BC, Canada
Stance Southpaw1,2
First appearance Super Punch-Out!! (1985)
Boxing record
Rank Champion of Canada1
#2 Minor Circuit 2
#2 Major Circuit3
Total fights 29
Wins 17
Wins by KO 10
Losses 12

Bear Hugger (ベア・ハッガー Bea Haggā) first appeared in the arcade version of Super Punch-Out!!. His appearance resembles a Canadian lumberjack; however, with the lack of an undershirt, his appearance also resembles a hillbilly.

In the arcade version of Super Punch-Out!!, his stomach is immune to hooks. When someone gives him a hook, he sticks his tongue out to annoy his opponent. When knocked down, he stands up to do a two-handed smash that always knocks down his opponent with one hit. This is his signature move, known as the Bear Hug. To avoid this move, players must hit the duck button to duck and avoid it.

In the SNES version of Super Punch-Out!!, his stomach becomes vulnerable to hooks when he does a taunt during a fight. He also often does his two-handed smash when his opponent tries to punch him in the face, though his two-handed smash no longer does one-hit knock downs to his opponent. knocking him out once and using a super uppercut to knock him out a second time will result in an instant knock-out.

Bear Hugger returns in the Wii version of Punch-Out!! (Wii) as the second opponent in the Major Circuit. His opening cutscene shows that he has actually managed to tame a bear to be his boxing partner (though his Title Defense montage implies that the bear is actually his coach/boxing manager).


Super Punch-Out!! (1985)[]

Canadian Bear Hugger
Arcade bear hugger.gif
Nationality Canadian
Boxing record
Rank Champion of Canada
F01 - bear hugger.png

Bear Hugger first appeared in the Super Punch-Out!! arcade as Canadian Bear Hugger. He is immune to hooks thanks to his enormous belly and can only be defeated with uppercuts. He'll attack very little and all his attacks are easy to avoid. He's really just a practice opponent so that the player will learn how to attack and avoid attacks. His strongest attack is his two handed smash that knocks out the player instantly and requires the player to duck in order to avoid it.

Super Punch-Out!! (1994)[]

Bear Hugger
Snes bear hugger.gif
Rated at 440 lbs. (200 kg)
Nationality Canadian
Age 32
From Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Boxing record
Rank #2 Minor Circuit
Total fights 29
Wins 17
Losses 12

He returned in Super Punch-Out!! for the SNES as the second opponent of the Minor Circuit. In this game, his stomach becomes vulnerable to hooks when he taunts the player during a fight. He also often does his two-handed smash when his opponent tries to punch him in the face, though his two-handed smash no longer does one-hit knock downs to his opponent but it's still a dangerous attack. His palette swap is Mad Clown.

Dizzy KO:

He will make the same face as when he is attacked. He will move to the back of the ring, then forward. Jab or Super Punch him as he approaches the player.

Punch-Out!! (2009)[]

Bear Hugger
Rated at 440 lbs. (200 kg)
Height 6'3"
Nationality Canadian
Age 32
From Salmon Arm, BC, Canada
Boxing record
Rank #2 Major Circuit
Total fights 29
Wins 17
Wins by KO 10
Losses 12

Bear Hugger appears in Punch-Out!! for the Wii and is #2 in the major circuit, much higher ranked than in the previous games.

Salmon fly off his face when you hit him, which changes to a shower of maple leaves when TKO'd. When knocked down, he yells "Timber!" (if a hook is used to knock him down, he will just gag). In his montage, Bear Hugger was once an ordinary Canadian lumberjack who loved to eat big breakfasts, drink maple syrup, and chop down big trees. One day, a big grizzly bear suddenly appeared, roaring at Bear Hugger and scaring him. But surprisingly, the bear was actually friendly and he became friends with Bear Hugger, even teaching him how to fight like a bear. Richard Newman provides his voice. If you lose to him, he will scratch his back against the ropes and sigh in happiness.

In this game, Bear Hugger is affected by hooks (but only jabs can initiate stuns) and his Bear Hug attack deals higher damage than in Super Punch-Out!! (about 1/2). A Star Punch during any of his attacks will instantly knock him down, and you can counter every attack for a star, something that makes him somewhat of a target for many speed runners. Unlike the other opponents, if you avoid any of his attacks while you have no hearts, he'll quickly get back to his defense stance after he misses the punch, leaving you no time to hit him after avoiding the attack.


Star Opportunities:

  • Jab him when he flashes yellow when he sticks his tongue out on his first taunt.
  • Counter his Left Hook.
  • Counter his Overhead Smash.
  • Counter his Bear Hug.
  • Hit him when stomach is at the center when he sticks his belly out on his second taunt.

Instant Knockdowns:

  • Throw a star punch while Bear Hugger has his tongue stuck out on his first taunt.
  • Counter the Left Hook with a Star Punch while Bear Hugger moves his arm back. (Note that the window of time in which to do this is incredibly small)
  • Counter the Overhead Smash with a Star Punch when Bear Hugger is about to lower his arm.
  • Counter the Bear Hug with a Star Punch when Bear Hugger goes "Hug!?".
  • Counter the second taunt with a star punch when Bear Hugger's belly is about to reach the center.


  • Taunt: Bear Hugger sticks his tongue out and wiggles it at you. Jab him a second after he starts for a star.
  • Left Hook: A quick left hook. Can be dodged to either side or ducked.
  • Overhead Smash: A slightly delayed overhead smash that comes from Bear Hugger's right hand. Can be dodged to either side.
  • Bear Hug: Bear Hugger's signature move, similar to the Hippo Squeeze. He steps back and shouts "NEED A HUG?!!?" before giving Mac a spine-crushing bear hug, similar to King Hippo's squeeze attack. This attack can not be dodged; it must be ducked or countered.
  • "Let's Dance!" Taunt: Bear Hugger steps back and shouts "Nyuk-nyuk! Let's dance!!", and swings his large belly around. Hook him when his stomach is closest to Mac for a star.

Four Punch TKO

  1. Throw a jab on his first taunt.
  2. Dodge all of his attacks, and then use your star punch the next time he taunts you.
  3. Counter his hook, and then dodge the rest of his attacks.
  4. Throw your star the next time he taunts you and... TIMBER!!

Stun Limits:

  • His Hook: 5
  • His Overhead Smash: 4
  • His Hook (if ducked): 4
  • His Bear Hug: 7

Title Defense Mode[]

Bear Hugger
Rated at 440 lbs. (200 kg)
Height 6'3"
Nationality Canadian
Age 32
From Salmon Arm, BC, Canada
Boxing record
Rank Challenger (#3 Major Circuit)
Total fights 30
Wins 17
Wins by KO 10
Losses 13

Bear Hugger returned in Title Defense Mode to win the champion's belt from Little Mac. He's got a toque (a type of hat commonly worn in Canada in winter) this time and a boxing squirrel. He also has a couple of new attacks and a completely new attack scheme, but still retains his old moves. His squirrel acts as a warning to when Bear Hugger is either open for attack or going to fake an attack.

Bear Hugger also will only take 2 attacks unless he gets Star Punched when stunned after the first punch, at which point he is actually stunned, allowing Mac to land some hits on Bear Hugger. The amount of punches Mac can land depends on whether he used a One-Star Punch or a Two-Star Punch. A One-Star punch will allow 6 hits while a Two-Star Punch allows 10 hits; a Three-Star Punch gives an Instant Knockdown. Stars fly off both Bear Hugger's head and the squirrel's head when stunned. If Little Mac uses a Star Punch when Bear Hugger is stunned, the squirrel disappears, but the stars circling around Bear Hugger's head will turn into salmon. After the first knockdown, he will use "Catch and Release", which is a delayed bear hug that is also a little stronger than the ordinary bear hug and much harder to counter-punch for a star. These two moves can be faked later on in the combat. A three star uppercut will automatically knock Bear Hugger down if he is stunned, no matter how much health he has left. If you knock him down in TD, the squirrel will jump up and down on his belly to wake him up.

If you lose to the TD version of him, he will celebrate, throw his hat up to reveal the squirrel, then he kisses the squirrel.

Note that Bear Hugger TD will NEVER be hit by an unstunned Star uppercut, unless you dodge an attack and then use the uppercut. You could actually use the Star Punch to duck under any of his Bear Hugs, which will not only prevent Mac from getting hit, the Star Punch will then hit Bear Hugger. Also, if you hit Bear Hugger while he taunts you after the first knock down, this will no longer leave him open, but knocks him back. Note that you should not allow the fight to go on for too long as Bear Hugger can become very unpredictable with his attack patterns and getting stars can become very tricky. Using the Instant Knockdown trick will allow you to win more easily.

Glitch: If you use an uppercut right before the taunt, he will proceed to taunt, but he will also dodge it, and the squirrel will be in a T pose. When the player's punch gets blocked, when Bear Hugger gets stunned, or when he does a delayed attack, the squirrel turns back to normal.

Star Opportunities:

  • Counter his Overhead Smash.
  • Counter his Delayed Overhead Smash when he says "ya!".
  • Jab him on his "Hat Trick" taunt.
  • Counter his Left Hook.
  • Counter his Delayed Left Hook.
  • Counter his Bear Hug.
  • Counter his Catch And Release Hug when he is about to move forward.
  • Counter his Fake Bear Hug when he is about to say "Fooled Ya!".
  • Counter his Fake Catch And Release Hug when he is about to laugh.

Instant Knockdown:

  • Throw any Three-Star Punch when Bear Hugger is stunned. Regardless of how much health Bear Hugger has, he will instantly get knocked down. It is very crucial that you make due with this trick as Bear Hugger can become very difficult the longer the fight lasts.


  • Taunt: Bear Hugger lifts up his toque and shouts "Hat trick!".Jab him for a star. Before his first knockdown, he will also be stunned for one more punch. After his first knockdown, he will be knocked back.
  • Left Hook: A faster, stronger version of his Contender hook.
  • Delayed Left Hook: A delayed version of his Left Hook. The only way to tell which hook is being used is by looking at Bear Hugger's hat; if his squirrel has popped out, it's the delayed version.
  • Overhead: Like in Contender but faster.
  • Delayed Overhead: A much more delayed version of the Overhead. Bear Hugger yells out "I'm gonna stump ya!" before throwing the punch. His squirrel also pops out of his hat.
  • Bear Hug: The same as his Contender Bear Hug. Bear Hugger sometimes fakes this move; if his squirrel pops out of his hat, it's a fake.
  • Catch and Release Bear Hug: A delayed version of the Bear Hug. Yells "Catch and release!" Like the not delayed version, this move can also be faked. The way to tell if it's faked is also the same.

Stun Limits:

  • Star Punch (1): 6
  • Star Punch (2): 10
  • Attempting A Normal Stun: 2

Exhibition Challenges[]


  1. Win the fight and evade EVERY Bear Hug!
  2. TKO Bear Hugger in Round 1.
  3. Find 5 different ways to earn Stars.

Title Defense:

  1. Land a One-Star, Two-Star, and Three-Star Punch!
  2. Win the fight without dodging or ducking ANY fake Bear Hug.
  3. Defeat Bear Hugger and NEVER duck!

Rule Infractions[]

As per the unified rules of boxing established by the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combat Sports:

  • He has no clear line between his upper and lower half, making it harder for the referee to determine illegal low blows. Similarly, his knees are not visible.
  • His hat that he wears in Title Defense falls under illegal head covering.
  • He wears a large beard. In boxing, the fighters must be either clean-shaven or have short, well-groomed facial hair, as a full beard serves as a cushion to the wearer's jaw.
  • During corner breaks, he drinks maple syrup. Only water is allowed to be consumed during corner breaks.
  • He sleeps during corner breaks and taunts during matches, which is seen as disrespectful as the boxer is not taking the fight seriously.
  • During Title Defense, he brings a squirrel into the ring. Only the boxers and the referee are allowed in the ring, and the squirrel helps Bear Hugger stand back up after being knocked down and can act as a distraction to Little Mac, meaning that this squirrel is illegally tag-teaming.
  • Bear Hugger's move known as the "Bear Hug", is an earclap move. Earclap attacks are not allowed.
  • He wears work boots instead of standard boxing shoes.
  • He taunts often, which is disrespectful to the fight and opponent.



Super Punch-Out!! (SNES)

  • "Watch out! I am a killer - I am the Bear Hugger!" (first match)
  • "You've come back for another spanking, eh?" (rematch)
  • "I bet you can't beat me in 17 seconds." (endgame)
  • ”I’ve heard someone can beat me in 17 seconds.” (endgame, if you beat him in 17 seconds)
  • "Ow!" (after being hit by Mac)
  • "BONG....." (after being knocked down by Mac)
  • "Go! Attack him! Now!" (his cornerman, telling him to go offensive)

Punch-Out!! (Wii)

  • "Hruh! Hruh! Ahahahahaha!" (when you select him in Contender)
  • "Catch and Release!" (before performing special technique)
  • "Hoser!" (after unsuccessful overhead)
  • "She scores!" (after performing successful hook)
  • "I like raw fish. *snores*" (during Contender intermission)
  • "I'm a hugger, not a fighter. Take off, eh?" (during Title Defense intermission)
  • "I'm gonna stump ya!" (Delayed Overhead)
  • "Hat Trick!" (Title Defense taunt)
  • "Hey hoser! I'm gonna hit you so hard, you're gonna see Northern Lights, eh? *laughs*" (during Title Defense intermission)
  • (whilst trying to find the squirrel) "Hmmm, let's see now. I can't start until I find my little – wait, I hear him. I hear him, where are you? Where are... There you are you crazy little--! Ahahahahaha!" (before TD match)
  • "Need a hug?!" (before the Bear Hug)
  • (whist drinking syrup) "Now I have the strength *grunt* of a bear!" *slurp* "Oh that's good, yeah, mm-hmm." (during Contender intermission)
  • "Salmon arm!" (after performing successful hook)
  • "Sockeye! (after performing successful hook)
  • "Timber!" (when KO'd with a jab)
  • "Ah, I put the hat on, and... oh! *Squirrel pokes his tail in front of his eyes* Now, get your tail outta my eyes! How can I fight like that?" (Title Defense, before a new round)
  • "Need a... FOOLED ya!" (false Bear Hug in title defense)
  • "Catch and... UH-UH!" (false Bear Hug in Title Defense)
  • "Hyu-huck! Let's dance! Huh!" (Contender mode taunt)
  • "Bully!" (After ducking bear hug)
  • "Oh no..." (About to get hit by a star punch)

Doc Louis Tips:

  • "Hey, Mac baby, listen up! This kid loves to Bear hug! He can't hug you if he can't catch you! Keep out of his way!"
  • "Check it out, son. This sucka's got a tricky hook. If you dodge the wrong way, you're gonna get hit."
  • "Free the grizzly in him, Mac. Save your stars, and hammer this sucka home!"
  • "Hey, Mac baby. Bear Hugger's quite the bush man. Remember, yell "TIMBER!", and knock this sucka down, baby, knock him down!"
  • "I know one thing, baby. Playing dare with this bear won't work. Nuh-uh! You gotta knock him out and send him back to the wild!"
  • "Let's go, Mac baby! Rock this sucka so hard you put him, and his squirrel, into hibernation!"
  • "Ok Mac, listen up. Normal attacks are not gonna faze this big bear. You gotta find an opening and unleash all your power, got it?"
  • Knock this sucka back to the Rockies! Make him remember the last time he fought Little Mac!
  • "Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets lucky. Let's get the bear, Mac baby, let's get him."
  • "Remember, Mac! Bear Hugger's got a tricky hook! Be careful the way you dodge! Be careful, son!"
  • "Alright, alright, alright! I ain't no sissy, but those Canadian squirrels? Those bushy-tailed rats scare me, son!"


  • His KO animation in Contender is different than in Title Defense because in Title Defense, he loses his squirrel.
  • In Punch Out!! (Wii), when Bear Hugger is knocked down, the sound of a falling tree can be heard.
  • Bear Hugger was originally going to be in Mike Tyson's Punch Out, but due to the hardware of the NES, King Hippo was decided to take his place instead.
  • King Hippo shares a similar fighting style to him, for they are both obese boxers who share similar moves. However, one main difference is that if Bear Hugger is knocked down, he will try and get up again.
  • Bear Hugger is one of three bald boxers with facial hair. Soda Popinski and Bald Bull are the other two.
  • Before Punch-Out for Wii came out, fans thought Bear Hugger wouldn't be in the game because King Hippo's special attack has a resemblance to his bear hug.
  • In Super Punch-Out!! (SNES), Bear Hugger hails from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In Punch-Out!! (Wii), his hometown was changed to Salmon Arm, British Columbia.
  • In Super Punch-Out!! (SNES), the highest score against Bear Hugger is 68,020, by rdrunner0077, with only 16 milliseconds to spare.
  • In Super Punch-Out!! (SNES), the lowest time against Bear Hugger is 0'16"92, by zallard69, which proved that you can beat him in under 17 seconds.
  • In Super Punch-Out!! (SNES) The color of the glint of his teeth in the picture (in the top right hand corner) does not match the the color of the glint on his teeth in the boxing ring.
  • In Title Defense, no matter how you try to knock him out, whether it be by a hook, countering an attack/taunt, or stunning him, he will always show the special KO animation, which makes him one of the few opponents to always get a special KO animation, when TKO'd or KO'd from enough knockdowns. Interestingly enough, upon being defeated, the squirrel gets sent knocked out of his hat and into the audience.
  • Richard Newman, who does the voice of Bear Hugger in Punch-Out!! (Wii), also did the voice of M. Bison the Street Fighter cartoon as well as Captain Ginyu in the Dragonball Z anime, and Rhinox on Beast Wars.
  • Bear Hugger may be lighter than King Hippo since he can get up after being knocked down while King Hippo only needs to be knocked down once.
    • At the same time, Bear Hugger's weight is known while King Hippo's is not.
  • Bear Hugger appears to be left-handed, primarily because of his boxing stance is common for left-handed people. However, he is seen in the Wii version using an Orthodox (right-handed) stance, and holding jugs of maple syrup with his right hand. It's also possible he's ambidextrous and his left hand is his dominant hand.
  • In Punch Out (Wii), Bear Hugger invokes many Canadian stereotypes. The list includes: Wearing a toque, being fond of maple syrup, being used to bears, the love of fish, enjoying hockey, saying "Eh" and being a lumberjack.
  • After you win against Bear Hugger in Title Defense Mode and going to the selection screen, Bear Hugger is seen crying. This may be because either he was sad after he lost his squirrel or he was devastated that he lost.
  • There is a character in the IOS game Super KO Boxing 2 named Big Gip that might have been based on Bear Hugger since both have huge bellies and are bald with facial hair.
  • In Frank Bruno's Boxing, the song that plays before his boss fight is called "The Lumberjack Song" by Monty Python.
Punch-Out!! characters
Punch-Out!! (1984) Challenger · Glass Joe · Piston Hurricane · Bald Bull · Kid Quick · Pizza Pasta · Mr. Sandman
Super Punch-Out!! (1985) Challenger · Bear Hugger · Dragon Chan · Vodka Drunkenski · Great Tiger · Super Macho Man
Arm Wrestling Challenger · Texas Mac · Kabuki · Mask X · Alice & Ape III · Frank Jr.
Punch-Out!! (1987) Little Mac · Doc Louis · Glass Joe · Von Kaiser · Piston Honda · Don Flamenco · King Hippo · Great Tiger · Bald Bull · Soda Popinski · Mr. Sandman · Super Macho Man · Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream
Super Punch-Out!! (1994) Little Mac · Gabby Jay · Bear Hugger · Piston Hurricane · Bald Bull · Bob Charlie · Dragon Chan · Masked Muscle · Mr. Sandman · Aran Ryan · Heike Kagero · Mad Clown · Super Macho Man · Narcis Prince · Hoy Quarlow · Rick Bruiser · Nick Bruiser
Punch-Out!! (2009) Little Mac · Doc Louis · Glass Joe · Von Kaiser · Disco Kid · King Hippo · Piston Hondo · Bear Hugger · Great Tiger · Don Flamenco · Aran Ryan · Soda Popinski · Bald Bull · Super Macho Man · Mr. Sandman · Donkey Kong