Punching in a fist fight pretty much guarantees that you will mess up your hands somehow. You see seasoned strikers with years of practice and experience flailing with just about anything they have when brawling. In the heat of the moment you are just thinking about hitting them, not placing the perfect 2 knuckle strike with correct wrist and forearm bone alignment. One thing is on your mind - APPLY BEATDOWN!
I know that many people will argue that perfect practice makes perfect punches, you fight how you train, etc etc. Okay. Fine. I will just say that the many years of striking arts guaranteed me nothing whenever I have scrapped. I'll fucking hit with anything, anywhere, any number of times. I aim at the face with my fist - to me it seems like a perfect punch - but to onlookers it was the most fucked up superman style haymaker anyone has ever seen. My short hooks to the head appeared to the audience to be flailing hammerfists with one hand while holding the guys hair with the other. My perfectly executed palm strike was in reality an overhand bitchslap.