The damage of the attack varies depending on the game. In the arcade version of Super Punch-Out!!, it was a one-hit KO, while in the SNES version of Super Punch-Out!!, it was much weaker, most likely due to him being the second opponent in the game, and thus not as much of a challenge.
The Bear Hug is also used in the new Punch-Out!! for the Wii, where it is more powerful then the SNES attack, but not powerful enough to be a one-hit KO. Sometimes, he says an alternative line, "Catch and Release!", meaning that it will be a delayed but stronger attack.
In Title Defense Mode, Bear Hugger's squirrel will tell if he'll fake this attack. If he does fake it, the player can hit him after he leans forward to earn a star.