Are you a southpaw boxer? Learn the natural advantages of being a left-handed fighter and more importantly, how to beat orthodox opponents.
How To Fight As A Southpaw
The most important step to learning how to fight southpaw is to learn all the natural advantages that left-handed fighters have over their right-handed opponents. Being NATURALLY left-handed is a very big advantage in the world of boxing and fighting in general. First learn the advantages, then learn how to use them to your advantage!
The Southpaw Advantage
As with many sports, left-handed athletes (known in boxing as southpaws) carry a huge advantage because everything they do comes from the opposite side that a normal right-handed orthodox fighter is use to seeing. Left-handed fighters, pitchers, fencers, tennis players, hockey, and more have been feared by their opponents for generations! In boxing, being left-handed was such an advantage that many fighters back in the days had to convert to an orthodox stance so that other fighters would be willing to face them.
Imagine spending your whole life driving on the right side of the road in America, and then having to go over to England and remind yourself to drive on the left. Even though you’re constantly reminding yourself, your body will revert back to its habits and you’re bound to slip up sooner or later. Simply put, southpaws have infinitely more experience against orthodox fighters than vice versa.
Quite often, their advantage in being a southpaw allows them to win fights even though they may be slower, weaker, and even less skilled. If you look throughout history you will see that some of the greatest orthodox fighters had their toughest fights against southpaws. Roy Jones Jr got knocked out for the first time in his career by a southpaw Antonio Tarver. Floyd Mayweather’s invincible defense was penetrated several times by southpaws Demarcus Corley and Zab Judah. Other notable southpaws such as Manny Pacquiao and Paul Williams, have terrorized entire weight divisions with their southpaw styles. Examples of left-handed advantage in sports.
The Southpaw Theory
Because orthodox fighters are simply not used to throwing punches and defending punches against southpaw fighters, everything orthodox boxers do will be less effective against their southpaw opponents. When facing southpaws, orthodox fighters will throw punches with less accuracy and less power because they’re not used to throwing at the different angles. The orthodox fighter’s defenses will also be less effective and less elusive. The orthodox fighter will always be at a disadvantage against a southpaw because he doesn’t train his offense and defense regularly to mimick southpaw opponents.
In contrast, the southpaw is far more comfortable against orthodox opponents. His offense and defense has always been tailored for orthodox opponents. Everything the orthodox fighter does, the southpaw has probably seen before.
Southpaw VS Orthodox Matchup
In this section, I’ll analyze and illustrate crucial advantages that left-handed fighters have over conventional right-handed fighters.
No matter what happens during the fight, the southpaw will always be more comfortable with his hand and foot placement. The southpaw’s defense always seems to be in the right place whereas the orthodox fighter always feels like he’s wide open no matter where he puts his hands. The orthodox fighter also feels uncomfortable because he can’t seem to place his feet where he wants to put them. Throughout the fight, he might even trip over the southpaw’s lead right leg because he’s not use having to moving around a southpaw.
The Closed Angles
When two orthodox fighters face each other, the angles of attack are relatively narrow and closed. Because of this, two orthodox fighters can defend themselves much easier with a static guard. In other words, they are able to defend themselves by using a single guard to defend against all punches. The reason for this is because the opponent’s jab and left hook will generally land in the same place and can be blocked by the orthodox opponent’s right hand. The opponent’s right hand and overhand right also generally land in the same place and can be blocked by the left glove or the left shoulder (ala Floyd Mayweather’s style). So when two equally skilled orthodox boxers face each other, it’s relatively easy for them to cover up and make the fight more defensive. As shown in the illustration above, their stances naturally close off many angles making it relatively easy to defend.
The Open Angles
When an orthodox fighter faces a southpaw, everything changes drastically. First off, you’ll notice that the angles are far more wide open. The southpaw-vs-orthodox matchup allows for much wide angles of attack compared to an orthodox-vs-orthodox matchup.
The orthodox fighter will not be able to block all four angles with a static guard. Because of the fighters’ mirror stances, the head and body are exposed from multiple directions. Notice how the orthodox fighter will not be able to block all of the southpaw’s angles unless he constantly adjusts his guard. Because of this open angle, a southpaw can easily penetrate (or confuse) the orthodox defense simply by mixing in right hooks with right jabs and overhand lefts with straight lefts. Now here’s where a lot of boxers will ask me, “But can’t I just use the southpaw’s tactics against him? Won’t the same tactics work in reverse?” This takes me to my next point.
The orthodox fighter will most definitely lose if he tries to use the southpaw’s tactics against him. Why? Because the southpaw is more trained and more practiced at using those angles! The orthodox boxer will always lose if he tries to race a southpaw boxer! The southpaw jab easily beats the orthodox jab; the southpaw straight left easily intercepts the orthodox straight right. Again, the southpaw will always be more natural at throwing from those angles and using those tactics. Assuming all fighter attributes even (size, speed, skill), the southpaw boxer will out-throw, out-punch, and out-land the orthodox fighter. Defensively, the orthodox boxer will be more surprised and hurt by the southpaw’s punches because he’s not used to getting hit from southpaw angles. Everything the southpaw does is perfectly trained for use against orthodox boxers but not vice versa!
The Uneven Exchange
This is naturally where most southpaw VS orthodox fights evolve into–uneven exchanges. What happens is the orthodox fighter realizes he can’t outjab the southpaw and that his right hand can’t beat the southpaw’s big left. It’s very natural at this point for the orthodox fighter to want to trade right for right and left for left. In other words, the orthodox boxer will throw his right hand when the southpaw throws his right and the orthodox will throw his left when the southpaw throws his left.
Here’s the critical analysis. Usually when orthodox fighters exchange punches, they trade left jabs against left jabs and right crosses against right crosses. In that orthodox-vs-orthodox situation, the exchanges are pretty fair and even.
Against a southpaw however, the orthodox gets the short end of the stick. Here’s why: when the orthodox throws a jab, the southpaw will land a huge left. When the orthodox throws a right hand, the southpaw easily defends (by moving his head or moving away) and lands a big right hook. The orthodox fighter is used to watching for the straight right hand and so he’ll forget about the southpaw’s big straight left and or not notice the southpaw’s deadly right hook.
But what about the orthodox fighter’s own left hook and big right hands? For one thing, you’ll quickly realize that the orthodox fighter’s left hooks have a hard time landing. The mirror stance makes it hard for the orthodox fighter to get his feet close enough to land his left hook. By the time the orthodox fighter is close enough to land his left hook, he would have already been beaten by the southpaw’s right jab. The orthodox fighter will also realize that the southpaw’s movement easily avoids the straight right.
Just when you thought things couldn’t be any worse for the orthodox boxer, it actually can be MUCH worse. The southpaw only needs to step forward with both feet, keeping his front foot on the outside and he now commands even more devastating angles while putting himself at less risk defensively. Standing on the T is the most advantageous position during a southpaw-orthodox matchup. Because the southpaw is more accustomed to fighting right-handers, it’s more common for the southpaw to claim the T-position and put the orthodox fighter on the defensive.
From the T-position, the southpaw can punch any way and anywhere he wants. If you study the illustration above, you will see what I call a 2-to-1 scenario where the outside boxer is in a advantageous position because he can attack with both hands whereas the orthodox boxer can only throw his right arm because his front arm is useless and out of range.
Offensively, you can almost call this a 4-to-1 advantage because the southpaw can throw a right jab and right hook which land at different angles as well as a left cross and left hook which also land at different angles. The orthodox fighter technically only has 1 attack with his right; because you see, regardless of whether he throws a straight right or an overhand right, it will still come almost at the same angle.
Defensively, the southpaw is quite safe since he’s hiding behind the orthodox fighter’s left arm. The orthodox’s left jab and left hook cannot land effectively (if even at all), and the right hand is blocked by his left arm. Even if the orthodox throws his right hand, the southpaw can easily avoid it by pulling his head to his left or taking a small step to his left.
The southpaw is also able to move anywhere he like and escape forwards or backwards out of harms way whereas the orthodox fighter can only back up or and pivot into the southpaw exposing him more to the southpaw’s left hand. In most cases, the orthodox fighter has no choice but to close up and take more punches as he tries to reposition his feet into a more neutral stance.
[Do keep in mind that I exaggerated the “T” foot placement my illustration. In actual fighting conditions, as long as the southpaw moves into a position where his front foot is outside the orthodox fighter’s front foot, the southpaw will hold the T-position advantage. You don’t have to stand perfectly square like in my crappy drawing.]
The Reverse T-Position
This position is very awkward and doesn’t seem possible but it happens more often than you think. Here your orthodox opponent is at the top of the “T” with his back to you, giving you the advantage to hit him from behind.
There are two ways you can get into this position. One is your opponent throws a lunging left and over swings to the point that he’s gone past your front foot and turned himself around. The other way is for you to plant your front foot behind his and just pivot around him. He can’t pivot with you because his front foot is trapped by yours. You can punch him freely from behind. By the time he pulls his front foot out, he’ll be pivoting in to your left cross!
Southpaw Left Cross & Southpaw Right Hook
It’s all about the angles. Imagine yourself as an orthodox boxing facing another orthodox boxer. You’re use to parrying away his light jabs and watching for his straight right hands.
Now imagine you’re facing a southpaw. Now you’ve got huge left crosses coming from where you were use to be expecting weaker left jabs; this changes your defense drastically. On the other side where you use to expect straight right hands from the rear, now you’re facing faster right jabs and also a southpaw right hook that comes from an angle you didn’t previously have to defend against.
If you think about it, every southpaw punch exploits a speed advantage or angle advantage that you previously didn’t have to watch out for. The orthodox boxer is not habitually trained to see your left hands and right hands. I am dead serious, throw those punches as often as you want, anytime you want and you will land easy. Orthodox fighters are ESPECIALLY BLIND to southpaw right hooks. As a southpaw, you should know that every punch you throw carries a surprise advantage. (I’ll have another guide later on how to maximize the left cross and right hook to your advantage.)
Wow! Is there ANY hope for the orthodox boxer?
Yes…but he better learn how to fight southpaws and have some tricks specially made for southpaw opponents. But I’ll save that for another boxing article 😉
Final Southpaw Tips
If you’re a southpaw boxer reading this guide, life should be MUUUUCH easier now against orthodox boxers. Just remember that southpaws hold the advantage. You guys set the pace, orthodox opponents will be under pressure even when you’re just chasing them around the ring and not throwing any punches.
3 Crucial Southpaw Rules:
Keep Your Front Foot On The Outside
- In a southpaw VS orthodox fight, whichever boxer keeps his front foot on the outside holds the positional advantage. Offensively, the boxer with the outside foot will have the 2-to-1 T-position advantage that I explained above. Defensively, he will be able to move in all directions whereas the other boxer can only to one side. If you put your lead foot on the outside, the other fighter will have to run in the other direction which is towards your strong hand! Just about every boxing coach will stress that maintaining the outside front foot is key in controlling the main advantage during southpaw-orthodox matchups.
Watch For The Orthodox Right Hand
- The most dangerous punch the orthodox boxer has against you is his right hand. That is the easiest and strongest punch for him to land against you and it’s only a matter of time before he uses more and more. The more frustrated he gets, the more he’ll want to throw a big right. Watch out for that right hand and everything will be ok!
Mix Up Hooks and Straights
- Don’t forget that the wide angle makes it hard for the orthodox fighter to block all hooks and straight punches without constantly having to shift his guard. Punch up, down, and around with both hands at all angles!
Note to Orthodox Right-Handed Fighters
Yes, I do recommend right-handed boxers to study this guide so that you can understand the mindset of a southpaw when you fight one. It’s also fun to turn southpaw in fights and surprise your normal right-handed opponents. Sometimes when I’m losing a fight or caught bored in a orthodox-vs-orthodox jabbing contest, I love to switch into southpaw and have some fun.
Enjoy guys, I had fun writing this one.
(Not so much fun drawing though. I’m really sorry about the crappy drawings! My photoshop skills are so bad they took me hours! Hahaha.)
Ready for more southpaw boxing guides?
- Read this Southpaw Combos & Counters guide.
- What if you’re an orthodox fighter? Learn How to Fight a Southpaw
- 5 Southpaw Boxing Tricks
- Vasyl Lomachenko – 7 Southpaw Boxing Footwork Tricks
- Guillermo Rigondeaux – Southpaw Boxing Tricks
- 7 Advanced Counter-Punches for Southpaws
- 3 Basic Counters for Southpaws Against Orthodox Boxers
awesome article! I look forward to more.
I was told to teach my son to fight as an orthodox fighter even though he’s a natural left handed child… My son is only 4 years old lol I know he’s just a baby but he loves boxing and before I take him to train etc I wanna make sure I follow the correct advice :0) I’ve been told by a few people that southpaw style fighters are easy to beat and don’t usually make it big in this sport… my question is What do you think ?Should I train him as a southpaw or a orthodox fighter even though he’s naturally lefty? CONFUSING lol
Southpaw fighters are not easy to beat by any means. If anything, southpaws are notoriously known for being difficult to fight. Many great fighters have had problems with southpaws. Great examples (Roy Jones vs Tarver). Or everybody vs Pacquiao. Maywather vs Zab Judah. You have countries like Cuba who have been very successful at the international level with the high percentage of southpaws on their team.
Hmm thanks for the advice bro! Your Tototaly right I agree….. Thank$$$
Great website, invaluable information.Thanks for taking the time to build the site!
Daniel G. Hogenmiller llll
Hey, Johnny look at the bottom two comments on your “How to beat a shorter opponent” article PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE look at them, especially the very bottom one because it is what I want advice on.
Honestly Johnny, I don’t know If you’ve even been on this site in years but if you somehow read this… listen to my story and give me a tip on how to beat slightly taller opponents. hopefully if you DO read this you have the patience to read the entire thing and if you do then PLEASE go to the bottom of your “How to beat a shorter opponent” comment section to check out the bottom two comments to give me advice or reply to this comment, PLEASE I’m BEGGING YOU!!!!!!!!!!
Honestly, I’m in a boxing gym, I joined for a few months and I have to say that what people are telling you isn’t necessarily true. I mean, It’s kind of common sense. Most boxers are right handed so they are used to boxing other orthodox fighters. So since your son is a natural southpaw, he will be used to fighting orthodox fighters which highers his chance of winning because they aren’t used to fighting many southpaw fighters. It’s not that there isn’t any good southpaw fighters. There are just less south paw boxers. They’re good ones too. From my sparring experience I find it easier to find my angles on orthodox boxers. From what I’ve heard and experienced, being a southpaw is a big advantage. But it also depends on the fighter. I say teach your son to be a southpaw, since he is a natural southpaw. It would be natural ability to waste if he learns the opposite way! Think about it! Unless he chooses to be an orthodox himself.
Tito trinidad, Oscar delahoya, Miguel Cotto,,,they all are lefthanded and fight in an othrodox style. Guys with killer lefthooks are usually lefthanded fighters. Being lefthanded in fighting is a huge advantage. Mickey ward had a killer left hooo to the body. Why? because he is left handed. Let your son fight th best stance for him. Wether straight left or left hook he will have an advantage
Just train him as a righty. Being a lefty is rare. There isn’t many of us so we don’t get the luxury of training lefty. Sometimes you’re the only person who you know that’s a lefty. Imagine being in a world where everything is made for righties. Scissors, can openers by the way I just mastered. School desks by the way I fell out many times. Don’t get me started with having to teach myself everything.
I’m always making people write with their left hand while I write with my right hand just for fun. If you haven’t try it you should. It reminds me of when a child first start writing. Don’t it feel weird? Imagine feeling that everyday until it feels perfect.
Thanks from a Southpaw for an article for Southpaws
Thanks so much for some really great info. All I read is how to fight a southpaw, but being a lefty it’s awesome to read something for southpaws fighting orthodox fighters!
Just sayin’ thanks and much appreciated. Looking forward to more!
Thanks for a great article. Im a right handed MMA fighter. I trained boxing for four years as an orthodox fighter but due to a knee injury a year and a half ago I was forced to learn to fight from a southpaw position. I have really been battling with the footwork and Ive been searching for a detailed set of goals like this for ages. Keep up the good work.
Khalef, I was thinking of you especially when I wrote this. You’ve been on me about this for 6 months! Everybody else who begged me to write this, this one’s for you!
thanks johnny. i appreciate it.
thank this really helps a lot
Where is the orthodox guide to beating southpaws?
Jacobi, soon soon! So much stuff to write!
Thanks coach! Your articles are very interesting I learned a lot! You are the real deal Johnny! Thanks!!
Orthodox Guide please!!!
I REALLYYY RESPECT JOhnny N and ALL of he’s articles but If southpaws hold the advantage .. He should have written an article for Orthodox guide vs Southpaw first before this 🙁 !
I use my jab to southpaws by moving to the right and watching his movements inch by inch waiting once he begin to lean forward or drops his guard then ill jab .. but i rarely use my right hand leads because even though they say it’s effective but I really can’t see my range it seems too far from my right cross, also it’s very hard for me to turn my hips on that right hand lead to a southpaw so that means i really have no power when fighting southpaws I fail. LOL! I just hate southpaws!For me, one thing you need to put in your mind when youll fight a southpaw is keep on moving (foot, head movement , feinting) make him attack first and just counter!
Left Hooks along with that jab. My Left hook always blindside em. And with great power step to your left avoiding theirs hard for them to block if you have a good hook. And after you’re set up well for the straight or cross.
Try moving your left foot to the outside of the southpaw, utilize the right cross and left hooks, Southpaw and orthodox stances are a mirror, when one moves, the other has an advantage, if you focus your foot placement and counter punch the southpaw , and vice versa, you’ll get the hang of it.
greetings from Paris. I am lucky enough to have two southpawns in our club and a southpawn younger brother so I can train/spare on a regular basis with southpawn.
I found it ennoying at first if as I tried to apply a classic strategy. I came up with some tips which I am sure already exists for years but I didn t find a good article which describe them. Bare in mind I have been practicing boxing only for over a year now and I am far from being a professional/amateur fighter. But that gives these small tips more relevance as they work for a beginner.
For example, I use my jab not to tag him but more to block/stop his own jabs, it also block his vision to see my right cross coming followed by a liver shot/left hook. Let’s not forget that southpawn expose their liver in front and that is a very attractive target!!!!
I also like to duck under his jab and use instand counter ( the stop and hit technic). It requires a lot of reflex but as I have a Wing chun back ground, I am used to simultaneous defense and attack.
Another technic/move I took from Wing Chun, is some kind of adapted Pak sao when he land a jab. You block the jab with your left hand near his elbow by putting pressure toward him, it is very surprising for them and put them off balance. It also block his left hand as the right arm is right in middle of the path. Best is to do a small step on the outside while you perform the block so you can counter from the side and be completely out of reach and danger. Do not push too hard or too much to the side when you block or he will use your force/motion to come back with a big right hook while you are off balance.
I hope these tips will help my orthodox brothers when facing southpawns
@ Jacobi & Jerome – great insight guys, keep them coming. Hey Jerome, can you find a video link of the technique you are describing?
That was a great artical as a left hander it will really give me new ways to look at the advantage. The drawings were great and very helpful
Sorry I don t have video of these technics! Found a video of a sparring between orthodox and southpawn, quite interesting one
John from Va
I wish I read this days before! I kept getting caught by a left handers left straight in practice. I do pretty good with everything else but that left straight seems to sneak in all the time and now I know why. I train kung fu but the set up is basically the same. This will help my training big time!
Thanks for the compliments, everyone. Check out the southpaw punching combinations I just released!
That is a great piece i have recently taken up boxing again and im 22 now so was fearful that it may be abit late for me to get to the aquired standard i am a natural southpaw but this has given me a great confidence boost and will really help me develop faster
Stayed up late and found this gem
I look forward to terrorizing orthodox fighters, thanks…
Great article. But as a southpaw I am a little perturbed that the secret is now out 😉 As a southpaw, there is a monstrous advantage to moving right ie: counter-clockwise 95% of the time. I say 95% because every now and then you want to take a step left to throw your opponent off. Watch any Pernell Whittaker fight and you’ll see what I mean. There is a drawback however. You MUST CONSTANTLY obey this rule. The minute you deviate you will crushed by a right hand! Southpaws are suckers for right hands bc they fail to follow this rule.
Where is our Orthodox guide vs southpaws ?? 🙁
@Jacobi – coming soon! Don’t worry, I have not abandoned my orthodox brothers.
YES THANKS IN ADVANCE! 🙂 Even Amir Khan wants that guide …
Have you made the orthodox guide to beating southpaw yet?
The only experience I’ve had sparring a Southpaw was an unfortunate one on the grounds that he wasn’t very confident and this let him down more than anything else. He was bigger and heavier than me with a stout frame, but he mistook my slight speed advantage for something monumental when I started to practice parrying his jab and landing my own with the same hand, stepping to the left to create the angle before running the heck away because I didn’t want him to realise he could’ve trounced me if he’d put the pressure on.
It was fun because I could dominate him provided I was careful enough not to overstep my boundaries, but it wasn’t really a learning experience for either of us since I wasn’t being pushed very hard save for the occasional spurt of speed and he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to make the most of his advantages.
Thanks for the article!
@Elbarto – I’m in the works of writing the guide for orthodox fighters to beat southpaws. Hang on!
@Dillan – Sounds like you did great. Hit and run!!! The orthodox beating southpaw guide is one its way.
the open angles
Great article. Quick question, it seems in the “open angles” section, the south paw’s left would not have a wide possibility of angles since the south paw left cross and left overhand come from a greater distance. While the southpaw’s right is much closer and do offer a wide possibility of angles. Can you clarify? Thanks.
You’re right, the southpaw right does have wider angles than the southpaw’s left. Nonetheless, both still have more angles than an orthodox VS orthodox matchup. The key difference is that the orthodox fighter has to move his right hand in order to block both the straight left and overhand left. (Normally in an orthodox vs orthodox matchup, one hand position can block both the straight right and overhand right.)
Jacobi Paraiso Ladub
orthodox guide vs southpaw pls ….
Jacobi – almost there, man. ALMOST THERE!
Man I hope it’s nearly done, I REALLY need it. Been having some TOUGH sparring sessions lately…..haha
Thanks for all of the help so far man!
@Matt5591 – no worries, I have it like 95% written. Give it a little time, I want to make it the best guide out there on destroying southpaws.
In the “closed angles” section, its supposed to be aka not ala.
Great article but
Some grammar check wouldn’t hurt… example:
“Because orthodox fighters are simply not use to throwing punches… “
“not used to”
@Oz – my writing is plagued with mistakes. Every time I think I’ve got them all, I find another. Thanks for the catch.
southpaw vs southpaw
how does a southpaw fight another southpaw?
@javier – fight him like an orthodox VS orthodox 🙂
gr8 article as always bro. i am can fight as a south paw as well as orthodox with effecting my game much so this article really helps me!!;-)
do you think boxing nicknames should reflect style, personality or both?
Nicknames can reflect whatever the person wants.
how do i wear my opponent down the fastest way whilest using the least amount of energy to do it? Do i fire multiple jabs, go the body or create more work for my opponent?
That’s a lot to answer in one comment, Curtis. The easiest way is to have a solid defense and be deadly accurate when you attack. I wrote an article on the drowning style that can help you wear out opponents.
can you write a footwork guide for gaining the outside foot postion and genneral southpaw footwork
http://www.ehow.com/how_4460391_box-southpaw-style.html like what’s described here i think its really good and it reveals some really cool tricks. what do you think? hope to hear from you soon?
Curtis, the footwork is already covered in my “How to Fight a Southpaw” guide.
First of all, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge of the Sweet Science! My question is, how come Manny Pacquaio circles clockwise against his opponents (most of which were Orthodox fighters). Shouldn’t Southpaws move counterclockwise to get the “T-Position” and be at an advantage? But if you watch Pac Man’s fight against David Diaz, a Southpaw as well, he circled mostly to his right, going towards Diaz’s power hand. Is it because he’s just Manny being Manny, and he believes he could get away with it due to his lightning fast hands and f quick in and out of range footwork? Thank you in advance for putting your two cents in. Hope you’d have a good life and keep your blog rolling, You’re the best, don’t tell Pretty Boy Floyd I said it though, he might duck you!
Victor, Pacquiao can do whatever he wants because he’s got a plan for it and above-average physical ability that allows him to do so. He can circle into a southpaw’s strong hand because it’s bringing his strong hand into range as well.
I have no problem with southpaw-styles.. becouse i keep my left foot out side his rigth foot. and bang my jab or hook with my rigth punch. and move…
Exactly right. So it works both ways – whoever gets to the outside.
So.. if orthodoxes are onto it, what’s plan B?
It’s about whoever’s in control and takes advantage. You don’t always have to have the front foot outside. It’s simply an advantageous position but you can also use the other position to create angles and turn and fight as well. There are many things I didn’t cover in this guide.
Hi johnny! I’m a southpaw and let me ask you: it is correct or normal a southpaw fighter advance is left leg when throwing left punches with a ortodox fighter? We can see it happening many times. It is the best thing to do if we want to got near the opponent’s face with a left cross? Thank’s
Yes you can. It’s not the rule but you can do it if you need. You can also move up with the other foot as well. Try both and see what happens.
So that’s why I got my ass beat.
I cant get enough of your articles man
I check everyday for new ones
Just want to say that the conclusion is “Southpaws: you have the advantage but watch out the orthodox straight righ” and that´s the moral of the fable called “Pacquiao vs. Marquez”. Fantastic article!
Johnny, could you write on article for southpaws to combat other southpaws.
Well, just take everything I wrote here on this site (meant for orthodox vs orthodox) and switch the words around in your head.
No, no, pleeeese do. Just for us.
One of your special articles..
what do you think about gary russel jr? i see him as a future p4p in the sport alongside broner nd canelo
I really like him. I remember him making a lot of hype as an amateur. He looks fast but we’ll see once he starts taking on the bigger names.
he actually wanted to move my coach and his whole family to ny because he wanted him to be his trainer. I got to talk to gary russel on the phone one time he a cool dude. my coach said he use to beat up on adrien broner nd ko raushee warren in sparring lol btw you can check out my coach he cornered his former fighter henry buchanan against andre ward on showtime its on youtube. my coach will soon be regarded as one of the best trainers in boxing. he learned from the mongoose himself archie moore! He was also known as the best street fighter in all of sandiego before he ever started boxing. Travis Stocking look him up
yo jonny, great article, near the end you mentioned you’d be writing an article on maximizing the left cross and right hook. Any news on how far off that is? would love some more southpaw advice, so hard to come by but this article is superb, Thank-you.
Very far off.
i might have discovered something accidentally. in this video, im the one in blue gloves (south paw) and i am losing really badly – i forgot all about foot positions (tsk, i should review on my expertboxing more! lol)
around 4:33, i was basically trapped (you know, the position you should never be in against a mirror stance fighter), but by instinct, i learned to raise my lead elbow when trapped (again, thank you expertboxing along with the floyd mayweather tips video), and somehow it seemed to work.
my sparring partner stopped, cause he did get an elbow on the forehead once (by accident!) … but i was just thinking, when trapped by a mirror stance fighter, is it possible to get out of it using the raised elbow technique? i mean, you know, worse comes to worse.
heres the video!
sorry i forgot to attach it
The raised elbow might work for a bit but it’s not invincible against a skilled fighter who throws constant punches. Sticking your elbow out like that means you can’t fire back.
thanks johnny. you are right, it does not work especially if he gets to fire first and rains with combos. also, when it becomes predictable, the opponent can throw a really solid body shot. found that out a few sparring sessions ago
I love this article. Very, VERY helpful. I felt it when I tried it on my last Sparring session
I just hope my opponents don’t find this article otherwise they can counter me.lol
Thanks for this
Great article, really thorough analysis. I keep coming back to this and the orthodox vs southpaw. Charts are super helpful. Would really like to see a similar breakdown of orthodox vs orthodox, like your ‘closed angles’ section expanded to a whole article like this. Have you got a page like that, or can you recommend a source?
Thanks a ton.
I’ll have to do put that page, Craig. Thanks for the idea!
Nelson Alexander Nobles
Greetings, My name is Nelson and I have been an avid fan of martial Arts, especially Boxing. Though I have never boxed organized, I have fought in the streets a lot as a young man growing up. I am just now starting to box amateur at 23 years old. I have always fought out of a southpaw stance even though I am right-handed. I was wondering if you are a Southpaw how do you fight or counter another Southpaw?
Southpaw vs southpaw will use the same tactics that orthodox fighters use against other orthodox fighters. You can apply all the same boxing counter-punching principles.
Lots of thanks for this great article.
I’ve been studying Muay Thai as southpaw for 6 month and have found a lot of useful information here.
I wish you all the best!
Greetings from Russia.
Whoever told you it isn’t good to fight unorthodox must’ve gotten they ass beat by one. Im southpaw and I have fun watching ppl try to defend against me lol.
What do you think of peek a boo for a southpaw? Ive been loking at the style and it can be adapted for a southpaw. Any ideas on this?
Southpaws can definitely use the peek-a-boo style but obviously there must be some technical and strategic modifications. But generally, yes, it’s possible as I’m sure Mike Tyson used it against southpaws…so why not the other way around?
Hello Johnny, I’m a Left-Handed fighter (Southpaw). I wanna thank you for posting this, you have no idea how much this is going to help me. I mean my defense was great, but this will help increase it even more! Keep it coming!
Big Thanks from Team Russell! The next Champ (When he’s old enough)!
“When he’s old enough”…lol.
Great article … but what’s the deal with right handers who are more comfortable and love to fight as Southpaw? I ask, because I am one of them! I think Bruce Lee was a right handed S’paw, Manny Pac and Nick Diaz of UFC are all right hander S’paws … what I want to know, do you thing there’s a difference between right handed and left handed S’Paws?
MMA is a totally different game so you can’t really apply that to boxing. As for Pacquiao…he never looked like a right-handed southpaw to me…if he was, I imagined his right hook would have been a far more developed weapon earlier on in his career.
What’s the difference between right-handed and left-handed southpaws? Their abilities and strategies, I imagine. Fighting with the strong hand in the back makes you a more balanced 2-handed puncher. Putting the strong hand in front kinda makes you a one-handed fighter. It can be effective…sure…why not. I wrote a guide about “Why the Strong Hand Belongs in the Back”.
I cannot find anything on southpaw karate – so I come here!
You are a legend! So much detail (with all your stuff), and you’re clearly passionate. Thanks a heap. Ps, don’t be afraid to get even more technical and analytical – it’s great and what sets you apart; “for the thinking fighter” 🙂
Anything on southpaw vs southpaw? I know it’s just a matter of turning orthodox vs orthodox around, but it get really tiring in ones head doing that all the time (so, when you say right, you really mean my left… etc). Just a though from the minority.
I don’t have anything for southpaw vs southpaw and I probably won’t re-write all my guides. But I think there are definitely strategic implications specific to that scenario that I can talk about. Thanks for the suggestion.
What about Southpaws versus in-fighters? Or when they’re fighting at very close range?
The guide still applies but I suppose I could talk more about that in an inside-fighting guide.
Sorry I asked it the question previously in the wrong article, I noticed in Rigondeaux’s fight with Donaire he sometimes circles towards Donaire’s right hand? what is the reasoning for that.
Hi Johnny, Big Fan of your YouTube channel and your guides.
I have a question about a southpaw vs. a (Machine Gun) orthodox puncher.
I’m the southpaw, and my opponent is as I’ve said a machine gun puncher. I’m not scared of him, his defense is weak, he just has power, and a small amount of speed.
How do I beat him?
Hi thanks for showing us our advantages
I’m ambidextrous and fight the southpaw way, experienced opponents get confused when fighting me let alone beginners.
it’s an advantage, I also have a stronger left hand. and a stronger left leg and stronger left everything but I have a stronger right brain.
Thanks man i read yhis article about 4 years ago, i am a lefty and gained a ton of confidence when i read. I decided to tackle the challenge of boxing and it does pay an advantage to be a southpaw naturally. If you have the natural instincts to fight along with all of the boxing tools being a southpaw really pays off. I have a clear advantage over other guys that have been thought to beat me and on film they are great but once we get in the ring they are nothing like what i studied due to the surprises, it messes with their minds. Anyways maybe this article is the reason I am 38-0 amateur right now and im about to make my debut with golden boy soon.
Oh yeah also any other amateurs make sure you mix the body shots in a lot. Most amateurs dont seem to take to the body so well and even some dont breath properly in the early fights which gives you a chance to knock the breath out of them. That helped a lot in early fights.
This is an amazing article bro. I just learned exactly what advantages southpawss have against orthodox fighters. This happens a lot in UFC too where southpaws are dominant in fights. Im an orthodox fighter but I never fought a southpaw before. I will talk to my trainers for specific training now that I know. Thanks bro
Johnny… u are just too much… i train myself both on orthodox and southpaw… i guess my two arm are nt effective than each other… i just feel like fighting as a southpaw just becos of the advantages…
The T Position is BullShit in MMA Fight. Robbie Lawler vs Rory Mcdonald Was one example. When Rory saw that Robbie was doing T position exposing the Weak Plane and make him unstable and Rory went for the Easy takedowns Each time
As you can See on the Pic i uploaded here http://postimg.org/image/ogwd8rifd/
Hi, I’m new to the boxing world I’ve trained a bit on and off over the years but never competitively ( amateur) I’ve started to get into and was just wondering as to what I should do stance wise. I’m currently comfortable standing as a southpaw but I’m right handed so my power punches that come from the left aren’t overly powerful. What should I do? My trainer also says my style is very defensive but once there is an opening I’ll let my hands go with combos don’t know if that helps. Haha
Ps: reason why I’m comfortable in the southpaw stance is cause I’m left footed.
GOOD DAY.6653589560Z.589560Z. CLASS 554TBILISI I’M JUST DOING A LITTLE STUDYING AND, READING.
Self taught, looking for a little guidance since I’m inexperienced compared to the rest of you.
Have you ever come across people who were right handed but were southpaw fighters? Because even though I’m right handed (Though I’m skilled enough with my left hand to be considered ambidextrous) I never feel as comfortable with orthodox as I do south paw. My mom is similar in that aspect when it comes to different exercises. Just asking for a little guidance from someone who knows what he’s talking about.
Zakariye A F
Thank you for this wonderful article! i really APPRECIATE your INPUT couch.
I’m 24 years old now and would like to start boxing soon.
Ready to work the world <3
I’m ambidextrous. I’ve always fought orthodox style. I naturally want to jab and hook with my right even though I’m more comfortable in the left foot forward stance. But I have no problem being in the south paw stance either. Out of my four punches, my left hook, right hook and left jab are equally dangerous. My right jab is a bit weaker, but both left and right jabs are spot fire fast. I’ll take up my southpaw stance as a primary and switch up as needed.
I was born left handed on International left hander’s day. August the 13th.
I’m natural orthodox but trained southpaw (repetition, repetition, repetition), now naturally setup southpaw but switch/flow easily back to orthodox. Feel quicker, more mobile with better balance/hip rotation/timing leading on the right leg, create quicker in/out angles, jarring right jab/hook/lead cross, better feints with the left and straighter/compact left cross. Gets busy, just switch to orthodox with a much harder/heavier trailing hand and compact defence. Confuses the hell out of people
Loved the article!! Reading this made me think about starting a YouTube channel about being a lefty.
Daniel G. Hogenmiller llll
I can personally say as an amateur southpaw with a ridiculous reach. people have a VERY hard time dealing with me.