Being a southpaw gives you many advantages inside the ring over right-handed fighters. Being comfortable out of a southpaw stance is just as good, even if you’re not a natural lefty. Many of the biggest names in boxing like Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr, and Vasyl Lomachenko fight out of the southpaw stance.
Benefits Of Using A Southpaw Stance In Boxing
Before going over the advantages of being a southpaw, let’s review some basic information about boxing stances. The southpaw stance is typically used by left-handed boxers who lead with their weaker right hand and keep their right leg forward. Right-handed boxers (about 88 percent of people are right-handed) use the orthodox stance, which involves keeping your left leg forward and leading with your left hand.
That makes southpaws a rarity in boxing. Most boxers spend most of their sparring sessions and competition time inside the ring, going against orthodox boxers. That includes southpaw boxers as well. As a result, southpaws are used to dealing with orthodox fighters, but orthodox boxers typically have little experience against southpaws.
Ready to find out what some of the most significant benefits of being a southpaw are? Let’s jump right into it:
1) Creates Awkward Angles For Opponents
As we mentioned earlier, only about 12 percent of the world’s population is left-handed, so it’s uncommon to run across southpaw boxers. As a result, the angles their punches are thrown from can be confusing for an orthodox fighter. Southpaws spend most of their time going against orthodox boxers, so they get more opportunities to figure out ways to exploit the openings created by opposing stances going head-to-head.
2) More Accurate, Sharper Jab
Southpaws generally tend to have sharper jabs than their orthodox counterparts. Much of this has to do with southpaw having more experience against orthodox fighters. When boxers in opposing stances collide, their rear hand is on the same side. A fencing battle of sorts ensues, and the southpaw typically has the advantage since they have these types of engagements regularly, while the orthodox boxer does not.
3) More Experience Against The Opposite Stance
We have already gone over this a few times. Southpaw fighters often feel bizarre to orthodox boxers, while orthodox boxers feel natural to southpaws since they typically have more experience against them than other southpaws.
However, there’s a downside to this. Southpaw boxers often struggle as much as orthodox fighters when they find themselves going against another southpaw.
4) Makes It Easier To Set Up Traps
Southpaws are better able to set up traps for their opponents due to the awkward examples of their fighting stance. Scenarios that might be safe when you’re going against an orthodox fighter aren’t always safe when you go against a southpaw.
5) Makes You A More Challenging Opponent
Many boxers struggle against southpaws when they don’t have much experience against them. Their jabs can be particularly tricky since most boxers aren’t used to a jab coming from their left side. Defensive techniques that are effective against an orthodox boxer aren’t always effective against southpaws. The same goes for setups that are effective against orthodox boxers.
6) Makes You Better At Exchanges
Fighting in a southpaw stance makes it more challenging for opponents to time their attacks and create effective angles against you. For instance, when two orthodox boxers collide, they will have ample opportunities to land left hooks against each other. They can also see big attacks coming from their opponent’s rear hand. However, everything is mirrored when facing a southpaw. This creates opportunities for the southpaw to counter with their left hooks and cross.
7) Keeps Opponents Timid
Boxers are typically less aggressive against southpaws to avoid getting caught with counters. The fact your stance feels awkward to orthodox boxers also helps. This is great for you since you get more space to impose your will on your opponent. You get to work on your offense, knowing your opponent will be hesitant to throw due to overthinking.
8) Southpaws Are More Comfortable
Being a southpaw gives you a comfort level inside the ring many orthodox boxers never get to enjoy. It comes back to southpaws being comfortable with orthodox fighters, while the reverse isn’t true. This allows southpaws to rest comfortably in the fact that orthodox opponents will eventually make mistakes they can capitalize on during their fights.
For example, southpaws like Errol Spence Jr. are often content to throw only straight punches all night, knowing their orthodox opponents will eventually leave openings.
9) Neutralizes Your Opponents’ Jab
The different position of the lead foot of orthodox and southpaw boxers leads to their jabs being on the same side instead of being on opposite sides, as is the case when two orthodox boxers go head-to-head. Southpaw vs. orthodox boxer matchups often lead to both fighters pawing their jabs to establish dominance. Southpaw boxers can counter their opponents’ jabs by stepping to the outside, and they are more used to the clash of jabs since it’s a regular event for them in the gym, unlike orthodox fighters.
Most of a boxer’s offense comes through their jab, so neutralizing it often leads to fighters making mistakes as they try to force the action.
10) It Gives You Lead Foot Advantage
Using a southpaw stance often gives you the advantage as far as foot positioning is concerned. This becomes an even more significant advantage when you’re going against orthodox boxers with subpar footwork.
As a southpaw, you simply need to place your lead foot outside of your opponent’s lead foot to put yourself in an advantageous position. It is called the “T-position,” and it puts you in a position to throw a powerful cross (rear hand straight) as your opponent moves into your range.
Errol Spence Jr. often sets his cross up by firing jabs repeatedly to get into the T-position, then throwing a cross down the middle when the opportunity presents itself. He used this tactic often during his bout with Mickey Garcia.
Use It To Your Advantage
Fighting out of the southpaw stance will give you many advantages over orthodox fighters inside the ring. You should work on it, even if you’re not a natural lefty. It will give you new looks you can overwhelm your opponents with.
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