I've never understood this part from Rocky 2 from Mickey about southpaws:

I mean when he says "right's no damn good"... for orthodox you could say "left's no damn good"...

He gives the impression southpaw is an entirely different style of boxing... but southpaw and orthodox are just left and right handed aren't they? So aren't they just mirror images of each other? So any problem a southpaw presents to an orthodox fighter is the same as the problem an orthodox presents to a southpaw... Or is there more to it than that?

1 Answer 1


A lot of boxers dislike fighting southpaw for a few reasons, main reason being is that for every ten orthodox (right handed boxer, I'll call as R from here on out) there is only one southpaw (left handed boxer, I'll call L).

Statistically speaking the majority of your training and sparring you will spend rounds in the ring with are R boxers, unless you hand pick your partners.

Boxing a L vs a R partner has some distinct differences. The main being that with matching stance (R vs R or L vs L) the jab will be lined up with your opponents head and your power will not. With opposite stances (R vs L) your power hand is lined up with your opponent and your front hand is going to be lined up with your opponent's front hand and you'll have to play around it. Front foot position plays a big role in it too.

From the heavyweight archives... someone like Wladimir Klitschko will play with an opponent's front hand or place his front hand over the top if they're in the opposite stance from him, not throw his jab too much and look for the big right hand. Somebody like Oleksandr Usyk will use hard hand feints, footwork angles, and hand play to find a home for the front hand working around someone with an opposite stance. You can see this when he fought Joshua, at times he would even throw a lead left (he's a L) when Joshua was fixated on his front hand and land it with regularity.

I've heard long before my day no coaches liked or knew how to train southpaws so they converted most boxers into orthodox.

Tl;dnr: opposite stances you're open to the power hand, different strategy when fighting a southpaw. Like Jim Lampley (or maybe Larry Merchant..?) said "if you want to be a great heavyweight champion, don't fight southpaws"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.