Southpaw Guide To Beating Orthodox Fighters

January 9, 2011 January 9, 2011 by Johnny N Boxing Strategy, Boxing Styles 104 Comments

Southpaw Fighting Guide

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.


The Placement

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

Orthodox VS Orthodox Matchup


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

Orthodox VS Southpaw Matchup


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 Race

Orthodox Southpaw Race


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.


Uneven Exchange


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.


The T-Position

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.

Southpaw T-Position


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.

Reverse T-Position

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰



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?

boxing ebook Advanced Boxing Techniques 30 Day Fighter's Diet Advanced Boxing Footwork Drills
Did you learn something? Share It!


khalaf January 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm

awesome article! I look forward to more.


Miguel DUCASSE August 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

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


Johnny N August 13, 2013 at 3:57 am

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.


Miguel DuCasse October 29, 2013 at 10:12 am

Hmm thanks for the advice bro! Your Tototaly right I agree….. Thank$$$


Movin Ngoun September 9, 2013 at 2:44 am

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.


Brahmsy J October 28, 2013 at 12:24 pm

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


The Hammer January 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm

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!


Jonathan January 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm

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.


Johnny N January 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm

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!


khalaf January 9, 2011 at 2:49 am

thanks johnny. i appreciate it.


peter January 9, 2011 at 8:23 am

thank this really helps a lot


Jacobi January 18, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Where is the orthodox guide to beating southpaws?


Johnny N January 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Jacobi, soon soon! So much stuff to write!


Jacobi January 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Thanks coach! Your articles are very interesting I learned a lot! You are the real deal Johnny! Thanks!!


Gerry Penalosa January 24, 2011 at 10:25 pm

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 ๐Ÿ™ !


Jacobi January 24, 2011 at 11:21 pm

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!


Kerry July 21, 2012 at 3:45 am

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.


ALex December 15, 2015 at 9:57 am

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.


Jerome January 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm

counter/stop hit

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


Johnny N January 27, 2011 at 1:20 am

@ Jacobi & Jerome – great insight guys, keep them coming. Hey Jerome, can you find a video link of the technique you are describing?


Gene Longobardi January 27, 2011 at 1:52 am

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


Jerome January 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm

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 January 28, 2011 at 1:06 am

Great article
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!


Johnny N January 29, 2011 at 4:29 am

Thanks for the compliments, everyone. Check out the southpaw punching combinations I just released!


Russ March 11, 2011 at 12:51 am

fantastic article
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


Chicago Southpaw April 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Stayed up late and found this gem
I look forward to terrorizing orthodox fighters, thanks…


lightnin lou April 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm

moving counter-clockwise
Great article. But as a southpaw I am a little perturbed that the secret is now out ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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.


Jacobi April 18, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Where is our Orthodox guide vs southpaws ?? ๐Ÿ™


Johnny N April 19, 2011 at 8:18 am

@Jacobi – coming soon! Don’t worry, I have not abandoned my orthodox brothers.


Jacobi April 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm

YES THANKS IN ADVANCE! ๐Ÿ™‚ Even Amir Khan wants that guide …


Elbarto May 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Have you made the orthodox guide to beating southpaw yet?


Dillan May 8, 2011 at 10:11 pm

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!


Johnny N May 12, 2011 at 10:52 am

@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.


dude June 3, 2011 at 4:08 am

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.


Johnny N June 3, 2011 at 4:44 am

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 June 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm

orthodox guide vs southpaw pls ….


Johnny N June 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Jacobi – almost there, man. ALMOST THERE!


Matt5591 July 13, 2011 at 7:18 pm

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!


Johnny N July 14, 2011 at 3:32 am

@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.


Mario January 11, 2016 at 7:02 pm

In the “closed angles” section, its supposed to be aka not ala.


Oz July 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Great article but
Some grammar check wouldn’t hurt… example:

“Because orthodox fighters are simply not use to throwing punches… “
“not used to”


Johnny N July 18, 2011 at 8:29 am

@Oz – my writing is plagued with mistakes. Every time I think I’ve got them all, I find another. Thanks for the catch.


javier July 22, 2011 at 9:29 pm

southpaw vs southpaw
how does a southpaw fight another southpaw?


Johnny N July 23, 2011 at 5:32 am

@javier – fight him like an orthodox VS orthodox ๐Ÿ™‚


adnan September 12, 2011 at 8:28 pm

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!!;-)


curtis c December 18, 2011 at 2:54 am

do you think boxing nicknames should reflect style, personality or both?


Johnny N December 18, 2011 at 7:33 am

Nicknames can reflect whatever the person wants.


curtis c January 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

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?


Johnny N January 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm

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.


curtis January 20, 2012 at 3:46 am

can you write a footwork guide for gaining the outside foot postion and genneral southpaw footwork 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?


Johnny N January 21, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Curtis, the footwork is already covered in my “How to Fight a Southpaw” guide.


Victor C February 4, 2012 at 12:00 am

Hey Johnny!

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!


Johnny N February 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm

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.


wilfredo hiraldo February 8, 2012 at 9:51 am

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…


Sass August 11, 2014 at 5:58 am

Exactly right. So it works both ways – whoever gets to the outside.

So.. if orthodoxes are onto it, what’s plan B?


Johnny N October 15, 2014 at 8:29 pm

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.


Luรญs April 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm

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


Johnny N May 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm

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.


Brian June 21, 2012 at 9:50 am

So that’s why I got my ass beat.


Hearns November 5, 2012 at 5:10 am

I cant get enough of your articles man
I check everyday for new ones


asantico December 9, 2012 at 9:52 am

Just want to say that the conclusion is “Southpaws: you have the advantage but watch out the orthodox straight righ” and thatยดs the moral of the fable called “Pacquiao vs. Marquez”. Fantastic article!


Joey December 18, 2012 at 6:47 am

Johnny, could you write on article for southpaws to combat other southpaws.


Johnny N December 21, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Well, just take everything I wrote here on this site (meant for orthodox vs orthodox) and switch the words around in your head.


Sass August 11, 2014 at 5:49 am

No, no, pleeeese do. Just for us.

One of your special articles..



thair December 20, 2012 at 5:07 pm

what do you think about gary russel jr? i see him as a future p4p in the sport alongside broner nd canelo


Johnny N December 21, 2012 at 11:38 pm

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.


thair December 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm

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


simon January 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm

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.


Johnny N January 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Very far off.


rei March 12, 2013 at 7:01 am

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.


rei March 12, 2013 at 7:02 am

heres the video!

sorry i forgot to attach it


Johnny N March 21, 2013 at 2:41 am

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.


rei March 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm

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


3PaulX March 13, 2013 at 12:48 am

Hi Johnny,

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

Thanks for this


craig April 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm

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.


Johnny N April 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I’ll have to do put that page, Craig. Thanks for the idea!


Nelson Alexander Nobles September 28, 2013 at 9:12 am

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?


Johnny N October 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm

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.


Alex Swan November 27, 2013 at 7:28 am

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.


boxer83 February 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm

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.


jamie mc March 6, 2014 at 6:28 am

hi Jonny
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?


Johnny N March 21, 2014 at 8:48 pm

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?


Clayton April 25, 2014 at 11:36 am

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)!


Johnny N July 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm

“When he’s old enough”…lol.


Rikitocker July 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

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?


Johnny N July 15, 2014 at 6:07 pm

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”.


Sass August 11, 2014 at 5:41 am


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” ๐Ÿ™‚

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.


Johnny N October 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm

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.


Lloyd August 21, 2014 at 9:54 pm

What about Southpaws versus in-fighters? Or when they’re fighting at very close range?


Johnny N October 15, 2014 at 8:28 pm

The guide still applies but I suppose I could talk more about that in an inside-fighting guide.


Peter October 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm

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.


Clayton November 7, 2014 at 7:39 am

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?


Ali November 8, 2014 at 10:17 am

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.


Flyin Hawaiian July 10, 2015 at 1:16 am

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.


Flyin Hawaiian July 10, 2015 at 1:19 am

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.


Shamir Chowdhury July 11, 2015 at 6:13 am

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


T-bantin August 12, 2015 at 4:46 am

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…


DJ Busta October 6, 2015 at 4:26 pm

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


DJ Busta October 6, 2015 at 4:36 pm

As you can See on the Pic i uploaded here


T-Man January 13, 2016 at 2:29 am

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.


ANTONIO MORGAN February 10, 2016 at 4:24 pm



Leave a Comment


Previous post:

Next post:

Copyright © 2008-2013 How to Box | ExpertBoxing. All rights reserved