Southpaw, pesky lefties who force orthodox fighters to rethink their entire existence are known to have a considerable advantage over a conventional boxer. Really? Is that the case? According to many recognized boxing sources, Left-handed athletes known as Southpaws in boxing carry a massive advantage because whatever they do comes from an opposite side of a normal orthodox fighter. But do they really have an advantage?
Think about it. Except for rarity and experience, I couldn’t seem to find any. And that’s because 1 in 9 boxers has a Southpaw stance, thus their chances of facing an orthodox fighter and gaining considerable experience are much more. Apart from that, I beg to differ. Keep reading, because I’ll prove my point by the end of this blog.
Let’s start off by dissecting this blog into parts. Beginning with the start of the contest.
With two guys in opposite stance glaring at each other wanting to knock each other’s teeth out as the referee rings the bell. In a neutral stance, there’s no advantage to a southpaw fighter over a conventional/orthodox fighter.
Look at the example below, herein, you see Manny Pacquiao squaring up against Timothy Bradley, both the fighters are in a neutral position, there is no advantage to either guy. Anything that Manny Pacquiao does in terms of positioning or creating angles can be done by Timothy Bradley as well.
Where is the advantage? THE LEAD HAND. Due to the experience. With lead hands parallel to each other, the jabs being thrown from opposite hands are going to be parallel. However, a Southpaw fighter will have an advantage because he is more well-versed with neutralizing a conventional fighter’s jab. Primarily because a Southpaw fighter has faced many conventional fighters in sparring or actual bouts whereas a conventional fighter rarely stacks up against a Southpaw boxer. Conclusion? Thus,
THERE’S NO STYLISTIC ADVANTAGE IN SOUTHPAW’S STANCE!
Similar to stance, there is no jab advantage to either of these fighters. Anything a Southpaw does can be employed by a conventional boxer as well. In the example below, look at how Rigondeaux uses his forearm to block his conventional opponent’s jab. His opponent can do the same thing. Thus,
THERE’S NO STYLISTIC ADVANTAGE IN SOUTHPAW’S JABS!
There’s a common myth that persists within the boxing community which suggests that a conventional opponent finds it difficult to cope up with a Southpaw’s angles. It’s crazy because a Southpaw’s jab comes from a similar angle as a straight right hand from a conventional opponent. Thus, if you can deal with a straight right hand, why not a southpaw jab?
In the clip below, watch how Lopez switches his opponent’s Southpaw jab to the outside and plants a left uppercut down the middle which leads to a knockout.
So, what’s so difficult about that? It comes from the same angle as that of a straight right. If you can slip a right hand, then you can verily slip a southpaw’s jab. Thus,
THERE’S NO STYLISTIC ADVANTAGE IN SOUTHPAW’S ANGLE!
Lead Foot Dominance
When it comes to the position of hands, consider the line as the head of each guy. In both the styles, the strong hands are offline from the opponent’s line of attack. It can be the head or the body, but it’s slightly offline.
Positioning is what leads us to the L-Shape. This is a matter of great consideration when talking about Southpaw vs Conventional. So, what is an L-Shape? An L-Shape is basically the lead foot dominance. It’s a way in which a fighter brings his strong hand closer to his opponent and in line in order to land that big punch. It’s basically done by stepping the lead feet to the outside.
As you can see in the illustration below when a Southpaw places his lead foot outside the orthodox opponent’s lead foot. Through this, he is able to bring his straight left hand in-line with his opponent’s face and body, which helps him to shoot a straight hand in a straight-line trajectory.
In the clip below, you can see Pacquiao stepping his lead foot towards the outside of his conventional opponent’s lead foot. What’s so fascinating about the movement is that Pacquiao isn’t lunging rather closing the distance intelligently between himself and his opponent by establishing lead foot dominance. By moving outside, he’s able to move his body and his dominant punch in a straight trajectory before shooting it.
You can see another example where Pacquaio uses his lead foot and a jab to distract Marquez thereby closing the distance smartly. Now, this is not a Southpaw’s advantage but rather Pacquaio’s advantage because he has a great understanding of his opponent’s position thereby enabling him to establish Lead Foot Dominance.
There’s nothing exclusive about L-Shape to the Southpaw, if a conventional opponent moves his lead foot outside the straight trajectory, he can create a similar opening to a Southpaw. As a conventional boxer, by stepping your lead towards the outside of Southpaw, you’ll be able to establish a lead leg dominance yourself.
Check this clip below, where Marquez steps outside of Pacquaio’s lead foot and establish a lead foot dominance through an L-Position. This clip proves my point on positioning and lead foot advantage, thus,
THERE’S NO STYLISTIC ADVANTAGE IN SOUTHPAW’S LEAD FOOT MOVEMENT OR L-POSITION!
Many people like to shed light on T-Line position as a justification of a Southpaw having an edge over a conventional boxer. However, the majority of the people get lured by insensible diagram being shown on forums and YouTube videos and they go on to hammer the same thing to their friends and partners. If you’re one of them, it’s time you learn something about the T-Line.
So, what’s a T-Line? It’s considered to be an advantageous position that you establish on your opponent (an opposite handed-fighter). In reality, T-line is nothing but taking foot dominance to an extreme level. And if you’re on the receiving end of T-Line, it’s perhaps the most dangerous place to be in a boxing ring.
Check out this illustration below, herein the Southpaw is on the outside of the conventional opponent’s left shoulder. This allows Southpaw to attack with both hands whereas the conventional opponent is mostly limited to no punch. Why? Because if he wants to use his left hand, he’ll have to do so in an awkward angle with minimum effect and if he’s do use his right hand, he’ll have to swing it all the way over Southpaw’s left shoulder leaving his own body and face vulnerable.
Firstly, this is a position you definitely don’t want to find yourself in. However, there’s no advantage in this as a conventional boxer can do the same. Let us check this out with the help of a visual example.
In the clip below, watch the position of Amir Imam, he’s right on the tail end of T-Line. You can literally see Imam’s feet in between Maldonado’s lead foot and trailing foot.
Notice how Maldonado is outside the left shoulder of Amir Imam. Maldonado is on the top of the T-Line whereas Imam is on the tail. This renders Imam in a helpless position where he can’t use any of his hands to punch Maldonado, whereas Maldonado can launch punch from any hand.
Compare the position of both the boxers to the illustration on the left. And you’ll easily be able to relate.
Now let’s understand the similar T-Line with a Conventional fighter on the top of the T-Line and a Southpaw on the tail end of the T-Line. It’s just the tables turning, nothing different at all.
In this clip below, you can see Marquez leading with a left-hook to Pacquaio’s liver.
As a conventional fighter, it’s easier to attack a Southpaw’s liver as they fight with their liver forward. And thus, a conventional fighter can easily stop a Southpaw with a liver shot (Stylist Advantage?). Thus,
THERE’S NO STYLISTIC ADVANTAGE TO SOUTHPAWS IN T-LINE!
You can disagree, but I’ve tried my test to prove the point here. Southpaw Advantage? It’s merely a myth. A conventional boxer is exactly a mirror to a southpaw and thus if there’s anyone who has an edge, it’s a conventional boxer with regards to Southpaw’s exposed body.
I’m sure, this might not have been totally convincing to you but I’ve done my research and I’m quite satisfied with the results I’ve got.
Without a shadow of a doubt, I can suggest that there’s no Advantage to Southpaw over a conventional/orthodox in any shape or form. If there’s something, it’s just misconception in the minds of people spread by fake experts and dubious forums.
Don’t believe everything you see on the internet and make an effort to put some work by doing research before marketing it out to your sparring partners or people in general.