Orthodox vs Southpaw: Which is the Best Boxing Footwork?

In boxing, the lower body and upper body have to work in tandem to strike a blow. While it may seem to be all about the punches, boxing footwork plays a large role in a fighter’s performance: if you have the footwork down, you can float around the ring and sting like a bee. Every boxer’s journey begins with learning form and proper stance. It comes down to Southpaw vs Orthodox, and most fighters stay faithful to only one of these stances throughout their career.

What is Orthodox Boxing Footwork?

The Orthodox stance is the more popular style in boxing. This involves the placement of the left foot in front. This is most often used by right-handed boxers, which is why it is a more common stance. It leaves the right foot and hand behind for better reach. For rights, this is their dominant side and better used in this way.

What is Southpaw Footwork?

The Southpaw stance is the opposite of Orthodox in that it keeps the right foot in front of the left. This is more popular with left-handed boxers for this very reason, but boxers with either dominant hand can train in both stances.

The Benefits of Fighting Orthodox

While it may be that your natural dominant hand decides what stance and style of footwork you’ll be taking on, both Southpaw and Orthodox do have their own sets of benefits as well.
High quality training is something to consider for every boxer, and this is where Orthodox fighters have it easier. Due to this being the more popular style, (as a greater proportion of the population is right-handed) it’s easier for Orthodox fighters to have access to coaching and resources suited to them . More coaches will be the Orthodox style themselves, and hence will have an easier time training that type of fighter. There are different best orthodox boxer like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, George Foreman.

Orthodox fighters will have an advantage in the ring because of the same reason: they’ll be more likely to be fighting other Orthodox fighters, and so will have a better idea of their movements. This is turn helps to fight more intuitively, because there’s a greater chance you can guess your opponent’s next twist or turn.

Another benefit for Orthodox fighters is that punching the liver becomes easier for them due to their positioning. Their stance gets them closer to their opponent’s right side, which is where the liver is. This is a painful and effective spot to hit hard, so this is an added advantage for this style.

The Benefits of Fighting Southpaw

Generally, it is agreed that the Southpaw vs Orthodox style is more ‘open’ than the Orthodox, making the Southpaw more comfortably positioned. The closed Orthodox stance means that their defense is lacking, while the Southpaw’s opposite positioning means they have greater control. Their lead foot can be easily use as a distraction to the Orthodox opponent, making the Orthodox opponent feel they are likely to be tripping.

Southpaws also outperform their Orthodox at long-range punches. They build power in both their left and right hands, making their jabs better as well while saving their dominant hand for harder punching. Due to the comparative rarity of Southpaw fighters, they have the advantage in taking their mostly Orthodox opponents by surprise. Since their movements are so different and most Orthodox’ will not have insight into their training, the Southpaw will have the upper hand in this regard.

 How to Decide Which Stance to Choose

While it is likely that genetics are the decisive factor in what you pick up due to the importance of your dominant hand, your stance need not be dictate by whether you are a lefty or a rightly. A rightly being a Southpaw would mean they have a killer jab due to the power in their dominant hand. And a left-handed Orthodox fighter could see similar success. It depends on what feels more natural or comfortable to you.

Access to training is a big reason why most people lean towards the Orthodox stance. Training is everything, and Southpaw trainers are fewer and far between. Online resources for Southpaws are similarly limited. You may have to make a decision based on the training available to you.

What’s better?

 In the end, it’s not a question of which stance is better. Both have considerable advantages and their fair share of disadvantages. Because of this, you might be inclines to think that training in both is the answer. However, this is discouraged: spend your valuable time perfecting the stance that favors your dominant side, rather than being mediocre at both. Keeping your dominant hand in the back to reserve it for the K.O. Punches is generally thought to be more efficient so keep that in mind. With the question of Orthodox vs Southpaw, which is better depends on what kind of fighting, footwork and angles come more naturally to you.

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