[b]HOW TO FIGHT A SOUTHPAW!
Recently in the game of Boxing southpaw fighters have been accepted as a regular fixture on the fight circuit, in old school boxing this wasn't true. Jack Hurley manager of Jack Dempsey heavyweight champ during the Gilded age stated, "All Southpaws should be drowned at birth!", this would be quite politically uncorrect in the modern era. But if you go back a few years expectant parents were concerned whether the newborn was to be male or female, healthy and hopefully right-handed or what is defined as orthodox, left-handers were considered un-orthodox. School teachers even forced 'lefties' to attempt to communicate* in hand writing, (known as penmanship), slanting the text in the same manner as a right handed person,which led to various methods of contortion by lefties as they attempted to duplicate the accepted results; and to much mental anguish. *Typewriters, Word Processes etc, weren't in existence students used the pen and pencil.
When a lefty showed up at the gym he was quickly turned around and taught to fight from the orthodox side. If he remainded a southpaw he would find it difficult to obtain fights and that circumstance remains true even today.
As an orthodox novice in boxing you are confronted with plenty of problems trying to master the art of boxing when the opponent is another right-hander, we all have been in a squabble or two and if you remember in your own experiences in the ring or on the street all you see is hands and arms blocking your attempt to inflict any damages. Once you become an accomplished and experienced fighter those obstacles disappear and you see openings instead of a maze of obstacles, your foes arms and hands primarily. Your learning to fight and you fall into different positions automatically to avoid your orthodox opponents blows, you discover safe positions and maneuvers that become habit and automatic.
Enter the Un-Orthodox opponent, just about everything you have a tendency or inclination toward by repetition of practice and is easy and spontaneous is now all wrong. Everything is coming from a different direction, unaccustomed to the "reverse" tactics, the orthodox fighter starts at a disadvantage, often becoming confused and puts up a poor showing. The instinctive impulses that were effective against the orthodox fighter are now the wrong thing to do!
What are you to do? First you realize that your left jab is ineffective against the 'leftie' the key punch that you have been schooled to use, your lead, the initial punch in your repertorie, the beginning of your combinations, ain't of any use! The opponent on the other hand usually fights only orthodox fighters so he's right at home. So you can't box this guy so what you have to do is alter your style and make a war out of it. For some reason the Boxing God's have made 'Lefties' susceptable to a strong Right Hand puncher, so you have to get your left foot outside of their right foot and in as far as possible outside their right hand jab which brings your right hand directly in front of the 'Leftie' and just keep firing your big punch the right hand, (straight down the slot), and they will eventually walk into one so to speak; it ain't pretty but it will get the job done. Recent example Kostya Tszyu a strong right hand puncher against Zab Judan and Sharmbra Mitchell, they confuse most people but not the no-nonsense Tszyu who took it direct to them and the resulting knockouts. Another example is the popular Cuban leftie Joel Cassamayor, he often is seen in control of a fight from his portsider stance and the next moment he is sitting on his back side from a straight right hand.
That's it, use the KISS method, (Keep it Simple Stupid), if you try to box an orthodox style because of the habits you have acquired your going to be moving the wrong way and leave yourself susceptable to head butts, (and there is nothing that hurts like a butt) or your going to be stepping on each others front shoe and it makes for a disgraceful exhibition, tell you the truth even if you win you're not going to feel good about it! Often this type of matchup results in a clumsy wrestling match and detracts from the beauty and class of a boxing match, pleasing to the viewer, I don't think so? I suspect that many of the paying customers leave the arena with a sinking feeling, Yeah! my guy was victorious but why do I feel like I have been cheated?
CONCLUSION: Just keep throwing right hands, right hands, right hands!
BEGINNING A BOXING CAREER:
Which position should I assume the right, (orthodox style) or left, (un-orthodox style)? But before you make that decision you should be aware of the intricacies of the game and the different levels, Champion, top ten and A,B,C level professional boxer, then Amateur. From my point of view the only level you should strive for is Champion or Top Ten, serious boxing as a recreational endeavor or hanging around as an opponent is demanding and dangerous! Plus I always wanted to be the best at whatever I choose to do.
First-A hot prospect runs up an impressive string of Knockout's and then all of a sudden the K.O.'s become infrequent, whether he's fighting from the left or right side. Why? Because now he is matched with experienced foes. Your power punch comes from a little further back and the experienced pugilist has the knowledge and the time to avoid your big punch. So your equalizer, the one you walked over all those inexperienced rookies with is now rendered ineffective. However your lead punch is still pretty effective because it's closer to the opponent and doesn't have to travel those extra few inches.
So wouldn't it make sense to have your strong hand out in front, which allows you to control the action from your tadpole beginnings, continuing as you ascend to each level of the sport? Oddly that's not the way we do it, a right hander leads with his left the weakest of his hands and the leftie with his right, holding his stronger left hand back.
Of course there are pluses and minus to each choice, sometime in boxing history it was decided for people to box from the orthodox style and if any one showed up at the gym as a left hander he was converted to the orthodox side. Now if you started out that way it wasn't a problem for you as the student accepted this as the way, but if you had already had several years as a leftie, it's impossible to switch?
On the Negative side the converted fighter found that he could control the bout with his strong hand out in front and have much success but he completely ignored the development of the weaker hand and actually became a one-handed fighter. That was just fine until he reached the Championship plateaus of
Boxing and was confronted with a complete fighter who are actually amused with the prospect of facing a one-handed opponent.
From my point of view as an orthodox fighter I realized the importance of a strong lead hand and began doing everything with my left hand to strengthen it physically and mentally, relying on my left, but it's hard to overcome nature completely, the left side of your body is going to be naturally weaker, but you do what you can. The best thing to do is to have balance, work on your weaknesses that's the areas where you will be subject to be eventually exposed as you move up the ladder.
Southpaws-Why the influx of lefties?
The technology of Television, (1960's), needed viewable sporting events and every four years along comes an affair called the Olympics, although it's supposed to be an amateur only affair it's hard to imagine track and field stars supported by sponsors and country's as true simon pures. These types of athletes are performing natural human activities, running, jumping, swimming, abilities that just about anyone can do at a different level of proficiency, no doubt, but things that conform to human abilities and are natural. Ask these same people to perform these activities while someone is punching them in the face and I believe you will see the times going down, way down! Boxing isn't your normal sporting activity but the powers to be choose to transmit amateur boxing from the Olympics as part of the Big picture, where as participants in the events mentioned above were actually professional and looked the part, the members of the boxing teams were definitely amateurish and many embraced the left-handed style. So in the past where astute boxing trainers would turn around a fighter from left to right they met a wall of resistance because if it was done on television it had to be O.K..
Ironically the very trainers, (mostly relatives), who are starting out young people as lefties have only the smallest amount of knowledge of boxing from either posture and are most likely orthodox themselves and they have the effrontery to advise youngsters to adopt this style because they will have an advantage, what they don't explain is that it's going to be short term!
CONCLUSIONS: It's better to adopt the orthodox style but you can not neglect the development of either hand, you have to be a complete fighter, a one-handed fighter is not complete.