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The definition of a southpaw


The definition of a southpaw
Original Poster: Smokert
Forum: Kickboxing & Boxing Forum
Posted On: 29-08-2006, 16:56

Orginal Post: Smokert: Hey all,

I have a question. What is the exact definition of a southpaw? Is it just a lefthanded fighter (fighting right-forward), or would a righthanded fighter who fights right-forward also be considered a southpaw?
Do boxers even fight strong side forward at all? And if so what well-known boxers do or did this?
Im asking this because i’m going to join a boxing club, and i have been practicing on my heavy bag. Im righthanded, and i notice that standing strong side forward comes natural to me, but i dont know whether i will be allowed to maintain this stance at the boxing club.

Thanks for any replies in advance,


Post: bamboo:

In boxing a southpaw refers to a left handed fighter who fights with his right foot forward while holding his left rear power hand back, usually for the cross.

Famous southpaws include Marvin Hagler, Marvin Johnson, Pernell Whittaker, and Mike Schreck.


Post: Smokert:

Thanks for your reply. Does that mean that boxer’s never fight strong side forward?>

Post: zefff:

Yes they can but your general ring craft and especially circling in the strong lead stance is more important to a boxer than the power he can generate with his unorthadox use of limbs.

The BadBoy and Umy are the boxing knowledge base really so maybe if you did a search of their posts you might find something educational.>

Post: opariser1001:

you mentioned in your post that standing strong side forward comes natural to you. this is only because you don’t know how to box. when you learn, you will realize that you can generate much more power with you strong side back.>

Post: The BadBoy:

The definition of southpaw has been given above. I have known loads of Boxers that were natural southpaws but preferred to fight orthodox (left forward). Talk about viscous left hooks.

That said, I have never in my life come across a right hander fighter who fought from a southpaw stance. Go figure (do americans still use this phrase? i see it in saved by the bell all the time).>

Post: Kyorgi:

Do boxers even fight strong side forward at all? And if so what well-known boxers do or did this?

Yes, some boxers fight strong side forward. A well known right handed boxer that fights southpaw is Ronald “Winky” Wright.>

Post: bamboo:

If hes right handed and hes fighting strong side forward, is he still a southpaw as his left is no longer his power hand?

Or is he simply a right handed boxer fighting strong side forward?>

Post: The BadBoy:

He’s a right handed fighter adopting a southpaw stance.>

Post: Kyorgi:

He’s still a southpaw.

Right hand forward is orthodox.
Left hand forward is southpaw.

It doesnt matter which hand is the power hand, just which hand is forward, most of the people I know refer to boxers such as wright as converted southpaws.>

Post: graham1:

To add to all of the above entries, the ‘southpaw’ phenomenon started in the early nineteenth century in some of the US states that later became part of the Confederacy. The term itself was originally an insult made by northern trainers & promoters.

Southern trainers had noticed that fighters using a right lead caused great problems to northern fighters who were used to the left lead, so they deliberately trained fighters to use right leads, to great initial success. Eventually strategies were worked out by the northerners to help deal with this.>

Post: graham1:

………Right hand forward is orthodox.
Left hand forward is southpaw……….

Sorry. It’s the other way around.>

Post: Tapout95:

I’ve come across alot of ordinary, right handed people who, when in a fighting stance, stand in a southpaw stance. I’ll try to show them the orthodox stance and they shrug me off. I was just surprised by how many did do that and how they could feel that as being even comfortable. I can’t even imagine fighting unorthodox and i’m even ambidextrious. Hell, I had one person standing right arm forward, left foot forward tell me I had no “fucking” idea what I was talking about. It was just bizarre to see. I always thought it was common knowledge.>

Post: graham1:


The man with the contrary stancing, was he a Kyokushin stylist? If so, that style does have such a stance.>


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