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Philly Shell vs Southpaws

Having some defensive issues against southpaws. I’ve gotten my defense to a point where against most orthodox fighters I can comfortably slip, roll and catch pretty much anything thrown at me without really feeling threatened at all, which is great because it allows me to relax and wait for the counter punch opportunities

However against southpaws the angles are all fucking retarded and although I can still defend well and land the right hand all night long, the fact I’m still getting hit cleanly every now and then annoys me.

I’ve taken to studying some video of good defensive fighters against southpaws, so far all I can think of is Toney vs Nunn, Toney vs Jirov and Mayweather vs Judah, although Mayweather switched to a high guard against Judah, and Nunn was putting a clinic on Toney until he landed the left hook.

Any tips or other fights to watch would be appreciated

Are you an amateur or a pro? Advice may vary.

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
Are you an amateur or a pro? Advice may vary.[/quote]

Amateur.

Particular organization I’m under doesn’t use the computer scoring system however. Good old judges with eyes, even if those judges are sometimes retarded.

haha. Sucker.

As a southpaw, that’s me laughing at you.

Trick is to fight more southpaws, really. And basically, stay out of where we can hit you. You’re not going to out-jab us, especially because we fight righties all the time and know how to land it while you don’t, and until you really get used to seeing a high, hard straight left coming at you, you’re not going to know how to defend against it well.

The key here is really going to be your footwork. Stay out of range until you’re ready to exchange, and just stay outside of our lead right foot - that makes it frustrating if you’re taking the initiative and getting off first then stepping out and away.

Simply put, you’re going to get hit once in a while. My coach calls it our “southpaw slop,” and there’s a reason that the term “cagey southpaw” is a phrase. You can’t “catch” every straight left, you can’t slip them all because that 3 is coming behind it from an angle you’re not ready for.

Great examples of defensive fighters doing excellent against southpaws are going to be JMM against Manny Pacquaio - ESPECIALLY their last fight - and Floyd Mayweather against Victor Ortiz.

Watch Marquez vs. Casamayor also, because Casamayor is the definition of a cagey southpaw. Hopkins vs. Winky Wright as well.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
haha. Sucker.

As a southpaw, that’s me laughing at you.

Trick is to fight more southpaws, really. And basically, stay out of where we can hit you. You’re not going to out-jab us, especially because we fight righties all the time and know how to land it while you don’t, and until you really get used to seeing a high, hard straight left coming at you, you’re not going to know how to defend against it well.

The key here is really going to be your footwork. Stay out of range until you’re ready to exchange, and just stay outside of our lead right foot - that makes it frustrating if you’re taking the initiative and getting off first then stepping out and away.

Simply put, you’re going to get hit once in a while. My coach calls it our “southpaw slop,” and there’s a reason that the term “cagey southpaw” is a phrase. You can’t “catch” every straight left, you can’t slip them all because that 3 is coming behind it from an angle you’re not ready for.

Great examples of defensive fighters doing excellent against southpaws are going to be JMM against Manny Pacquaio - ESPECIALLY their last fight - and Floyd Mayweather against Victor Ortiz.

Watch Marquez vs. Casamayor also, because Casamayor is the definition of a cagey southpaw. Hopkins vs. Winky Wright as well.

[/quote]

thanks for the tips.

I’ve taken to bending to the right to avoid the left straight when I see it coming, as I would for a orthodox left hook, which works well but it also allowed my southpaw sparring partners to basically close the gap with impunity. I realize now I was probably being -too- defensive and not on my bicycle enough.

Do you think the shell can be used at all against a southpaw?

Didn’t even think of JMM vs Pac series, shiiit.

Personally, I think the shell works well in the pros, but less well in the amateurs, particularly against southpaws. In the amateurs you are going to get outscored in the shell by a southpaw. With that volume of punches, some, however ineffective, will always get through, and you’ll probably get a lot of points against you.

Footwork is key, stay outside their lead foot, circling away from their left, like Irish said. I disagree that you wont out jab a southpaw. It will however be particularly important that you throw with good technique. From what I’ve seen, arm jabbers tend to come off badly against southeys. Be sure to turn the shoulder over, with your chin tucked. Perfect technique can really frustrate a southpaw, as it makes it hard to land that straight left that they love. One thing I always found effective, against every southpaw I boxed, was throwing a right hook off the back foot. It isn’t a punch you see very often in boxing from an orthodox fighter, but I found that when they stepped in behind that right hook of theirs, which is a fairly predictable punch from a southey, a half step back and out to the side with a short right hook thrown simultaneously can really catch them out.

The most important thing against a southpaw is to be unpredictable. They are used to being found awkward, they are used to fighting orthodox fighters, they are comfortable fighting them. You have to be unpredictable. I don’t know how long you have been boxing and so how comfortable you are with trying new things in fights, but another thing I found useful against southpaws was slipping inside more often than usual. You’d be amazed how often these guys are expecting you to be avoiding that hand like crazy, so they over compensate and are already following you to the outside. Slipping inside can put you in a position where they have got the distance and angle wrong for their big left, and puts you flush for uppercuts and hooks to the body. In this position, I would hesitate to throw right hands. I would keep it up protecting your head from the southpaw’s right hook. Double up on the hooks, so uppercut followed by hook to the body, or hook to body and hook to the head.

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:

Footwork is key, stay outside their lead foot, circling away from their left, like Irish said. I disagree that you wont out jab a southpaw. It will however be particularly important that you throw with good technique. From what I’ve seen, arm jabbers tend to come off badly against southeys. Be sure to turn the shoulder over, with your chin tucked. Perfect technique can really frustrate a southpaw, as it makes it hard to land that straight left that they love.
[/quote]

You’ve got far more fight experience than I do, so I’m not going to disagree if that’s what you’ve found to be true.

But what you’re describing is going to be true of any fight, against anyone, southpaw or not - a stiff jab thrown at the right range is going to keep anyone from coming in and landing on you. That’s why Wladimir is still the heavyweight champ.

Also, if you have a southpaw is actually right-handed - like me - batting down a stiff jab with the lead hand not as difficult as it is for a true lefty whose right hand isn’t really worth shit.

One thing I’d like to add is that you can’t underestimate the importance of keeping your lead hand higher than mine. It’s really frustrating to move against a guy who you can’t get that advantage on, and it really closes off leading with the jab for me unless I go low with it - dangerous because you can simply punch over me now.

This is another reason we’re shifty - I know that this is necessary for me. You don’t, or if you do, it’s not drilled into you like it is for me. Don’t let it take you rounds to figure that out.

Very, very interesting.

How far in are these dudes steppin when you catch them with that?

[quote]
The most important thing against a southpaw is to be unpredictable. They are used to being found awkward, they are used to fighting orthodox fighters, they are comfortable fighting them. You have to be unpredictable. I don’t know how long you have been boxing and so how comfortable you are with trying new things in fights, but another thing I found useful against southpaws was slipping inside more often than usual. You’d be amazed how often these guys are expecting you to be avoiding that hand like crazy, so they over compensate and are already following you to the outside. Slipping inside can put you in a position where they have got the distance and angle wrong for their big left, and puts you flush for uppercuts and hooks to the body. In this position, I would hesitate to throw right hands. I would keep it up protecting your head from the southpaw’s right hook. Double up on the hooks, so uppercut followed by hook to the body, or hook to body and hook to the head.[/quote]

Going down to your left is dangerous in my eyes. Again, it might be because I’m a natural righty, but as soon as you go down and inside that second time, I’m going to be popping jabs nonstop down at you while I’m moving my back foot away from you, turning myself so I CAN line up that big left.

Speculative, because I haven’t had a guy really go inside a lot on me. But that’s my first impression.

Slipping inside will, however, give you the chance to go to work on the body more, because if you slip inside and down to dodge my left hook, that side of my body is wide open.

It’s dangerous though.

Great post altogether London. Seriously.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:

Footwork is key, stay outside their lead foot, circling away from their left, like Irish said. I disagree that you wont out jab a southpaw. It will however be particularly important that you throw with good technique. From what I’ve seen, arm jabbers tend to come off badly against southeys. Be sure to turn the shoulder over, with your chin tucked. Perfect technique can really frustrate a southpaw, as it makes it hard to land that straight left that they love.
[/quote]

You’ve got far more fight experience than I do, so I’m not going to disagree if that’s what you’ve found to be true.

But what you’re describing is going to be true of any fight, against anyone, southpaw or not - a stiff jab thrown at the right range is going to keep anyone from coming in and landing on you. That’s why Wladimir is still the heavyweight champ.

Also, if you have a southpaw is actually right-handed - like me - batting down a stiff jab with the lead hand not as difficult as it is for a true lefty whose right hand isn’t really worth shit.

One thing I’d like to add is that you can’t underestimate the importance of keeping your lead hand higher than mine. It’s really frustrating to move against a guy who you can’t get that advantage on, and it really closes off leading with the jab for me unless I go low with it - dangerous because you can simply punch over me now.

This is another reason we’re shifty - I know that this is necessary for me. You don’t, or if you do, it’s not drilled into you like it is for me. Don’t let it take you rounds to figure that out.

Very, very interesting.

How far in are these dudes steppin when you catch them with that?

[quote]
The most important thing against a southpaw is to be unpredictable. They are used to being found awkward, they are used to fighting orthodox fighters, they are comfortable fighting them. You have to be unpredictable. I don’t know how long you have been boxing and so how comfortable you are with trying new things in fights, but another thing I found useful against southpaws was slipping inside more often than usual. You’d be amazed how often these guys are expecting you to be avoiding that hand like crazy, so they over compensate and are already following you to the outside. Slipping inside can put you in a position where they have got the distance and angle wrong for their big left, and puts you flush for uppercuts and hooks to the body. In this position, I would hesitate to throw right hands. I would keep it up protecting your head from the southpaw’s right hook. Double up on the hooks, so uppercut followed by hook to the body, or hook to body and hook to the head.[/quote]

Going down to your left is dangerous in my eyes. Again, it might be because I’m a natural righty, but as soon as you go down and inside that second time, I’m going to be popping jabs nonstop down at you while I’m moving my back foot away from you, turning myself so I CAN line up that big left.

Speculative, because I haven’t had a guy really go inside a lot on me. But that’s my first impression.

Slipping inside will, however, give you the chance to go to work on the body more, because if you slip inside and down to dodge my left hook, that side of my body is wide open.

It’s dangerous though.

Great post altogether London. Seriously.[/quote]

I think actually we are in agreement on the jab issue by and large Irish. I agree that a natural righty boxing southpaw has a significant advantage blocking the right. All I meant was that a great jab is the cornerstone of any legitimately good fighter’s arsenal. To abandon that, or feel it can’t be highly effective against a southpaw would be a mistake, in my view. As you pointed out, look at Klitschko to see how a great jab puts you in a position of dominance against anyone.

I agree as well that slipping inside can be dangerous. That is particularly why I asked Davo how much experience he had, as you have to get hit a fair bit before you have the instinctive abilities ingrained enough to actually try new things in fights. Slipping inside on a southpaw is inherently risky, but they know that, and very often it is amazing how ill prepared they are for someone doing things like that. You do have to set up the expectation in their mind that you are just going to do the orthodox thing of slipping outside, staying outside the lead leg etc. Once they think you are nothing they haven’t seen before, that is when you can really start to do the unexpected.

With regards to the rear foot right hook, it isn’t a punch I would necessarily rely too heavily on,but I have found, both in the ring and often watching pro fights, that southpaws are quite hook happy and like to step in more than an orthodox fighter would be advised to. They also tend to come in straighter lines, and commit more to the hook, as a result of it being that much closer to their opponents head, and it having less distance to travel. A little half step back and to the side can open a southpaw up very nicely when they do that. Leaving them open for more of a shovel hook I suppose than a classic hook. It does have to travel a slightly longer distance than a textbook hook, but you can really start throwing it as you move, all in one movement, once you’ve drilled it a bit.

Maybe the most important bit of advice I can think of when fighting southpaws is really to fight to hurt them. Too often (and I have done this plenty) in the amateurs, you can win a fight by scoring regularly with a good jab, and fast-ish hands. I don’t think this holds true against most southpaws, as they are always going to be tricky, and they will always land more than an orthodox fighter of equivalent ability. By being southpaw, although they can peg you with that straight left, they also open up their entire torso to an orthodox fighters right hand. It is less of a factor in the amateurs as body shots often don’t tell quickly enough to make much difference. However, by fighting to hurt them, you can quite often shift the dynamic to make you the aggressor, and keep a southpaw more honest, which will register with the referee.

Alla bit rambling, but it is hard to explain without gloves on.

This is great stuff off both of you, thanks, really.

To answer your question London, not to toot my own horn too much but I’ve got about 4 years of experience now and I’m considered a naturally talented prospect by all the coaches I’ve come across, so I do feel very comfortable trying new things on the fly.

Normally I’m employing a lot of upper body movement, but lately I’ve been wanting to improve on my static defense because in the past the one area I’ve had trouble is stamina, I’d throw everything crisp and fast for the first two or three rounds, then the later rounds in sparring I’ve blown my wad and was getting hit because I was so tired. Fixing my shell up helped a lot with that because I was able to take breathers while letting everything roll off the shoulder and then counter or catch and slap shots away

Now I’ve got southpaw sparring partners for the first time in ages I don’t feel like I can sit as comfortably in the shell. Can still use the lead shoulder to protect from jabs, but catching the straights feels awkward unless I completely turn my right elbow inwards, which leaves me open for the jab which is of course, much closer than normal because of the southpaw stance.

Thinking on it now it’s really only the left straight I have a problem with.

Ok. No prob with tooting your own horn in this sport. Anyone who thinks they’re not up to much is in for a beating.

If it is the left you are having trouble with, that is manageable. The shell has its uses, but I would personally say it works much better for stalking orthadox fighters and walking them down, than it does for boxing southpaws. Something that might be worth trying in sparring is to practise boxing with the majority of your weight on the back foot. I find that when I’m boxing southpaws this is the best defensive move.

It allows you to plant your feet a little, going in and out of range with small forwards/backwards motions. Since southpaws expect to have a reasonable amount of luck with that left, you can catch them committing to it, bob backwards as they strike, and come over the top with your right as you bounce back forwards.

Here is perhaps the best video on boxing ever produced (only half joking). I saw this 2 years ago, and it a massive difference to my approach to boxing, and my skill and efficiency inside the ring.

This efficient back foot approach is in my view the best way of boxing, and the most devastating.

That may literally actually be the best video on boxing ever produced, thanks for that. Didn’t even know who Charley Burley was until watching that.

I’ve been critical of the old school fighters in the past, but that video you can clearly see the stylistic beginnings of great defensive fighters like your mayweathers, toneys and sweet peas

The guy who did it also has a great video on Ezzard Charles. Well worth watching.

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
Didn’t even know who Charley Burley was until watching that.[/quote]
Reading this hurts my soul. I am not sold that he was as great as Archie Moore thought, but he was a GREAT, GREAT fighter.

[quote]
I’ve been critical of the old school fighters in the past,[/quote]
We can refer to this as your “wrong” period.

Isn’t it better now that you have stopped being wrong?

Ok, more serious note:

You left out the greatest “defensive” fighter of all time; Willie “The Will O’ the Wisp” Pep, born Guglielmo Papaleo. He did everything in the ring that Whitaker did, but at a time where opponents who took offense could get away with thumbing, headbutts, lacing, etc. There is some contention as to his “winning a round without throwing a punch” or ONLY “winning a round without landing a punch”. He was that slick. His record was 229-11-1 with 65 KO’s.

Video picked mostly because it was posted by “CelticPacman”, which should TOTALLY be FightinIrish’s nickname:

maybe the dirtiest boxing title fight ever:

Regards,

Robert A

Still Robert, in all seriousness I stand by my criticism in certain cases. I honestly believe that on the whole, the average top level fighter today is much more technically proficient.

It wasn’t that I was discounting Pep’s defensive skills, just rather that it struck me how much Charley Burley looked and moved like a prototypical version of those fighters. Of all them however, it’s probably Toney who looks the most “old school” in his stance and the way he throws punches, especially in the early part of his career under Bill Miller’s tutelage.

Is there a thread on old vs new?

Not to hijack too much, but personally I’ve never understood how anyone could think a guy like Mayweather, for all his prodigious gifts, could possibly have beaten an equally gifted fighter who had had 241 fights. Thats nearly 200 more pro fights than Mayweather has had, in an era where boxing was much rougher than it is for todays pros. I look at a guy like ray robinson, who quite literally had as many title fights in a month as most pros have in a year, and just can’t see how any modern fighter could last even a few rounds. Too much experience,too much ring savvyness.

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
Is there a thread on old vs new?

Not to hijack too much, but personally I’ve never understood how anyone could think a guy like Mayweather, for all his prodigious gifts, could possibly have beaten an equally gifted fighter who had had 241 fights. Thats nearly 200 more pro fights than Mayweather has had, in an era where boxing was much rougher than it is for todays pros. I look at a guy like ray robinson, who quite literally had as many title fights in a month as most pros have in a year, and just can’t see how any modern fighter could last even a few rounds. Too much experience,too much ring savvyness. [/quote]

That’s because people who don’t actually box don’t understand what a difference that kind of experience makes.

When you’re in the prime shape of your life from 26-31, and you’ve had hundreds of amateur fights, and then 100 pro fights… I mean, you’re a tough guy to beat, even if you lost half of those fights.

If you’re Sugar Ray Robinson, and you’re the most physically gifted fighter on top of that… I have to agree.

While it made them into hot messes in their elder years, it sure made them tough in their primes.

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
Still Robert, in all seriousness I stand by my criticism in certain cases. I honestly believe that on the whole, the average top level fighter today is much more technically proficient.
[/quote]

Boxers today have less to think about and a hell of a lot longer to think about it.

Tripping, head butts, elbows, stepping on feet, thumbing, lacing, ect. were all “just part of the game” back when the world was apparently black and white(Calvin and Hobbs joke. Though choppy frame rate likely does play into our perceptions. It is tough to look smooth at a low frame rate and poor resolution.) Those things tend to make for a bit more “ugly”. Many fighters alos fought far more frequently, so there was less “peaking” going on.

I am not saying that none of today’s best would stand with fighters from the 50’s and 60’s. Many would do fine. Others would need to adjust and could then flourish. Some might go to pieces. I think the biggest differences would come in the higher weight classes. The pure size of the Klitschko’s would put them as “uncharted territory” for many of the “Greats”.

Regards,

Robert A

And for all those things you mentioned, modern Boxers would be clearly technically more proficient.

Technically more proficient? How so? I have always felt that technical proficiency for fighting is honed in the ring. More time in the ring = greater technical proficiency, to me anyway. It is a sport where whatever works is what you should throw. That means arm punches, for example, which can be extremely effective.

Landing more effective shots than your opponent, whilst simultaneously not getting hit, is something that you can only learn through hours in the ring. Some modern fighters might hold up well, and make competitive fights. Outside the heavyweights though, I personally don’t see many who would stand a good chance with their equivalent ranked counterpart from yesteryear.

I was playing devil’s advocate to Robert A:

If yesterday’s top boxers had to have a broader arsenal because of a legion of dirty tricks and setups AND they’d have to compete constantly-
I’d say it follows logically.

Less techniques mean you can polish more what remains.
Also, a top athlete that can peak in cycles is in most cases better better.

It’s not like pros spar less today. But they can concentrate on a specific strategy, manage to taper their weight, endurance etc to a point since they don’t have to worry about performing on a top level every few weeks.
Call it a vice or luxury, but it is an advantage for a modern top fighter.