T Nation

Southpaw Easier to Pivot?

Something I noticed recently in regards to footwork… One of my sparring partners is a classic pressure fighter, constantly chasing and throwing a huge volume of punches. In my usual orthodox stance I have trouble outmaneuvering him and find myself frequently having to cover up then counter before i can get back on my bike.

From a southpaw stance however i was amazed at how easy it was to keep changing angles on him, all I had to do was pivot on the front/swing my back foot around and keep stepping while pumping the jab out. Almost night and day difference.

I’m not sure, is this an inherent advantage of the southpaw stance or am I just missing some component of my footwork when Im in an orthodox stance? Thoughts?

^nope, that’s pretty normal… that’s part of why southpaws have an inherent advantage in combat sports…

BTW, a book I read a while back by Mark Hatmaker where he recommended that all beginners should learn to fight southpaw, due to the various advantages (only about 10% of people are left handed)… I agree with this, unless one carries a weapon (due to shooting with a non-dominant eye, weapon retention, etc).

It’s definitely easier to “pivot out/turn out” from a southpaw stance vs an orthodox stance, which can definitely come in handy vs rushing/pressure style fighter. This would also be true of opposite situation as well (orthodox vs a rushing/pressure style southpaw). It’s just a matter of inherent positioning between the two stances.

From an orthodox stance you may have to make more use of fakes to effectively turn a rushing/pressure style fighter (same stance).

I think it’s easy but then I’ve never boxed righty.

The thing with being a southpaw is that I’m stepping off/pivoting to my right, which is the easiest way for me to go naturally. That puts me not in front/diagonal to you like it would if I’m a righty, but actually behind your back.

It takes a far larger adjustment to come and hit me now, and for me, all it takes is one more step and i’m totally behind you.

It’s the inherent advantage of fighting the “man in the mirror.”

Thing is, as a righty fighting me, you have the same advantage. That advantage disappears, however, when you fight another righty.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
I think it’s easy but then I’ve never boxed righty.

The thing with being a southpaw is that I’m stepping off/pivoting to my right, which is the easiest way for me to go naturally. That puts me not in front/diagonal to you like it would if I’m a righty, but actually behind your back.

It takes a far larger adjustment to come and hit me now, and for me, all it takes is one more step and i’m totally behind you.

It’s the inherent advantage of fighting the “man in the mirror.”

Thing is, as a righty fighting me, you have the same advantage. That advantage disappears, however, when you fight another righty. [/quote]

My thoughts exactly. It’s only ‘easier’ if the person across from you is in the opposite stance. If they take the same stance as you, then they have the same pivot ‘advantage’.

Agree with everything above, that it is easier and creates a better angle.

That said, it can be dangerous to do a true pivot too often, and personally I still encourage any southpaw to step off rather than pivot 95% of the time. A good pressure fighter that sees you like to pivot should be struggling to hide a chubby. If he can dictate the timing and placement of your pivots, he is in a very strong position to land his left hook, and catch you stepping into it, which lets face it, can often be a fight changing shot.

For example, you will likely try and pivot when a swarming orthodox pressure fighter shifts his weight to his right side, as that gives you the most range, time and opportunity to capitalise on the change of angle. If a swarming pressure fighter, seeing you like to pivot, steps right and hangs his left hook out as he does it, it is unavoidably going to find its way behind your guard. If the guy can punch, that one shot alone could be enough to spoil your evening. At the very least, it will give him a golden opportunity to land a few more game changing shots when you are off balance.

As for out maneuvering him, one move I like when fighting a pressure fighter who comes swarming forward is to be in your orthodox defensive stance, step back into a southpaw stance, and then step immediately back into the orthodox stance. Pressure fighters always seem to get confused by this, either over committing or under committing, which either leaves them lined up for some hard straight shots they weren’t expecting, or gives you the space to step off and catch them adjusting.

It’s about how things change in an open-stance situation more than being southpaw, southpaws just tend to train to take advantage of an open stance more than the rest of us since they will be fighting more open than closed.

I like training southpaw so that when I fight a southpaw I can switch and fight in a closed stance and don’t have to adopt a special gameplane or different style.

Ha your post in mind while rewatching Cotto vs. Margarito 1 and some others. I think for this reason Cotto alternates stance for a 90 degree escape pivots from which to launch counters.
Of course Cotto also avails of his natural left handedness, but I found this interesting.