What Is A Southpaw Stance? (Pros vs. Cons Explained)

Boxing is a sport where you need to have a lot of stability and a good stance to keep you balanced. Once you lose your stance, people can notice that you are becoming weak because your legs are the first thing that will go. 

What Is A Southpaw Stance?

This guide will be talking about one stance in particular, the Southpaw stance. It will be outlining what it is and why it can be beneficial to the boxer.

It is also really important to find out whether stances might benefit some boxers more than others and why. If you are learning to be a boxer then finding out what stance you need might be the first thing on your to-do list.

What Is It?

This stance is all about where you move and what you move with you. You will be moving both your right hand first then your right foot and lead this way with the stance.

This stance will allow you to throw out some right jabs at close range while saving the heavy lefts and hooks because you can transfer the weight easier needed for the power in the left shots.

For left handed boxers, this would be their usual stance because they want to keep their most dominant hand for crosses and hooks. 

What Are The Advantages Of This Stance?

You need to be able to move in this stance – especially if you are fighting against a left handed fighter. Therefore, both left and right handed boxers learn to fight in both to make sure they are fully equipped in all areas.

Due to the majority of people being right handed in general this means that there are less left handed boxers around making it a stance that is not used as often as others.

This stance opens up the opportunity for boxers who dight from the right to have a new combination of strong, powerful lefts that will stun their opponent.

If you find that you can be dominant on both, you can move your body and rotate to suit what you want to throw. 

What Is Eye Dominance?

It is also a really important factor to include your eye dominance as a boxer because your stronger eye use is in line with your dominant hand.

However, there are some cases where this is actually reversed and the boxer has opposite dominance for their hand and their eye.

This is a really great advantage for some boxers because they are able to create shots with their less dominant hand as though it was the dominant. 

Why Do Boxers Choose This Stance?

When boxing, the fighter needs to be in a place of calm and comfort. If they are not comfortable with their position, it will ultimately affect their punching skill and accuracy. This will also link to the footwork of the boxer.

It tends to be most comfortable when boxers have their dominant foot forwards along with their dominant hand. 

All techniques, stances and punches will be difficult when you first start and it might take you a while to get to grips with learning what stances work you work, where can you switch it up and feel comfortable.

Like any sport, this comes with time and work. Most boxers when at a beginners and intermediate stage work in the mirrors to watch their stance and see which one works best. 

About The Stance 

There are open and closed stances in fighting and it depends on what type of opponent you have. For example, it is common for southpaws to use an open stance when fighting against an orthodox opponent.

It also refers to the angles and the footwork needed to be perfected for the use of an open or closed stance which differs for both. You must achieve success in both to stand a chance of being a great fighter.

Otherwise, others will use your weakness or lack of stance diversity to beat you. 

How To Form A Southpaw Stance

You need to start with your feet shoulder width apart from each other. You then need to pull your left leg backwards but still keeping that same width. Your toes need to be pointing directly to the left and the right foot stays forwards.

Depending on what you prefer, sometimes fighters prefer to keep flat on their heel or some like the balls of their feet. It’s all about the fighter being comfortable in their stance.

An important factor is always balance. The fighter needs to be able to keep that even weight across their stance to make sure that they are stable. This is because if they aren’t stable the contact will make it easier to break them and their stance. 

You also need to be looking at what angle you are using at this point. It is a good tip to go from the outside. To do this you will need your lead foot to the right of your opponent’s lead foot. Therefore, this opens up the scope of the angle. 


Overall, it is very important to first focus on your stance, strength and balance. These three components are your basis for power. You can have a really strong punch but if your stance is unbalanced then you will be an easy target for a knockout.

If you are someone who is looking to start boxing, you need to start learning techniques after the basics are all down. This includes where your guard should be and what angles to work from for effective shots.

This all comes with practice and time and like with anything you will only improve your stance through active training and perseverance. 

Hopefully this guide has helped you with your understanding of what the Southpaw stance actually is and why it is beneficial to fighters. This guide should also help you think about the most important starting factors.

Christopher Anderson
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