When learning boxing, one of the first things that you need to pick is whether you want to become an orthodox or a southpaw boxer. But what if you train yourself in both of them? Is it possible? Are there any downsides to it? Let see:
So, Can You Switch Stances in Boxing?
You can switch stances in boxing and make the in-game adjustments between orthodox and southpaw to confuse your opponent. While it’s recommended to stick to your original stance only but if done correctly, switching stance allows you to get the most out of your strength while fighting at varying levels of your comfort.
Further in this guide, I’ll dig deep into the key benefits and a few downsides of changing stances in boxing. Keep reading:
What is Stance in Boxing?
In very simple words, a boxing stance is nothing but a posture in which you positioned your body and feet. While it’s mostly determined by whether you’re left-hand or right-handed, you can pick the most comfortable boxing stance for you by learning the basics of each one.
There are mainly two types of stances in boxing: Orthodox and Southpaw.
Most peoples are right-handed and thus naturally get into an orthodox stance when fighting. On the other hand, the southpaw stance is mainly associated with left-handed athletes and is thus somewhat rare in boxing.
This could be an unfair advantage for you because many boxers don’t have any experience fighting against a skilled southpaw boxer.
4 Key Advantages of Switching Stances in Boxing
While there are a number of reasons why some boxers consider mixing up the stances and making in-game adjustments, here’re the top 4 key benefits you will get as a switch-hitter:
1. To Confuse your Opponent
One of the biggest advantages of this mid-fight adjustment strategy to switch stance is to throw your opponent off.
Most boxers often take a couple of rounds just to understand and measure each other in the fight. If you’re able to switch efficiently between orthodox and southpaw, it becomes very difficult for your opponent to deal with multiple attacks from varied angles in a single bout.
If utilized properly, you can use this strategy to confuse your opponent and make it difficult for them to draw a clear-cut strategy against you.
2. Play with Your Strength
Most boxers spend the majority of their training time working on their offensive and defensive techniques in only one stance. And that’s why having more strength and confidence on one hand than the other is not a new thing in the combat sports world.
If you want to throw an amazing jab with the same hand you have powerful straight with, this is only possible by changing your stance in-between the game accurately.
Switch-hitting makes your offensive dynamic by allowing you to train both of your hands and offers power from every angle. Mastering this art helps you to get the most out of your strength and fight at varying levels of comfort.
3. Effective Offensive Technique
In fact, in the older systems of English boxing, switching between orthodox and southpaw stances was very common among offensive boxers.
If executed at the correct time and distance, this offensive technique allows you to generate maximum power and deliver a relentless stream of power punches when chasing down retreating opponents.
Even though it’s rare in professional boxing but you can incorporate switch-hitting in your style and gain some extra advantage in the ring.
4. Defense Against the Opponent’s Power Punch
If you’re against an opponent who got fast feet and throws a lot of punches that are hard to deal with, you can switch your stance to quickly move away and defend yourself.
By doing so, you can nullify your opponent’s offense completely and throw him completely off the game, especially on the defensive side. Here, you’re not changing stances to fight but instead, you’re doing it to pivot out from their punching range.
Switching your stance for a split second allows you to cover probably 5-6 feet of distance in just two steps. This grants you time to calm yourself, observe your opponent’s weaknesses, and deliver your power shots more mindfully.
With that being said:
Why Don’t Boxers Train Equally in Both Stances?
It’s very obvious to wonder if being able to fight in both stances equally well is so beneficial, then why don’t all boxers do the same: Let’s get into this:
Boxers should not train equally in both stances because it takes away half of their training time working on their less effective and weaker stance.
From a long time back, almost every boxing trainer recommends keeping your stronger hand in the rear which you can use to deliver the most of your power punches whereas use your relatively weaker hand to judge your attacking range.
When you change the stance in between the game, it definitely tricks your opponent but now you’re no longer able to use your hands for their intended purpose.
Another issue that I faced when I try to learn this new switch-hitting technique is with my dominant eye-sight. When I switch my stance from orthodox to southpaw, I won’t able to line up my dominant eye with my rear hand.
Support you’re a southpaw boxer, then most of the time, it’s recommended to learn a few basics of orthodox stance so you can better understand the mindset of your orthodox opponent.
Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate player, other than learning the basics, it’s always going to be beneficial for you to work on your dominating stance.
Even if you think, both of your hands are equally stronger but believe me, you still won’t able to get the same amount of precision and accuracy in both stances due to the different biological nature of the two halves of our brain.
Rather than being an average boxer in both stances, you should try to push your limits and take your original stance to the best possible level.
Top 7 Best Switch-Hitting Boxers of All Time
Although switch-hitting boxers are not very common in boxing but there are some notable fighters in the boxing world that have done this more often than not to turn their entire career.
Here’re the top 7 boxers that are very skilled in this technique:
- Marvin Hagler
- Terence Crawford
- Willie Pep
- Naseem Hamed
- Julio Cesar Martinez
- Mike Tyson
- Tyson Fury
My Final Thoughts
Personally, I think most people (including you and me!) get attracted to this switch-hitting technique because they want to get versatile and adaptable during their boxing match.
To be completely honest with you, instead of practicing in two stances, you can learn completely two different fighting styles in your normal stance.
This will not only help you to take advantage of your dominating stance but also increases your versatility and adaptability in the boxing ring.
If you’re not agreeing with what I have just said, just ask yourself: “who do you think has the more advantage – the guy in his natural stance or the guy in his switch stance?”. Think about this… 🙂