zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Can You Switch Boxing Stances in the Ring?

by
author image Steven Kelliher
Steven Kelliher is an experienced sports writer, technical writer, proofreader and editor based out of the Greater Boston Area. His main area of expertise is in combat sports, as he is a lifelong competitor and active voice in the industry. His interviews with some of the sport's biggest names have appeared on large industry sites such as ESPN.com, as well as his own personal blog.
Can You Switch Boxing Stances in the Ring?
A boxer in training. Photo Credit Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Getty Images

Traditionally, boxing trainers have told their students not to switch stances against an uncooperative opponent. It's not a question of can you do it, but should you. After all, this isn't dancing or gymnastics; no boxing judge will ever downgrade you because you didn't maintain a style. But switching stances is a high-risk, high-reward move; it can throw off your opponent and make you highly vulnerable.

Footwork

Fighters are constantly on the move, stepping forward, backward and side-to-side, but they never cross their feet. Crossing your feet puts you off balance, making you susceptible to your opponent's attacks and sapping power from your own punches. To switch stances, you need to cross your feet momentarily. Most boxers will launch a round of jabs to cover the move.

Advantages

Most boxers are right-handed, which means they're used to competing against right-handed fighters. Switching from orthodox to southpaw stances can open your opponent up to more attacks, since they'll be coming in from different angles. Boxing great Marvin Hagler started his career as an orthodox fighter, but switched to southpaw to get his power right hand closer to his opponents' chin.

Disadvantages

There's a reason most boxers and boxing trainers maintain one stance: it's difficult to do both. Fighting with your dominant hand in back gives you a powerful right cross and a sturdy defense against power punches. Switching stances puts your dominant hand in front, weakening your defensive abilities and taking some sting out of your rear-hand punch. If you're not comfortable fighting from both, you're more likely to make errors in footing and positioning.

The Professionals

Most boxers might refuse to switch stances, but there are always exceptions. Unorthodox right-handed boxer Roy Jones Jr. often switched stances to confuse opponents, while left-hander Oscar De La Hoya fought from an orthodox stance, similar to Hagler. Pound-for-pound great Manny Pacquiao traditionally fought out of a southpaw stance, but trained extensively in the orthodox stance to develop his left hand. Erik Morales switched from orthodox to southpaw in the last two rounds of a March 2005 meeting with Pacquiao. He won, but most pundits saw it as a foolish move designed to make the bout more exciting.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.