I primarily fight in the southpaw stance. I fight like a southpaw, throwing the left cross, and lead with my right. Here is where it gets weird: I’m right handed. I fight like a natural southpaw, but I’m right handed; is this normal? I’ve tried fighting in an orthodox stance, but it feels so uncomfortable and unbalanced. I am working in both stances, but I never heard of anyone who is right handed and fights like they are left handed.

  • Somewhat unusual, but happens in a lot of sports. Phil Mickelson is right handed, but plays golf left handed style.
    – JohnP
    Apr 4, 2019 at 13:59

2 Answers 2


This is unusual, but it happens. Just because most left-handers fight in a southpaw stance and most right-handers fight in an orthodox stance does not mean that anyone must.


A skilled right-hander, such as Roy Jones Jr., Terence Crawford or Marvin Hagler, may switch to the left-handed (southpaw) stance to take advantage of the fact that most fighters lack experience against lefties. In addition, a right-hander in southpaw with a powerful left cross obtains an explosively different combination. The converted southpaw may use a right jab followed by a left cross, with the intention of making the opponent slip to the outside of their left side. Then the converted right-hander can simply turn their body left and face their opponent, placing them in orthodox, and follow up with an unexpected right cross. If the southpaw fighter is right-hand dominant with a strong left cross, this puts the opponent in danger of knockout from each punch in the combination, as jabs with the power hand can stun or knock out (KO) in heavier weight classes.


From a boxing perspective mattm's answer is spot on.

From a kicking based martial arts perspective this is much more common - if sparring is light/touch contact then the tendency is to have the dominant leg at the front - which for most people would put the dominant hand at the front also (not everyone is right/right or left/left when it comes to hands/feet). If the sparring is full contact then the dominant leg will tend to be at the back (usually putting the dominant hand at the back).

So I see a lot of people from a touch contact sparring art, starting in the "wrong" stance when they try boxing and depending on how long they trained it can be very difficult for them to correct. I also find that those coming to my classes (where we do touch contact) from boxing will usually have their weak leg at the front and be quite clumsy and slow until they have adapted their sparring.

Should I worry about it?

Probably not

  • if you are aiming to become a professional boxer - then look for instances of people making it to the level you hope to reach - it may be that the coaching for someone that fights the way you do is not available to get you there.

  • If you are just doing this for recreation/self defence - then its absolutely fine to keep going the way you are. New sparring partners will have a hard time figuring you out and that may give you the edge, you will have a slightly different set of weapons to the average fighter and that could be a blessing and a curse - it will certainly make it interesting

you may also find yourself falling into the default way of sparring as you hone your skills (there is a reason most people fight that way) - and there is nothing wrong with that either.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.