How to Fight a Southpaw
There are two things to note in this video – firstly the title of this article, which is how Alexis Arguello was cutting off the ring, secondly his opponent was a southpaw so this is a good video to watch for more ideas on how to handle a left handed boxer.
Alexis Arguello was a fantastic boxer, tall, strong, explosive…he would often look like he was in first gear and then all of a sudden explode with a punch that would knock you down – very patient, very smart in that ring. We see an example of this in the video below. When Arguello came out to defend his lightweight title against Bubba Busceme, his southpaw opponent was often circling towards Arguello’s right hand. This is not something which is generally advised if you happen to be a southpaw because you are moving to the power hand of an orthodox fighter.
Now Busceme would move to Arguello’s right and then dart in with a quick combo or a few jabs whilst moving back to Arguello’s left and it was certainly causing Arguello some problems in the early going. We then see Arguello attempting the left hook over the top of the southpaw jab whilst the southpaw is moving back to Arguello’s left having initially circled to his left(Arguello’s right) – This may have been the point where Arguello decided to change strategy or just figured the southpaw out.
So what did Alexis Arguello do? Arguello began stalking his opponent and applying pressure – specifically when the southpaw was moving towards Arguello’s right hand – by cutting off the ring to the southpaws left, it forced Busceme to move to his right which was in the path of Arguello’s left hook. Arguello began to use the left hook both as a form of first attack and also as a form of counter punching whenever the southpaw would step across with the jab. Arguello would use small almost shuffle like steps to close the distance and cut off the ring and as Busceme changed direction, Arguello would be waiting with his left hook. The eventual stoppage was set up the same way, Arguello cutting off the ring, the southpaw having to change direction and walking into a left hook from Arguello. Arguello smells blood this time and doesn’t stop until the referee calls a halt to the fight – ironically the last punch Arguello threw before the stoppage was the right hand.
Watch the video below to see the all time great Alexis Arguello give a lesson in cutting off the ring and how to fight a southpaw.