How to Fight a Southpaw
I’ve said this before but all professional boxers have good ring iq, what sets apart the greats though is that they think just that little bit quicker than the rest and they process information a little faster than the opposition. When it comes to ring IQ I find it hard to say there was anyone smarter than Floyd Mayweather Jr, sure you can say such and such a fighter was in the top bracket but Mayweather belongs right there at the top with them.
In this article and video below we see another demonstration of how Mayweather could adjust on the fly during a fight. Remember you may have all the best plans for an opponent but they are also trying to work you out and that means you can’t just have a Plan A, you’ve got to have a Plan B, C and D if needed. When it comes to the cream of the crop you’re dealing with highly skilled boxers always looking for a way in and looking for patterns or to set traps so often you have to make in ring adjustments whilst the fight is on going.
Here we see the southpaw DeMarcus Corley catching Mayweather in the early rounds with the left cross. What you will note though is that it wasn’t a straight back hand – Corley was changing the trajectory of his left cross by looping the punch on the inside of Mayweather’s guard and landing successfully on him. Mayweather had to mix up his defence more in order to stop this punch from continuously landing as this is a power punch and will cause some damage if it kept on getting through.
The first thing Mayweather did was use more of the high guard, this made it more difficult for Corley to loop a cross on the inside because now Mayweather had both gloves high protecting his face.
The second method was a safer half step out of range making the punch fall harmlessly as Mayweather could see Corley was trying to load up on the rear hand so instead of looking to block he could step back and out of range.
Next Mayweather could bend at the waist, much better to make a punch miss than block it as by blocking you still take some of the impact and this can add up as the rounds go by. Note that when bending at the waist Mayweather also used a pivot to turn his opponent around and get better positioning, especially if Mayweather was initially on the ropes.
I mentioned earlier about Mayweather seeing the left cross coming as Corley was dropping the hand to load up on the punch, as a counter puncher this allowed Mayweather to squeeze in a short right hook as Corley looked to attempt the left cross, just as impressively Mayweather does this from a southpaw stance. From the southpaw stance Mayweather was also able to use the forearm block to deflect the left cross of Corley.
Lastly we see Mayweather twist his hip just enough for his rear glove to protect the inside of his face so that when Corley did throw the looping left cross to the inside, Mayweather’s gloves were now in a position to deflect the punch. View the video below to see the ring IQ of Floyd Mayweather Jr in action.