An orthodox stance is a way of positioning both the feet and hands in combat sports such as boxing, karate, kickboxing and mixed martial arts. A traditional orthodox stance is one in which the boxer places his left foot further in front of the right foot, thus having his weaker side closer to the opponent. As it favors the stronger, dominant side—often the right side, see laterality—the orthodox stance is the most common stance in boxing. It is mostly used by right-handed boxers. Many boxing champions—such as Jack Johnson, Marco Antonio Barrera, Rocky Marciano, Roberto Duran, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Muhammad Ali, Amir Khan, Peter Buckley, Johnny Tapia, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard—used an orthodox stance.
The corresponding designation for a left-handed boxer is southpaw and is generally a mirror-image of the orthodox stance. A southpaw boxer guards and jabs with his right-hand. Some famous boxers who use southpaw are Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Sultan Ibragimov, Naseem Hamed, Joe Calzaghe, Manny Pacquiao and Lucian Bute. Francisco Palacios is traditionally an orthodox, but occasionally switches to a southpaw stance to confuse his opponent at times. Some fighters who are naturally left-handed fight in the orthodox stance with the advantage of a fast, hard jab and left hook. Those examples include: Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Angel Cotto, Marco Antonio Barrera to name a few. Though they are far from common, many gym trainers who lack experience in training left-handed boxers convert southpaws to a right-handed stance.
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