Southpaw and Orthodox styles in Professional Boxing
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of the study was to identify the differences and similarities between southpaw and orthodox styles within the sport of professional boxing. It highlighted how their actions differentiate when competing against the same stance in comparison to the opposite stance. Also it illustrated the accuracy of individual actions and how they also differentiate between the styles. A sample of 24 current or previous world champions was used which were split into four separate style combinations. The combinations consisted of orthodox vs. southpaw, orthodox vs. orthodox, southpaw vs. southpaw and southpaw vs. orthodox with each combination consisting of 6 fights with each being analysed. 8 different performance indicators were obtained for the observations to gather raw data that could be interpreted and analyzed. Mann Whitney U tests were used for the data analysis to highlight the significant differences between the different styles. Results showed several different opposition effects in when boxers face the same stance or the opposite stance. The findings showed that when an orthodox fighter is involved in a fight there is a higher frequency of thrown left hooks and left body shots. Additionally, when a southpaw fighter is involved the opposite occurs where there are greater frequencies of right hook punches and right body shots. Overall between the styles the most commonly thrown punch and least accurate was identified as the Jab. The most accurate punch overall was the right body shot. Also results identified a significant difference (P<0.05) in the frequencies of the straight right/left within the orthodox vs. southpaw (OS) and southpaw vs. orthodox (SO) styles in comparison to competing against the same stance. The results highlighted several significant differences (P<0.05) that can be used to enhance training practices and to highlight different techniques that are used within orthodox and southpaw styles allowing a formation of pre-fight strategies. Prospective studies need to identify the impact of these actions in relation to successful performance and also highlight defensive variables that can also affect performance.
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