Playing With Possibilities: Imagining Mike Tyson’S Alternate Path As A Southpaw


Difficult to say for sure but this ferocious southpaw image would have been stalking 1980s HWs instead of the orthodox version of Tyson. Same intent, same precision power lead hook but a lethal right hook instead of a left.

In reality, prime Tyson was a converted southpaw anyways, so reverting him exclusively back to his original southpaw stance may have been counter productive.



Cus D’Amato must have had good reason for switching him to an orthodox fighter. IMHO, I think he was switched to orthodox because his favourite & most dangerous punch was his right uppercut, which is generally thrown from the orthodox stance.

But many times, if you watched prime Tyson’s fights carefully, you could tell that he was a clever switch -hitter & sometimes he threw some of his best KO punches from the southpaw stance anyway.

Here we see him in action against Donovan “Razor” Ruddock in a classic 1991 slugfest. Ruddock misses with a power shot & Tyson counters him with a powerful right jab that scores a flash knockdown.


This exchange with Ruddock was a perfect example of Tyson’s instinctive boxing ability where he simply did what came most naturally in the moment- irrespective of which was his lead foot. As Tyson once said of himself, “ I just fight…….I don’t suppose, if this guy does this, then i’m gonna do that or if he does that then i’m gonna do this…….i just fight”.

Furthermore, as Tyson was an ambidextrous power puncher & had natural KO power in either hand, his specific stance may not have effected his boxing potential as much as if he had been conventionally dominant handed.

But I would suggest that overall he did his best work from the orthodox stance & his southpaw switch was there in his toolbox for novelty & contextual value.


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