Learn How to Box – Boxing Footwork

If you want to learn how to box, then good footwork is the beginning, the middle and the end.

Footwork is the word used to describe how we move around a boxing ring, being able to change position and approach depending upon what is needed to overcome a particular type of opponent. All of this whilst remaining perfectly balanced. This is not a simple and straightforward thing to do.

The key thing to remember about footwork is that it is not about dancing around the ring like an imitation of Ali. Sure, good footwork would allow this type of movement, but good footwork is more subtle than this. In fact, good footwork is just more than this!

Having effective footwork means that you can defend yourself at all times whilst remaining a potent attacking force. Without holding the stance correctly and using the right body mechanics at the right time, then your ability to hit and not be hit is dangerously limited.

It’s quite simple really, to learn how to box master your footwork. Continual practice of footwork skills is a non-negotiable part of boxing training.

Below are a series of links that will take you to each video article on the site. As always, feel free to leave questions or comments on the relevant post and I’ll make a reply.


{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

ariyeh even haim March 18, 2016 at 2:33 pm

Yeah… Basic and extremely important!.
Rope jumping for 10-15 min a day will improve your footwork drastically and automatically.


benja January 13, 2016 at 5:44 am



John G October 14, 2015 at 1:26 pm

I am really liking your site! I’ve been working on pretty much nothing but footwork right now, and the techniques you show are eerily similar to the footwork I learned in MCMAP. I’m a big guy, 265lbs, so I’m hoping well developed footwork will give me an egde against other large opponents. Call me crazy, but I think if I move instead of just standing there throwing punches like most guys my size do, I might have a better chance…..lol


Fran October 15, 2015 at 6:55 pm

Footwork, footwork, footwork. Is there anything else? 🙂 You’re thinking is spot on, you’ll confuse the hell out of the guys who want to stand there and bomb away.


Patrycjusz Kopec October 2, 2015 at 10:12 pm

Hallo Mr. Fran its a great website you created. However I have a question how does boxing compare with muay thai I’m new to both of them and actually don’t go to gym. Neither boxing nor muay thai because they are both expensive I only learn through my brother who is a long time member of muay thai gym. But I’m just starting out. My question proteins to the range factor in boxing. You pointed out several ranges and several names of them in boxing. My brother never mention something like that in muay thai. However I’m sure that they exist or if not should exist.
How would you translate boxing ranges in muay thai context? How much developing boxing skills will help in developing muay thai skills? Thank you very much for describing both orthodox and southpaw stance and techniques. You are right most orthodox vs. southpaw discussions only describe how orthodox can defeat southpaw never vice versa especially in muay thai discussions. In muay thai left kick to the liver would probably be an important weapon for a southpaw but I know it is not your are of expertise. However in boxing wouldn’t left hook to the body have similar effect? If so what according to you would be a way or preferably several ways to set it up. I’m especially worried about opponent’s right cross while I’m executing shot to the liver any thoughts on this?


Fran October 4, 2015 at 6:56 pm


Can’t offer a view on Muay Thai because it’s not my sport and my knowledge is sparse.

On the left hook to the body. If you are at close range you can fire this first or use a feint to create the opening. At mid to long range you probably want to foow a jab or right cross (or both). Leading with a left hook to the body from long range is a major risk.

Thanks, hope this helps.


Joe September 14, 2015 at 1:04 am

I want to leave how to box and I’m coming in late in the game of boxing. Can u please help.


Fran September 19, 2015 at 6:03 pm

Hey Joe. Work the basics, maybe start with this article.



Emil DE Leon September 3, 2015 at 6:22 pm

Greeting Mr. Sands it is I Emil Deleon. NOW THAT I am not to preoccupied with school, I can ask you a question. When ever I see your videos on how to execute a cross, I notice that your back leg is not straight now, when I looked at the fresco of the famous Minoan Boxers, I notice that the boxer to the right has his back right leg straight. one day I decided to straighten my back leg and it seemed to me that my cross extended farther, than when I did not straighten my leg. since I can not find the right picture to send to you I assume that you know the image in which I am speaking of.
furthermore, I hope that this comment reaches you and cheers!


Fran September 6, 2015 at 7:07 pm

Hi Emil

Nice to talk to you again, I hope that school has worked out well – a good education is so very important 🙂

I tend to be very strict regarding ensuring the bend in the rear leg. If it locks then you have mobility issues as well as constraints on your range of movement. I’d stick with the flexible rear leg buddy, it will pay.



Kieran February 2, 2015 at 8:42 pm

One of the coaches at my club has asked me to start teaching some of the younger members some of the basic techniques. This is fine but was wondering if there were any interesting ways to make them remember them a bit better as the average age of the guys I am to be teaching is 15-17. if you have any ideas they would be most appreciated.



Fran February 5, 2015 at 8:55 pm

Hey Kieran

Welcome to the world of coaching 🙂

Simple movement in and out reinforced with regular tag boxing. A great way for the kids to learn the basics in a very controlled way. Tech sparring also is good. Hope this helps and good luck.


Gregory January 24, 2015 at 3:22 am

Hi Fran. I have a serious problem.

I’m left-handed. So I should be a southpaw, right?
The problem is that leading with my right foot isn’t as comfortable as leading with my left foot.
I mean, leading with my left foot makes me more stable, with better pivots, with faster slips and faster side movement.

What should I choose? Orthodox or southpaw? (I’m not a pure boxer, I’m a MMA fighter).


Fran January 26, 2015 at 9:08 pm

Hi Gregory

In conventional boxing I would encourage you to stick with southpaw, mainly because it is an advantage to be a good southpaw boxer – there is no doubt. Is the advantage the same in MMA? I don’t know because of the differences in the codes. You may need to work that out yourself. It is unusual though. It’s mostly novice right-handed boxers who feel more comfortable leading with their right foot!

Not sure this is terribly helpful, best I can do though. Just focus on getting the skills to be the best they can be regardless of your chosen stance.


nino October 16, 2014 at 9:48 pm

thank you


Fran October 20, 2014 at 8:28 pm

You’re welcome 🙂


Jeffrey October 10, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Just decided to take up boxing at the age of 45. I really appreciate your site.


Fran October 10, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Welcome into the fold Jeffrey, I’m sure you’ll find the game very enjoyable!


parminder kumar July 17, 2014 at 2:27 am

i m starting for boxing. i dont know about it bt wann learn it please help me


Fran July 18, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Hi there.

Try this link. 10 great videos to get you started. Hope it helps.


pathsoon wazir June 27, 2014 at 10:17 am

i register in ur website
but the email is not coming to my email address


Fran June 27, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Hi Pathsoon.

Have you checked you spam/junk folder? The email has been sent and more will follow.


William Zachow June 24, 2014 at 12:44 am

I enjoyed reading and digesting the information in Southpaw vs Orthodox.
As you requested, there was one spelling error on page 13 just below Fig. 7 where the word ‘hot’ needs to read hit.
Thanks for the great work.


Fran June 25, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Thank you William. I’m due a revision of the report so I’ll make a note. Cheers.


hasan February 9, 2014 at 4:59 pm

hi , i can not see videos, please help me.


mohammad July 5, 2014 at 6:48 am

hi hasan im mohammad from iran and a former boxer- i use this website to learning english. if you are iranian and interested in language learning we can make contact through email.
my email adress: m.heidari16@yahoo.com


Anonymous September 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm



Frank Mitchell March 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Hi: I’m discovering the differences between Boxing and Karate. Not much chance of me taking up Boxing, because I’m aged 64 and I wear Contact Lenses. But here in Homes Chapel we get Bogus Callers, including some who like to appear intimidating. Several years ago I phoned one, asking why he felt the need to use a false address, and he replied: “I know where you live: I’m going to send a bunch of lads to visit you and then you’ll be sorry”. I found myself saying: “Why, what are you going to do?” because the Police were interested, and I’d supplied them with a list of Vehicle and Phone Numbers belonging to him and his associates. Then amusingly, he felt the need to say he wasn’t afraid of me. He knew I was 61 years old, but he was put off because I kept fit with weights. This left me watching the Cage Fights on TV, because that’s what I could expect if a threat like this actually happened. I don’t think much of their grappling, because I used to be a Brown Belt in Judo, and they seem comparitively useless. But I wouldn’t know how to defend against Boxing. I did Shukokai Karate, but Contest Karate is more like a Fencing Match. Now I’m learning from Jack Dempsey’s book and your videos, and getting a better idea what some Kata moves are about too. Thanks!


Matt November 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Hello again Fran,

Wanted to say, thank you for all your help, tips and advice you provide on this site. Information is presented well and the example videos are very helpful.

Had a question for you about stances. I read your article about the boxing stance and was hoping you could provide your opinion on my situation. First some facts, I write with my left hand. Apparently, I have a dominant left eye. I did fencing for 4 years with my right foot forward. When I do other sports I feel most comfortable performing righty (e.g. More comfortable kicking a soccer ball with my right foot, throw with my right hand, play hockey right handed, etc.).

Within the past few years, I have picked up my training a bit. Before I get too far in my training, where it will be harder to change things, I decided to focus on my basics. Since stance and footwork are the launch pad for everything, I want to work on it at much as possible. I have been training using orthodox because it felt more comfortable, but I know that most comfortable is not always the best. I realize, it’s hard to analyze someone over the internet, but from what I have provided, what are your thoughts on orthodox vs southpaw for my situation? Should I experiment with southpaw?

If you have any questions that may help, please ask. I really want to try to get this figured out. Thank you.



Fran November 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Hello Matt

Nice to hear from you.

Check out this comment from another site user, suits your exact situation mate. For me it’s a no brainer, go southpaw, especially given your background in fencing. Southpaw all the way Matt!!!


Fran November 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm

By the way, thanks for the compliment 🙂 Hope the response helps.


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