Styles Of Boxing: The Ukrainian Style

The Ukrainian style, similar to the soviet style, stands out in the world of boxing for its unique yet effective techniques. 

This style has mainly depended on footwork mastery, technical precision, and defensive prowess, to produce a lineage of world-class fighters who have dominated various weight divisions. 

This article is your guide to understanding Ukrainian boxing, offering easy-to-understand insights, tailored for aspiring boxers who are curious about the tactical intricacies of the current/former Ukrainian Champions.

Right-Handed Southpaw

By far the most unique but most effective change in the Ukrainian style is the "right-handed southpaw." 

This style, exemplified by champions like Vasiliy Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk, involves adopting a southpaw stance despite being right-handed. 

This allows for a powerful jab from the dominant hand while also giving them the ability to exploit unconventional angles thanks to the southpaw stance. 

So while it may seem odd and unconventional to most trainers/fighters, you can’t argue with the effectiveness as it has been able to produce some of the biggest names in boxing today.

Footwork Mastery

Arguably some of the best footwork in boxing, Ukrainian fighters often refuse to stop moving in the ring as they use quick footwork to pressure, confuse, and frustrate their opponents. 

One extremely common move is a sidestep to the outside of their opponent. This is used to disrupt opponents' rhythm and create openings for counterattacks because… 

When the Ukrainian boxer moves to the side, the opponent must adjust their position before throwing a punch, creating a brief window of opportunity for the Ukrainian to exploit their opponent's inability to counterattack.

On top of having great angular movement, Ukrainian boxers are also masters of lateral movements. By explosively stepping in and out of range, they can apply quick counterattacks without the risk of getting hit.

The Art of Feints

Feints are a hallmark of Ukrainian boxing. 

These feints are mainly in the form of circling and pawing the lead hand, so the Ukrainian is able to keep their opponents guessing while they also gauge the opponent's reaction to the feints. 

“Circling the lead hand" is the technique of moving the lead hand in small circular motions synchronized with your up-down body movement. This up-down body movement simply refers to feinting to the opponent's head and body, which makes you more unpredictable, making the feints more effective.

“Pawing" on the other hand, involves gently tapping the opponent's guard to assess reactions or provoke attacks. Ukrainian boxers frequently employ this tactic to dictate the pace of the fight and create openings for their own offense.

By constantly using these feints, Ukrainian boxers are able to apply pressure, frustrate their opponent, and create opportunities for counterattacks while exerting minimal energy and taking minimal risk

Utilizing the Jab

The jab serves as the backbone of Ukrainian boxing, employed to control distance, set up combinations, and disrupt opponents' timing. 

They do this by effectively applying all 6 of the different types of jabs that can be used in boxing. 

For detailed insights into these 6 types of jabs, explore "The Jab Blueprint" by Clicking Here to discover when, where, and how you can be most effective with each type of jab.

Unleashing the Straight Left Hand

Another common weapon found in most Ukrainian fighters' arsenal is their straight left hand.

Often prefaced by a throwaway jab to create openings, the left hand is delivered with precision and power. 

They are also cautious to move their head off the centre line and come forward with the punch to maximize offensive potential and minimize the chance of a counter-attack.

Then after the punch is thrown they either move back out or angle to the side, so they can maintain control of the distance and position in the ring.

Mastering Combinations

Ukrainian boxers excel in the art of combination punching by utilizing swift and accurate sequences to dismantle opponents' defenses. 

These sequences are known as “set-up shots” and they are often used to pave the way for devastating power punches by creating gaps in the opponent's guard with surgical precision. 

These combinations are often soft but fast at the beginning of the fight while the Ukrainian is still feeling out their opponent,

However, as the fight progresses and opponents fatigue, Ukrainian fighters unleash ferocious combinations, capitalizing on openings with clinical efficiency. 

Defense as a Virtue

Defense is paramount in Ukrainian boxing. These Ukrainians mainly use a high guard and couple it with their world-class footwork to evade their opponent's punches while also setting up counter-attacks for themselves. 

Footwork remains the primary line of defense, however, they often incorporate slips with their footwork to minimize the chance of them being hit while also creating a unique angle to counter from.

The most boring but most effective defensive move they use is the simple step back. This is great because it frustrates opponents' offensive efforts, and allows the Ukrainian boxers to maintain control of the fight while minimizing damage. 

Lastly when footwork isn't an option then the Ukrainians will resort to a high guard that blocks punches while giving them a chance to either find a counter or angle off. The high guard is effective and versatile, suitable for any stage of a fight. However, it can leave you vulnerable to absorbing significant damage. That's why Ukrainian boxers prioritize moving their head and feet to evade punches instead.


In conclusion, the Ukrainian boxing style capitalizes on a blend of strategic ingenuity, technical finesse, and defensive mastery that has propelled its practitioners to the forefront of the sport. 

With an emphasis on footwork, feints, and the utilization of both orthodox and unorthodox techniques such as the "right-handed southpaw" stance, 

Ukrainian boxers have carved out a niche characterized by their ability to control the pace of a fight while inflicting precise and calculated offensive strikes. 

Through meticulous study and application of these principles, aspiring boxers can obtain valuable insights into the tactical brilliance of Ukrainian champions, allowing them to refine their own skills and approach the ring with confidence and proficiency.

We hope this guide has helped you achieve this and if you have any questions, feel free to comment below!



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