Development of a Peek-A-Boo Boxer: Part Id

pab-slide-leap-logo-anim-150px-gif 180 degree turn and slide leap in the peek-a-boo by Cus D’Amato. Detailed study of the unique type of evasive move and conditioning exercise using examples by Mike Tyson.







1. Technique

2. Shadow boxing & heavy bag

3. (WIP) Slip bag

4. (WIP) Work in pairs & mitt | pad work

5. (WIP) Extra suggestions


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We end our breakdown of evasive moves with a unique movement, which was specific to the peek-a-boo style and fighters trained by Cus D’Amato. To be fair, this is not solely another type of evasive moves, rather a combination of some sort of physical conditioning exercise and extended side bend coupled with a movement.

Leslie Park [1-4]:

“… before Cus ever let a fighter throw a punch, the fighter would practice very quick movement forward and back that I would call a “slide leap”. It was meant to happen in one movement. The fighter would do this repeatedly on each side and then he would also do a 180 degree jump, turning himself completely around and then turning back. These were all part of Cus’ training for evasive moves.”

Below is an example by young Mike Tyson executing this move under the supervision by Kevin Rooney in preparation for the fight with Marvin Fraizer.


OPEN GFYCAT in a new window. OPEN GIF in a new window.

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Note on Technique

We devide the move from the example above into two separate moves: 180 turn and slide leap. Notice, as the above quote suggests, Cus D’Amato apparently demanded smoothness of moves and transition from his fighters.

180 degree turn

It is done in one move. Below is an example by Mike Tyson doing the 180 degree turns twice clockwise and anti-clockwise. Left animation showing Mike’s legs is from the time he was 15 [1], while the right animation is from preparation for the fight with Marvin Fraizer. The left part of the clip is flipped horizontally to be consistent with the right part of the clip.

Examples of 180 and 360 degree turn by Mike Tyson and Conor Mcgregor.

Watch on YouTube in a new window.

Slide leap

Leslie Park [1-4]:

“The leap is a quick movement [diagonally] forward that meant to be made in one smooth movement, no hesitation, no stepping.”

Below is an example by young Mike Tyson executing this move. The left part of the animated clip is from the time when Mike was 15 years old [5], while the right is from his preparation for the fight with Marvin Fraizer. The left part of the clip is flipped horizontally to be consistent with the right part of the clip.

Example of slide leap in different training stages by Mike Tyson.

Watch on YouTube in a new window.

Crucial part from technical standpoint is how the slide leap begins. We believe the rare photo of young Mike Tyson below shows this moment.


Young Mike Tyson working with a slip bag ready to slide leap to his right. CLICK TO OPEN in a new window.

We believe Mike would have leaped to his right eventually. He bent his body to his left and transferred more weight on the left leg. In general, to slide leap in a particular direction, you have to bend your body to the opposite direction and transfer more weight on the leg, so it will be able to spring.

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Shadow Boxing & Heavy Bag

What are these moves for?

Apparently, the 180-degree turn in one move is a nice exercise for building strength and explosiveness of your leg muscles. Just try is out few time. Some sources suggest that it might be a drill for the twist and uppercut move when the fighter is trapped in the corner. Below is an example of Kevin Rooney teaching this move to young Mike Tyson which we used for the discussion in Part VIII:


OPEN GFYCAT in a new window. OPEN YOUTUBE in a new window. OPEN GIF in a new window.

Training footages suggest that young Mike Tyson worked on this move, but we cannot find any direct example of using it in his fight. One reason is that prime Mike Tyson was rarely trapped and never really fought going backwards. Post-prison Mike Tyson might have forgotted this move. Apart from that we do not really know what was the purpose of it.

OPINION of SugarBoxing. Mike Tyson was surprisingly consistent with keeping hands high and elbows tight in the peek-a-boo stance during the whole span of his career. This seems to us very hard because of Mike Tyson’s bulk (wide shoulder and deltoids). We have seen many footages of people trying to emulate Mike Tyson (rookies, amateur and even pro boxer), none of them are as perfect as Mike Tyson. The obvious reason is that it is easier and more comfortable to keep balance with looser hands. This is why we think the 180-degree turns are simulating fighter movements, so he can consciously check balance and the stance. Also, one can argue, they simulate the initial explosive leg movements needed in hooks to some extent.

With the slide leap things are a bit easier. As we quoted Mike Tyson earlier, apparently Cus D’Amato understood the need of defense coupled with the ability to move. Mike drilled most of his defense like that, so that he could shift sideways or forward if needed, more specifically for this case diagonally forward. We can argue that slide leap was introduced for this purpose. Here is a good example from the second pro fight of Mike against Trent Singleton that displays the technique and its application.

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Trent Singleton was after a knock-down. Mike wanted him to open up, this is why he approached him with lowered hands, expecting a jab, so Mike could react. However, it was Mike’s feinting of side bend to his left which scared Trent Singlton to cover up even more tightly. Mike slide-leaped to the right and threw two hooks upon landing.

OPINION of SugarBoxing. We find some similarity between hopping mechanics done in the slide leap (when leaping to the left) to the hopping needed when jabbing. Additionally, classical side stepping technique used to create angle during the attack are also somewhat similar to the slide leap. We will write more about in our next articles.

The drill

Leslie Park [1-4]:

“… a sequence in training might be — bob and weave, slide/leap left, jab, slide/leap right, jab, jump 180, jump back 180, punch. Repeat. While in practice this would be done relatively slowly, the point was to embed those movements in your body memory, so that you could call them up instinctively when needed. These “leap” were meant to be made in one smooth movement, no hesitation, no stepping.”

Below is an example by Kevin Rooney:

OPEN GFYCAT in a new window. OPEN GIF in a new window.

Heavy bag

We are not aware of any available footage of Mike Tyson on a heavy bag doing:

  • 180-turn and slide-sleap exactly like during shadow boxing and
  • when his lower body is completely visible

Some sort of leaping was present when he was doing the bob as we discussed in the Part Ib Ch 2. In the above examples, Mike was drilling the 180-turn and slide-leap in front of Kevin Rooney, so you may do it in front of a heavy bag.

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Slip Bag


The old footages suggest that Mike Tyson would typically repeat three side bends in the left-right-left pattern, then pause waiting for the slip bag to return. Now, instead of repeating side bend, he would feint a side-bend to the left by partially bending to the left and then quickly slide leap to the right, or, alternatively, feint side bend to the right and then slide leap to the left.


In some footages the upperbody and legs are not shown, so it is hard to say whether he was slide leaping (hopping from one leg to the other) or bobing and then stepping outside (shifting both feet by sliding close to the ground). In any case, both leg mechanics are similar and can be interchanged.

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Work in Pairs & Mitt | Pad Work


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Extra Suggestions


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1. Our private communication with Mr. Leslie Parke to be released in future.

2. Leslie Parke. Desire and Discipline.

3. Leslie Parke. Zen and the art of boxing. .

4. Leslie Parke. Peek-A-Boo Boxing Stance. .

5. Watch Me Now (1983). youtube 1; youtube 2

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