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

feat-part-vic-mike-tyson-slip-and-counter-uppercut-150px-gif Side-bends coupled with uppercuts or hooks in the peekaboo style with examples by Mike Tyson.






1. Note on technique ; 2. (WIP) Slip-bag ; 3. (WIP) Shadow & mirror boxing ; 4. (WIP) Mitts & heavy bag ; 5. (WIP) Head movements after last punch



In Part Ia , we discussed side bends as one type of evasive moves used in the peek-a-boo. Now lets talk about coupling this evasive move with an uppercut to develop slip & counter technique.

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Note on Technique

We feel that slipping by bending to one side (say left) and throwing an uppercut from the same side (left) at the same time is impossible, because the required muscle mechanics would force you to move in opposite directions. Regardless this difficulty, Mike managed to blend two techniques into an extremely good counter, which became one of his signature moves. It served him well even when he was out of shape and tired in round 8 against Buster Douglas:

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You have to get into the initial position for the uppercut while slipping. The technique of slipping by bending in torso should include the waist shift technique somehow to position your arm and legs correctly before throwing the uppercut. Your upperbody inclines sideways (say left), while waist has to be shifted sideways in the opposite direction (right). If you are interested in what worked for Mike Tyson Рlook closely: he did it with hips.


One of the most recognized slip & counter with an uppercut is the KO of Ezzard Charlez by Jersey Joe Walcott in 1950:

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Peekaboo or not?

Apart from the example by Jersey Joe Walcott from 1950, below is an example of Roberto Duran shadow boxing with slips and uppercut counters in 1988 [1]:

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In the same footage, you may see Nigel Benn trying similar slip & counter on a double end bag. This is why, our answer is no, technically, this is not uniquely peek-a-boo and been practiced by fighters before Mike Tyson. However, one must give Mike Tyson credit: his put the fluidity of the move and snapping of punches to a very high level, maybe comparable to Jersey Joe Walcott. Hard to say who was better at this stage of our understanding. We believe what was really new is the developed by Mike Tyson ability to execute multiple of these slip & counters as explored in the next section. Feel free to suggest us in comments any fighter you think did it better than Mike Tyson.

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(WIP) Slip-Bag

When working on slip & counters with a slip-bag, one would expect to see Mike push the slip bag and wait for it to bounce back, standing in the peekaboo stance. Then, when the slip bag is a close as possible to his face, Mike would slip by bending and throwing an uppercut as a counter. Same way he did it with the side-bend-jab counter (link to part VIa):

TODO schematic gif:

Even though something like this can be identified on old footages:

TODO slip & counter with a single uppercut schematic gif:

, but it is not quite as expected. Hard to say why is that. Partly because there are very few old footages, partly because we believe he quickly started drilling like maniac more advanced technique of multiple slip & counters done one after another non-stop. Below is an example of Mike Tyson drilling simultaneously side bends coupled with semi-hooks-semi-uppercuts while slipping an incoming punch, which is modeled by the slip bag:

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Following our comment from the previous section, we believe this sort of drill and the intensity of it was what developped Mike Tyson ability to execute multiple of these slip & counters and put his technique to the next level.

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(WIP) Shadow & Mirror Boxing

Below is an example of Mike Tyson simultaneously slipping left ( or right) and throwing a counter left ( or right) uppercut. He liked to do his exercise or drill while looking in a mirror, i.e. mirror boxing, or warming up before fights:

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Post Rooney and post prison Mike Tyson was still drilling this move, however, he did not use the slip bag at all:

TODO slip & counter post prison

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(WIP) Mitts & Heavy Bag

The technique of slip & counter with an uppercut leads to important technical elements of Mike Tyson fighting: the lead hand uppercut. By lead hand we mean the hand above the front foot, which is not always left. The technique might have originated from the fact that the standard heavy bags are normally positioned vertically, it is hard to practice uppercuts on them. At least, from foto’s of Cus D’Amato gym we do not see any special bug for uppercuts. One solution is to incline body first:

This is an introductory mention for the next part, which includes heavy bag workout, comboes, hop step tecnique and his signature uppercut:

Hard to throw an uppercut according to the JD descrition on traditional vetical heavy bag. One has to incline his body, use back leg like a driver to get into the initial position, quick waist turn to drive the punch, notice when pull the hand backwards, you may even jump e bit. After repeat few times, hope step, reference to hatton echnique to punch to the body:

The variability of the technique on the heavy bag and mitts lead to important topics such as side step, hop-step | and alternating punching hands, combination by Marino of uppercut to the body after a jab. We will explore all these in new articles.

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(WIP) Head movements after last punch

Steven Lott [SL?]:

“If you go to any gym in the world, you’ll see a trainer standing next to his fighter… who is hitting the heavy bag hard and with tremendous combinations. He looks good doing it, but the kid never moves his head…

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All relevant References on Mike Tyson’s training and fighting, and the Peek-a-boo style by Cus D’Amato in one place.

1. Unknown. Roberto Duran UK Tour 1988. youtube

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