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

feat-part-vii-mike-tyson-slipping-and-moving-gif Sliping and moving in the peekaboo style with examples by Mike Tyson.






1. Slip bag; | 2. Heavy bag; | 3. Slide leap; | 4. Working in pairs;


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A shorter fighter with shorter reach compared to his opponent would always be challenged to shorten the distance or “close the gap” for his attack or counter-attack. The typical problem is displayed by Wilfredo Benitez fighting Tommy Hearns:

Wilfredo Benitez Rolls Under Right Hand Fighting Tommy Hearns

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Wilfredo Benitez (right) slips the straight right hand by Tommy Hearns (left) using a rolling technique similar to what Mike used. This may not be mere coincidence, because Tyson was familiar with Benitez fights and Benitez himself, who visited Cus D’Amato gym when Mike Tyson was an amateur boxer [MT1]. The problem is that it is not enough just to avoid punches using torso movements because this alone does not bring you much close to reaching the opponent with your own punches. Wilfredo Benitez struggled with this problem the whole fight with Tommy Hearns and in his earlier fight against Sugar Ray Leonard. Benitez relied on his great talent and improvised with solutions on the way, but it costed him both fights …

This is why it is important to be prepared for such problem and do the homework by drilling defensive moves (side bends, rolls under and bobs / dips, etc) incorporating some forward leg movements such as simple steps or slide-leap introduced in Part Id.

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Slip Bag

Even if you slipped the punch, take the initiative from the opponent and land your own counter. Below is an example of Mike Tyson doing a single dip with a step to his right:

Examples of dipping under a slip bag with stepping outside by Mike Tyson

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Notice that Mike does not simply moves down and then up, but steps to the side. In the examples, he bobs to the right, however, in fights it was more to the left. Currently, we cannot find the reason for this disconnection. Since there is no footage with legs and feet shown, we cannot really judge the stepping technique. It might be more like that of the u-roll or even slide leap in some instances. After the bob or dip, Mike would side bend to the left, then to the right while stepping backwards to take the initial position before the dip | bob. Here we do not show it and focus only on bobbing | dipping.

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Heavy Bag

Mike would always incorporate some defensive moves after the last punch thrown when he was shadow boxing or working on a heavy bag.

Roll under diagonally forward

Example of rolling under diagonally forward after left hook on a heavy bag by Mike Tyson.

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Mike would roll to his left after throwing a left hook. Here the leg movements are like when U-rolling (Part Ic), however the upper body remains straight like when bobbing (Part Ib).

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Slide Leap

We described the slide leap in Part Id. Below are examples of executing slide leap in different stages of training by Mike Tyson:

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

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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: to create an angle by getting into the blind zone of the opponent.

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Working in pairs

Mike Tyson drilled movements to cross or cut the ring with Kevin Rooney. Usually, to get to the ropes from the centre of the ring, Mike would use 2-4 steps depending on the ring size.

Side-bending & moving forward

Side-bending & moving forward by Mike Tyson working in pairs

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Bobbing & moving forward

Bobbing & moving forward by Mike Tyson working in pairs

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We do not emphasize it here, but usually when at the ropes, Mike Tyson would do some 2-3 punch combo.

Opinion of SugarBoxing. If you do not work side the ring, do not overdo these exercises by repeating them all over again non stop advancing forward for more than 3-4 meters or 10 feet. It simply does not make sense, because it does not work like that fighting inside the ring. All movements should be short, explosive, no more than 3-4 meters or 10 feet in total.

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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.

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