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Jab – right hand feint hook – left uppercut is a very well known combination used by fighters before and after Mike Tyson. This already answers our usual question:
Peekaboo or not?
Not, this combination is not genuinely peek-a-boo.
Developing the Technique
Below is an example of Mike Tyson working on this combination during shadow boxing and heavy bag workouts:
Notice two bottom clips seem identical as if two slightly distant cameras (like stereo-3D setup) shot the same move at the same time. This is not the case: Kevin Rooney is in different poses there, also the heavy bag is spinning after punches on the right clip. This comparison proves well known saying by team Tyson that Mike drilled same combinations all over again in identical way.
The combination begins with the regular stiff hard jab.
Right hand feint
After jab follows the right hand, but it is not regular straight right hand punch thrown via the weight transfer . Instead, Mike develops right shoulder snap by inclining body to the left and twisting the right hip inwards. The shoulder snap is not required in the regular straight right hand, because the punch might be even slower. However, in this combination, the purpose is not to punch = apply damage, but to conceal the preparatory moves for the left uppercut: body inclination to the left and waist shift to the right. I other words, you feint the right hand punch, so the illusion of the straight right hand is more believable. Notice, as on the two top clips from above image, Mike fist sliding from right to left rather than going straight at the target. The purpose might be to close the eye sight of the opponent and to push his guards (right glove) away.
Below is an example of old Mike Tyson showing this punch to a student [MT7]:
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The fist trajectory is vertical, so from standpoint of landing the punch it is certainly an uppercut. The leg movements are the left hip hunch and the right heel thud, so from standpoint of driving the punch it is a hook. The body inclination to the left allows to incline the punching plane as well, so the fist travels along a vertical trajectory as an uppercut.
Applying in Fighting
Previous section dealt with throwing the punch, here we will discuss landing. Mike Tyson got hit with this combination, and this example we will analyze.
In the example below, the opponent (boxer in red trunks) feints the left jab by touching Mike Tyson’s gloves and quickly snapping the arm back as if the gloves are hot as a frying pan . Then he twists the right hip inwards. As a result, the weight is transferred to the left leg. All these are accompanied by feinting the right hand punch. Note that for the real right hand punch one has to turn the right hip through the centerline . Now the opponent is in the perfect position to throw a left hand uppercut:
This is perfectly in-line with Jack Dempsey’s observations:
Jack Dempsey :
“Uppercuts are particularly effective at close quarters against an opponent capable of blocking your various hooks to body and head or capable of bobbing under your hooks to head… With practice, you’ll discover that you can feint an opponent into making any number of moves. You can feint him into slipping, so that he’ll be a target for a shovel. You can feint him into bobbing toward an uppercut. And you can feint him into disclosing what defense he will use against any particular blow.”
Mike got hit because he did not move his head to the new spot. However, if you watch his prime fights, many times he avoided being hit in similar situations because he was just faster. If he landed first that counter hook after straightening – he would have beaten his opponent to the punch.
All relevant References on Mike Tyson’s training and fighting, and the Peek-a-boo style by Cus D’Amato in one place.
2. RING SMARTS – Episode 1 – The Jab – Paulie Malignaggi. youtube clip
3. Edwin L. Haislet. Boxing (1968). pdf source 1