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Here and in the next two parts we will discuss variations of the three punch combinations using jab – right hand punch- left hand punch.
Peekaboo or not?
Jab – straight right hand – left hook a.k.a 7 – 2 – 1 in the number system of Cus D’Amato is definitely not peek-a-boo exclusive. This is bread and butter combination taught during the first lesson in any boxing gym in the world [1,2].
Single Step Version
You step in with a jab, push the right (rear) hip forward for the right (rear) hand punch. With your weight on the left (front) leg, you throw the left (front hand) hook. Below is an example by Mike Tyson:
Tyson would always hide his head when stepping in with the jab. In the top clips from the above example, he inclined the head, so the left ear was pushed at the left shoulder. Alternatively, he dropped knees or executed a bob-jab, so his head would be under the line-of-fire which is shown in the bottom clips from the above example. Thus, even if the opponent is throwing pre-emptive punches, Mike Tyson’s chin is in a relatively safe position.
When stepping in, keep the body weight right under your body center. Don’t transfer it on the left (front) leg, otherwise you won’t be able to execute powerful right (rear) hand punch. The weight maybe transferred almost completely on the left (front) leg during the right (rear) hand punch.
Don’t left hook with a left hooker . Mike Tyson was confident in the quality of his left hook. The left hook is a very dangerous punch, and if you are slightly slower than the opponent, it is going to be you who will go down. Be more cautious than Mike in the above example, protect your chin.
Wide right hand
Gordon Marino [MT6]:
“In demonstrating the right hand, Mike pulled his elbow out a little and was wide. I jabbed, “Aren’t you supposed to throw it straight?” He replied, “Yes, but I almost always had a bad right shoulder and couldn’t.” Then with a glint in his eyes he added, “Except for the one I fired against Botha! He stepped right in front of my right hand and bam!.”
Below is an example of Mike Tyson KOed Botha with the 7-2:
Shift Punching Version
There is a lot of discussion online about shift punching [3-6]. Without getting much into the arguing, we would like to use this opportunity to briefly make a connection between the shift punching and the regular 7-2-1 combo discussed above. The goals is not to present the ultimate breakdown of shift punching. Instead, we want to outline a clear explanation of a particular case, so you can build upon it by adding other variations discussed in other sources. Below are examples by Mike Tyson, Gennady Golovkin, Roy Jones, and Sergey Kovalev executing few variations of the technique:
You throw the jab and immediately throw a right hand punch, which could be the straight, the overhead or the cross = overhand. This swift sequence is called one-two. We have not discussed the exact technique yet. Now, modifying the instruction by Jack Dempsey “Shoot the left, which he’ll evade by stepping back”, you are shooting the one-two and anticipating the opponent to evade both punches, not just the single left jab. Be prepared that your right hand punch won’t reach the opponent. Let the body bend forward strongly as if it follows the right hand punch or the right hand punch drags the body behind it. This is something instructors suggest you not to do generally [1,2], but in this particular case the opponent flees, so you adjust. The adjustment conceals the left foot is being loaded invisibly to the opponent who thinks that he has escaped the attack at this point. Push with the left foot and at the same time carry the right foot forward. In other words, you are changing the stance to the classic southpaw stance while executing left hand punch as a straight rear hand punch from the southpaw stance. In the above example, Roy Jones throws the left cross, this is why in motion is it looks more like a leaping left hook.
All relevant References on Mike Tyson’s training and fighting, and the Peek-a-boo style by Cus D’Amato in one place.
1. Freddy Roach, Danny Campbell, Jeff Fenech. Title Boxing (2008).
2. Don Familton. Superior Boxing (2007).
3. Jack Slack. The Art of Shifting in Mixed Martial Arts (2016). sports.vice.com.
4. Craig Gemeiner. Shift Punching (2011). defensedanslarue.wordpress.com.
5. Triple shift (2005). boxrec.com.