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In previous Part Xg and Part Xh, we discussing variations of the three punch combinations using jab – right hand punch – left hand punch. Here we discuss 3 or 4 punches after a left slip which is referred to as 3 – 2 – 3 – (2) in the number system of Cus D’Amato.
Peekaboo or not?
Combination of 3 or 4 punches after a left slip was not created by D’Amato or Tyson. This is something that might happen spontaneously in fighting. However, it seems that D’Amato and Tyson were consciously working on this combination because it fits the peek-a-boo style perfectly.
Developing the Technique
You can often see Tyson practicing this combination on the heavy bag and while shadowboxing:
Do not forget to drill the left slip after the last punch.
We discuss the variety of combinations, and they look very different, so you might be lost in all these details. This is why it is important to unify, not just diversify. If you recall the combination #6 flurries of uppercuts & hooks in Part Xf, you may consider this combination as the flurry of outside hooks with body inclined to the left. With the flurry of outside hooks, the punching plane is horizontal, so the more you bend your body to the left the more vertical the punching plane becomes. The outside hooks transition into alternation of a left uppercut (spear jab) and right overhead.
Applying in Fighting
So far we can not find any example of the combination in fighting in the same form as it was during training. The possible reason was that Tyson had heavy blows. This is why opponents would back up or fall just after one-two. It never went down to three or four straight punches in a row unless it was during the sparring [MT-SP1]. Below you can see different variations of the combination in examples by Floyd Mayweather, Sergei Kovalev and Mike Tyson:
Now we are going to use this example to discuss how to set up the combination.
Right hand lead or counter
In the above example, Sergei Kovalev begins the combination by throwing a right cross countering lazy jab of the opponent. This movements tilts the body naturally to the left. This position is convenient for throwing a long left uppercut a.k.a. the spear-jab [YT001]. Note that Kovalev was too lazy to throw the forth blow (another long left uppercut) that could have led to a knockdown.
Unlike Kovalev, Tyson and Mayweather begin the combination with the left slip a.k.a. left side bend followed by a spear-jab or a leaping left uppercut. The reason we will discuss in detail later, but in short, attacking style of Tyson and Mayweather was often tied to the left slip or the left slip feint [MT4]. Because of the frequency of repetition of this action, the opponents could not distinguish (and react appropriately) whether this move was just a head movement or positioning for a strike. Both Mayweather and Tyson capitalized on this strategy to set up clean safe blows.
Leading left uppercut
Floyd Mayweather was throwing this combinations in fights the same way Mike Tyson did it in training or sparring. Floyd recalls training in the same gym as Tyson and watching his workouts [TODO]. Quite possibly, he borrowed this combination from Mike Tyson.
Floyd throws the combination after he already softened the opponent with single, two and three punch combinations. In other words, Floyd is cautious enough not to risk throwing four punch combinations until he is not convinced the opponent does not react dangerously on three punch combination. In the above video clip are examples of Floyd Mayweather early professional fights and fight no 34 against Arthuro Gatti. In both fights, the opponents were already not countering aggressively and the fights were going to be stopped, so the risk was minimal.
All relevant References on Mike Tyson’s training and fighting, and the Peek-a-boo style by Cus D’Amato in one place.