The world of professional boxing has produced many a global superstar, but few have navigated quite the controversy, fame, and spotlight as one Mike Tyson. Though his life outside of the ring came to occasionally overshadow his prowess inside of it, the fact remains that in the boxing Hall of Fame, Tyson has gone down as one of the most enigmatic figures, with a punch that could generate a knockout almost instantly.
If you’ve ever watched stunned as to just how Tyson managed to come away victorious with a single punch, toppling his opponents into a state of oblivion upon contact, thanks to former Olympic bronze medallist and professional boxer Tony Jeffries, the secret lies in Tyson’s technique whereby he looked to keep his opponent thinking.
In a video posted to his popular YouTube channel, Jeffries goes into great detail by dissecting Tyson’s technique and, most notably, examine just how he managed to punch with so much power, a skill that came to define his illustrious career in the sport. As Jeffries explains, “You might have seen him when he used to move, he would do continuous slipping.” Well, that movement was critical to Tyson’s success. Jeffries breaks down the significance below.
He keeps his opponents thinking
Most fighters know that you should never stand still in the ring, after all, the goal is to avoid contact with your opponent’s glove, while simultaneously landing a perfect punch on them. By constantly moving side-to-side, Tyson kept his opponents guessing. His sashaying movements were more dramatic than most fighters of his time and for good reason. As Jeffries suggests, “If he’s moving like this, now he’s a moving target and it’s harder for his opponent to throw those punches and land them.”
He had the reflexes to “slip” punches
As well as an incredible talent to move within the ring, Tyson also had a rare knack for making fighters miss when they sought to land a punch on him. His reflexes were so incredible that he could duck out of the way or “slip” them, as Jeffries says.
His weight transfers allowed for power
“While he was slipping, he was transferring the weight to the opposite foot,” explains Jeffries. “So if I’m transferring my weight to the opposite foot – if it’s the front foot – I can always come back for a big power left hook, getting my full weight behind the punch,” he adds. That said, even if you slip to the right, you can still come back with a strong right hand.
To conclude the video, Jeffries gives a look into how Tyson’s technique can be applied to your own training and boxing regime as he provides a brief demonstration that ends with one of his own favourite combinations from his boxing days. “As you can see, maximum power in that punch,” admits Jeffries, “but not as much as Tyson.”