When most people think of boxing, they think of the infamous Mike Tyson. He is a household name, even if your family is not boxing fanatics. Tyson’s iconic fighting style and explosive punches make him one of the world’s most legendary heavyweight champions.
Mike Tyson was well known for moving faster and striking harder than his sparring opponents, giving him an advantage even though his stature was a lot smaller than most of the boxing competitors, standing at only 5’11” tall. His height didn’t hold him back what-so-ever, and if anything, it gave him a tool to use and perfect over time.
Throughout his career, Tyson went through many highs and lows. But one thing always remained the same: his unique but effective fighting style. He is well known for some of his signature punching techniques, and here is a list of eight that you can add to your training routine to improve your boxing skill.
8 of Mike Tyson’s Signature Boxing Techniques
Tysons vast knowledge of boxing fundamentals gave him the ability to create boxing moves never used before in matches but helped make him become the legend he is known as today. Although they can be tricky, they are not necessarily hard to follow. If you practice these moves and master them, you can improve your own game and get a great workout while you are at it.
1. Leaping Left Hook
It is no secret Tyson was a pure boxer, full of explosive energy. It’s what kept him in charge of the ring. Jumping into his punches gave Tyson tons of force behind every strike. A good example of his uniquely quick moves was his Leaping Left Hook.
The Leaping Left Hook was a bunch of small movements combined into one, giving Tyson the agility and power he needed to get close to his opponent quickly. As he steps forward to start his hook, he shifts all his weight to the left foot, bending his knee and springing into his punch.
Being good with his footwork made this move even more devastating to the person receiving it. Finding a position to land this punch just right wasn’t easy for everyone to pull off, even though Tyson made it look that way.
Tyson loved the element of surprise. He worked hard to find ways to position himself where the opponent couldn’t see what he was up to until it was too late, giving him a chance to take advantage of the opponent’s blind spot.
In the Peek-A-Boo move, Tyson dodged a punch by ducking under it then quickly took his shot. From coming up from under the other fighter’s swings, he gets a lot of momentum built for his spring upwards, striking hard and fast.
Although this was a popular move used by many boxers, it almost seemed like it was made specifically for Tyson himself. He used this move in ways other fighters couldn’t, making it his own and helping him achieve greatness.
Tyson was usually the shorter boxer in the ring while he was competing. However, he never let that be a downfall. He used this to his advantage and paired it with his extreme speed, giving him the ability to attack fast and move quicker than most of the opponents he went up against.
The speed of a punch helps with accuracy. A fast punch is more likely to hit its target. The better of a connection you make, the harder the strike will be.
4. Power Packed Punches
Every fighter goes into the ring with the intention of a KO in the first few minutes. Because that is not as easy as one would hope, the next best thing is hard and fast body shots. Because of Tyson’s size, he made it a point to provide the most power-packed punches he could muster up and slam each one right into his opponent’s chest, stomach, and ribs.
Tyson is known to throw such hard punches he has broken quite a few ribs, and fighters who tower him have said his punches are like no other. They would feel pain for days after a match in any place he had connected.
5. Slips and Ducks
The most important defense in boxing is having the agility to move your head out of the way of punches as quickly as possible. Mike Tyson had these fast moves down to a T, and with that, he was able to duck, slip, and dodge his way out of being hit too often.
Maintaining the ability to keep yourself from getting hit at any time is just as important as having a great strategy and forceful punch. Tyson would keep his body low to the ground and his head and chest always moving.
Tyson knew just how to pivot and stay centered and balanced while moving his feet. Being able to do this gave him the chance to quickly duck a thrown punch and throw a counter punch faster than his opponent could come back.
6. Knock Out Jabs
A jab is usually a quick punch to stun your opponent upon contact to give you a chance to implement a harder hit. Tyson’s jabs were his secret weapon. He packed so much power into his jabs that they would often knock the opposing fighter out of contact.
Tyson’s jab was a power punch. He would use this to slam his opponent and then follow up with another hard-hit if needed. His jabs were well-timed and would set his opponents up for a combo that would knock them right to the mat.
7. Fighting Down Low
Not letting his stature hold him back, Mike Tyson used his lack of height to his advantage while in the ring. He would stay low, fighting with his knees slightly bent, making the taller fighters have to reach for him to get in a good hit. This position was hard for the other boxers because they could not get a good angle to punch. This move gave Tyson the opportunity to spring up, the power coming from his legs, and knock his opponent out.
8. Constant Movement
Mike Tyson knew that fighting straight forward was expected of boxers and would in turn give away where a punch was coming from before it was even thrown. That’s why he would fight from all different angles, outsmarting his competition and finding his opening to get in a good hit. Not knowing where the strike would be coming from gave Tyson the ability to attack his opponents without them expecting it. Tyson never settled for the okay hit, all of his punches were planned and deliberate, packed with a powerful punch.
What Made Mike Tyson Such a Great Fighter
With such amazing stats, Tyson has earned his right to be called a legend in the boxing world. Winning a total of 50 fights and only losing 6 in his entire career. Out of the 50 wins, 44 of them ended in a knockout, giving Mike Tyson a great record and a great goal to reach for.
With that said, Tyson was blessed with great genetics, making him incredibly fast and extremely strong. But he worked very hard to master his skills and utilize his potential. Mike Tyson was dedicated to training and knowing everything there was to learn about boxing. He not only learned how to box, but he understood the reason for each move and the technical side of how to make the most of every position.
Tyson was a great fighter, there is no denying that; however, without great trainers with good techniques, this infamous boxer may never have made it to where he is sitting today.
Cus D’Amato: Mike Tyson was adopted by Cus when he was little. Cus trained Tyson teaching him how to channel his energy and power through his punches and moves and teaching him his famous peek-a-boo style of fighting and slipping.
Kevin Rooney: Kevin Rooney was a former boxer turned trainer later in life. He trained Mike Tyson and was present for many of Tyson’s wins. People say Kevin Rooney knew Tyson’s style better than anyone and was able to work with him differently than other boxers.
Holding the title of World Heavy Weight Champion for three years in a row and still holding the record as the youngest heavyweight champ ever, Tyson is looked at for every inspiring boxer who wants to know the secrets to greatness. Hard work, dedication, and perseverance all played a big part in who Mike Tyson was. Working on these eight signature moves can you improve your boxing technique and improve your punching technique.