Iron Mike – Brains as well as Brawn
When you think of the baddest man on the planet you think knockouts and intimidation – but Iron Mike Tyson wasn’t just a ferocious puncher…at 5’10 in the heavyweight division and literally always coming up against taller and bigger opponents, Tyson had to have a few tricks up his sleeve to overcome these disadvantages. Tyson was also a student of the game, he had studied all of the old past masters of boxing which meant he was very sharp in the ring when it came to using his skills.
One of the skills he used I have already covered, which was how Mike Tyson would close the gap to overcome the height and reach disadvantage, another skill I take a look at in the video and I call this drawing the lead. Tyson would often use the touch jab or feint to get his opponent to reach, once they had reacted by countering his touch punch or feint Tyson would then turn the tables and counter the counter punch, a very smart tactic. We can see in one of the clips below in his first fight with Razor Ruddock how Tyson feinted the right hand which made Ruddock react by throwing the lead left hook counter but this only opened Ruddock up and Tyson was able to then land a shot inside to the body. Another method to using the touch jab to draw the lead was that Tyson would touch with the jab tempting his opponent to counter the touch jab, as soon as they did Tyson would slip the counter and counter in return with his right hand. This was a move Tyson used quite often, touch jab to draw the lead, slip the counter and counter back with the right hand over the top of the opponents jab.
Another method of drawing the lead was to get inside the opponent which is another form of closing the gap – by using the touch jab or a decoy jab he has no intention of landing, Tyson was inviting the counter from his opponent, once they had countered Tyson would come in behind the punch, he had now successfully closed the gap and could work the head and body on the inside with short hooks and uppercuts. Watch the video below to see Mike Tyson put these skills into action.