Recently I have made a number of videos on the feint and how they were used by various fighters, for good reason too because feinting is such an essential art in boxing, I just cannot believe you can afford to box without proper use of the feint because the better the boxer you are going up against, the better your use of the skills will need to be and using the feint will help your game no end.
We do hear a lot about ‘fancy’ moves such as the pull counter, and whilst that is a great skill to learn, it is the nuances such as feinting which should be learnt and picked up first.
Thomas Hearns may have been better known for his thunderous punching power, I wrote an article in the past which looked at twelve of the best punchers in history and I had Thomas Hearns at number one because I do not know of any other boxer who was able to carry his punching power up the divisions like Hearns did. As a welterweight or light middleweight you would be hard pressed to find a harder puncher in history than Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns.
What people forget though, is that Hearns wasn’t just a big puncher fighting behind the one, two. Hearns was trained by one of the brightest minds in history, the all time great trainer Manny Steward so it should come as no surprise that he was also extremely adept at using the feint to set up those power shots, Hearns was just a supreme fighter and one of the most dangerous men to step into the ring, he could blast you out using brute force or he could outbox on the outside.
The video below features Thomas Hearns and some of the feints he used against fellow all time great Wilfred Benitez. Benitez was nicknamed ‘El Radar’ for his mastery of defence and an uncanny knack to make the punch miss right at the last moment, the youngest world champion in history was just 17 when he won the title and features in my book Forgotten Legends of the Ring. Thomas Hearns would need to draw upon all of his boxing acumen and skill to handle Benitez and that meant consistent use of using the feint as he looked to draw Benitez into his punch. Have a look at the video and see how Hearns would smartly use the feint to set up the next shot.