More Skills from the Hitman
Thomas Hearns was one quarter of the four kings and one of the most exciting and biggest names in boxing. Especially so during the 80’s when the likes of Hearns, Hagler, Leonard and Duran were all fighting each other. Hearns may have been known more for his jab and knock out power but he also possessed some excellent skills, hailing from perhaps the most famous boxing gym of them all – Kronk.
The Slip and Counter
In this video I take a look at how Hearns used the slip and counter. The slip and counter is a technique where you slip to the outside of the opponents jab and counter back with your right cross.
In this fight with Dennis Andries at Light Heavyweight, Andries was often throwing single jabs whilst stepping to the left. This meant he was stepping into the line of Hearns famed right hand.
As the rounds went by, Andries continued throwing single jabs whilst stepping to his left but now he was also bringing that jabbing hand back low, this creates an opening for Hearns to start using his right cross as a counter to the low returning jab. Now in the early going when attempting the slip and counter, Hearns wasn’t getting his timing right and he later got caught himself off his slip and counter by Andries own right hand and this was because after throwing the slip and counter Hearns himself dropped his hands, leaving him open to the counter.
Hearns learns from this and when he catches Andries again with the slip and counter, he immediately uses his left as a stiff arm to block against any potential counter punch. We can also see later in the fight that Hearns uses a jab feint to draw a jab from Dennis Andries – when the jab comes Hearns is already in position to land his counter right as Andries was still stepping to the left off the jab. Shortly after Hearns forces a knockdown with the same slip and counter move.
After the knockdown Hearns again shows sharp ring IQ, knowing Andries was knocked down by the right and will be wary of the right hand from Hearns, The Hitman will now feint his right hand and land a left hook to the body which leads to another knockdown.
The slip and counter is an effective move when it is properly pulled off as you are countering the jab with a power punch and if you can take away the opponents jab then the battle is already half won. The risk with this move though is that if the opponent follows up the jab with a cross then you might slip the jab but you could end up moving into their cross and theirs will land before yours. A couple of things to keep in mind when attempting this move – roll off your right hand and keep your head off centre line when throwing your counter right. I would also add that only attempt this move when you are absolutely sure of your opponents patterns.