An Olympic Boxer Breaks Down Mike Tyson’s Secret to Punching So Hard

Former Olympic bronze medalist and pro boxer Tony Jeffries retired undefeated in 2012. Since then—in addition to managing his Los Angeles gym, Box ‘N Burn, Jeffries now shares boxing insights on his popular YouTube channel, which includes what makes some of the best boxers in the world able to compete at such an elite level.

In the past, for instance, he’s broken down former heavyweight champ Deonte Wilder’s punching style. Now he’s back with a new video dissecting how boxing legend Mike Tyson was able to punch with so much power.

“You might have seen him when he used to move, he would do continuous slipping,” Jeffries says, demonstrating the technique. Tyson used to do that for a few reasons, he adds:

Reason #1: Keep his opponent thinking.
Obviously, standing still in the ring isn’t a winning strategy, but Tyson’s signature side-to-side, borderline-sashaying movement was more dramatic than most fighters of his era. “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,” Jeffries says.

Reason #2: Slipping punches.
Similarly, Tyson showed an otherworldly talent for making fighters miss—in a split second, he could use his reflexes to duck out of the way, or “slip” them, Jeffries adds.

Reason #3: Power transfer.
Now we get to the most critical observation. “When he was slipping, he was transferring the weight to the opposite foot,” 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 says. But if you slip to the right, you can always come back with a big right hand.

Jeffries concludes the brief clip with a brief demonstration on the bag, including one of his favorite combinations from his pro boxing days. “As you can see, maximum power in that punch,” he says. “But not as much as Mike Tyson.”

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