Several good lessons here:
- Tyson makes great use of mixing up body and head shots in a good ratio. It's a maxim in boxing that the body sets up the head, but the inverse is true; good head punching closes and raises the opens up the body. In our case (martial artists), it also opens up the legs for kicks and sweeps.
- This fight fits the mold of the taller versus smaller fighter well until 4:34. The taller man (Gross) moves well, sliding and stepping laterally, using his jab well to keep the shorter man (Tyson) away, and covering up in close. Tyson did what was typical for him early in his career, too, stalking and moving forward, constantly using side-to-side upper body movement and keeping his body squared to be able to use both hands equally well. Tyson demonstrates perfectly that the smaller man is better inside, especially when the longer arms of the taller fighter are extended. He gets there by slipping!
- At 4:34, everything changes. Notice that Tyson is working well against a covering Gross (stuck in a corner, then on the ropes), then takes a half-step back. Gross makes the mistake then of thinking that he's got his range and unloads! Tyson then demonstrates why he was such a feared fighter in his prime - his defense! Watch him slip, bob, and roll with punches that, if they connected, would surely KO even a steel chinned fighter. Tyson's feet are wide and planted, and his weight is forward on the balls of his feet all the while, waiting... Gross did everything right - up, down, over, under, lefts, rights, overhands and uppercuts. Nothing. Nothing connected solidly. He got careless and was swinging from the upper decks.
For more information:
TDA Don't reach out - video
TDA Fight fire with water
TDA Training to Miss
TDA Why Do We Get Hit?
TDA The pain and pleasure of slipping