THE uppercut is a trademark shot for ‘The Cobra’. You can throw it on the offence, the defence, on the counter, there’s different angles and different ways, if you’re fighting an orthodox or a southpaw.
You have to read what your opponent’s doing – every action causes a reaction. Like when I fought Brian Magee, every time he was coming forward to me he was looking to get his head in, quite dirty, and also he was looking for the grab, especially late on. He was reaching in and leaning over his bodyweight; you’re supposed to have centre of gravity when you box. ‘Keep your arse in the middle,’ is how [trainer] Rob [McCracken] explains it.” So Magee was vulnerable to the uppercut.
1. If your opponent’s leaning forward, let them commit. You can risk getting hit yourself but if your uppercut lands solid it will take the sting out of their blow, so it’s all about landing first. As they commit, it’s about timing it correctly. You take a tiny step – if they’re coming straight forward, you step back, but if they’re coming at you with a shot, you might have to step to the side