Peekaboo Boxing Style

Peekaboo Boxing Style

One of the most popular boxing styles among boxing fans is the peekaboo boxing style. The style became an instant favorite among fans after they watched Tyson decimate his opponents using the peekaboo.

Here is everything you need to know about the peekaboo boxing style. Check out the history of the style, famous fighters who used it, and tips for using it below.

What is the Peekaboo Boxing Style?

The peekaboo boxing stance is a fighting style using boxing, which was made popular by “Iron” Mike Tyson. It’s a fighting style used in boxing, which features a low-crouched stance with tight guards against a boxer’s head.

It leaves a fighter defensively protected while also giving them the potential to land powerful punches. The style is great for shorter, stocky fighters to get in on their opponent and land potential knockout blows.

The History of the Peekaboo Boxing Style 

The person credited with coming up with the peekaboo boxing style is the legendary trainer Cus D’Amato. He took the basis for the new boxing style from his favorite fighter, Maxey Rosenbloom. 

Maxey was a highly respected defensive fighter who kept a low stance with his hands held high. Unfortunately, many boxing critics during the era thought Rosenbloom’s style was boring and lacked aggression. 

Cus tweaked the style to make it more aggressive while keeping its defensive elements intact. The purpose of the stance was simple: move your head to avoid punches and land powerful counters.

Many boxing critics during this time laughed at the style and jokingly called it the “peekaboo boxing style.” They jokingly called the style peekaboo because the guards looked similar to someone playing peekaboo with a baby.

D’Amato soon made these critics eat their words and proved the effectiveness of the peekaboo style.

The first time boxing fans saw the true power of the style was Cus’ fighter Floyd Patterson. Floyd was one of the greatest power punchers in the history of boxing, who used the peekaboo style.

Patterson the heavyweight title twice and cemented his legacy as an all-time great. Many other fighters under D’Amato used the style, which included Jose Torres and Buster Mathis.

Decades later, boxing fans would see the true power of the peekaboo boxing style. The person credited with reviving and popularizing the style of was the legend “Iron” Mike Tyson.

For almost two decades, Mike was the most feared fighter on the planet. Using the peekaboo style to evade punches and decimate his opponent’s

Tyson’s success using the peekaboo boxing style made it a popular style among young boxing practitioners. It is now a more widely taught fighting style, which many stocky power punchers use.

Peekaboo Boxing Style in Ring

How to Fight in the Peekaboo Fighting Style

The peekaboo boxing style is effective, but a fighter must dedicate months(even years) of training to learn it. Let’s go over the main points of this boxing style.

Guard Placement

The first feature you’ll notice about the peekaboo style is the hand placement. In this stance, your guards are held right under your eyes. Holding your hands up like this leaves your chin and nose fully protected.

Low Crouch

Another trait that differs the peekaboo style from other boxing stances is the low crouch. In this stance, a fighter has a more exaggerated crouch than traditional stances.

The point of the peekaboo’s low crouch is to take away potential punching targets. This low stance and high guards can make a boxer feel more protected.

Square Stance

Fighters who use the peekaboo stance stand squarer than traditional boxing stances. Both feet are pointed forward, facing the opponent.

Forward Movement

The peekaboo boxing stance is defensive while also being offensive. Fighters who use the stance constantly move forward and never backward to give constant pressure.

Head Movement

One of the most important features of the peekaboo is the constant head movement. It is a counter-punching style involving a fighter flow with the movement of their opponent’s punches.

Slipping punches in the peekaboo stance gives fighters perfect angles to throw powerful counters.

Peekaboo Boxing Style Guard


All attacks used in the peekaboo fighting style come from counters. You only attack once you create an opening.

Famous Fighters Who Used The Peekaboo Boxing Style

Three Cus D’Amato fighters are synonymous with the peekaboo style. Those fighters are Floyd Patterson and Mike Tyson, and Jose Torres

Floyd Patterson

Floyd Patterson was a 2x world heavyweight champion who was the first to champion to use the style. He is considered one of the most devastating power punchers in boxing history. 

Tyson took many elements of Patterson’s style to create the peekaboo style he famously used in his career.

Mike Tyson

The fighter who is synonymous with the peekaboo boxing style is boxing legend Mike Tyson. He is the fighter who popularized and revived the peekaboo style. 

Staying crouched with tight guards and constant head movement to deliver numerous highlight-reel KOs.

Mike Tyson Peekaboo Boxing Style

Jose Torres

Jose Torres was one of the best fighters that Cus D’Amato trained. During his career, the peekabo-style fighter became the lineal light heavyweight champion. Chegui Torres is considered one of his era’s best light heavyweight fighters.

The Pros & Cons of Peekaboo Boxing Style

The peekaboo boxing style has many strengths and a few weaknesses. Here are some of the pros and cons of the boxing style.

The Pros of the Peekaboo Styles 

  • Good Defense: This style protects a fighter’s body more than traditional stances. Using this stance covers more of your body and makes you feel more protected.
  • Head Movement: The constant head movement allows a fighter to evade straight and hook punches.
  • Powerful Counters: By using constant head movement allows a fighter to set up powerful counters—predominantly powerful hooks, uppercuts, and overhands.
  • Great For Smaller Fighters: As we saw in Tyson’s career, the peekaboo style gives smaller fighters an advantage against taller fighters. Using this style makes smaller fighters hard to hit while setting up powerful counters.
  • Ring Control: This style can allow a fighter to control the ring and force their opponent against the ropes.
  • Wears Opponents Out: The constant pressure of this style can exhaust an opponent and open up strikes to finish the fight.

The Cons of the Peekaboo Style 

The peekaboo boxing style is effective but has two potential flaws.

  • Predictable Patterns
  • Reliance On Forward Movement

When using the peekaboo stance, you constantly move your head from side to side. This can make a boxer elusive but also potentially create a pattern. If the opponent can pick up on the pattern, they can time you coming in and land punches.

The other potential problem with this boxing style is the reliance on forward movement. If an opponent is good at making angles and knows you’re coming forward, they will move.

When a peekaboo boxer can’t get to their opponent, they could tire out and potentially open themselves up for counters.

Important Tips to Remember When Using the Peekaboo Boxing Style

The peekaboo boxing style is highly effective, but you must remember important details when using it. Here are some tips to remember when using the peekaboo fighting style.

  • Hands Up: Your hands must always be up, right under your eyes. If your guard isn’t up, you are an easy target.
  • Stay Low: Since you’re in a semi-square stance, you must always stay low and crouched. Raisin up out of the stance will get you hit.
  • Stay Tight: If you’re going to use this stance, stay tight and always protect yourself.
  • Constant Head Movement: The key to making this style work is constant head movement. Constant head movement will allow you to evade punches while setting up counters.
  • Always Counter: The peekaboo boxing style is a counter-punch style. All of your attacks must come off of evading and blocking your opponent’s strikes.

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