The tools a boxer decides to bring with them whenever they step inside a ring often determines their success. The flicker jab is one of the tools many of boxing’s greatest technicians often utilize many times during their fights.
The flicker jab was popularized by boxers like Thomas Hearns and you can also enjoy more success inside the ring if you add it to your arsenal.
What Is The Flicker Jab, You Ask?
The flicker jab is a variation of the basic jab that gets its name from the flicking motion your hand makes when you execute it correctly. Unlike the traditional boxing jab which is often thrown in a snapping motion and lands with considerable force, the flicker jab doesn’t pack much of a punch. It’s primarily thrown for three reasons:
- To set up more powerful punches. Flicking a jab at an opponent’s face blocks their line of sight.
- To score points on opponents.
- To prevent opponents from launching attacks. A flicker jab is an extremely fast technique that often connects first if you throw it as an opponent starts throwing a punch at you.
One cool thing about the flicker jab is that it can be thrown from multiple angles. You can fire one off from your regular fighting stance or your hip. Boxers who often utilize a Philly shell–like Thomas Hearns – often throw the technique right from their hip, which makes it a lot harder for opponents to see them coming.
10 Ways To Use The Flicker Jab In Boxing
Many of boxing’s greatest champions made the flicker jab a part of their arsenal because of its many uses inside the ring. Here are 10 ways to use the flicker jab effectively in boxing.
1) To Establish Range
To be effective inside the boxing ring, you want to understand the distance between you and your opponent before launching an attack. The flicker jab, with its extended reach, allows you to establish this range. Throw it out quickly to gauge the distance, then adjust your follow-up punches accordingly.
2) To Disrupt Your Opponent’s Rhythm
You’re in the ring, and your opponent is getting comfortable, finding their rhythm. Don’t let them. Use the flicker jab to keep them off balance. Its unpredictable and fast nature can break your opponent’s momentum, giving you the upper hand.
3) To Set Up Power Shots
The flicker jab might not be your knockout punch, but it can pave the way for one. By consistently landing or even just throwing it, you can condition your opponent to expect it. This can create openings for your cross, hook, or uppercut. Watch your opponent’s movements and defenses as you pump out your flicker jab, and, when you spot a pattern, exploit it with a power shot. A very good demonstration can be observed from the footage above of how Tyson Fury used it in his fight against Deontay Wilder, landing the hard cross following the flicker jab.
4) As Part Of Your Defense
Defense isn’t just about dodging or blocking. You can use the flicker jab defensively by throwing it as your opponent moves in, preventing them from getting too close or setting up their combinations. This can frustrate and tire them out over the rounds.
5) To Keep Pressure On Opponents
Sometimes, activity can be the key to winning rounds in boxing, especially in the eyes of the judges. The flicker jab allows you to stay active without expending too much energy. Even if it doesn’t always land, it shows you’re engaging and can sway the round in your favor.
6) To Block Your Opponent’s Vision
If you’ve ever had something swiftly waved in front of your eyes, you know it can be distracting. Use the flicker jab in the same way. Throw it in your opponent’s line of sight to momentarily blind or distract them. This split-second distraction can be all you need to land a more devastating punch.
7) To Condition And Deceive
Boxing is as much a mental game as it is physical. Use the flicker jab to condition your opponent to set them up for more powerful attacks. Your opponents might start anticipating it after you’ve thrown a few, and move in a specific way to counter or avoid your jabs. Switch it up once you recognize this and fake a flicker jab while throwing something else like a cross. Watch the above video breakdown of how Thomas Hearns was able to utilize the flicker jab to set up for his signature chopping cross.
Dominating the center of the ring gives you a strategic advantage. The flicker jab can help you maintain this position. By continually pushing your opponent back with this long, reaching punch, you can ensure you remain in control of the center of the ring.
9) To Keep Aggressive Boxers Off You
If you’re against an aggressive inside-fighter, the flicker jab can be your tool to keep them at bay. Continuously throwing it can prevent them from closing in, forcing them to fight at your preferred range. Pumping out the flicker jab also keeps your opponent focused on defending against your strikes instead of working their offense.
Boxers who use the flicker jab often like to double or triple up on it. Doubling up on the flicker jab can be an unexpected move that catches your opponent off guard. The first jab can be a range-finder or a distraction, while the second lands with considerably more force and sets up follow-up punches. By blending the flicker jab with insights from Tony Jeffries’ video, you can confidently navigate the ring, ensuring you’re not cornered when confronted by an aggressive fighter.
10) To Conserve Energy
Unlike some of the more power-driven punches in your toolkit, the flicker jab can be thrown without expending significant energy. This means you can still use it to maintain activity, defend, and set up bigger punches during the later rounds when fatigue kicks in.
In conclusion, the flicker jab isn’t just another punch; it’s a versatile tool that can enhance multiple facets of your boxing game. From defense to offense, from the opening bell to the final round, you can rely on this technique to give you an edge. Remember, boxing isn’t about how hard you hit but how smart you fight. Consider how the flicker jab can elevate your performance in the ring the next time you lace up your gloves.
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