Also called the up jab, the screw shot in boxing is a nuanced and often overlooked punch in boxing, but it can be a game-changer in the ring when executed correctly. Setting up this punch effectively requires a blend of technique, timing, and strategy.
The screw shot is designed to penetrate an opponent’s high guard. A conventional jab is typically ineffective against opponents with high guards since it ends up hitting their arms. A screw shot is like a cross between an uppercut and a jab, and it threads through an opponent’s guard to land a powerful jab.
13 Effective Ways To Set Up The Screw Shot In Boxing
It’s crucial to understand what a screw shot is before diving into the setups. Essentially, it’s a hybrid between a jab and an uppercut, delivered with a slight twist at the end. This twist adds power and changes the angle of the punch, making it tricky for opponents to defend against.
Let’s take a look at 13 ways to set up the screw shot, a punch that, while not as powerful as an uppercut or as straightforward as a jab, can significantly disrupt your opponent’s defense and create openings for more damaging blows.
One of the best ways to set up a screw shot is through feints. Throw a couple of standard jabs to get your opponent used to a certain rhythm and defensive response. Then, when they’re expecting another jab, switch it up with a screw shot. The feint creates a moment of hesitation, which is your golden ticket to land the screw shot effectively. Feints are particularly effective at setting up screw shots when your opponent’s default is to use a high guard to block your jabs.
2) Body Language
Use your body language to mislead your opponent. You might start with a movement that suggests you’re going for a body shot but then quickly transition to a screw shot. This kind of misdirection can catch them off guard, especially if they’re over-committed to defending a particular area.
3) After A Jab
A conventional jab is an effective way to set up a screw punch. The jab doesn’t have to land – it’s more about creating a pattern. Once your opponent gets used to blocking or parrying your jabs, surprise them with a screw shot. The change in trajectory can slip through their guard.
4) Following A Cross
If you’re fighting in a conventional stance, follow up a right cross with a left screw shot. The cross will likely draw their guard up, leaving an opening for the screw shot to sneak in at an unexpected angle.
5) Step To The Side
As you throw your screw shot, take a small step to the side. This slight change in angle can make a world of difference, creating a new path for your punch to land.
Pivot on your lead foot just as you’re throwing the screw shot. This pivot adds power and again changes the angle, making it harder for your opponent to defend against the punch.
The screw shot can be an effective counter-punch. If your opponent throws a jab, slip to the outside and come back with a screw shot. Your opponent’s extended arm creates an open line for your punch to travel.
8) After A Successful Block/Parry
Referencing the video above from Tony Jeffries, you can block or parry an incoming punch and immediately respond with a screw shot. The block can momentarily disrupt your opponent’s rhythm, giving you a split second to land your shot.
9) Pattern Interruption
Establish a pattern with your punching, then abruptly break it with a screw shot. For example, if you’ve been ending combinations with hooks, throw a screw shot instead. This unpredictability keeps your opponent guessing.
10) Drawing Them In
Sometimes, taking a defensive stance and allowing your opponent to come forward can create opportunities for the screw shot. As they advance, look for openings in their guard or moments when they overextend.
11) Body Shots
Start by throwing the screw shoot focusing on the head. Get your opponent to the high guard to protect their head. Once you notice they kept their guard high to their head, immediately throw a body shot at their torso. As your opponent might tighten their guard up top. This adjustment can open up opportunities for a screw shot since that’s what it was specifically designed to do. Anything that makes your opponent use a high guard makes it easier to land a screw shot.
12) Off-Rhythm Punching
Play with the timing of your punches. Instead of maintaining a consistent rhythm, throw a screw shot at an unexpected moment – perhaps sooner or later than your opponent anticipates.
13) During Exchanges
A well-timed screw shot can be very effective in the heat of an exchange. Defenses often become less organized, creating openings when both boxers throw punches.
Mastering The Screw Shot
Some of the simple things you can do to improve your ability to land the screw shot inside the boxing ring include:
- Shadowboxing: Practice the screw shot during your shadow boxing routine. Focus on the twisting motion and visualize different scenarios where you could set it up. Shadowbox as if you were going against a real opponent to get the most out of it.
- Focus Mitts: Work with a coach or training partner on the mitts. Have them call out different combinations, including ones that end with a screw shot.
- Sparring: There’s no substitute for live practice; that’s how all boxers finetune their skills. Use sparring sessions to try out different setups for the screw shot. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t, and adjust accordingly.
Add The Screw Shot To Your Boxing Arsenal
The screw shot is one of those often-overlooked techniques that can give you an edge inside the boxing ring. It lands with more power than a standard jab and it weaves its way through your opponent’s guard.
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