Big Lou Esa is a former heavyweight knockout artist, current promoter and trainer of a handful of pro and amateur boxers. Throughout his decorated career—which included being trained by the Dwaine Simpson and Angelo Dundee, working alongside Mohammad Ali, and most recently being inducted into the NJ Boxing Hall of Fame, Lou always prided himself on giving young fighters everything he had and passing along to them what was instilled in him by some of the games greats.
Going forward over the next few weeks, Lou will be sitting with me to talk about the fundamentals of the sweet science; what it takes to maximize your potential inside the ring. Last week Lou discussed the importance of the stance, and this week he will be talking about the jab.
Big Lou Esa-
The jab is by far the most important punch in your arsenal. It is both an offensive and defensive punch, setting up everything. A big mistake green fighters make with the jab is that they try to push it out rather than snapping it. Every time you throw your jab, you want to snap it, almost like you’re snapping a towel. Pushing your jab out there is only going to push your opponent; the power comes from the snap.
The jab is beneficial because it can hinder the offense of your opponent and allow you to move around the ring. Every time you step left or right, snap that jab out there. If your opponent is about to let his hands go, your jab is going to disrupt his rhythm and force him to reset.
Use your jab offensively to get inside- double jab your way in, get your combination off, and then jab your way out.
So many boxers also make the mistake of going straight backwards without jabbing. This allows your opponent to smother you and land his shots. Every time you step back snap that jab to keep the distance between you.
To enhance the effectiveness of the jab, incorporate fakes with it to get your opponents’ hand to move, and set up your power shots. Good boxers establish their jabs early in the fight. Once an opponent becomes weary of your jab, you are in control. You can use it to score points, set up big punches and dictate the fight.
It’s simple, if you don’t jab you are going to get hit.
Make sure you always keep your hands high. That way that jab will come off right from your chin, snap, and bring it right back. Again, stay loose with your hands inside the glove, and make sure you jab before anything else.
Tune in next week as we continue to focus on the fundamentals of the sweet science.