The legendary Thomas Hearns (61-5-1; 48 KO) was one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of the 1980s and is considered an all-time great. His skills, punching power, and athleticism enabled him to move up in weight class over the years, from welterweight to cruiserweight.
Blessed with exceptional height for a welterweight (6’2″), a broad back, and unusually long arms, Hearns, who became the first fighter in history to win world titles in four weight divisions, carried destructive punching power, even prior to and after his prime years.
Of course, The Hitman is known best for his devastating right hand, one of the most devastating weapons (pound-for-pound) in the entire history of boxing. But what often flies under the radar was the flicker jab he unleashed with his left hand.
A flicker jab is a quick, snapping punch thrown at long range, and Hearns utilized it very well to pile up points, circle out of trouble, and keep opponents at bay and off-balance.
When Thomas threw it, the punch was fast and accurate… And it hurt, forcing foes to think twice before mounting an attack.
Not a textbook punch, the flicker jab, sometimes called an up-jab or whipping jab, shouldn’t be used by novices. There’s not a lot of technique, fundamentally, required as you’re just flicking the punch out there, but it takes a skilled fighter to a) make it effective while b) minimizing counter opportunities.
This is not something beginners or intermediates are taught.
Muhammad Ali also possessed a good flicker jab.
Watch Hearns flick his left in the attached video… Ping, ping, ping.