It would be impossible to mention the name Larry Holmes and not pay homage to the man's sledgehammer left jab! I mean, for all Holmes' talents, and he had them in spades, his left jab was his signature punch. It was fast, it was hard, and it was always pumping into an opponent's face. Heck, Holmes even knocked down opponent Osvaldo Ocasio with a punishing left jab. And when Holmes launched a comeback in his 40's, his left jab was a big reason why he was so succesful: outboxing Ray Mercer, and taking Evander Holyfield the distance.
Joe Louis, aka the Brown Bomber, had a hard, thumping left jab. He wasn't as quick with it as was Mr. Larry Holmes, but Louis' jab was harder; he made a habit of busting up his opponent's faces with it. Louis was very methodical with his jab, using it like a scalpel. Many opponents said that a Joe Louis left jab was as good as, or better, than some fighters' right hands! And even as an older guy, Louis used his left jab to bust up Rocky Marciano's face a bit before succumbing to the Rock's pressure.
Sonny Liston had a lot of weapons. His immense strength, his menacing scowl, his lethal left hook - Liston used all of these to great effect. But the Liston left jab was in a class by itself. It was a very, very heavy left jab; not quite as fast as Joe Louis' or Larry Holmes' jabs, but Liston's was harder. Many people equated a Sonny Liston left jab with a two-by-four smashing through a plate glass window. And Liston's insane 84" reach meant that he could jab from a far with a lot of leverage and torque.
Whether you believe that Muhammad Ali was "the greatest" or not is entirely up to you. But, no matter how you rank the "Louisville Lip," you have to admit that the man had an awesome left jab. Who cares that he carried his left hand low and liked to paw with his jab at times. When Ali got down to business and started jabbing, he was a thing of beauty. His jab was very quick, and while not bonebreaking, it was hard enough to slice and dice many an opponent. Getting past the Ali jab wasn't easy!
"Big" George Foreman had dynamite in either hand. He scored many spectacular knockouts (in both his careers), and his punching power was legendary. But truth be told, Foreman had a very stiff left jab. He didn't rely on his jab as much as say, Larry Holmes or Joe Louis, but when George stuck the jab, his opponents felt it. It was a heavy, thudding punch; a punch that rivaled Sonny Liston's jab in terms of shock value. But Foreman didn't rely on his jab as much, which is why he's not known as being a great jabber.
Whose jab did I omit? Make your case!
You're right about Foreman's jab, very much underrated. Foreman was probably the only heavyweight that could actually knock you out with a powerful left jab, and if that staggered his opponent he'd come back with a "lights out," straight right hand that would immediately end the fight, as he did against Michael Moore to regain the Championship in his 40's. That was a beautiful, flush, straight right hand that put Moore flat on his back. He didn't even try to get up.
select one here...