Top 10 Biggest Heavyweight Punchers of all Time.


By Abbas Dadhiwala

Every boxing fan wants a knockout in every fight they watch. A knockout in boxing can be thrilling. The buster Douglas knockout of Tyson, the Ali knockout of Liston and Foreman these are the moments that are remembered. This list analyzes the history of boxing in search of the best knockout puncher of all time.


1. Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson’s emerged onto the scene under the tutelage of Cus D’Amato. In the 1980’s Mike Tyson was the dominant force in the heavyweight division. He is only the heavyweight I can remember who actually used to intimidate his opponents. A short heavyweight Iron Mike used to use his peek-a-boo style to shuffle into position and then unleash a barrage of hook and uppercuts and with such devastating force. The demolition of Bruno, Bruce Seldon, Marvis Frazier were a combination of intimidation and sheer power. Tyson could throw punches in bunches and overwhelm his opponents to submission. Sugar Ray Leonard once said after one of Tyson’s victories “He was so destructive he should be locked up.” The hardest punching heavyweight boxing has ever had.



2. George Foreman

George Foreman was a big heavyweight. He had power in both fists and used to come with big round hooks, although Ali tamed him in the jungle. George could bang with any heavyweight. His destruction Of Frazier in 2 rounds was Foreman at his best. Frazier ducking and diving straight into the big looping shots from Foreman, and Frazier was down 6 times in 2 rounds before the fight was stopped. Foreman didn’t have speed but he had power and lots of it. I can remember reading somewhere that when Foreman hit in the gym, it was like a cannon being fired. When he beat Michael Moorer for the world title at 44 years of age it was a single shot through the middle that laid waste to Moorer.



3. Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey was one of the most exciting heavyweight champions in history. Dempsey has one of the best knockout records in history with an unparalleled winning streak of 32-0 with 28 knockouts, including 17 of them in the first round! When he beat Jess Willard for the title, it was his speed and punching power that laid waste to the big man. Dempsey relied a lot on his speed to get inside and then unleash a barrage of shots. His punching power was under rated by his opponents but the 18 second demolition of red Fulton showed his power. Sneaks in ahead of Joe Louis at number 3 on the list.



4. Joe Louis

The Brown bomber was a devastating heavyweight. Dynamite in both fists, his record of 25 defences showed his class. He would destroy any boxer who came in front of him. His signature punch was a left jab and hook which would put most boxers to sleep. He would hurt his opponents, and then finished them in style.



5. Sonny Liston

Liston was a great boxing champion, encompassed by his victories over Floyd Patterson. There were no tippy tappy punches from Liston, or trying to work his opponent out in the first few rounds. As soon as the bell rang Liston used to pounce and start throwing bombs. Liston was just around 6 feet tall, but he had a long reach, and used to club boxers with his big looping shots. A destructive boxer and a champion worthy of holding the heavyweight title. Yes Ali beating him convincingly is a blemish on his record, but to lose to the greatest boxer that ever lived is no shame at all.



6. Gerry Cooney

Gerry Cooney had truly ferocious punching power. He used to stomp opponents in the face with a strong stiff jab and came in with his shots behind that punch, his lefts to the body were crunching blows that could destroy any boxer. The beatings of Ron Lyle and Ken Norton showed the power Cooney truly possessed.



7. Earnie Shavers

Although Shavers known as the Black Destroyer lost most of his big fights, the stunning KO of Ken Norton in round 2 of their fight showed just how powerful his punches were. Larry Holmes was knocked down in their title fight, but got up off the canvas to stop Shavers in round 11. After the fight Holmes stated that Shavers was the hardest puncher he had ever faced. This view was echoed by Ken Norton, Ron Lyle and the greatest Muhammad Ali. Shavers sparred with Stallone whilst training for Rocky 3 and delivered a crunching liver shot to Stallone, which had him rolling on the floor in agony. Sly later went to the men’s room and threw up. The only reason Shavers is at 7 in the list is he never hit any of his shots in the big fights bar the Norton fight.



8. Rocky Marciano

It’s hard for me to leave out Marciano with 43 KOs in 49 successive wins, only Mayweather has matched the wins that Marciano accumulated. Rocky Marciano destroyed Jersey Joe Walcott with an amazing one punch knockout. Had it not been for that stoppage Marciano would have lost as he was behind on the scorecards. His huge right hand was the main weapon in the arsenal of Marciano and his 43 K.O’s show Marciano’s punching power.



9. David Tua

David Tua was never a world champion but the Samoan was a knockout specialist. Stunning first round victories over John Ruiz and Michael Moorer show the power that the small Tua possessed. He knocked out Hasim Rahman in round 10 of their fight by TKO. He remains a hugely popular figure with boxing fans across the globe, Videos of his knockouts of Moorer and Ruiz are a great watch on YouTube and show his huge punching power.



10. Wladimir Klitschko

Dr Steelhammer is a unified Heavyweight boxing champion, yes the division is poor, but Waldimir Klitschko is the current king. He has a glass jaw Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster and Ross Puritty showed us this, with sensational victories over Wlad. But Wladimir Klitschko punching power is up there with the best. A stomping jab that rivals Larry Holmes jab as the best jab in the history of heavyweight boxing. The sweeping hooks and right crosses could stun or put down any heavyweight. Klitschko doesn’t jump in and fights from long range, and takes less risks but his power is immense.



Notable mentions Ron Lyle, Lennox Lewis, Joe Frazier and Max Baer