Today's post is one that has moved boxing enthusiasts into a spirited debate every single time. One of such a subjective nature, that I feel we will never draw a concrete conclusion from it.
Through this article, I will formulate my list of the hardest hitters who have entered the ring.
Don't worry, we will go way back and analyze.
The following are in no particular order.
A legend of the game. Arguably the most augmented heavyweight of his era. Ever since he became the youngest heavyweight champion at 20 by dominating Trevor Berbick, the sky has been the limit.
His deadly right hand and frantic head movements(similar to Frazier) have tumbled the greats of his era. I would go so far as saying that a prime Mike Tyson could beat an in-form Tyson Fury with ease.
Boasting a stellar 50 wins of which 44 were knockouts, Mike was killing the competition. However, due to falling into the wrong money-minded management, he bid adieu to his glory.
This, however, isn't a dampener to the precedent that he has set. A living legend whose mere presence sent shivers down the spines of the most prolific opponents.
" He is the meanest fighter that ever lived. No one is more intimidating than Sonny Liston. Not even myself!" -Mike Tyson
"He was the only man to ever stand up to me. No one has ever stood up to me. The only man to make me back up consistently. No doubt. The scariest person I have met in the ring. Hands Down! -George Foreman
Such was the impact of Sonny Liston. Liston was ex-mafia and had seen the inside of a cell.
His toughness could have been felt in the form of an aura.
An incredibly hard puncher, Sonny's bouts were nothing short of explosive.
Sporting an exemplary 54 wins out of 58 fights, his punching prowess almost never hit a snag. With 39 of those wins coming in the way of knockout, his opponents are no strangers to the canvas.
This boxer spent the majority of his career being the underdog. But for the greater part, he proved all the critics wrong.
Within a short span of 3 years, he had mounted up 37 victories without a loss. In the championship bout against Joe Frazier, he stood against the 4:1 odds and dismantled Smokin' Joe in 2 rounds. Not only that, but he also dropped Frazier 6 times in the short span of those two rounds.
He made history by becoming the oldest heavyweight champion ever when he returned from retirement to beat Michael Moorer at the astonishing age of 44. That iconic punch he delivered with such ease on Moorer's body was a sight to see.
By the early 1980s, Earnie Shavers' punching power was so legendary that he was able to parlay it into a part-time gig in professional wrestling, serving as a guest referee and ringside enforcer. Not only were 68 of Shaver's' 74 victories by stoppage, but also, 33 of them came in the first two rounds.
Shaver's' mystique is enhanced by having competed in the division's golden age. Like Tua, certain flaws in his game prevented him from reaching championship status, yet his power made him a threat to nearly anybody who got in the ring with him.
Both Muhammad Ali and Ron Lyle have repeatedly credited Shaver's as the hardest puncher they ever faced, even ahead of Foreman. Like many hard-punching heavyweights from the past, he retains a definite cult appeal among fans to this day.
The bill of achievements cannot be compiled and consolidated for this boxing visionaries. Marciano is the only contender on this list who has never tasted defeat.
He successfully paraded through 49 bouts and came out victorious in each of them. 43 were knockouts.
But there is one factor that really sets him apart from the competition. He fought every fight like it was his last. He gave it his all. And by 'all', I mean EVERYTHING.
It was this 'do-or-die' attitude with which he manhandled several respected fighters of his time. He ruined careers and even broke bones in the ring.
13 opponents of Rocky Marciano have never set foot in the ring again after facing him. He has literally pushed a good chunk of his opponents into retirement.
Well, that concludes my list for the top hitters. These respected boxers really do pack a punch.