COMMENTARY | Nothing gets fight fans buzzing like a crushing knockout victory.
On August 9, undefeated Heavyweight Deontay Wilder put on a show and got people talking with his Round 1 KO win over former titleholder Siarhei Liakhovich. With 29 KOs in 29 wins, Wilder clearly has nasty, crushing power. But is he the hardest puncher in boxing?
Pound for pound, here are the top 15 hardest punchers in boxing today. You'll find a lot of similar records, and, of course, some fantastic nicknames as well.
1. Gennady Golovkin - 27-0, 24 KOs
Gennady "GGG" Golovkin is one of everyone's favorite fighters these days. While he always puts on an offensive tour de force, his last performance was his most impressive. Facing his best opponent to date in Matthew Macklin, he quickly overwhelmed him and then put him down for the count with a crunching body blow in Round 3. Golovkin has stopped each of his last 14 opponents.
2. Sergey Kovalev - 21-0-1, 19 KOs
The aptly named "Krusher" has been wowing television audiences with a string of quick stoppage wins, stopping all three of his last opponents -- Lionell Thompson, Gabriel Campillo and Cornelius White -- in Round 3, earning himself a title shot against Nathan Cleverly in the process. Kovalev has thunderous, thudding power, and has only been past the 6th Round twice.
3. Adonis Stevenson - 21-1, 18 KOs
"Superman" Stevenson made a splash when he stopped Chad Dawson in less than 90 seconds in their title fight in June. Another highlight-reel 1st-Round KO came against Jesus Gonzales in February 2012. After he suffered a major setback, losing by stoppage to a journeyman, the late Emanuel Steward helped to refine Stevenson's game, adding a bit of finesse to his explosive athleticism, and producing a dynamic offensive fighter.
4. Lucas Matthysse - 34-2, 32 KOs
"The Machine" generated his own headlines in May when he stopped Lamont Peterson in the 3rd Round of their highly anticipated match. That was right after his brutal two-minute annihilation of the over-matched Mike Dallas Jr. in January.
Matthysse is frightening with his pure aggression and great power. While you can't stop every guy you face, and Matthysse has improved since then, it's a minor mark against him that he couldn't get Zab Judah out of there when they fought, hurting him late but running out of time.
5. Wladimir Klitschko - 60-3, 51 KOs
It's not easy to accumulate 51 knockouts. "Dr. Steelhammer" has been sitting at the top of the Heavyweight division for what seems like an eternity. His knockout rate would be even better if he applied himself to go in for the kill, and his stoppages would also be more impressive as such. Instead, he slowly bludgeons opponents with his jab until they're ripe for the picking with his dynamite right hand.
6. Vitali Klitschko - 45-2, 41 KOs
"Dr. Ironfist" has a better knockout rate than his younger brother, but even more of his damage is done via attrition and accumulation as opposed to single-shot power. Still, you wouldn't want to be lined up in the path of one of Klitschko the Elder's bombs, now would you?
7. Deontay Wilder - 29-0, 29 KOs
Wilder has stopped every fighter he has faced, and he's only made it as far as the 4th Round on one occasion. Still, with 29 victories, only a small handful of his opponents were legitimate. Even his two biggest wins, against Audley Harrison and Liakhovich, came against Heavyweights with a track record of being knocked out.
We don't really know how that power will seem when a top world-class fighter is in the ring with him. Even the perfect 29-for-29 streak isn't enough to overcome the lack of quality wins.
8. Randall Bailey - 43-8, 37 KOs
"The Knock Out King" is the definition of a fighter who's never out of a fight. And as power is the last thing to go for an aging fighter, the 38-year-old may just decide to stick around for a bit longer and see what other young guns he can take out. Case in point, the previously undefeated Mike Jones, who seemed like he couldn't help himself from running into a jarring right hand in the championship rounds and being knocked out after dominating Bailey until that point.9. Marcos Maidana - 34-3, 31 KOs
"El Chino" loves nothing better than to lure you into a back-alley brawl, and then pummel you into submission. His power and will were the ruination of Victor Ortiz, and Josesito Lopez and Jesus Soto-Karass are amongst other opponents who have suffered the same fate. Couldn't catch up with Amir Khan until late, however, and like countryman Matthysse against Judah, ran out of time to close the show.
10. Jhonny Gonzalez - 54-8, 46 KOs
Jhonny Gonzalez is one of the active leaders for most knockouts on the resume. His power comes early and it doesn't take much to take you out, with left hooks, right hands, body shots and seemingly any number of punches in the arsenal. Only his own chin and stamina have betrayed him over the course of his career.
11. Keith Thurman - 21-0, 19 KOs
Similarly to Wilder, Thurman's lack of quality wins holds him back a bit. His toughest opponent, Jan Zaveck, made it the full 12 rounds against him. Still, "One Time" wields an impressive combination of speed and power and can turn around a fight at anytime. Just ask his last opponent, Diego Chaves, who had been winning their battle until being overpowered and put down.
12. Roman Gonzalez - 35-0, 29 KOs
The undefeated "El Chocolatito" has risen to become one of the best fighters in the game. He has dominated the lower weight classes, and even in title fights against top competition, it's rare to see the final bell against him.
13. Nonito Donaire - 31-2, 20 KOs
"The Filipino Flash" is a highlight-reel KO waiting to happen. Top opponents such as Fernando Montiel and Vic Darchinyan found themselves on the wrong end of that arrangement. Still, against larger opponents in the past few years, his knockout rate has begun to wane.
14. Kendall Holt - 28-6, 16 KOs
"Rated R" may not have the best knockout percentage out there, but when he gets you good, he gets you, particularly with his left hook. His 2011 KO against Julio Diaz was a Knockout of the Year candidate, and he has multiple early round KOs against good opposition. Almost stopped Timothy Bradley in the 1st Round of their fight but couldn't close the show.
15. Giovani Segura - 29-3, 25 KOs
Segura became a sensation when he kayoed the previously undefeated Ivan Calderon, who had been one of the longest reigning and most dominant champions in the sport. Made quicker work out of Calderon the second go-round, and has other quick stoppages against opponents such as Sonny Boy Jaro and Cesar Canchila.
Jake Emen runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com, where you can find breaking news stories, interviews, rankings and more. You can also follow Jake and ProBoxing-Fans.com on Twitter, @ProBoxingFans.
- Sports & Recreation
- Gennady Golovkin
- Deontay Wilder
- Adonis Stevenson
- Lucas Matthysse