Boxing fans have been consistently drawn to knockout artists throughout history, but who are the most feared, hardest punchers in boxing today? Look no further cos’ Boxing Base has the complete lowdown in our Top 10 Rankings. (Be sure to revisit as rankings are regularly updated.)
Criteria: To enter our Hardest Punchers, boxers had to: 1) have at least 25 bouts on their record (i.e. a prospect with 8 wins, 8 knockouts could not feature, but, we have included an additional Top 5 for those with 20-24 and 19 & Under bouts), 2) possess a 70% or higher KO rate.
Note: The rankings are produced from a boxer’s KO percentage regardless of opposition level faced. Opponent quality is far too subjective, so, to keep things cut and dry, we’ve kept this a pure numbers game. It’s worth noting, however, that all listed fighters currently feature in Boxing Base’s Top 10 World Rankings.
Top 10 Hardest Punchers in Boxing
1. Deontay Wilder – 97.4% KO (38-0, 37 KO), US, Heavyweight
The ‘Bronze Bomber’ has left a trail of destruction in the sport’s glamour division, and is one of boxing’s most recognized hardest punchers for that very reason. Some might argue that Bermane Stiverne and Artur Szpilka are the only true tests on Deontay Wilder’s record, but it’s a near-flawless one nonetheless that speaks volumes of exceptional power.
Wilder’s latest wins include knockouts (what else?) of a surprisingly competitive Artur Szpilka last January, Chris Arreola in July, and, most recently, Gerald Washington in February. Due to a shoulder injury, Wilder’s next move is currently unknown, but it’s rumoured the 6’ 7” powerhouse could be targeting a highbrow clash with Tony Bellew or Anthony Joshua.
2. Gennady Golovkin – 89.2% KO (37-0, 33 KO), Kazakhstan, Middleweight
Our Top 10 Hardest Punchers wouldn’t be complete without Gennady Golovkin, arguably the fight game’s most feared man. In addition to frightening power, he methodically tears his opponents to pieces courtesy of elite seek-and-destroy prowess. A truly formidable boxer, indeed. Following a drumming of 22nd consecutive KO victim David Lemieux in 2015, ‘GGG’ wiped the floor with an unbeaten Dominic Wade.
Next up was another highlight reel finish, this time of Kell Brook, followed by a Unanimous Decision over Daniel Jacobs in March, with the spirited Jacobs tasting canvas. Fight fans have long been screaming for a super clash with Canelo Alvarez, and that wish will be delivered on September 16. The event, which may break PPV records, will see GGG’s WBA, WBC and IBF titles on the line. (For the record, Canelo didn’t make the cut, falling short with a 67% KO rate)
3. Miguel Berchelt – 87.5% KO (31-1, 28 KO), Mexico, Junior Lightweight
Miguel Berchelt was an unknown commodity prior to his recent enthralling battle with Francisco Vargas, but it’s now clear that Berchelt, a ferocious boxer-puncher, poses a huge threat at 130 pounds. While it’s true Berchelt is in need of more high-profile scraps to cement his status as a true division elite, he more than passed the eye test against the unbeaten, highly regarded Vargas, who was forced to surrender his WBC strap.
Berchelt, with a fan-friendly, explosive Mexican style, has been naturally geared into yet another upcoming dynamite fight, this time against Japan’s Takashi Miura. That’s a potential Fight of the Year candidate due to the potent TNT both fighters possess, with the victor set to move into position to challenge pack-leaders Vasyl Lomachenko, Jezreel Corrales and Gervonta Davis.
4. Daniel Jacobs – 85.3% KO (32-2, 29 KO), US, Middleweight
Daniel Jacobs was dubbed ‘The Miracle Man’ after beating cancer, but the New Yorker is better known for turning out lights inside the ring. Since suffering a shock defeat to Dmitry Pirog in 2010, Jacobs has bounced back with vicious intentions, scoring twelve consecutive knockout victories.
After capturing the vacant WBA Middleweight title from Jarrod Fletcher in 2014, Jacobs has successfully defended the strap against Caleb Truax, Sergio Mora twice, and most notably annihilated revered boxer-puncher Peter Quillin in 2015. Jacobs suffered a knockdown against Gennady Golovkin in March, but fought gamely in their 12-rounder before coming up short on a close decision.
5. Eduard Troyanovsky – 84.7% KO (25-1, 22 KO), Russia, Junior Welterweight
Eduard Troyanovsky is no spring chicken at 36-years-old, but you wouldn’t know it from his razor-sharp, ferocious performances. ‘The Eagle’, who flattened IBF champion Cesar Rene Cuenca in 2015 (and the following April), rarely lets an opponent off the hook. Troyanovsky notched up fifteen consecutive knockouts since June 2012, with Keita Obara literally being bombed out of the ring.
However, though Troyanovsky possesses profound power, he is far from invincible, as Julius Indongo demonstrated courtesy of a one-punch 1st round knockout in December. ‘The Eagle’ now seeks to rebuild his reputation on July 1 in a comeback outing against Michele Di Rocco.
6. Mikey Garcia – 83.3% KO (36-0, 30 KO), US, Lightweight
This highly polished disciple has been continually short-listed for a Pound for Pound slot, but, due to a lengthy spell out of the ring, has fallen short. However, with Mikey Garcia now firmly back on the scene, having recently demolished an unbeaten Dejan Zlaticanin, he enters back into discussions to be listed among today’s finest.
Prior to promotional disputes through 2014-2016, the unbeaten Garcia amassed a stellar record, with highlight victories coming against former and future champions such as Orlando Salido, Juan Manuel Lopez and Roman Martinez.
Garcia, who became a three-weight world champion after trouncing Zlaticanin in January, now climbs up to Junior Welterweight where he will meet Adrien Broner in July. With unquestionable one-punch power and top-drawer, laser-point punching, Garcia will likely be a strong favourite.
7. Richard Commey – 81.5% KO (25-2, 22 KO), Ghana, Lightweight
This Ghana-born bruiser has picked up serious attention thanks to a preference for avoiding overtime in the ring. Richard Commey hit his first stumbling block in September after losing a razor-thin Split Decision to fellow unbeaten prospect Robert Easter. But Commey, who missed his chance to seize the IBF Lightweight title, didn’t go down quietly in this toe-to-toe war.
Sustained pressure, crunching blows, plus an 8th round knockdown, kept Commey’s vicious reputation intact, earning him an immediate December comeback against respected operator Denis Shafikov. Though Commey fell short on the cards in a Split Decision, the Ghana warrior wasted no time out of the ring, putting himself back in the win column with a victory over Hedi Slimani in March.
8. Roman Gonzalez – 80.9% KO (46-1, 38 KO), Nicaragua, Junior Bantamweight
Roman Gonzalez is not only one of the most underrated boxers on the planet, he’s also one of the most powerful, effective pressure fighters. The ‘Chocolatito’ record speaks for itself, demonstrating the dynamite that often derails the senses of anyone who crosses his path. Gonzalez, an amateur game standout, scored a flawless 2nd round knockout of Edgar Sosa in 2015, followed by a 9th round knockout of Brian Viloria a few months later.
Gonzalez continued to gain recognition with western fans in 2016 by outclassing McWilliams Arroyo on another ‘GGG’ card, and furthermore by climbing up to Junior Bantamweight to outpoint titlist Carlos Cuadras. But an upset sprung in March when resilient battler Srisaket Sor Rungvisai dropped Gonzalez before bagging a gruelling Majority Decision. Calls for an immediate rematch were heard, and September 9 is fixed in the calendar.
9. Sergey Kovalev – 80.5% KO (30-2-1, 26 KO), Russia, Light Heavyweight
The ‘Krusher’ is a fitting title for the hammer-fisted Russian who contains fight-ending power in both hands. Kovalev proved his doubters wrong after manhandling the ageless wonder that is Bernard Hopkins in 2014, and has since ruthlessly dealt with Nadjib Mohammedi and Jean Pascal, the latter on two occasions.
But things haven’t been going Kovalev’s way in more recent times. Back-to-back losses to Andre Ward – via a razor-thin decision in December, and an 8th round stoppage in June – have come as sizeable setbacks. However, if no immediate rematch should come to fruition, there are plenty of big fights remaining for the ‘Krusher’ at 175 pounds.
Kovalev’s remaining top threats come in the form of boxer-punchers such as Adonis Stevenson, Eleider Alvarez, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, and perhaps Sullivan Barrera. So long as Kovalev can rebuild mentally following his two defeats to Ward, we can likely expect more fireworks from the formidable Russian.
10. David Lemieux – 80.2% KO (38-3, 33 KO), Canada, Middleweight
David Lemieux was considered the only man at 160 pounds with a chance of troubling – or even knocking out – Gennady Golovkin due to one-punch power. As we now know, it didn’t happen. But, like Golovkin, Lemieux is a born puncher, who was propelled into the public eye after conquering IBF champion Hassan N’Dam in 2015.
Lemieux may have been pounded into submission by ‘GGG’ a few months later, but this Canadian wrecking ball will remain a handful for most top Middleweights. Lemieux made a chilling comeback against Glen Tapia in 2016, with his four-fight winning streak also including a wipeout of Curtis Stevens in March.
More Hardest Punchers: 11-20
- 11. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai | 80% | 46-4-1, 39 KO | WBC | Thailand | Junior Bantamweight
- 12. Adonis Stevenson | 80% | 29-1, 24 KO | WBC | Canada | Light Heavyweight
- 13. Hugo Ruiz | 80% | 36-4, 32 KO | Mexico | Junior Featherweight
- 14. Luis Ortiz | 79% | 27-0, 23 KO | Cuba | Heavyweight
- 15. Wladimir Klitschko | 77% | 64-5, 53 KO | Kazakhstan | Heavyweight
- 16. Keith Thurman | 76% | 28-0, 22 KO | WBC, WBA | US | Welterweight
- 17. Chris Eubank Jr | 76% | 24-1, 19 KO | UK | Middleweight
- 18. Rey Vargas | 76% | 29-0, 22 KO | WBC | Mexico | Junior Featherweight
- 19. Anthony Dirrell | 75% | 30-1-1, 24 KO | US | Super Middleweight
- 20. Takashi Uchiyama | 74% | 24-2-1, 20 KO | Japan | Junior Lightweight
And a Bunch More…
- Miguel Cotto | 73% | 40-5, 33 KO | Puerto Rico | Junior Middleweight
- Tyson Fury | 72% | 25-0, 18 KO | RING | UK | Heavyweight
- Terence Crawford | 71% | 31-0, 22 KO | WBC, WBO, RING | US | Junior Welterweight
- Zolani Tete | 71% | 23-3, 19 KO | South Africa | Bantamweight
- Carlos Cuadras | 71% | 36-1-1, 27 KO | Mexico | Junior Bantamweight
Top 5 Hardest Punchers (20-24 bouts)
- 1. Jonathan Guzman | 92% | 22-1, 22 KO | Dominican Republic | Junior Featherweight
- 2. Ilunga Makubu | 86% | 19-2, 18 KO | Congo | Cruiserweight
- 3. Errol Spence Jr | 86% | 22-0, 19 KO | IBF | US | Welterweight
- 4. Oscar Valdez | 86% | 22-0, 18 KO | WBO | Mexico | Featherweight
- 5. Mairis Briedis | 82% | 22-0, 18 KO | WBC | Latvia | Cruiserweight
And a Few More…
- Joe Smith Jr | 79% | 22-1, 18 KO | US | Light Heavyweight
- Jospeh Parker | 78% | 22-0, 18 KO | WBO | New Zealand | Heavyweight
- Callum Smith | 77% | 22-0, 17 KO | UK | Super Middleweight
- Jermall Charlo | 76% | 23-0, 18 KO | IBF | US | Junior Middleweight
Top 5 Hardest Punchers (19 bouts & under)
- 1. Anthony Joshua | 100% | 19-0, 19 KO | WBA, IBF | UK | Heavyweight
- 2. Artur Beterbiev | 100% | 11-0, 11 KO | Russia | Light Heavyweight
- 3. Daigo Higa | 100% | 13-0, 13 KO | WBC | Japan | Flyweight
- 4. David Benavidez | 94% | 18-0, 17 KO | US | Super Middleweight
- 5. Gervonta Davis | 94% | 17-0, 16 KO | IBF | US | Junior Lightweight
And a Few More…
- Naoya Inoue | 85% | 12-0, 10 KO | WBO | Japan | Junior Bantamweight
- Regis Prograis | 84% | 19-0, 16 KO | US | Junior Welterweight
- Oleksandr Usyk | 83% | 12-0, 10 KO | WBO | Ukraine | Cruiserweight
- Oleksandr Gvozdyk | 83% | 12-0, 10 KO | Ukraine | Light Heavyweight
- Sergey Lipinets | 83% | 12-0, 10 KO | Russia | Junior Welterweight
- Vyacheslav Shabranskyy | 79% | 17-1, 14 KO | Ukraine | Light Heavyweight
- Carlos Canizales | 79% | 17-0-1, 14 KO | Ukraine | Light Heavyweight
- Robert Easter | 74% | 19-0, 14 KO | IBF | US | Lightweight
(Note: Rankings are accurate to the best of Boxing Base staff and compilers’ knowledge as of June 21, 2017. The next update is due on December 21, 2017, allowing for significant boxer record movement. Staff thanks BoxRec for additional information.)
So there you have it. These are the hardest punchers currently inhabiting the boxing landscape. What’s your take on the sport’s most feared athletes? Did we miss anyone out? Chime in with your opinions below.