The most powerful punchers in boxing history

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

March 25th, 2020

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a vicious knockout in the sport of boxing.

Whether it comes from one-hitter quitters or blunt-force-trauma specialists, these fighters packed a huge punch and made their mark in the sport.

Let's take a look at five of the most powerful punchers in boxing history.

Randall Bailey

Bailey was called the “Knockout King” for good reason. The former junior welterweight and welterweight champion had devastating punching power that kept him relevant for many years.

Never counted out of a fight because of his massive strength, Bailey served as a truth maker of sorts, regarding up and coming prospects, and more often than not decimated the unworthy.

Julian Jackson

“The Hawk” was the ultimate kill-or-be-killed fighter. A clean punch from Jackson was usually enough to send a man to the hospital, but his chin was as faulty as his power was unmistakable.

Jackson was a long-reigning champion at 154 and 160 pounds, with signature KO wins (including a beauty at the expense of Herol Graham) in a career that resulted in a deserved Hall of Fame induction in 2019.

David Tua

Deontay Wilder has been lauded for his punching power, but even his Sunday best wouldn’t hold a candle to David Tua. A left hook from Tua was usually a kiss of death, and standing in front of him for more than a few seconds would make even the most confident of fighters nervous.

While Tua never won a heavyweight title — he failed in his lone attempt against a supremely prepared Lennox Lewis — his legacy as a fearsome puncher will stand the test of time.

Thomas Hearns 

Not only one of the biggest punchers of all time, but also one of the greatest fighters, Hearns scored highlight-reel knockouts from welterweight all the way up to cruiserweight during his career.

From his paralyzing jab to his legendary right hand, plenty succumbed to Hearns’ power, including the iron-chinned Roberto Duran in his heyday. Not often do we see a fighter with such excellent fundamentals who can also crack, but that’s why Hearns is an all-time great.

Earnie Shavers

Muhammad Ali said after his war with Shavers that Shavers hit him so hard, his kinfolk felt it. Shavers is often credited as the hardest-hitting heavyweight in history, and he more than proved that during his campaign during the greatest era in the heavyweight division.

His merciless attack and vicious power never carried him to a world title, but the decimation he caused during his career makes him unquestionably the most powerful puncher in boxing history.