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“It’s not about how hard you can strike,” Rocky Balboa told his son in one of his many inspiring moments.

Of course, he was trying to teach young Robert a lesson in life because in reality, as a top boxer, it helps a lot if you can hit hard.

Esther Lin / SHOWTIME

Fury may have taken Wilder out, but the giant heavyweight champion has been knocked down twice by his American nemesis

Boxing is littered with many heavyweights – that’s one reason it attracts so many fans – so who are the most devastating punchers in its history? These ten certainly have a claim.

10. JULIAN JACKSON
W: 55 (49 KO), W: 6
Active: 1981-1998

Not an elite boxer, but “The Hawk” had two advantages in the ring: a crisp flattop hairstyle and the ability to crush you with one punch. Jackson’s right hand bomb to decimate Herol Graham – in a fight the British slickster dominated – remains the ultimate one-shot demolition of the sport.

From Mike Tyson to Deontay Wilder and George Foreman, the toughest punchers in history have graced boxing with reels featuring dazzling knockouts and these are the 10 most devastating

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Jackson had enormous power as shown by his 49 KOs

154-pound, 160-pound world champion Virgin Islander Jackson treated Terry Norris and Buster Drayton in a similar, sickening style: First-class fighters went to bed cold after tasting his raw power.

9. DEONTAY WILDER
W: 42 (41 KB), L: 1, D: 1
Active: 2008-present

As for Naoya Inoue and Gervonta Davis, only one active fighter belongs on this list. Wilder’s elastic and supernatural power is made even more amazing by the fact that despite being 6ft 7in tall, he is lean by modern heavyweight standards, but can ruin much bigger men.

He boasts a 93% KO ratio and only two enemies have come the distance yet: Bermane Stiverne (KO1 in the rematch) and Tyson Fury (who tasted the web twice). It would be even higher if he could actually box. Don’t tell him we said that.

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Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis takes on Fox Sports punching bag challenge and hits harder than heavyweight Deontay Wilder

8. TOMMY HARNESS
W: 61 (48 KB), L: 5, D: 1
Active: 1977-2006

The legendary Detroit “Hitman” is the epitome of a puncher: big, long levers, perfect technique, and just a little vulnerable himself. What’s special is the way Hearns wielded his power. He began to brutalize the welterweights, but in the end, Hearns happily stopped the cruiserweights.

Roberto Duran, a man Marvin Hagler couldn’t move, was asleep in four minutes. Still, it’s the two perfect right hands for Jose Cuevas that remain his masterpiece.

From Mike Tyson to Deontay Wilder and George Foreman, the toughest punchers in history have graced boxing with reels featuring dazzling knockouts and these are the 10 most devastating

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Hagler and Hearns, right, produced an electrifying fight in 1985, which has since been dubbed “The War”

7. MIKE TYSON
W: 50 (44 KB), L: 5
Active: 1985-2005

No one has a better dazzling knockout highlight reel than the menacing and menacing “Iron Mike”. Listed optimistically as 5ft 11in, Tyson specializes in destroying larger heavyweights with his speed, aggressiveness, footwork, and malicious combinations.

Some opponents seemed defeated before the first bell (Michael Spinks lasted 91 seconds), although it is also true that if you survived the first rounds, Tyson would become less and less effective. Pretty big “ifs”, especially when Tyson was in his devastating heyday.

From Mike Tyson to Deontay Wilder and George Foreman, the toughest punchers in history have graced boxing with reels featuring dazzling knockouts and these are the 10 most devastating

Sports Illustrated – Getty

Tyson described the feeling of inflicting physical pain as “orgasmic”

From Mike Tyson to Deontay Wilder and George Foreman, the toughest punchers in history have graced boxing with reels featuring dazzling knockouts and these are the 10 most devastating

Getty

Tyson’s aggressive power and swift feet saw him flourish in the Land of Giants

6. SADDLE OF SAND
W: 145 (104 KB), L: 16, D: 2
Active: 1944-1956

Featherweights aren’t meant to hit that hard. Saddler the puncher faced Willie Pep, the greatest defensive boxer of all time, for the world title at Madison Square Garden. The result: Saddler hammered Pep onto the canvas twice, then knocked him out in four rounds.

A lanky 5-foot-9 with a wand and vicious left hook, Saddler lost the rematch to Pep but won their iconic rivalry 3-1 and retired with more than 100 knockouts. Prince Naseem devours your heart.

5. RAZORS EARNIE
W: 74 (68 KB), L: 14, D: 1
Active: 1969-1995

“Nobody hits like razors. If someone hit harder than Shavers I would shoot him, ”heavyweight Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb said. Despite being a two-time challenger for the world title, “The Acorn” had no outstanding attributes. Except an ability to hit as hard as a born man.

From Mike Tyson to Deontay Wilder and George Foreman, the toughest punchers in history have graced boxing with reels featuring dazzling knockouts and these are the 10 most devastating

Getty Images – Getty

Shavers walks away after leaving Holmes on their backs in their 1979 revenge

From Mike Tyson to Deontay Wilder and George Foreman, the toughest punchers in history have graced boxing with reels featuring dazzling knockouts and these are the 10 most devastating

Getty Images – Getty

‘The Dark Destroyer’ connected to Ali’s chin countless times in the 13th and 14th rounds when they met in

Of his 68 career knockouts, 23 came in the first round, 46 in the first three rounds. Larry Holmes rising from Shavers’ short, straight bombshell remains one of boxing’s great recoveries – and Holmes would later swear it was the hardest he’s ever been hit.

4. JIMMY WILDE
W: 137 (98 KB), L: 4, D: 1
Active: 1911-1923

Its nickname, “The Ghost with the Hammer in His Hand”, sounds like a new Marvel movie. Apt, because Wilde’s power was superhuman. The 5-foot-2 Welshman started his career beating the snot of much bigger men in fairground boxing booths (yes, they were a thing) and would go on to win the world flyweight title.

Wilde knocked out much bigger bantamweight and featherweights with his club power, once had a 93-fight unbeaten streak and remains the gold standard for little punchers.

From Mike Tyson to Deontay Wilder and George Foreman, the toughest punchers in history have graced boxing with reels featuring dazzling knockouts and these are the 10 most devastating

Louis, right, knocked out 23 opponents in 27 title fights, including five world champions

3. JOE LOUIS
W: 66 (52 KB), L: 3
Active: 1934-1951

“Like someone stuck a light bulb in your face,” James J Braddock said of being hit by Louis. And Braddock was talking about his jab. Heavyweight King Louis, the best pure finisher in boxing history, wreaked havoc with either punch.

Max Schmeling, the first man to beat Louis, was maimed in the rematch, screaming in pain with broken bones in his back. The fight lasted just over two minutes. It was one of Louis’ 25 successful world title defenses, 22 ending at a distance. Ouch.

2. SAM LANGFORD
W: 211 (126 KB), L: 29, D: 38
Active: 1902-1925

Held a half inch above 5ft 6in, fought at 135lbs and 147lbs, but the Canadian born “Boston Bonecrusher” was a concussion puncher to heavyweight. Stocky, muscular but with unusually long arms, Langford has flattened fighters up to 50 pounds heavier than him.

The heinous racism of his day meant this great multi-weight never had the world title chances his skills deserved. But the surviving footage shows a quick, formidable and powerful puncher.

From Mike Tyson to Deontay Wilder and George Foreman, the toughest punchers in history have graced boxing with reels featuring dazzling knockouts and these are the 10 most devastating

AFP

Foreman knows all about turning the odds, knocking out Michael Moorer in 1994 to become world champion

1.GEORGE VERSUSMAN
W: 76 (68 KO), W: 5
Active: 1969-1997

The sheer, muffled, blunt trauma of Foreman’s punches led to two jaw-dropping heavyweight title changes. In 1973, Foreman knocked down undefeated great Joe Frazier six times in two rounds with a series of monster hooks and uppercuts.

Then 21 years later, Foreman’s right hand introduced another undefeated champion in Michael Moorer. The scary part? Big George, 46, didn’t even seem to put all his strength behind the punch. A power that we have never seen before or since.

Honorable mentions: Rocky Marciano, Manny Pacquiao, Sonny Liston, Archie Moore, Lennox Lewis, Jack Dempsey, Gerald McClellan, Naseem Hamed, Stanley Ketchel, Felix Trinidad

talkSPORT will bring you exclusive live radio commentary of Tyson Fury’s heavyweight trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder this Saturday night. Download the talkSPORT app to listen and follow our blog live at night for the latest updates and reactions.

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