Anthony Joshua, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Naoya Inoue and the top 10 pound-for-pound hardest punchers in boxing today

7 Nov

When Muhammad Ali stepped out of the ring against Earnie Shavers in 1977, the undisputed heavyweight champion seemed to be the same confident fighter who had revolutionised the sport.

But the terrifying truth is there were times in the final round of the fight at Madison Square Garden where ‘The Greatest’ was completely unconscious on his feet.

Ali was caught flush in the second round with a right overhand to the jaw which he claimed ‘shook my kinfolk back in Africa’.

Gennady Golovkin is still one of the biggest punchers in the world today

Shavers, although not necessarily a technically-gifted boxer, possessed the sort of power that scares teammates in sparring and can change fights in an instant.

To this day, boxing is filled with powerful punchers who can render far more skilled opponents helpless – regardless of their size or talent.

While The Ring Magazine have a pound-for-pound list based on a week-by-week point system judging ring skills, this list aims to focus on just pure brute force and power.

So, without further ado, scroll down to see (in this writer’s opinion) the hardest-hitting, pound-for-pound boxers in the world today.

10. ‘Saul Canelo’ Alvarez (Middleweight/Super-middleweight) – 65%

Canelo stopped Kovalev in the tenth round on Saturday night at the MGM Grand
Getty Images – Getty

While there will always be an asterisk over the Mexzican’s name, there is no denying his pure talent.

Canelo (which means cinnamon in Spanish) was banned for having traces of Clenbuterol in his system prior to his rematch with Gennady Golovkin.

In the eyes of some fans, this has tainted his legacy as badly as the meat from which he claims the traces originated.

But there is no denying his tremendous punching power and incredible ring IQ. The 29-year-old is now a four-weight world champion having jumped all the way up to 175lbs to take on reigning light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev.

Despite conceding around five inches in height, Canelo snapped Kovalev’s head back with the sort of clinical and devastating punch power fans have become accustomed to seeing.

9. Daniel Dubois (Heavyweight) – 92% KO Rate

Daniel Dubois smashed Ebeneezer Tetteh to pieces at the Royal Albert Hall
Getty Images – Getty

Dubois comes from a family of boxers, with his two younger siblings making their way into the sport. And if either of them possess anything like the power of ‘Dynamite’, opponents will be hard to find.

It was reported that, as a teenager, Dubois dropped Anthony Joshua in sparring. While Johsua has never been afraid to admit this, it raised question marks about his chin from a tender age.

However, the sort of power Dubois possesses cannot be taught and his physical strength matches his astute shot selection.

The Greenwich-born slugger stopped Nathan Gorman at the 02 Arena in the summer to claim the British belt, before adding the Commonwealth strap in September by blowing away Ebeneezer Tetteh in just a round.

8. Gervonta Davis (Super Featherweight) – 95% KO Rate

Gervonta Davis has power which belies his small frame
Getty Images – Getty

The 24-year-old known as ‘Tank’ certainly lives up to his nickname with his ferocious punching power and devastating speed.

He defended his WBA Super-Featherweight belt last month with a huge first round knockout of Hugo Ruiz – who later admitted the Baltimore-native was too strong and powerful for him.

While Davis raised some eyebrows by claiming he ‘hits harder’ than Deontay Wilder, there is no denying he certainly packs a punch.

A fight with kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa has been mentioned by mentor Floyd Mayweather Jr, but fans want to see the heavy-hitter tested against the likes of Ryan Garcia or even pound-for-pound king Vasyl Lomachenko.

7. Anthony Joshua (Heavyweight) – 91% KO Rate

Joshua will seek to regain the WBA, IBF and WBO titles from Ruiz in December
Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing UK

It seems slightly unbelievable the unified heavyweight champion would be as relatively low on this list as he is.

However, Joshua is not a one-punch knockout artist, rather his predatory instincts are quite incredible. When his opponents are hurt, the Olympic Gold medallist has shown a clinically ruthless side.

While many considered Joshua to simply be an Adonis-type poster boy, his step-up fight against Wladimir Klitschko proved he had world-class talent.

Although his performance against Andy Ruiz Jr looked laboured and devoid of confidence, expect to see the Brit to be at his ruthless best for the rematch in Saudi Arabia next month.

6. David Lemieux (Middleweight) – 77% KO Rate

The Canadian has an incredible left hook in his arsenal
Getty Images – Getty

After a series of disappointing defeats in his early years, Lemieux established himself as one of the best middleweights in the world in 2014 when he claimed his seventh consecutive knockout Gabriel Rosado.

He destroyed number one contender Hassan N’Dam by dropping him four times en route to earning a winner-takes-all fight with Gennady Golovkin in 2015.

Although the Canadian lost, his power still terrified contenders and he blitzed all comers until he was out-pointed by the slick Billy Joe Saunders.

With his career seemingly on the wane after his fourth professional loss, the 30-year-old proved he still has much to offer by completely folding Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan with a first-round knockout in 2018, considered by many to be KO of the Year.

5. Murat Gassiev (Cruiserweight) – 68% KO Rate

Gassiev could well be on his way up to heavyweight
Getty Images – Getty

After turning pro just before his 18th birthday, Gassiev moved quickly through the ranks and earned a move to Big Bear in America to train with renowned coach Abel Sanchez.

In his first serious step up against Jordan Shimmell in May 2016, a fight broadcast on Fox, the Russian dismantled his opponent with a truly spectacular knockout.

An entry into the World Boxing Super Series followed for the IBF world champion, who beat up fellow power puncher Yunier Dorticos with an emphatic finish which sent the Cuban through the ropes.

Although he was outclassed by Oleksandr Usyk in the final of the competition, Gassiev is still just 26 years old and looks set to dominate in the cruiserweight division for many years to come – especially considering Usyk in on the way up to heavyweight.

4. Gennady Golovkin (Middleweight) – 83% KO Rate

The Kazakh may have lost a spring in his step, but power is the last attribute to leave a fighter
Getty Images – Getty

From humble beginnings in his native Kazakhstan to becoming the star of HBO Boxing, Gennady Golovkin wowed audiences across the globe with his sensational power and technical ability.

After a stellar amateur career, ‘GGG’ began to wipe out anyone willing to step into the ring with the ferocious puncher.

It seems almost ludicrous that the softly-spoken and mild-mannered 37-year-old can render opponents unconscious with such consummate ease.

But Golovkin, who has never hit the canvas in his life, has incredible footwork and torque in his punches which has reportedly even sent heavyweights home from sparring camps.

3. Artur Beterbiev (Light-Heavyweight) – 100% KO Rate

Beterbiev ripped the fight from Gvozdyk in their unification fight
Getty Images – Getty

After 15 fights, Beterbiev has 15 stoppages in the professional game after more than 300 victories as an amateur and all have been truly spectacular.

Callum Johnson bravely travelled to Chicago to travel the Russian for his IBF world title, even managing to drop Beterbiev. But the 34-year-old responded in devastating fashion and the Brit wilted under the pressure in the fourth round.

His victory over Oleksandr Gvozdyk was truly spectacular, battering his unbeaten foe relentlessly and marching through his slick counter-punches to claim another stoppage from.

Beterbiev is incredibly strong for the weight class and given his age, seems unlikely to move up the weight divisions. Expect to see plenty more knockouts.

2. Deontay Wilder (Heavyweight) – 95% KO Rate

Wilder is preparing to face Luis Ortiz in a rematch from their 2018 classic
Getty Images – Getty

The ‘Bronze Bomber’ tried his hand at boxing relatively late, which would perhaps explain why he wastes no time in trying to take the head off any man who steps foot in the ring with him.

Wilder has knocked out all but one of his opponents, with Tyson Fury somehow managing to rise off the canvas like The Undertaker in their incredible fight back in December 2018.

The American apparently was close to detaching Audley Harrison’s retina from his skull during a sparring session in 2012, before Wilder beat the Brit in a professional contest a year later inside one round.

While an instant rematch with Fury now looks to be in doubt, the 33-year-old will demand the respect of whomever steps through the ropes to face him because of his sensational power.

1. Naoya Inoue (Bantamweight) – 84% KO Rate

Inoue rocked Donaire to his very core with his razor-sharp punches
AFP or licensors

Naoya Inoue may not exactly be a household name in mainstream boxing conversations, but the man nicknamed ‘Monster’ deserves recognition for possessing incredible power.

If he were from America or Europe and weighed more than 118lbs, there is every chance the Japanese superstar would be considered pound-for pound number one.

Inoue’s incredible skills and ring craft were known long before he made his World Boxing Super Series debut against Juan Carlos Payano last October. But a devastating first round finish sent genuine shock waves through the world of boxing.

The 26-year-old produced a battling display and came through some adversity against Nonito Donaire in the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight final, dropping the 36-year-old veteran to the canvas for just the third time in his professional career.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *