Wilder, Tyson, Joshua: Who is the hardest hitting heavyweight boxer in history?

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It is often a heated debate – who is the most powerful heavyweight of all time?

Some will argue Mike Tyson, whilst others state Deontay Wilder has arguably the best right hand ever seen in the business.

LFSports have used the stats of all heavyweight fighters and come up with a list of 10 most powerful punchers, which was published by WBC.

The list goes as follows, and it includes an omission for Tyson Fury... who has responded in classic Fury fashion.

10. Riddick Bowe

Six foot five inches American heavyweight Bowe famously knocked out Evander Holyfield in the 11th round of their 1992 fight to claim the undisputed heavyweight title. The 10th round of the fight was named ‘Round of the Year’ by Ring Magazine, and was claimed to be one of the greatest ever. Bowe lost the rematch the following year, having already given it up, but did claim the WBO heavyweight title in 1995 with a win over Herbie Hide. 

9. Lennox Lewis

Lewis claimed the WBC title from Bowe in 1992 and held it for a further two years before winning it back in 1997. He became undisputed heavyweight champion in 1999 when he defeated Holyfield in the second of their two fights, and famously knocked out Mike Tyson in round eight of their highly-anticipated 2002 fight.

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8. Joe Frazier

Best known for being the first boxer to defeat Muhammad Ali, Frazier became undisputed heavyweight champion in 1970. He would hold that title for three years, with the win over Ali coming during this time, before losing to George Foreman in 1973. He would face off against Ali two more times before his first retirement in 1976, including the ‘Thrilla in Manila’, which Ali won by stoppage.

7. Herbie Hide

Born in Nigeria, Herbie Hide moved to Britain at a young age and quickly rose through the heavyweight ranks. He won the WBO heavyweight title aged just 22 in 1994 and defended it for a year, losing his first career fight to Riddick Bowe. He won the vacant title back in 1997, before losing out to Vitali Klitschko in 1999. His later career saw him hold the WBC international cruiserweight title.

6. Wladimir Klitschko

One half of the Klitschko brothers that have dominated heavyweight boxing over the course of this century, the younger Wladimir first won the WBO heavyweight title in 2000 with a win over Chris Byrd. He was awarded The Ring title in 2009, and defeated David Haye in 2011 to claim the WBA heavyweight crown. His career would end with defeats to Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, having lost his five belts to Fury in the first fight.

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5. George Foreman

Foreman was the first man to defeat Joe Frazier in 1973, and in doing so became the world heavyweight champion for the first time. His own first defeat came against Muhammad Ali in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ matchup, and he retired three years later in 1977. However, Foreman made a surprise comeback at the age of 45 in 1994 and won the unified WBA, IBF and lineal titles, becoming the oldest living heavyweight champion in boxing history.

4. Anthony Joshua

One of the dominant fighters of the current heavyweight era, Joshua made his name by winning a gold medal for Great Britain in the 2012 London Olympics. He defeated Charles Martin to win the IBF heavyweight crown in 2016, before defeating Wladimir Klitschko the following year in a unification bout for the WBA (super) title. He has also recorded wins over Alexander Povetkin and Joseph Parker, losing for the first time in professional boxing against Andy Ruiz Jr. last year.

3. Mike Tyson

The recent announcement that ‘Iron Mike’ is exploring a comeback to boxing has brought some famous memories of his career back into focus. Tyson has won the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and defended them for nine years. He lost to Buster Douglas in 1991, before spending three years in prison. He regained the WBC and WBA titles on his comeback in 1996, before losing the WBC portion to Evander Holyfield. After losing to Lennox Lewis in a title fight in 2002, he retired.

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2. Vitali Klitschko

Klitschko’s stats undoubtedly make him deserving of a high spot on this list. He is a three-time heavyweight champion, has a combined world championship reign of 2,735 days and, including brother Wladimir’s reigns, has recorded a total of 40 heavyweight champion titles. He defended his title at the age of 40, and retired in 2013 whilst an active WBC heavyweight champion.

1. Deontay Wilder

Wilder arguably has the best right hand ever seen in the business, having knocked out every opponent he has defeated. He held the WBC heavyweight title for five years until defeat to Tyson Fury, which was his first loss in 43 fights. He has also recorded wins over Luis Ortiz, Dominic Breazeale and Audley Harrison.

Fury's reaction...

Speaking of Fury, the current WBC, lineal and The Ring champion quickly reacted to his omission from the top 10.

In a reply to the post on Instagram, Fury wrote: “The funny thing is me mr feather duster has beaten 2 of the biggest punchers in history,” followed by a laughing emoji, and the words “soon the be 3 of them,” in reference to an expected upcoming fight against Anthony Joshua.

Fury defeated Klitschko in Dusseldorf in 2015 to claim the heavyweight titles, before winning the WBC title in a win over Wilder earlier this year.

A fight against Joshua has yet to be confirmed, but it is clear that two of the world’s top heavyweights are keen to face off against each other.

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