It’s one of the most discussed and contended lists you could consider within the sport of Boxing, with decades and thousands of worthy fighters to trawl through, we thought we would list out what our top 10 pound for pound most dangerous fighters are in the history of Boxing.
When assembling this top 10 we must look both to the past and present to review just how aggressive, powerful and feared a fighter was.
Now, sit back, have a read and let us know your thoughts at the end and remember this is a list for the MOST DANGEROUS – Not a typical P4P of the greats!
#1 – Mike Tyson
Standing at 5 foot 10, Tyson was often up against fighters that would tower above him, seemingly placing him at a disadvantage. Rather than consider this a weakness, Tyson used his height to launch a barrage of unstoppable punches with unparalleled speed to deconstruct his opponents…starting with their chin.
Of Tyson’s first 28 opponents…26 were stopped by KO or TKO.
Aged only 20, Tyson was presented a chance at the World Heavyweight Title and the bout saw Tyson tear Trevor Berbick apart piece-by-piece to claim it. If this didn’t instill the fear of god into Tyson’s next opponents…nothing else could.
#2 – Edwin Valero
The story behind this fighter is both awe-inspiring and concerning. Holding the WBA Super Featherweight title from 2006 to 2008, the WBC Lightweight title from 2009 to 2010, Edwin Valero was a famed southpaw fighter.
Valero fought his opponents in the ring with a fighting style of pure aggression and tremendous punching power to deliver the knockouts. Valero is the only titleholder to win every fight with a knockout in his career under the 30-year history of the WBC.
Unfortunately for his career, Valero was incarcerated in 2010 for suspicion of killing his wife. In 2010 he committed suicide during incarceration, but still holds the only career-long 100% knockout to win ratio in WBC history.
#3 – George Foreman
George Foreman was never known for significant skill in the ring nor dazzling technique. Where Foreman came into his element was when he was challenged in the ring to display his strength…
Standing at 6 foot 4, his massive height alongside a weigh-in of over 100 kilos was enough to fear; mix that in with a punch that was felt even when blocked and you get a monster. Foreman’s untamed power and long reach led him down a path of 40 wins of which 37 were KOs before meeting Muhammad Ali.
Having his title stripped by Ali, Foreman came back aged 45 to knock out Michael Moorer and become the oldest ever Heavyweight Champion.
#4 – Deontay Wilder
Deontay Wilder currently holds a record of 42 wins of which 41 were knockouts!
Starting his boxing career in October 2005, Wilder started slow and built up his momentum as he took both the US Championships and the National Golden Gloves in 2007 weighing in at 201lbs and standing at 6 foot 7!
Wilder claimed the WBC Heavyweight title in 2015 from Bermane Stiverne but lost it this year to Tyson Fury in their second encounter in the ring. With his trilogy fight with Fury coming up – where George Foreman insists Wilder will ‘easily’ win – he has the chance to claim back what he lost.
#5 – Roberto Duran
Roberto Duran was considered to be one of the greatest Lightweight fighters of all time and held stories to his name so hilarious and inconceivable that you’ll never forget him once told.
Professionally remarkable, born a natural fighter and nicknamed ‘Hands of Stone’; Duran once won a bottle of whiskey for a bet by knocking out a horse. Yes…that’s right…a horse. You read correctly. No need for the long face about it.
Duran was a very fast and courageous fighter that tore his skill through the weight classes up to Super Middleweight where he waged wars on many unsuspecting fighters that underestimated the sheer power of his punches.
#6 – Earnie Shavers
Raised on a farm isn’t just a catchphrase for Earnie Shavers.
Years of hard work and farm-tending forged the titan that was Earnie Shavers. His hand was powerful and his back was strong from years of chopping wood and finally, in the ring he had the opportunity to demonstrate that strength.
Charting his boxing career aged 22, he held an amateur record of 20 wins to 6 losses, but don’t let the numbers deceive you. Over time Shaver’s ‘earned’ his title as one of the most devastating punchers to date with the legend himself, Muhammad Ali, stating that a punch from Shaver’s shook Ali’s kinfolk back in Africa with the sheer impact!
Even Joe Frazier refused to fight Shavers due to utter fear of the power of his punch!
Fear the reaper took on a whole new meaning with Shavers!
#7 – Rocky Marciano
Winning all 49 fights of his career, Rocky Marciano stands as the only heavyweight champion in time to retire without a single loss to his record!
Likened to the ‘Rocky Balboa’ for his determination, will-power, and heart, Marciano was a hard-hitting champion fighter that proved himself time and again throughout his 8-year boxing career – 4 of which he held the World Heavyweight Champion title.
Marciano defended his title six times, in the lists for greatest boxers of all time and famed for having one of the most exceptionally durable chin’s; Marciano’s perseverance endured his way into our top 10.
#8 – Julian Jackson
Born of the Virgin Islands nicknamed ‘The Hawk’ – he is widely regarded as one of the pound for pound hardest punchers in Boxing history.
Competing between 1981 and 1998, Julian Jackson was a three-time world champion having held his most recent WBC Middleweight Title between the years 1990-1995 and the WBA Super Welterweight Title between 1987-1990.
A clear powerhouse in the boxing ring, Jackson was regarded as, pound-4-pound, one of the hardest-hitting punchers in all of boxing history holding a knockout ratio of 89%! Even The Ring Magazine rated him in 25th place in the “100 Greatest Punchers”!
If you have a glass jaw…better stay away from Jackson!
#9 – Sonny Liston
One of the heaviest punching heavyweight fighters in the late 1950s and ’60s, Sonny Liston was renowned for his intimidating look and prison sentencing after run-ins with the law.
Liston is a well-known boxer whose appearance would often be enough to knock a man dead in the ring before he’d even hit them. Pair this with his rhino-like durability and the stopping power of his punch and you get a terrifying creature in the ring.
Liston was feared by the media and others with his short temper that only worsened with each round in the ring. Rather than weaken with each hit taken, Liston’s onslaught of punches and temper grew more fearsome as his opponents punches connected.
This was one bull you wouldn’t want to enrage.
#10 – Aaron Pryor
Famed for his trademark pose where he aimed his glove directly at his opponent just before the bell in the first round, Aaron Pryor was a fighter not to be underestimated.
Pryor brought a combination of tenacity, power, speed, and energy that would terrify his opponents. Considered one of the finest Light Welterweights in history, Pryor was voted by the Associated Press in 1999 as ‘the world’s best Light Welterweight of the 20th century’.
Beaten only once in 1987 by Bobby Joe Young, Pryor held a record of 39 wins to 1 loss of which 35 were knockouts!
When he set his sights on a fighter and pointed that glove towards them…it was already over.
As this list only portrays our Top 10, we wish to make a few special mentions for fighters that didn’t quite make the cut. The competition was just too strong!
These are, in no particular order:
Sam Langford (The Boston Bonecrusher)
Nigel Benn (The Dark Destroyer)
Naoya Inoue (The Monster)
Carlos Monzon (The Escopeta)
Gennadiy Golovkin (Triple G)
While we are confident we have included most of the most feared fighters ever to grace the planet we know that not everyone would agree or may even think we have missed someone out… have your say and comment any suggestions below.