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Top 10 Hardest Punching Heavyweight Champions Ever By Knockout Ratio

Top 10 Hardest Punching Heavyweight Champions Ever By Knockout Ratio

Forget boxing's 'sweet science' - all we want heavyweights to do is to turn their foes into piles of human rubble, which is what these 10 men did best.

Some ground rules before the bell: only boxers who've owned a portion of a 'real' world title are included. No room for IBU, WBU or WTF? champions.

Also, this is based solely on heavyweight records (excluding no contests). So David Haye's career-long 81.2% KO ratio drops to 63.6%, as most of his knockouts came at cruiserweight. Not bad, but not enough to dislodge these kings.

10. Wladimir Klitschko

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76.8% (53 KOs in 69 fights)

The younger Klitschko could stop a speeding truck with either fist - but having no real dislike of trucks, he stuck to stopping rival boxers.

Frustratingly, his dodgy chin meant he often employed a safety-first, jab-and-grab style. But no doubt he really could hit.

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9. Mike Tyson

78.6% (44 KOs in 56 fights)

What? Young Iron Mike is seen by many as the most terrifying, pant-soiling destroyer in heavyweight history. How can this KO machine only be ninth?

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Well, the tail end of his career - losing to boxers who he'd have eaten alive during his prime - hurts his numbers. Plus there's some boxers above him with padded records. Hi Shannon!

8. Shannon Briggs

79.1% (53 KOs in 67 fights)

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Oh no, it's Mr "Let's go champ!" himself. Shannon the Cannon could certainly hit - but his place here owes a lot to the cannon fodder he took on.

When he faced a real elite puncher in Lennox Lewis, who spent his career at a far higher level, Briggs was battered. Also failed a PED test in 2017. Make of that what you will.

7. Charles Martin

80.6% (25 KOs in 31 fights)

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Prince Charles may "Walk this earth like a god" but his KO percentage is more about the hapless mortals he's spent his career fighting.

The brief IBF belt-holder can punch at a certain level, but the best opponent he's stopped is probably Vyacheslav Glazkov - who retired on his stool with a knee injury. Fearsome.

6. George Foreman

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84% (68 KOs in 81 fights)

Big George knocked down Joe Frazier six times in two rounds - then returned, aged 45, to casually KO heavyweight champion Michael Moorer 21 years later. Now that's power.

Frankly, even at 71 Foreman probably should register his right hand as a loaded weapon. Have we thought about just letting him punch the coronavirus until it gives up?

5. Frank Bruno

84.4% (38 KOs in 45 fights)

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A beloved British boxing hero, but honestly Bruno's power was only really ruinous to second-tier guys, as we saw when he exchanged fire with the likes of Lennox Lewis or Mike Tyson.

Built like a Greek statue, but often moved like one too.

4. Vitali Klitschko

87.2% (41 KOs in 47 fights)

Just one hard bastard. Can you believe this guy is Mayor of Kiev? Does he just hit problems until they go away?

The 6ft 7in Dr Ironfist wasn't a beautifully fluid puncher like a Tyson or even his brother, but his raw strength and concrete chin meant he wore most opponents down.

3. Anthony Joshua

87.5% (21 KOs in 24 fights)

AJ's numbers are actually slipping as he's got one stoppage in his last four fights - a sign that he's taking a more cautious approach, perhaps, as he did in the Andy Ruiz rematch.

Still, no doubt this mighty adonis can seriously whack when he lets go with the bent-arm stuff. KO of Dillian Whyte looks more impressive with every year that passes.

2. Rocky Marciano

87.8% (43 KOs in 49 fights)

Not Sylvester Stallone's big-screen Rocky - we're pretty sure his KO ratio is somehow 110% - but the 1950s heavyweight who retired with a perfect 49-0 record.

Marciano was only 5ft 10in and fairly clumsy - but his powerful right hand, nicknamed Suzie Q, is one of boxing's all-time great equalisers.

1. Deontay Wilder

93.2% (41 KOs in 44 fights)

Yes, he got bullied by Tyson Fury in February. Yes, he really did blame his 'bling Sauron' ring walk costume for the loss - but Wilder may be the most astonishing one-punch hitter in boxing history.

Old spaghetti-hoop legs can turn his rivals' legs to jelly with just a touch of his right hand, despite his relatively slender frame. Power as insane as the man himself.

Topics: Mike Tyson, Boxing News, Anthony Joshua, Boxing, Deontay Wilder, George Foreman, Wladimir Klitschko

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Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.