55 wins, 49 of them by KO – 35 of them coming in three rounds or less!
The above numbers belong to the man many fans, experts and boxing historians say just might be the single hardest punching fighter in modern day history: Julian Jackson. Known as “The Hawk,” this frighteningly efficient punching master today celebrates his 60th birthday.
Born in Saint Thomas in The Virgin Islands on September 12, 1960, Jackson lit up the light-middleweight and middleweight divisions in red-hot fashion during the 1980s and 1990s. Blessed with brutal power in both hands, Jackson took out a number of good fighters during his reign of terror as a man who no fighter could afford to make a single mistake against.
Terry Norris was crushed in two rounds. In-Chul Baek was hammered to defeat inside three rounds. As was Buster Drayton. Herol Graham was out before he hit the floor when a desperate Jackson drew back with a monster of a shot that detonated on the elusive Graham’s temporarily exposed jaw. Dennis Milton went in a round. So did Ismael Negron. And even when he was past his best, Jackson KO victim Agostino Cardamone found out how utterly lethal Jackson could still be; Carmadone falling in two rounds.
That March, 1995 win was Jackson’s last significant victory, his career reaching its end after a stoppage loss to Anthony Jones in May of 1998. But, boy, how Jackson had made his mark on the sport by then.
Inherently, we fight fans love a pure puncher – be it a heavyweight, a strawweight, a middleweight. When a fighter who has proven ability at switching his opponent’s lights out at any given second is in action, we are willing to pay hard cash to see the violence. And Jackson gave us a number of highlight reel KO’s. Knockouts to remember.
Fans still love to watch, and talk about, Jackson today. When it comes to the art of generating the KO, he is a true legend. Like plenty of big hitters, Jackson himself fell victim to the knockout. Gerald McClellan stopped him in a sensational war in 1993 (some people believe the damage that Gerald picked up in his ill-fated fight with Nigel Benn was actually started in the Jackson fight; the Benn fight increasing the damage), while Jackson was also stopped by McClellan in a return, as well as by Quincy Taylor, by Verno Phillips, by Jones and, earlier in his career, by Mike McCallum.
Jackson might have been an ‘If I don’t get you, you might be able to get me’ warrior, but more often than not it was “The Hawk’s” rival who was left ruined, blasted into a darkened room. Whether Julian got the job done with one punch, with a combination, and whether it was with a left hand or a right, or whether it was both hands working in unison, Jackson’s punching ability really was worth its weight in gold.
Has any middleweight ever punched harder?