by Ryan McArthur– As much as it sounds barbaric, there is nothing excites fight fans more than a good old knockout. The anticipation throughout a bout that at any minute a fighter could be rendered unconcious from a single blow, appeals to part of the audience just as much as the purists that enjoy the finer points of the sweet science.
So who are the hardest punchers in boxing at the minute? Of course there is no diffinitive answer, just something for fans to argue over..
To rate a top ten, certain aspects need to be taken into consideration. Not just the amount of knockouts, but also the quality of the opposition, because there have been KO artists in the past that have been found out when the quality of their opponent hase risen. There are fighters with one punch power that can end a bout with a single blow, or fighters that hit that hard that often they get the job done inside the scheduled distance.
Taking these facts in order and my own personal opinions, here goes my top ten hardest punchers in boxing.
1. Edwin Valero 25-0(25)
It took Valero nineteen fights before he knew what it was like to come out for the second round. His last six have also been early, five defences of his WBA super featherweight title and more recently the second round demolition job on Antonio Pitulua for the vacant WBC lightweight strap. Relatively unknown outside Venezuela, that could be about to change with the introduction of new laws which would allow Valero to box in the U.S.
2. Manny Pacquiao 49-3-2(37)
After bursting onto the stage in dramatic fashion with a TKO over the legend Marco Antonio Barrera, Pacquiao has went on to win inside the distance a further eight times. His punch power has increased in each weight division. With early wins against legends Erik Morrales and Oscar DeLaHoya, Pacquiao truely deserves his spot so high on the list. Did I mention the Hatton fight?
3. Wladimir Klitschko 53-3(47)
Dr.Steelhammer himself is a controversial choice, especially so high up on the list. Facts are facts however and Wlad has heard the final bell only once, a snoozefest with Sultan Ibrigamov, in his thirteen successful defences of the heavyweight title.
4. Juan Manuel Lopez 26-0(24)
Going into his bout with Daniel Ponce de Leon, de Leon was supposed to be the puncher of the two. That changed dramatically though after two and a half minutes. From then on in Lopez stock has grown and many feel he is destined to become the next superstar of the sport.
5. Rafael Marquez 38-5(34)
After winning the IBF bantamweight title back in 2003, with an eighth round stoppage of the previously unbeaten Tim Austin, Marquez went on to defend the title seven times with five coming early. Who knows what the brutal trilogy with Israel Vasquez has taken out of the Mexico City native. Now at featherweight, only time will tell whether Marquez still has the one punch KO power he has showed throughout his long illustrious career.
6.Vic Darchinyan 32-2-1(26)
The raging bull defeated the unbeaten Colombian Irene Pacheco to claim the IBF flyweight title back in 2004. He went on to defend the title six times, each inside the distance, even breaking Glen Donaires jaw in the process. After moving up in weight he hasnt seemed to be the force he once was at flyweight, still, early wins against the excellent Christian Mijares and Jorge Arce put Vic on the the list.
7. Kelly Pavlik 35-1(31)
The ghost burst into the middleweight rankings with a TKO over hardened pug Fulgencio Zuniga. Back to back TKOs against Edison Miranda and Jermain Taylor made Pavlik the most revered puncher in boxing. A bit quiet of late, if Pavlik were to KO Paul Williams in their upcoming bout, (hopefully the fight happens) it would surely elevate Pavlik higher on the list.
8. David Haye 22-1(21)
Britains David Haye, the most devastating cruiserweight since Evander Holyfield, unified the division with an off the floor KO of Jean M Mormeck in the Frenchmans Paris backyard and then a second round battering of Enzo Maccarinelli for his WBO belt. Haye has fought in the heavyweight division twice only, a first round TKO of the journeyman Tomasz Bonin and more recently, a fifth round TKO of Monte Barrett. Who knows how far Haye can go with the big boys, what we do know however, is that its going to be fun.
9. Carl Froch 25-0(20)
Froch recently commented “I punch like a mule” and punch like a mule he does. After back to back stoppages against decent pugs Brian Magee and Tony Dodson, the cobra became, along with David Haye, the most respected banger in British boxing. After his latest fight against Jermain Taylor, a twelfth round TKO, Froch proved he had the power to end a bout right to the very last second. Super six beware.
10. Arthur Abraham 30-0(24)
Known more for his brute strength and granite chin, Abraham can bang a little aswell. He has six early wins in his ten IBF middleweight defences. Moving up to super middle, Abraham along with Carl Froch is participating in the forthcoming super six tournament. Winning the event will surely elevate Abraham to the greatest mainland European fighter of the decade, although failure and he could become just another protected fighter who got found out after fighting on the other side of the atlantic.
Of course the list is debatable, it is meant to be. What is not however, is that when these ten fighters are out next, fans will be on the edge of their seats from the first bell to the last, anticipating that the next big punch may be the last. Personally, I cant wait.