10 hardest punchers in boxing today. Where does Gervonta Davis rank?
Bad things happen to Gervonta Davis’ opponents when he punches them.
The best example of his destructive power might be a left uppercut from hell that removed four-division titleholder Leo Santa Cruz from his senses in the sixth round in October of last year.
But Davis has made a habit of producing early endings. Twenty-four knockouts in 25 fights speak for themselves.
And he has stopped his last 14 opponents, most of whom were ranked. He’ll be gunning for 15 in a row and 25 overall when he takes on Isaac Cruz in a pay-per-view bout on Sunday in Los Angeles.
So where does Davis rank among the biggest punchers today? Here’s the Top 10, in reverse order.
Record: 24-2 (22 KOs)
KO percentage: 85
KOs in two rounds or less: 13
Background: Joshua has had his problems over the over the past years, getting stopped by Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019 and being outpointed by Oleksandr Usyk this past September. Any aura of invincibility he had is long gone. However, one thing that undoubtedly remains is his punching power, as he most recently proved by stopping Kubrat Pulev in nine rounds last December. If AJ lands a punch just right, he’s going to hurt the fighter on the receiving end.
Record: 34-1-1 (18 KOs)
KO percentage: 50
KOs in two rounds or less: 5
Background: The power was always there. Charlo has simply gotten better at delivering the decisive blow, as seven of his last eight victories have come by knockout. And it’s important to note that six of those seven stoppages were in title fights, meaning he’s knocking out his best opponents. That includes Erickson Lubin, Tony Harrison and Jeison Rosario. Those three men would tell you that this Charlo twin has the ability to hurt anyone with one punch.
Record: 38-0 (29 KOs)
KO percentage: 76
KOs in two rounds or less: 10
Background: Crawford is known as a great all-around fighter, not necessarily for his punching power. After all, many fighters have a higher knockout percentage than his. Let’s look at his record, though. He is currently on a streak of nine KOs in major title fights and has stopped 13 of 16 in title fights. That means two things. One, he has evolved into a knockout artist. And, two, he has done it against the best opponents he has faced in his career. The man can punch.
Record: 57-1-2 (39 KOs)
KO percentage: 65
KOs in two rounds or less: 12
Background: Alvarez has become a master of setting up the knockout, patiently sizing up his opponents and closing the distance. And then, when it’s time to lower the boom, he has the punching power to get the job done. Whether his stoppages have been the result of one punch or his ability to break down opponents, they’re all brutal. The Mexican star has not been unable to stop many of his best opponents, which is why he’s not higher on the list.
Record: 41-1-1 (36 KOs)
KO percentage: 84
KOs in two rounds or less: 13
Background: Triple-G was once the top knockout artist in the sport, with 23 consecutive stoppages (most in title fights) at one point. The streak ended when Daniel Jacobs took him the distance in 2017, after which he drew with and lost a decision to Canelo Alvarez. Sergey Derevyanchenko then took him the distance. Indeed, Golovkin proved to be human. However, even at 39, we believe he can still crack. We’ll see when he faces Ryota Murata in a middleweight title-unification bout on Dec. 29.
Record: 21-0 (18 KOs)
KO percentage: 86
KOs in two rounds or less: 6
Background: Inoue’s high knockout percentage is partially the result of his off-the-charts all-around ability. He’s so good and so quick that his opponents get overwhelmed. The raw punching power is there, though. The leverage he gets on his shots and the speed with which he delivers them have discombobulated most of those who have dared to cross paths with him. His next demolition could come on Dec. 14, when he faces Aran Dipaen.
Record: 28-0 (26 KOs)
KO percentage: 90
KOs in two rounds or less: 15
Background: Ennis’ power might be overlooked to some degree because of his all-around ability and flashy style but it’s there. The welterweight contender has stopped 26 of 28 opponents, including Thomas Dulorme in one round in October. And of his 26 knockouts, 15 have come in less than two full rounds. That means he doesn’t necessarily need time to break his foe’s down. He can and often does end your night with one shot.
Record: 16-0 (16 KOs)
KOs in two rounds or less
Background: The light heavyweight champion has stopped all 16 opponents. His last two opponents reached the 10th round, which made it seem as if he’s a human being. However, he still has a perfect KO percentage even as his competition has improved. He might not be an incarnation of Thomas Hearns but he has heavy, heavy hands and the ability to use them effectively. Will Marcus Browne be his next knockout victim on Dec. 17?
Record: 25-0 (24 KOs)
KO percentage: 96
KOs in two rounds or less: 13
Background: “Tank” uses a combination of positioning, ridiculous speed and just sheer strength to destroy his opponents. The positioning gives him ideal leverage. The speed makes it impossible for his opponents to see the shots coming. And his God-given power finishes the job. Davis has said that accuracy is the key to his power, hitting the bull’s eye. That rings true. If his punches land where he’s aiming, as they often do, they’re as damaging as any in the sport pound-for-pound.
Record: 42-2-1 (41 KOs)
KO percentage: 91
KOs in two rounds or less: 26
Background: Wilder remains the king when it comes to one-punch knockout power. We’ve seen it so many times. One moment Wilder is sizing his opponent up and the next moment the latter is flat on the canvas and the referee is waving his arms. And it’s important to not that he’s a small heavyweight in terms of weight, meaning he has consistently been stopping bigger men. One could argue that Wilder is one of the biggest punchers in the history of the sport.