Top 5 Hardest Hitting Heavyweight Boxers of All Time
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Top 5 Hardest Hitting Heavyweight Boxers of All Time
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr., Doghouse Boxing (July 17, 2014)

L-R: Earnie Shavers, Rocky Marciano, Mike Tyson, Joe Louis, Tommy Morrison
Image by icheehuahua, Doghouse Boxing Inc.
Knockout: The act of rendering unconscious; to destroy, damage, or injure badly.

Although boxing is known as the “sweet science” and we as fans respect the talents of many fighters who possess a crafty style, slick defense and lightning speed, it is the knock out that catches the eye. To witness a man drop and stop his opponent with a barrage of blows, or put his foe to sleep with a one hitter quitter, it may be sadistic, but, it is highly entertaining.

Throughout the history of the fight game, there have been numerous combatants that own that authority over their opposition with that one heavy handed accolade. And to celebrate one of my favorite divisions, I will offer up my top five favorite hardest hitters in the heavyweight division.

1. Earnie Shavers “Black Destroyer” 74-14-1 (68 KO’s)
(17) 1st Round KO’s (27) Consecutive KO’s (76.4) KO’s %

Muhammad Ali once stated, "Earnie hit me so hard, he shook my kinfolk back in Africa!" So no wonder many boxing historians have labeled Shavers as one of the hardest hitting heavyweights of all time, but if you do not believe them, if it were possible, you could ask sixty-eight of his knock out victims, I assure you they would agree. Shavers was not the most polished boxer, but his power was next to none. Although dominated for twenty-three rounds by Larry Holmes in 1978 & 1979, Holmes spoke of Shavers power, "Being hit by Mike Tyson (Tyson stopped Holmes in four round) was like getting hit by a speeding Ferrari. Being hit by Earnie Shavers was like being hit by a Mac Truck!"

I've read that Earnie’s power sent seven fighters into retirement. And we remember what he did to Ken Norton in one round. So in my humble opinion, Earnie Shavers is in my number one spot.

2. Rocky Marciano “The Brockton Blockbuster” 49-0 (43 KO’s)
(11) 1st Round KO’s (19) Consecutive KO’s (87.6) KO %

Standing at 5’11” and under 190 pounds, this small man had the power in both hands that giants possessed. Marciano, the only heavyweight champion to retire undefeated was no doubt, a force to be reckoned with. Throwing punches in bunches, bludgeoning and battering his opponents into submission, Rocky earned victories over the likes of Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles and the late great Joe Louis. The massive right hand that distorted the face of Walcott is forever etched in the minds who have seen the photo. There is no doubt; he is at the top of the heavy handed fighters.

3. “Iron” Mike Tyson 50-6 (44 KO’s)
(23) 1st Round KO’s (19) Consecutive KO’S (75.86) KO %

One of the youngest heavyweights of all time, Tyson had to also be one of the most feared fighters in his era. Mike had the speed, the blazing combinations, and the power to knock an opponent into next week like none other. I have to say, he most likely defeated most of his early foes just making his way into the ring. He would bob left and right, punish the body then attack the head. Although he had mishaps out of the ring, and basically cost me a few hundred bucks in PPV purchases that was a waste. He was a bad man.

Although it was a shame to see the former undisputed heavyweight champion fade out as he did against Danny Williams and Danny McBride, he is number three on my list of my favorite heavy handed heavyweights.

4. Joe Louis “Brown Bomber” 66-3-1 (52 KO’s)
(12) 1st Round KO’S (3) Consecutive KO’s (75.36) KO %

Although many call Ali the G.O.A.T., I myself I see Louis being one of the greatest heavyweights throughout the history of the heavyweight division. Louis made twenty-five title defenses and held his strap for over ten years.

In twenty-seven title fight, Joe stopped twenty-three of them. Joe Louis will be remembered for not only his contributions in the ring, but, what he did out of the ring as well. Louis served in the military in WWII, and was a poster child for the cause. And the country that he loved and fought for turned their back on him, the government that is. Financial woes, tax problems plagued Louis. Due to that fact, Joe had to return to the ring and stick around longer than he should have. Forget the “Bum of the Month Club”” ole Joe sure could hit! So, the champ is number four on my list.

5. Tommy “The Duke” Morrison 48-3-1 (42 KO’s)
(19) 1st Round KO’s (11) Consecutive KO’s (80.77) KO %

I know many will disagree with the fact that Morrison made my top five favorite heavyweight hitters, when the likes of Frazier, Holmes, Foreman or even the Klitschko brothers did not. But, I stress, favorite. And although Morrison was not one of my favorite fighters, I do believe he should get some love for his heavy hands. Morrison, hailing from small-town Oklahoma who said he competed in the tough man circuit at the age of thirteen; he had an extremely devastating left hook that he could fire off at the blink of an eye. He was one of those fighters you loved to watch.

Due to testing positive to HIV in 1996, his career was cut short. After nearly an eleven year lay-off Morrison made an effort at a comeback telling the world his testing positive to the virus was a false positive. Morrison had many troubles out of the ring and although he was one time one hell of a fighter, he will most likely be remembered most for his health woes.

Sadly he passed away ten months ago, and ironically cardiac arrest, neither HIV nor AIDS was even mentioned. I count what he did in the ring, and for that he is in my top five.

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