Don Stradley

Packing Power: Top one-punch KO artists


Power outage: Why the one-punch knockout club is so exclusive.


These are the greatest one-punch KO artists of all time:

1. Joe Louis
2. Ray Robinson  
3. Thomas Hearns  
4. Bob Foster  
5. Sandy Saddler  
6. Earnie Shavers  
7. Sam Langford    
8. Stanley Ketchel  
9. Jack Dempsey  
10. Mike Tyson   

Honorable mention: Rocky Marciano, Max Baer, Sonny Liston, Rocky Graziano, Bob Fitzsimmons, Jimmy Wilde, George Foreman, Alexis Arguello, Julian Jackson, Danny Lopez, Carlos Zarate, Wilfredo Gomez and Ruben Olivares.


These are the top one-punch KO artists today:

Record: 28-1 (18 KOs)
KO Percentage:  62.07
Top KOs: Vic Darchinyan TKO 5, 2007; Fernando Montiel TKO 2, 2011.
The facts: Does his best work with a masterful left hook … Has KO’d nine of his last 12 opponents … Is so confidant in his punch that he occasionally dabbles as a southpaw, switching his stance during fights … Scored 10 of his 18 career knockouts in the first three rounds … One-punch whack-out of Darchinyan was THE RING’s Knockout of the Year … Was on a four fight knockout streak before meeting the reluctant Omar Narvaez last October and Wilfredo Vazquez in February.

Record: 31-3 (28 KOs)
KO Percentage: 82.35
Top KOs: Victor Ortiz TKO 6, 2009; Victor Cayo KO 6, 2010 (body shot).
The facts: Is the epitome of the heavy-handed slugger who has the utmost faith in his punch … Achieved 24 of his 28 career knockouts in the first four rounds, including 10 in the opening frame … Came within one or two punches of stopping Amir Khan in their unforgettable 2010 bout … If you need more proof of his gunslinger status, consider that he has a gun tattooed on his torso.

Record: 31-2 (28 KOs)
KO Percentage: 84.85
Top KOs: Bernabe Concepcion TKO 2, 2010; Sergio Medina TKO 1, 2008; Daniel Ponce de Leon TKO 1, 2008.
The facts:  Is perhaps the closest this era has to a pure gunslinger, and he can shoot with either hand … Carries on the tradition of Puerto Rican knockout artists such as Felix Trinidad and Wilfredo Gomez … Won his first nine bouts by stoppage, six in the first round … Embarrassed Medina to the point where Medina claimed he took a dive, but later recanted his story.

Record: 51-7 (45 KOs)
KO Percentage: 77.59
Top KOs: Gabriel Elizondo TKO 2, 2004; Hozumi Hasegawa TKO 4, 2011 (for WBC featherweight title).
The facts:  Is such a serious banger that he should’ve been on HBO all these years instead of Spanish-language television … Is currently on an 11-bout knockout streak … Gonzalez rose from a first-round knockdown to drop Elizondo four times in Round 2 … Has had nearly 60 bouts spread out over a couple of weight classes but is still a dangerous puncher.

Record: 57-3 (50 KOs)
KO Percentage: 83.33
Top KOs: Calvin Brock TKO 7, 2006; Ray Austin KO 2, 2007; Sam Peter KO 10, 2010.
The facts:  Trainer Emanuel Steward has raved about the power in Klitschko’s right hand … Has also scored knockouts with his heavy left hook … Doesn’t have the gunslinger mentality, but that’s partly because he has been KO’d himself a few times and doesn’t like to take the risks … Would rate higher if he pulled the trigger more often and earlier.

Record: 49-2-2 (28 KOs)
KO Percentage: 52.83
Top KOs: Saul Roman KO 4, 2007 (body shot); Paul Williams KO 2, 2010.
The facts:  Was matched hard as a novice against tough Argentine journeymen, so most of his early bouts went the full route … Began showing his power with a late-round stoppage of well-regarded Adrian Stone in 2003, which began a seven bout KO streak … Dropped Kermit Cintron during their controversial 2009 draw. Cintron declared it had to have been a head butt because he’d never been hit so hard … One-punch KO of Williams was chosen as THE RING’s Knockout of the Year.

Record: 30-0 (24 KOs)
KO Percentage: 80
Top KOs: Edison Miranda TKO 3, 2010; Librado Andrade KO 4, 2009.
The facts:  Comes disguised as a traditional boxer-puncher, but he throws some of the best uppercuts and body blows in the game … Has stopped eight of his last 10 opponents … Showed he had some special punching ability in only his ninth pro bout when he KO’d veteran and former titlist Dingaan Thobela … Returned to his home country of Romania last July and left undefeated Jean Paul Mendy flat on his face in four … Has scored 16 of his 24 career KOs before the fourth round.

Record: 31-0 (26 KOs)
KO Percentage: 83.87
Top KOs: Eriberto Gejon KO 1, 2007; Francisco Rosas KO 2, 2010; Omar Soto KO 2, 2011.
The facts: Weighs only 108 pounds but hits like a bantamweight, having stopped 26 of 31 opponents … Stayed in Nicaragua for his first 16 bouts, all of which he won by KO … Traveled to Japan for his first bout outside of his home country and blasted out Eriberto Gejon in one … Has scored nine knockouts in the second round, eight in the first … Made his Las Vegas debut last October, stopping Omar Soto in two.

Record: 22-0 (19 KOs)
KO Percentage:  86.36
Top KOs: Milton Nunez KO 1, 2010; Lajuan Simon KO 1, 2011.
The facts: Has had only 22 bouts but shows great hitting ability … Was not ruined by the amateur system, as his knockout numbers show … Is currently recognized as the WBA middleweight titleholder… Stopped Kassim Ouma in 10, which shows he carries his power into the late rounds of a fight … Is still scoring one-round knockouts, even as the competition improves … KO’d Bute in their amateur days.


Record: 31-1 (27 KOs)
KO Percentage: 84.38
Top KOs: Brian Vera TKO 8, 2008; Joel Julio TKO 6, 2009; Alfredo Angulo TKO 6, 2011.
The facts:  Has stopped 27 of 30 opponents … Has reminded some of a small Mike Tyson because of his build, aggressive style and knockouts … 22 of his 27 knockouts have come inside three rounds … Bounced back from his stunning KO loss to Nobuhiro Ishida with an epic stoppage of Alfredo Angulo … Struggled against Carlos Molina but won by disqualification.


Honorable mentions: Arthur Abraham, Alfredo Angulo, Randall Bailey, Vic Darchinyan, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Toshiaki Nishioka, Victor Ortiz, Manny Pacquiao, Giovani Segura and David Tua.

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