Is Haye the Hardest Hitter in Boxing?
By Nate Anderson: If this question was asked of me a couple of years ago, I probably would have selected Nigerian heavyweight Samuel Peter as being the biggest puncher in all of boxing, but right now I’m no longer so certain about that since David Haye has emerged front and center as perhaps the purest, most powerful puncher in all of boxing.
It’s difficult to tell for certain how hard a particular fighter is without having them tested on a punching machine, which isn’t possible for every fighter to be tested out in this manner.
However, it’s safe to assume that the heavyweights are the hardest punchers in all of boxing, with perhaps a couple of cruiserweights like Enzo Maccarinelli and Ola Afolabi making the grade as well. Below, I’ve listed the heavyweights which I feel have the biggest punch in all of boxing. This is for a single punch and doesn’t measure other factors like endurance.
Some heavyweights can punch hard with a single shot, but are only able to fight at their maximum strength for little more than a few rounds without fading and becoming more of an ordinary. On the flip side, other heavyweights like Vitali Klitschko don’t necessarily have knockout power in a single punch, but instead throw semi hard punches over and over, seemingly clubbing their opponents into submission.
David Haye – The Hayemaker, 28, is perhaps the hardest puncher the heavyweight division has seen since Mike Tyson left boxing. Like Tyson, Haye isn’t one of the biggest heavyweights in the division, but with the combination of brute strength and incredible hand speed it makes Haye by far the biggest puncher in the division. Speed = power. Haye has power without speed, but with his fast reflexes and top notch hand speed, he’s much more powerful. I put Haye way ahead of the other heavyweights in power with Peter coming the closest.
Samuel Peter – Samuel has excellent power, almost one-punch power with either hand. The problem with him is that his hand speed is so poor that it takes a lot of his power away. If he was a little faster, he’d have many more knockouts. As it is, he’s the second hardest puncher in the division.
David Tua – I previously had the Tuaman the second hardest puncher in the division when Mike Tyson was still fighting. However, due to inactivity, aging and the effects of Tua having to drop weight for fights, his power has dropped off somewhat. His hand speed used to be very good, but that seems to have deteriorated as well. He still punches incredibly hard, but not what it was in his 20s.
Lamon Brewster – Although Brewster doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves for his punching power, he’s easily in the top four of the hardest punchers in the division. Brewster’s power in both his right and left hooks is comparable to Tyson at the end of his career. Believe me, when Brewster lands with either hand, he’s capable of ending a fight with one punch. His work rate is his main problem, as he doesn’t let his hands go enough to win sometimes. However, I’d rate his power in the top four in the heavyweight division. He did a number on Wladimir Klitschko in 2004, hurting him badly with a left hook and having flopping around on the canvas in the process of knocking him out in the 5th.
Wladimir Klitschko – Wladimir has excellent power in his left hook and right hand. His left his is by far his biggest punch and when he can land it he’s very dangerous. Wladimir misses with it most of the time and no longer throws it as much as he did earlier in his career before being knocked out in the 2nd round by Corrie Sanders in 2003. However, the punch is one of the hardest in all boxing but not quite in the league of Peter, Tua or Haye.
Vitali Klitschko – I see Vitali’s power as being rather overrated. Yes, Vitali can punch hard with his right hand, but nothing close to his younger brother Wladimir or big punchers like Brewster, Haye, Tua and Peter. Vitali gets his knockouts by clubbing his opponents into submission rather than knocking them out with one punch. For that reason, he doesn’t rate as being anywhere close to the other heavyweights in the power department.