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Deontay Wilder: Punching power among all-time greats

Lee Cleveland Updated
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WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder is 40-0 with 39 knockouts and he stopped every opponent he's faced inside the distance. And yes, the only fighter to hear the final bell against Wilder, Bermane Stiverne, was knocked out inside of a round in their rematch.

In March, Wilder stopped highly-ranked, very durable Luis Ortiz (then 28-0) after the latter had Deontay hurt on the ropes. Other foes include the super tough Johann Duhaupas (then 32-2) and the resilient Eric Molina (23-2).

Ortiz, Stiverne, Duhaupas and Molina... Not creampuffs by any stretch.

At this moment, Wilder's 98 percent KO-to-fights-ratio is the highest in heavyweight championship history. Rival Anthony Joshua at 21-0, 20 KO sits at 95 percent and third is Vitali Klitschko (45-2, 41 KO) at 87 percent.

But, having fought half the number of fights as Wilder, Joshua's KO ratio is far less proven while Vitali's is deceptive. A great fighter and champion, Vitali wasn't an extraordinarily explosive puncher but recorded a high percentage of KOs by wearing opponents down through the course of a fight.

At this moment. his KO percentage and highlight films suggest Deontay Wilder may be one of the hardest punchers in heavyweight championship history. With a single punch, Wilder can end a fight or dramatically change the course of a bout.

To say he's explosive would be an understatement.

Remember when Artur Szpilka was giving a fine account of himself prior to be stretched by a Wilder counterpunch?

How about his scary KO over Siarhei Liakhovich?


Retired 6'8" heavyweight Richard Towers, who has been used as a sparring partner for just about everyone, including Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko, Vitali Klitschko and Tyson Fury, recently told the Sun:

"I've sparred with every heavyweight you could think of, except Joseph Parker. And I know when it comes to power, Deontay Wilder is in a league of his own."

"Put it this way: He hits FOUR times harder than Vitali Klitschko, he hits FIVE times harder than Wladimir Klitschko, he hits SIX times harder than Anthony Joshua, and he hits EIGHT times harder than Tyson Fury."

Is Deontay Wilder a stronger puncher than a prime George Foreman, who is considered by many as the hardest puncher in heavyweight championship history? Perhaps it's too early to ask that question but his KO percentage and spectacular highlights suggest that isn't outside the realm of possibility. On paper and on film, his power looks every bit as impressive as Big George's.

Let's not forget Wilder KO'd all of his first 32 opponents in four rounds or less.

Of course, that doesn't mean he's as good or as accomplished as a prime Foreman. It simply means his power may be as intimidating if not a little more frightening.

So what does the former heavyweight / top-level sparring partner think of Wilder vs Tyson Fury (27-0, 19 KO) later this year?

"We sparred on and off for two years and he was great, but I have to be honest: this is the wrong fight to take right now. It really is. Tyson has just come back on the scene and, although he is a grafter, this isn'’t the ideal time for him to fight Wilder," Towers explained.

"He is moving OK against easy opposition, but he has got a big body and a big head to move out of the way for 12 rounds against Wilder. That’s no easy task."

Although there's been no official date and venue announcement for the WBC heavyweight Title showdown between Deontay Wilder and Fury, the bout is expected to happen in Las Vegas in November or December.


Deontay Wilder KO highlights


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