Who doesn’t like a knockout artist? Its what we pay our hard earned cash for, Someone who in a blink of an eye can switch the lights out on the hopes and dreams of the participant standing across from him, It’s been this way since the creation of the sweet science, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Jimmy Wilde, Rocky Marciano and of course ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson was just a few of those who demanded the eyes of the watching world was fixated on their fights, not even for a second where we able to avert our gaze which is all it took for some of them to explode with brutality on route to another knockout win.
This generation of fighters are no different, In their mindset it becomes a case of why put in overtime when you can get the same purse for a one round blowout?
That in mind, I thought I would try to put together a top ten of which I am sure I have left many on the sidelines, but without further ado in anticipation of a hailstorm of criticism, here is what I believe are the best currently
10) MURAT GASSIEV – KO RATIO: 70%
**SPOILER ** There is a trend that appears in this list, that comprises mostly of Eastern Europeans. Murat Gassiev is one of them and although he doesn’t hold the knockout percentage of the others, that stat can be somewhat misleading with four of his decision wins coming in his first eight contests.
The fighter who you see before you now is much more accomplished in putting backs on mats, renowned trainer Abel Sanchez by his side, the two have worked tirelessly to tweak the natural power that has seen him climb to the top of the food chain with a place in the Super Six final to look forward to in the weeks to come.
Sparring stories are told in hushed tones of fighters who have shared the ring with Gassiev, one in particular in former world title challenger Ola Afolabi, who confessed that the Russian is the hardest puncher he had ever faced.
9) OLEKSANDR GVOZDYK – KO RATIO: 80%
Light Heavyweight hard hitter Gvozdyk came out of a prestigious amateur career which yielded many an achievement along the way, a three-time national champion as well as a Bronze medallist at the Olympics in London. Oleksandr since his introduction to the paid ranks hasn’t missed an opportunity to put the division on high alert of the impending danger he presents.
Twelve knockouts from fifteen contest tell the story of a man who above all relies on power to get the job done, everybody loves a knockout artist and Gvozdyk is up there with best in the sport currently.
8) DMITRY BIVOL – KO RATIO: 85%
The Light heavyweight division makes up a lot of this list but the fact is that it’s difficult to ignore its potency for power, one of the best exhibitors of it is Russian Dmitry Bivol who is the WBA king, amassing eleven knockouts from his thirteen bouts.
Bivol is another from the great conveyor belt of talent that has emerged from the Russian amateur system, winning a Gold medal at the combat games in 2013. Bivol like all of the participants in the list is a wrecking ball of a fighter, he hit a lull spot in 2016 where two opponents made it to the hear the final bell but it was temporary, order resumed with five knockout wins in succession.
Bivol gets his place on the list due to his tendency to put opponents to sleep, in that regard he is better than any children’s story.
7) SRISAKET SOR RUNGVISAI – KO RATIO 80%
Before Rungvisai, the general consensus for the Pound 4 Pound king was Roman Gonzalez, possible still so after losing a tight encounter with the Filipino, so in the rematch it was imperative that any element of doubt was taken away, Rungvisai did so impressively to become the first man ever to stop the great ‘Chocolatito’
Rungvisai’s 40 knockouts from his 45 wins mirror his inclusion in this list, sure his opposition hasn’t always been stellar but those fighters all stood for a fraction too long to feel the heat that this dragon was breathing.
6) NAOYA INOUE – KO RATIO: 86%
The ‘Monster’ may only have fifteen bouts to his name, but look a little deeper will find that only two have made it the distance, in a run which has also seen him take titles in three weight classes, Inoue is a shark in a fish tank, stalking his prey before the frenzied devouring of opposition, his punches thud on impact with both hands, able to throw from angles out of the eye line of his challenger,
His nickname ‘Monster’ is fitting for the challengers who temporarily stand in front of him, in that regard, there aren’t much scarier.
5) SERGEY KOVALEV – KO RATIO: 80%
A look into the dark sinister eyes of Kovalev will find a man who makes no excuses for his intentions to cause as much bodily harm as humanly possible, he wants to break you down, he wants to make you suffer before ‘Krusher’ finally ends the punishment with a sedative in the form of a right hand.
I remember Nathan Cleverly saying after his stoppage loss, that Kovalev was hurting him with a jab and that it felt like he was being hit with hammers, Kovalev is known for his ruthless approach and is far more than the devastating knockout puncher his record shows him to be, his skill within the four corners of a boxing ring is underrated, showing as much against Andre Ward, who it doesn’t need me to remind you, is one of the best technical fighters of modern times, Kovalev’s sense of distance along with his movement is two aspects of a complete fighter, mix in his ability to turn any punch into a jackhammer gives opponents more than a few nightmares to come.
4) GENNADY GOLOVKIN – KO RATIO: 87%
Brutality in its most glamorous form, Gennady Golovkin encapsulates the word ‘Knockout Artist’ embracing his role with power by the bucket load, I don’t know what they are feeding them in the Eastern block but make mine a double helping, just hold the Mexican meat for now.
I say it’s brutality in its most glamorous form because Gennady doesn’t just swing for the fences (Baseball term) he is surgical in his delivery, he will stalk, taking a half step here and a half step there, lulling opposition into a false sense of security until they realise they have fallen into the trap set by ‘Triple G’, their backs against the ropes, he will faint before administering a lethal shot to any notion of a successful challenge to his throne, only four men have made it over the finish line and even at the age of 35, I fully expect to see that tally added before his time comes to its conclusion.
3) ANTHONY JOSHUA – KO RATIO: 95%
I’d hate to hear the abuse I would get if not including the heavyweight hard hitter Anthony Joshua to this list, but on a serious note, he more than warrants his place amongst the sports best.
Until Joseph Paker, no man had ventured into the twelfth round, each succumbing to the heavy artillery.
In Joshua’s case, looks can be very deceiving, outside the ring he is a mild-mannered, happy go lucky type of character, inside the confines of the squared circle it’s very different, turning all his attention into destruction.
2) DEONTAY WILDER – KO RATIO: 98%
Wilder may not be the best boxer the heavyweight division has seen, that’s probably a big understatement, in fact, it becomes cringe to watch, slinging his punches sloppily from all angles, more often than not, hitting nothing but fresh air.
He may not have poise, but what he does have his 100% commitment to throwing every shot with the velocity to take down a small country. The ‘Bronze Bomber’ has slain every man put in front of him, sure he has gone the distance with one (Bermane Stiverne) but he turned the lights out quick in the rematch.
The 6’7 Alabama native has now turned his focus on the UK’s heavyweight ruler Anthony Joshua in one of the very best heavyweight fights that can be made of recent time, ‘Bomb Squad’ hollering at the top of his voice, it’s best to duck for cover.
1) ARTUR BETERBIEV – KO RATIO: 100%
Number one on my list is a fighter whose punches that if connect is like being hit by a Siberian train, In any top ten punchers listing you’ll likely to find Beterbiev’s name, since exploding into fight fans consensus with his knockout win over former world champion Tarvoris Cloud, Beterbiev has reminded people of his threat as the Light Heavyweight ruler with concussive power.
Twelve knockouts from twelve contests, he now holds the IBF title in his firm grasp, with intentions on collecting the rest in the years to follow.
This wraps up my Top ten puncher, let me know your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting me @TOPCLASSBOXING