To many fans, the most exciting boxers to watch are those who can hit like a mule, but also possess a questionable chin. This combination can result in some truly amazing knockdown-filled contests. There have been dozens of hard-hitting fighters who have had to pick themselves up from the canvas or have been counted out on several occasions. This list features 12 of the hardest-hitting world champions whose bouts usually ended in a stoppage. They often won or lost by knockout or were prone to knockdowns. Keep in mind this list basically consists of sluggers who lived and died by the sword in the ring due to relatively weak whiskers.
For instance, former great heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles may have been decked 33 times during his career, but he was stopped in only seven of his 25 losses and went the distance 43 times in his 95 victories. Therefore he wasn’t known as a slugger, but definitely had remarkable recuperative powers. The same can be said of Juan Manuel Marquez as he’s never been stopped, but has been knocked down numerous times. So check out the exciting boxers below, who are listed in no particular order, as somebody usually hit the deck when they fought.
12. Floyd Patterson
Floyd Patterson certainly deserves to be in the boxing hall of fame due to his accomplishments in the ring. These include being the youngest heavyweight champion in history when he won the vacant title by knocking out Archie Moore in 1956 at the age of 21. He was also the first man to regain the crown when he beat Ingemar Johansson in their rematch in June, 1960 after losing it a year earlier. Patterson recorded 40 of his 55 wins by knockout, but was also stopped in five of his eight losses. He was often unsteady on his feet and was knocked down 20 times during his career with stoppage losses coming to Johansson, Sonny Liston (twice in the first round) and Muhammad Ali (twice). Patterson was a rather small heavyweight who entered the ring at 200 lbs just once in his career and was an Olympic gold medalist in 1952 in the 160 lb middleweight division.
11. Mike Tyson
Now before going off the rails, let’s think rationally about this. Since Mike Tyson was knocking guys out left, right and center early in his career and the majority of them froze like a deer in the headlights it meant he was rarely hit. Those who did fight back such as Tony Tucker, Frank Bruno and Razor Ruddock all managed to rock him and Buster Douglas came up with the blueprint how to beat Tyson. The key was to not be afraid, stand your ground and don’t let the 5-foot-10-inch Tyson intimidate or bully you. Tyson was one of the hardest-hitting heavyweights in history with 44 of his 50 wins by knockout, but five of his six defeats were by KO too. He was stopped by Douglas, journeymen Danny Williams and Kevin McBride and champions Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. He likely would have been stopped a sixth time had he not dined out on Evander Holyfield’s ear in their 1997 rematch. Simply put…Tyson didn’t like to be hit and usually resorted to dirty tactics when he was.
10. Orlando Salido
One of the most exciting boxers today is Orlando Salido of Mexico as you can almost be guaranteed that somebody’s going to kiss the canvas when he fights. He turned pro in 1996 and the 37-year-old has gone 44-14-4 since then with 31 Kos. He may have been stopped in just six of his 14 losses, but that’s due to his remarkable recovery powers after being knocked down. Most of his fights are slugfests and Salido is used to picking himself up to earn a victory. He’s been knocked down at least 18 times in his career, but has managed to win the IBF and WBO World Featherweight titles as well as the WBO Super Featherweight Crown. He’s also taken on some of the toughest guys around such as Mikey Garcia, Miguel Roman, Vasyl Lomachenko, Juan Manuel Marquez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Cruz, Francisco Vargas and Roman Martinez.
9. Juan Manuel Lopez
Another all-out slugger is Puerto Rico’s Juan Manuel Lopez. The 34-year-old southpaw is currently 35-5 with 32 wins and all five of his defeats coming by way of knockout. Lopez fought at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece and went 126-24 as an amateur. He’s a former WBO Featherweight and WBO Super Bantamweight Champion who appeared to lose his ability to take a punch quite suddenly. Lopez was 30-0 when he met Orlando Salido in 2011, but was knocked down in the fifth round and stopped in the eighth to suffer his first loss. Lopez was then stopped in three of four and four of his next eight bouts and dropped several times. He’s been beaten by some class opponents though such as Salido (twice), Mikey Garcia and Francisco Vargas as well as Jesus Cuellar. We’ll see how Lopez’s chin holds up when he returns to the ring on March 3rd.
8. Victor Ortiz
‘Vicious’ Victor Ortiz’s most famous knockout loss came to Floyd Mayweather Jr. who sucker punched the native of Garden City, Kansas when he was attempting to touch gloves in 2011. But he’s also been stopped in four other fights and has gone the distance just once in his six losses. The 31-year-old Ortiz has also posted 25 KO’s in his 32 wins. The southpaw has also been stopped by Andre Berto, Luis Collazo, Marcos Maidana and Josesito Lopez. At one point he lost three fights in a row and four of six by KO and his heart was questioned along with his chin. He seems to be back on track now though with a stoppage win over Saul Corral and draw against Devon Alexander in his last two contests. Ortiz is always entertaining and has beaten the likes of Berto, Vivian Harris, Nate Campbell and Antonio Diaz and has drawn with Alexander and Lamont Peterson.
7. Enzo Maccarinelli
Enzo Maccarinelli of Wales last fought in June, 2016 when he was stopped in the first round by Dmytro Kucher, so we may not see him back in the ring again especially since he’s 37 years old. Maccarinelli was a tough light heavyweight/cruiserweight who managed to win the World Boxing Union, WBO, and European Cruiserweight Titles and was also the Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Champ at one time. Enzo’s record stands at 41-8 with 33 Kos and he was stopped in all eight of his defeats. He brutally knocked out Roy Jones Jr. in Russia in 2015, but was stopped by well-known fighters such as Juergen Braehmer, David Haye, Ola Afolabi, and Denis Lebedev. However, he was also halted by a few lesser-known opponents such as Alexander Frenkel, Lee Swaby and Ovill McKenzie. Maccarinelli also had to pick himself up from the canvas in a few of his wins and you couldn’t blink during his fights in case you missed something.
6. Bruce Seldon
When Bruce Seldon was knocked out by Mike Tyson in the first round in 1996 it was hard to see a solid punch connect on his chin. Perhaps he thought it was a good idea to go down twice from glancing blows rather than wait until he got hit with a real punch. Seldon had a habit of losing fights by KO as he was stopped in seven of his eight losses. But on the flip side of the coin, 36 of his 40 wins also came by stoppage. He was stopped by Tyson, Fres Oquendo, Kevin Johnson, Tye Fields, Riddick Bowe, Oliver McCall and Gerald Nobles. Seldon won the vacant WBA Heavyweight Title in 1995 when he stopped Tony Tucker, but lost it to Tyson two bouts later. Seldon took on all the top contenders and had wins over Greg Page, Ossie Ocasio, Jose Ribalta and Jesse Ferguson. The only time he managed to go the distance in defeat was to Tony Tubbs.
5. Frank Bruno
Big Frank Bruno was a muscle-bound English heavyweight who more often than not got stopped in his biggest fights. This includes those against James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith, Mike Tyson (twice), Tim Witherspoon and Lennox Lewis. All good opponents, but four of of those bouts were for world heavyweight title belts. Bruno did manage to win the WBC version in 1995 with a unanimous decision over Oliver McCall, but was stopped by Lewis in his next bout and never fought again. While Bruno’s chin may have betrayed him, it often took several shots to stop him and he was a hard guy yo put down. He fought 45 times as a pro and 43 of those bouts ended before the final bell as he scored 38 Kos and was stopped in all five defeats. He’s actually underrated by many as he beat some good contenders such as McCall, Carl Williams, Jose Ribalta, Joe Bugner, James Tillis, Pierre Coetzer, Gerrie Coetzee and Jesse Ferguson.
4. Hasim Rahman
Former heavyweight champ Hasim ‘The Rock’ Rahman’s career highlight was his stunning fifth-round knockout victory over Lennox Lewis for the WBC, IBF and IBO Crowns in 2001. The native of Baltimore, Maryland was knocked cold by Lewis in four rounds in their rematch seven months later though. He was also stopped five other times with six of his nine career defeats coming that way. Rahman owned a powerful set of fists himself however as 41 of his 50 wins came by KO. Rahman’s stoppage defeats came to Lewis, Alexander Povetkin, Wladimir Klitschko, Oleg Masakev (twice) and David Tua. He was also stopped in the third round by James Toney, but the bout was later ruled a no-contest as it was deemed Rahman couldn’t continue because of a cut caused by an accidental head butt. Rahman took on the toughest guys around, but won just two of seven major world heavyweight title fights.
3. Wladimir Klitschko
Yes, Wladimir Klitschko was one of the greatest and longest-reigning heavyweight champs in history, but his chin wasn’t as reliable as the rest of his game. He had a problem absorbing big shots early in his career and was wobbled several times later on. It also cost him in his 2017 fight against Anthony Joshua. He should have finished him off after decking the champion in the sixth round, especially after Klitschko had been down in the fifth. Dr. Steelhammer put away 53 of his opponents in his 64 wins, but was stopped in four of his five losses. The only time he lost on points was to Tyson Fury in the worst heavyweight title fight in history back in 2015. Klitschko was stopped by Ross Purity, Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster between 1998 and 2004 when his chin was the most susceptible as well as Joshua. Klitschko was knocked down at least 14 times in his career, but got back up on each occasion.
2. Julian Jackson
Julian Jackson of the Virgin Islands is generally regarded as being one of the most powerful punchers in boxing history and could KO opponents with either hand. This is evident by the 49 stoppages he racked up in his 55 wins. The problem was, he couldn’t take a punch like he could deliver one. This resulted in all six of his career losses coming by way of knockout. Jackson was a WBA Junior Middleweight and two-time WBC Middleweight Champion who was stopped by Mike McCallum, Gerald McClellan (twice), Quincy Taylor, Verno Phillips and Anthony Jones. Among Jackson’s knockout victims were Terry Norris, In Chul Baek and Herol Graham with one of the most devastating one-punch knockouts ever seen. Graham was out cold before hitting the canvas and Jackson was the new WBC Champ.
1. Oleg Maskaev
Hard-hitting Oleg Maskaev of Russia was once the WBC Heavyweight Champion of the world when he stopped Hasim Rahman in the 12th and final round in 2006. He didn’t hold it long though as he was stopped by Samuel Peter in his second defense. Maskaev was pretty powerful with 28 of his 39 wins coming by KO, but his chin let him down in all seven of his losses. Maskaev was also stopped by David Tua, Oliver McCall, Kirk Johnson, Lance Whitaker, Corey Sanders and Nagy Aguilera,. He was dropped by Jason Gavern as well, but managed to win that fight. Maskaev did beat some tough foes in his career such as Hasim Rahman (twice),and Alex Stewart, knocking Rahman out of the ring. But whenever he took on the heavier hitters of the division he usually came out second best and was stopped each time he did.