Question: Who would you pick as boxing’s all-time hardest puncher and why?
Wayne Alexander (Former European super-welterweight champion)
There are a few that come to my mind. Earnie Shavers and Julian Jackson, in particular, were devastating one-punch KO artists. But I would have to pick Jackson as number one because I watched him live growing up and he went on to become a world champion at light-middleweight and middleweight, knocking out some of the world’s best along the way. With only six of his 55 wins going the distance, you don’t get many better KO records than that.
Mickey Helliet (Boxing manager and promoter)
I would go with go with a young George Foreman – ahead of Ernie Shavers and Mike Tyson – as the hardest puncher of all time. The way he dispatched a proven world-class, peak Joe Frazier was astounding.
Tey Lynn-Jones (Middleweight prospect)
It’s hard to comprehend the sport’s all-time hardest puncher without actually taking their shots but the person who springs to mind first would have to be Mike Tyson. He was a powerful and ferocious force in his prime.
Derek Williams (Former European heavyweight champion)
I would go with Earnie Shavers as my pick. I say that because he was a concussive hitter. Larry Holmes once said Shavers hit him so hard that he regained consciousness. Another name worth mentioning is Bob Fitzsimmons. He knocked opponents cold.
Question: How big a risk is it for Anthony Joshua to fight Andy Ruiz Jnr in an immediate rematch?
I think it’s a big risk for Joshua to take on Ruiz in an immediate rematch. He got exposed quite badly last time and it must be playing on his mind. I don’t think he will feel fully confident until that first bell sounds again. But, when all is said and done, I think it’s best to fight for the belts rather than risk it in a meaningless non-title fight. It’s a risk worth taking.
I think an immediate rematch is inevitable for business reasons but is a huge risk from a boxing perspective. We know AJ has the power to hurt Ruiz, but the first fight must have shaken Joshua to some degree. Ruiz will have a full ‘AJ-focused’ training camp this time around and his belief will have increased given the ease with which he was able to land his big shots last time.
It’s a huge risk, of course, but it’s the only way to redeem the loss. To put things right and get his belts back will be the main goal for Joshua. He must prove it was just a minor bump in his career and that he is good enough to overcome it and then solidify his career against either Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.
I think Joshua is very good and has the tools to win but I don’t think it would be wise for him to get straight back in with Ruiz. There are a few adjustments I think he will need to work on, and I see a few areas that need to be tightened. Plus, Ruiz’s confidence will be up. He would certainly come out and try to demonstrate that his victory in the first fight was not a fluke.