Ranking the Heavyweight Punchers: Mike Tyson’s Place Among the All-Time Greats


‘Iron Mike’ is known for being one of the toughest and most fearsome athletes, but where does he rank as the sport’s hardest hitter?

When you look at clips of Mike Tyson in his prime it comes as no surprise why he was dubbed ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet.’ The former undisputed world champion was one of the most feared and revered boxers the world has seen, and boasts an enviable record of 50 wins in 56 professional fights – 44 of which came via knockout.

But where does that leave him as one of the sport’s hardest heavyweight hitters of all time?


A study conducted by William Hill analysed data going back to 1962 to determine the answer to the age-old question. The report looked at which fighter had the best knockout ratio, leading to some surprising results in a top 10 list.

Sadly for ‘Iron Mike’ he only ranks fifth in the list of the biggest heavyweight punchers of all time. The boxer holds a record of taking 3.38 rounds on average to knockout his opponents. Going some way to contribute to that record will be Tyson’s 30-second knockout victory over Marvis Frazier in 1986.

The fighter that tops the list – perhaps surprisingly – is two-time world heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs. The American boxer needed just 2.71 rounds on average to send his opponents to sleep across his 60-win boxing career.


Making up the rest of the top 5 is current heavyweight fighter Deontay Wilder. The Bronze Bomber held the WBC heavyweight title from 2015 to 2020, and defended the title on ten successful occasions, and is well known for his fast hands and being the division’s most explosive hitter. Wilder averages 3.12 rounds per knockout from his 42 wins.

Ex-WBO world champion Tommy Morrison follows with 3.13 and Frank Bruno rounds off the top 5 with an average of 3.35 rounds per knockout. In a unique twist, Tyson faced and defeated Bruno via knockout on two occasions in his career.

Bruno was one of only three British boxers to make up the top ten, with Ex-WBO champion Herbie Hide in eighth (averaging 3.83 rounds per KO), and former WBA champion David Haye in ninth (with a score of 3.75).

Several big-name fighters failed to make the top 10 list despite boasting impressive careers in the ring. The likes of Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Muhammad Ali and Lennox Lewis all have numerous records and wins to their name, but couldn’t break into the top 10.

The 10 quickest knockout ratios in full:

1. Shannon Briggs: 2.71 rounds

2. Deontay Wilder: 3.12

3. Tommy Morrison: 3.13

4. Frank Bruno: 3.35

5. Mike Tyson: 3.38

6. Lamon Brewster: 3.48

7. Corrie Sanders: 3.64

8. Herbie Hide: 3.73

9. David Haye: 3.7

10. George Foreman: 3.86


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