The caliber of power owned by Deontay Wilder has been a hot topic, following his one-and-done drilling of Luis Ortiz on Saturday evening.
The Alabama slamma proclaimed himself the hardest hitter in boxing history after his seventh round solving of the 40-year-old Cuban, who twice now has felt the scrambled synapses which the WBC heavyweight champion can cause.
I reached out to a certified bomber, living legend George Foreman, to touch base on the subject.
Going in, George told me, “Wilder has gotten his timing in check now. Ortiz being lighter means he will be able to move faster than before but the champ gets my nod, it should be a late round TKO. Secretly pulling for King Kong, in 12.”
And then, afterwards, I asked, what about it, is there a case to be made for Deontay being the hardest hitter ever, all-time?
“Well, knocking out Frazier the second time (in 1976) was not testament of my power at all. Nor of Louis’ second win over Conn,” Foreman said.
Then George mentioned these fights: Frazier vs Ellis, Frazier vs Mathis, Ali vs Foreman, Louis vs Schmeling II, and Tyson vs Berbick.
“Those fights had real KOs, of guys they’d never dropped. Louis having been beaten by Max, wins in a KO. Ellis a real champion, with skills. Ali beat an undefeated puncher in Foreman. Frazier beats the house fighter Mathis by KO. Tyson creaming Berbick, the most devastating punch I’ve seen!”
He then pivoted back to the Wilder rematch win over Ortiz. “Guys you’ve kayoed before seem to wait for you to get them again, so no claim to fame to ‘Re-KO.’ I was far from impressed. Now if AJ kayoes Ruiz I’m writing him into greatness. If Ruiz wins, Wilder gets him. I’ll start collecting everything Wilder. King of the world!”
George does give Wilder more props. “Now, for me there has not so far been any better display of pure punching power, in the heavyweight division,” he said of Wilder’s overall power pack. “Norton (in 1973) and Frazier (‘73 and ‘76) were both up when the fight was over. So not pure KOs.”
Ahhh, you noticed he said in the HEAVYWEIGHT division. He might be thinking there were some bigger bombers in other weight classes. Readers, what fighters outside of the heavyweight division do you think matched or exceeded or exceed Wilder in the department of punching power?