The sport of boxing peaks when there is a great heavyweight champion who can capture the public with his ferocious talent.
Wladimir Klitschko is a very talented boxer who rules the heavyweight division. But he has almost none of the aura of past champions who could pummel opponents with both fists and leave them flat on their back on a regular basis.
Muhammad Ali is one of the rare exceptions of a heavyweight champion who commanded center stage because of his all-around ability and athleticism rather than his punching power. Ali hit hard, but it was his speed, quickness, agility and charisma that made him one of the top athletes of the 20th century.
Boxing fans want to see hard-punching heavyweights. They want champions who use devastating power to obliterate their opponents.
Here are the seven hardest-punching champions of all time.
Earnie Shavers was not included because he never held the heavyweight title. He was a devastating puncher, but he needed to hold a championship to qualify for this ranking.