A list of the biggest punchers in boxing history has as much potential for being contentious as a pound-for-pound ranking. KO percentages, testimonies from past opponents, and highlight reels are all useful for narrowing the list down to finalists.
But in the end, subjective opinion is still the deciding factor.
Incidentally, this is not a pound-for-pound list. Major lower weight punchers like Tommy Hearns and Naseem Hamed will not appear.
The only two non-heavyweights I had on my short list were Bob Foster and Archie Moore, two light heavyweight champions who both campaigned among the big boys with pretty fair success.
I've also ultimately come down against most heavyweights from smaller eras, as well. There is no question Rocky Marciano hit like a truck, and he delivered some of the most dramatic stoppage of all time. But only 10 of his 49 opponents even topped 200 pounds.
Jack Dempsey, too, qualified as a near finalist for my top ten. Other earlier fighters I considered, based mostly on historical reputation, included James Jeffries, Sam McVea and Max Baer.