Top 10 Boxers to Watch If You Want to See a Knockout
I don't know many boxing fans who don't enjoy seeing knockouts. They're usually decisive, often dramatic, and they bring closure to fights that decisions just can't match.
On top of that, while no one would argue that getting knocked out is healthy, there's even research that suggests that it's better to be KO'd with one punch than to continually take flush shots to the head for 12 rounds.
So, which boxers are the best bets to produce a fight-ending stoppage? You can look at knockout percentages, but to get an even better feel for who is most likely to score a KO (or get KO'd himself) in any given round, we went a step further at BoxingWatchers.com.
Out of the top 50 boxers in the world, according to BoxRec.com (chosen for the sake of convenience), here are the top 10 fighters who are most likely to either cause or suffer a sudden ending to their fights, along with the percentage chance of it happening in each round they fight:
10. Yuriorkis Gamboa: 17.6 Percent
Perhaps the former Olympic gold medalist will find he'll have to fight more rounds as his pro career advances. His last two fights have gone the distance after he knocked out 15 of his first 17 professional opponents.
Still, Gamboa fights with a much more action-oriented style than most Cuban defectors, and he's got plenty of power to go with his amateur skills. It will be interesting to see if his bouts retain the same level of explosiveness as he moves on to face truly elite competition.
9. Victor Ortiz: 18.7 Percent
Once touted as Golden Boy's proverbial next big thing, the rise of Ortiz hit a roadblock when he was defeated (both physically and mentally) by Marcos Maidana in July 2009. But even in defeat he produced excitement, since both fighters hit the canvas before Ortiz decided he'd had enough in the sixth round.
Since then, the 23-year-old has been determined to show more heart. He clearly still has the power to live up to his "Vicious" nickname, as Vivian Harris discovered just last month.
8. Wladimir Klitschko: 19.0 Percent
Say what you want about the heavyweight champ, but Klitschko's fights generally end with someone looking up at the lights. Except for a thoroughly unsatisfying decision victory over Sultan Ibragimov in early 2008, nine of his last 10 fights have ended with a knockout.
It's what happens en route to those knockouts that generally lead to complaints from some fans. But haters take note: All three of Klitschko's three career defeats have also come via KO.
7. Vitali Klitschko: 19.2 Percent
He's not quite as fluid as his younger brother, but Vitali has a tendency to see fights end slightly more quickly. Only a heroic showing by Shannon Briggs in the face of a tremendous beating kept Klitschko from racking up his eighth KO in nine fights a few weeks ago.
And just like his sibling, Vitali has never tasted defeat on the cards. He's going to go down swinging if he goes down at all.
6. Kelly Pavlik: 19.4 Percent
Will Pavlik possess the same power at super middleweight that he showed while becoming the undisputed middleweight champion of the world a few years back? It's a fair question, especially given the array of talent at 168 pounds.
Pavlik will try to add Bryan Vera to his list of victims on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito showdown. After that, he's got his eyes on a clash with Lucian Bute, a match-up that certainly would figure to have a hard time going the distance.
5. Alfredo "Perro" Angulo: 19.8 Percent
Angulo has faced criticism from some boxing pundits for turning down potentially big fights over money issues. He also has had his share of doubters since Kermit Cintron, in handing him his lone loss, showed how lateral movement could render him fairly ineffective.
What can't be ignored is that Perro throws every single punch with bad intentions. He's ruthless at attacking once he's gotten his opponent cornered, and nearly one-fifth of his pro rounds have ended up with his opponent unable to continue.
4. Rafael Marquez: 20.0 Percent
It's kind of amusing to think that Marquez was thought of as the better boxer in his epic series with Israel Vazquez, because he's got a history of leaving people on the canvas. His upcoming meeting with Juan Manuel Lopez is as close as it gets in the current boxing scene to guaranteed fireworks.
Like others who rank highly on this list, Marquez is no stranger to losing by KO either. He's been stopped four times in five pro losses.
3. Juan Manuel Lopez: 21.8 Percent
No one epitomizes the "stop or be stopped" attitude like Juanma. He's still undefeated, but he's come close to disaster several times along the way, saved only by equal amounts of chin and heart.
Unless his defense improves, Lopez is likely to end up with a KO loss on his record at some point. Until then, he'll keep trying to add to a hit list that sees his fights end suddenly at a nearly 22 percent clip.
2. David Haye: 23.2 Percent
The Hayemaker polarizes boxing fans like few others. His brash talk is supported by the power in his fists, but his detractors wonder why he won't fight the Klitschko brothers despite repeatedly calling them out.
One thing that can't be questioned is how rarely Haye's fights go to the scorecards. That's happened just twice in his 25 pro fights.
1. Marcos Maidana: 26.5 Percent
Is the power-punching Argentinean biting off more than he can chew when he tangles with Amir Khan in December? It's quite possible, though fans of knockouts should be pleased as Khan just barely missed inclusion on this list himself.
Over a quarter of Maidana's pro rounds have ended with a KO. That's largely because it doesn't usually take Maidana long to finish his work, with 22 of his 27 career stoppage wins taking three rounds or fewer.