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Top 14 Body Punchers in Boxing History

Publish Date: 10/21/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Greatest Body punchers

Everybody loves a knockout, but to be able to knock a man out with a body shot is awe-inspiring when you see it. Of course then you have to see all the fat losers on facebook posting the fight was rigged or the guys a bum, when we all know good and well why those dudes are sitting on the couch. As always chime in if you think we missed somebody.

14) Mickey Ward

“Irish” Mickey Ward became legendary for his devastating left hook to the liver – an effective punch that helped earn him multiple knockouts and gave him his signature style of fighting. Few boxers have relied so heavily on such one devastating punch to win their fights.

Video: Micky Ward: Routes to the Body

Micky Ward: Routes to the Body

13) Ricky Hatton

Hatton used his upstairs attacks to dispatch with former world level operator Freddie Pendleton in 2001 and Joe Hutchinson the following year, effectively ending decent opposition with one blow.

Hatton made headlines with one of his signature body shots against Jose Luis Castillo, HBO announcer Jim Lampley noted it as, “the perfect liver shot”.

Video: Ricky Hatton Body Punching Techniques

Ricky Hatton Body Punching Techniques

12) Jake La Motta

LaMotta made his mark by inflicting punishment upon opponents like Marcel Cerdan, Tommy Bell, Fritzie Zivic, Tommy Yarosz, Holman Williams and Sugar Ray Robinson – regularly engaging them close and taking hits as punishment in his trademark manner, while he tore relentlessly into his opponent’s body.

Video: Rare Footage: Newsreel of Jake LaMotta training at Gleason's Gym

Rare Footage: Newsreel of Jake LaMotta training at Gleason’s Gym

11) Eusebio Pedroza

Pedroza was a long time World Champion in the Featherweight division because of his body punching, sure sometimes they went a little low but he was a relentless body puncher.

Video: Eusebio Pedroza - Amazing Reflexes (Defense Highlight)

Eusebio Pedroza – Amazing Reflexes (Defense Highlight)

10) Gennady Golovkin

Most of us were first exposed to Golovkin’s body shots in his fight with Gregorsz Proksa; each knockdown was initiated by one or more body shots delivered by Golovkin.

His body attack is noteworthy for being so dynamic. He often changes angles, speeds, and targets mid-punch.

Video: Heavy Body shots by Golovkin knockout Macklin | Highlight

Heavy Body shots by Golovkin knockout Macklin | Highlight

9) Henry Armstrong

“Homicide Hank’s” strategy consisted in closing in, sticking to an opponent like super glue and unleashing heavy artillery into their breadbasket. Armstrong held the title in three weight classes simultaneously and is one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters that ever lived.

Video: The Greatest Infighter of All Time

The Greatest Infighter of All Time

8) Eder Jofre

Jofre was a great fighter that on several occasions turned fights in his favor because of his ability to body punch.

Video: Eder Jofre - Golden Bantam

Eder Jofre – Golden Bantam

7) Marco Antonio Barerra

Barerra was a highly skilled ring technician, but his greatest trait was his willingness to go to his opponent’s body. Barerra was an all time great fighter and a lot of that was because of his willingness to go to the body effectively.

Video: Marco Antonio Barrera: Routes to the Body

Marco Antonio Barrera: Routes to the Body

6) Julio Cesar Chavez

Chavez body punches became legendary throughout the 1980s and 1990s as his fists found their way beneath 87 stoppage victims’ ribcages en route to some devastating victories. “The Lion of Culiacan” always comes up when discussing great body punchers. The Meldrick Taylor fight was a perfect example of the damage Chavez could do to the body.

Video: Julio Cesar Chavez: Routes to the Body

Julio Cesar Chavez: Routes to the Body

5) Tony Zale

Zale was famed for his unyielding determination to whack away at his opponent’s ribs with two-fisted body attacks.

Video: Knockout of the Year; 1948 : Tony Zale KO3 Rocky Graziano III

Knockout of the Year; 1948 : Tony Zale KO3 Rocky Graziano III

4) Roberto Duran

Many people categorize Duran as a brawler, but he was a masterful counterpuncher and could attack the body with the best of them.

Video: Roberto Duran: Routes to the Body

Roberto Duran: Routes to the Body

3) Alexis Arguello

Arguello was an expert at patiently targeting hard blows to the midsection to wear down an opponent. A master body puncher, Arguello frequently combined head and body blows simultaneously in his arsenal of attacks.

Video: Alexis Arguello: Routes to the Body

Alexis Arguello: Routes to the Body

2) Mike McCallum

Anybody named the Body Snatcher should be high on this list. He was a great fighter, and no Duran and Hagler ever ducked him! This triple crown king, conqueror of Herol Graham, Donald Curry, Milton McCrory and Jeff Harding, was an all-time great.

Video: How McCallum Angled Body Blows Through The Guard

How McCallum Angled Body Blows Through The Guard

1) Joe Frazier

Smokin’ Joe began his attack with full focus on his opponent’s midsection, employing left hooks to the body as a precursor for an assault directed upward. Frazier to me is an underrated fighter, and his swarming, relentless attack made him a devastating force in his prime. His right to the liver was even more pulverizing than his left hook was, and that’s saying a lot.

Video: Joe Frazier: Routes to the Body

Joe Frazier: Routes to the Body

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