Ranking the Most Terrifying Fighters in Boxing Today
Halloween is the time for ghosts, ghouls and goblins, but fight fans know there is a breed of fighter in boxing that can create just as much blood-curdling terror. And these guys do it year round. They are the angry and aggressive punchers—the fighters who go for the knockout above all else.
These guys are terrifying.
They come in all forms. They can be stalkers, pressure fighters, boxer-punchers or just plain brawlers. But unlike fictional horror movie characters like Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, these dudes are real.
Here are the absolute scariest of them, ranked in order of who provides the greatest spills and thrills.
5. Adonis Stevenson (22-1, 19 KOs)
Light heavyweight champion Stevenson isn’t your typical scary fighter. He’s a boxer-puncher who fights upright in a southpaw stance, and at age 36 he’s on the wrong side of the slope. But he has scary, scary power. He brutalizes his opponents, even high-class boxers like Chad Dawson.
Perhaps the scariest thing about Stevenson is that he seems to be getting better. Against former titleholder Tavoris Cloud in September, he displayed world-class skill before beating poor Cloud into submission.
Stevenson has a past outside of the ring that he doesn’t like to talk about (per Yahoo.com’s Kevin Iole). That’s fine. It was years ago, and something tells me you don’t want to ask him too many questions that he doesn’t want to answer.
4. Lucas Matthysse (34-3, 32 KOs)
Junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse is coming off a loss to division champion Danny Garcia, but don’t let that fool you. This Argentinean is a monster. He even has a horror film-sounding nickname: “The Machine.”
He is a pressure fighter with excellent boxing skills, but more devastating to his opponents is probably his power in both hands. He’s an aggressive fighter, and when he hits someone, they usually fall down.
Against Garcia, Matthysse suffered a cut over his eye early in the bout. It might have been just enough to help Garcia avoid becoming another victim of The Machine. One thing is clear: Garcia isn’t rushing into a rematch (per EsNewsReporting.com).
Can you blame him?
3. Sergey Kovalev (22-0-1, 20 KOs)
Light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev is aptly called “The Krusher." Because that’s what he does. He crushes things—mainly people.
He straight up savaged the previously undefeated Nathan Cleverly earlier this year, making his permanent and indelible mark on an increasingly interesting light heavyweight division. He’s a stalker who likes to get in front of his opponent and test who is mightier. So far, that’s always been Kovalev, who appears to have legitimate power and a propensity to brawl.
He is a bit of an unknown. He only recently burst onto the mainstream boxing scene under the promotional banner of Kathy Duva’s Main Events, and the buzz of his most recent televised destruction has made him all the more terrifying to potential opponents.
2. Vitali Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs)
WBC heavyweight titlist and older brother of lineal champion Wladimir Klitsckho, Vitali Klitschko is one of the most frightening heavyweights ever. His 87 percent knockout ratio in 47 bouts (per BoxRec.com) is one of the more impressive feats in the history of the division.
Moreover, he just seems to break people down. Fighters like Sam Peter and Tomasz Adamek were never the same after getting beaten down by Klitschko. Heck, even Lennox Lewis thought better of it after winning the first bout over Klitschko by cuts. Instead of a lucrative rematch, the all-timer called it quits.
Fans sometimes confuse the brothers as if they were the same person, but they are not. While Wladimir has show a shakiness at times during his career, Vitali has been rock solid throughout. He’s mean and tough and systematically destroys opponents.
1. Gennady Golovkin (27-0, 24 KOs)
Middleweight Gennady Golovkin is the embodiment of scary. He’s a stalker with power in both hands. He bends people over with punches to their abdomen and knocks them out cold with blows to the temple.
He’s simply a manimal.
Golovkin is absurdly gifted as a fighter. He could probably outbox opponents if he wanted to play it safe, but he doesn’t. He wants to knock them out.
His demolition of former title challenger Matthew Macklin in June is the perfect embodiment of who the Kazakhstan-born is as a fighter. He’s the kind of destruction-wielding puncher who leaves contenders lying on the canvas wondering exactly how good this guy might be.
While all the fighters on this list are terrifying, Golovkin is the scariest of them all.