I was watching a new documentary on Liston earlier and he really hurt guys when he hit them! Watching him smash guys is amazing, and his victims generally went down and stayed down as if Foreman or Tyson hit them.
But where does he rate among the hardest sluggers ever? Maybe top 5? I have it like this.
The reason I have Liston above Foreman is because Chuck Wepner fought both and said Liston hit harder. And in watching this clip, you can put up a decent argument that Sonny hit harder than Foreman. Could go either way though.
Hard to say who's the best out of all these great punchers, but Sonny would high on the list. I wouldn't argue if he's ahead of Foreman; they're both top guys. (Where are the Klits or Lewis?) Regarding the video, Man, that guy was an awesome puncher! Liston's opponents were almost in another world when they were knocked out. Like Julian Jackson's victims.
One interesting aside, let's say if Liston never fought Ali. I'm sure some of us in this forum would never give Ali a chance. We would be saying a skinny guy like Ali (or Clay back then) is not experienced enough to be in the ring against an ATG destroyer like Liston. Ali wouldn't have strength or skill to stand up to Liston's onslaught and would be bashed to the ground. Liston murders Ali in 2 rounds in similar fashion like Floyd Patterson.
I really don't think those guys hit as hard as a Tua, Shavers, Liston, or Foreman. I felt the line had to be drawn somewhere. I say Lewis, Ruddock, The Klitschkos, Bowe, Tyson and some of those guys rate on the next tier. They're not quite on the Foreman level.
One thing's for sure. Sonny hit harder than the Klits and Lewis.
Generally I agree with you. Though Ruddock & a few others could be up there, like Bruno, Bonecrusher perhaps, an occasional SHW-Wlad did hit very hard.
I do not know if Wilder is quite on this level, but possibly.
Wepner received a prolonged beating from Liston so it impacted him more.
I agree that he & Foreman are way up there, neck & neck.