The Knockout Artist World Champions

By Mauricio Sulaimán
Son of José Sulaimán & President of the WBC

In the history of boxing, there have been fourteen world champions who have won a title while undefeated, all of their victories have been by knockout, and it’s a gift that tips the scales at any time in the ring.

Only two Mexicans are among this list: Alfonso Zamora and Alejandro “Terra” García.

On July 15, 1975, the Thai Saensak Muangsurin won the world championship of the World Boxing Council in the super lightweight division with only three fights, and the same number of knockouts.

Then the Mexican Alfonso Zamora appeared. Only three years after winning the Olympic silver medal in Munich, Germany, he was crowned world bantamweight monarch with 21 knockouts, on March 14, 1975.

Great Australian Jeff Fenech won the bantamweight title on April 26, 1985. Each of his seven wins was by KO.

Also, the American Michael Moorer came with 12 knockouts to seize the light heavyweight championship on December 3, 1988.

Fernando “El Feroz” Vargas, of North American origin but with Mexican roots, conquered the title with 15 fights and the same number of knockouts to gain the super welterweight championship. And at only 21 years old, he became the youngest fighter in history to achieve it in this division on December 12, 1998.

Also, the American Randall Bailey with 19 KOs to seize the super lightweight title on May 15, 1999.

Towering Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko, who is currently fighting for the liberation of his country, was crowned heavyweight champion with a record of 25 fights with the same KOs, on June 26, 1999.

He was an outstanding monarch because of his 47 fights, he won 45, only losing two, one of which was against the American Chris Byrd and the other to British-Canadian Lennox Lewis. He made 12 defenses for the World Boxing Council from 2008 to 2012.

The Brazilian Acelino Freitas is also one of the champions who have arrived undefeated and with victory by knockout in all his fights. On August 7, 1999, he entered the ring, with 21 fights and the same number of KOs.

All the previous champions and those that follow have had dynamite in their fists. They were characterized by the power of their punching, underlining their respective victories.

Venezuela is a country of boxing and great champions. This nation has given us 38 monarchs. It started with Carlos “Morocho” Hernández in the super lightweight division, in 1965.

From that date onwards they have continued to fight for more and more world titles.

One of the best-known monarchs in the 1970s was Betulio González, who fought epic battles in Mexico; another was Antonio Esparragoza. And Alexander Muñoz, won the lightweight belt with 22 knockouts in the same number of fights.

The Mexican Alejandro “Terra” García, who was also characterized by his solid striking, reached the super welterweight championship with 26 knockouts without losing. This happened on March 1, 2003, thanks to his natural punch and great forcefulness, he achieved all those KOs.

Another tremendous Venezuelan knockout artist was Edwin Valero, who reached his first super featherweight title with 19 knockouts, in an unblemished advance. He subsequently won the World Boxing Council lightweight championship. His quality in the ring was brilliant. He landed 18 knockouts in the first round. His personal life was in turmoil, and he lost his life on April 19, 2010.

Britain’s Anthony Joshua won his first heavyweight championship, going 16 fights unbeaten and with the same number of KOs. That happened on April 19, 2016.

On May 20, 2017, Japan’s Daigo Higa arrived with 13 wins and knockouts, to be crowned WBC flyweight world champion from 2017 to 2018.

We polish this off with Russian Artur Beterbiev, who scored 12 knockouts to win the light heavyweight title on November 11, 2017.

A magnificent seven X 2 parade of champions who have punctuated history as undefeated, winning via fast track, until they achieved the world title.

There are also other spectacular finishers: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, Rocky Marciano, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Sonny Liston, Mike Tyson, Wilfredo Gómez, Alexis Argüello, Pipino Cuevas, Rubén Olivares and Carlos Zárate.

Did you know…?

Archie Moore holds the record for the most knockouts in history, with 132 in 186 wins.

Today`s Anecdote

Don José was impressed with Mike Tyson’s series of knockouts in the first round.

Tyson subsequently became the youngest world champion in heavyweight history, aged 20, when he won the WBC title against Trevor Berbick on November 22, 1986.

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    • Was he really that good? I’ve seen maybe 2-3 of his fights, always seemed kind of wild punching to me.

  • What about Wilfredo Gomez?!!!! The baddest 122 pounder in the history of boxing! Made 17 title defenses….ALL BY KO

    • He had a loss and two decision wins before winning the WBA Junior Middleweight title.

      • My bad. Missed the “undefeated” thing in the first paragraph. Just skipped through the names…

    • Pound for pound Julian Jackson is in the conversation for being THE hardest puncher ever. His name could have been mentioned at the end.

      • @Lucie Yep. He has quite the highlight reel. His KOs of Wayne Powell, Herol Graham, and Terry Norris were particularly brutal…

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