Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has not fought in over a year, but he’s still renowned as one of boxing’s most powerful punchers. This year has seen one of MMA’s most powerful punchers enter the boxing ring, as former UFC heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou battled Tyson Fury in October.
In MMA, Ngannou has become renowned for his brutal punching power. Back in 2022, his manager Marquel Martin outright stated that ‘The Predator’ hits “way harder” than Deontay Wilder. Evidently, this claim, which has been repeated ad verbatim in the years that have followed, has never sat well with Wilder. In a recent interview on the Last Stand Podcast :
“Hey man, you gotta have confidence in yourself, you gotta do that, you gotta…you know what I mean? You got to feel good about… and he (Ngannou), on his high horse, he feeling good. I’m proud of Francis, you know what I mean? That’s my African brother, you know, he’s Cameroon and I’m right there Nigerian tribe, you feel me?” “So we back the back and I’m happy for him, but the thing is, women lie, men lie, but numbers don’t lie, baby. I’ve been doing it for a very long time, and every man I’ve faced, I’m knocking out and putting on that canvas…understand me? I don’t think that’s the same for him… but, you know, he got power and he can punch… but when it come to the hardest puncher in all of combat sports, you’re hearing the voice and you’re looking at the man that holds that title.”
Deontay Wilder has not fought since his win over Robert Helenius in October 2022, but he is set to face Joseph Parker in his comeback bout on December 23 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Deontay Wilder’s claim of being the hardest puncher in combat sports has been challenged by Francis Ngannou, and if you go by a 2018 test, it’s easy to see why many side with ‘The Predator’. Ngannou famously registered an insane strike power of 129,161 units for his overhand right on a PowerKube machine, which analysed the punch’s force, speed, and accuracy.
Reportedly, this set the record for the hardest punch in the world, with the only person coming close to matching Ngannou’s power being powerlifter Eddie Hall. We may yet find out whether Wilder or Ngannou hits harder, though, as the two men have been mooted to face off in a mixed-rules fight in the PFL in 2024.