'Wilder hits like no one ever has!'
Photos (top to bottom): Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images; All Bello / Getty Images: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images; Ethan Miller/Getty Images; Al Bello/Getty Images
Is Deontay Wilder the biggest heavyweight puncher of all time? Trainer Jay Deas has guided the 'Bronze Bomber' since he first walked into a boxing gym and here makes the case for his man being the biggest puncher of them all...
"Power is a unique thing. Every heavyweight can hit, but some just have that 'it' factor. Punchers are basically born but you can improve power 10 per cent or so with conditioning and technique. Spacing, distance, timing all play into it. Some guys can punch but don’t use these things effectively so their knockout totals aren’t what they could be.
"There are different kinds of power. Getting hit by George Foreman was like getting hit by a truck at 35 miles per hour. You feel every inch of it, real pain. Getting hit by Mike Tyson was like getting hit by a bullet. Speed power. Doesn’t hurt so much as you’re just on the ground and your body doesn’t work!
"In the past, not to discount Jack Johnson, Jim Jeffries, John L. Sullivan and those guys but technique and training has advanced so far since the early 1900’s, it’s not really fair to include them. Moving forward, Earnie Shavers hit scary hard. Joe Louis was precise. Evander Holyfield had power but not so much one-punch power, he did it with volume. I bring up these names because Shavers, Louis, Holyfield and today’s Deontay Wilder are all Alabama guys. All born in Alabama. Country power!
"From the past you’d have to consider Louis, Rocky Marciano, Jack Dempsey, Shavers, Sonny Liston, George Foreman, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Shannon Briggs, Vitali Klitschko, Joe Frazier and I’m sure I’m leaving many out! Herbie Hide had bone-jarring power. He hurt Riddick Bowe every time he hit him. Bowe got him out of there 'cause he had to. Corey Sanders of South Africa had scary power and may beat most heavyweights in history in 2/3 round fights. For a couple of rounds his southpaw speed and power was sensational.
"I think Foreman gets the nod [of past heavyweights]. Vicious puncher! Even in his second career he still had it, and was better relaxed and able to use it.
"As for today, Deontay Wilder no question. I’m not just saying that because I train him. His power is other-worldly. Ask anyone who has been hit by him; Jameel McCline, former four-time world title challenger and a friend, sparred with Deontay and said it’s not like getting hit by a human being. That was in 20oz gloves and headgear!
"Deontay accidentally hit me under the body protector once. Gave me a hernia. I had to have surgery. He dislocated Mark Breland’s shoulder with a right hand when Mark was doing mitts. He fractured Coach Cuz Hill’s thumb with a hook on mitts.
"Deontay can graze you and hurt you. He has more that Tyson speed power mentioned earlier but also can hit you where you feel every inch of it like Foreman. So he has both if needed.
"Other guys in the division have power in different ways. Luis Ortiz can punch with both hands. Dillian Whyte has a tremendous left hook. Fantastic. Anthony Joshua has a right and also a hook. Ruiz has that overhand right. Fury has a sneaky uppercut he can throw from various range and angles. But hands down Deontay.
"Which brings us to best puncher all time. Foreman or Wilder? Foreman fought in the best era ever for heavyweights. Wilder is in a great era as well. History will show this to be a wonderful time.
"You know I’m going Wilder. I’m a historian so it’s not that I’m viewing through millennial eyes, I’m too old for that. It’s just that Wilder hits like no one ever has. He has the hand and bone structure of a basketball player. Thin long bones. Not big thick bones like other heavyweights so it’s really a rare thing. Appreciate him while you can. He really is must-see TV. And boy can he punch!"
Jay Deas was talking to Luke G. Williams before Wilder vs Ortiz 2. Luke's full article on the greatest heavyweight punchers of all time featured in the October issue of Boxing Monthly, which is available through our back issues service.