Re: How highly do you rate Sonny Liston as a puncher?
A list of top heavyweight punchers without Sonny Liston's name on it just doesn't sound right.
I think he had a rather complete arsenal of punches although his left hook was definitely the stand-out, a punch capable of icing an opponent in a single shot.
He also had the puncher's instincts, sometimes knowing where to place the punches before the opponent had even moved into the position. For example he completely figured out Patterson's movement patterns and placed his uppercuts with pin-point accuracy after faking Floyd out with the jab.
While he was no Joe Louis when it came to compact punching and accuracy, I do think he is a step above to Foreman and Shavers types, with no disrespect intended to their raw power and strength. Liston just had a lot more going for him than punching power alone.
A highlight of punchers I made a few years back: