Originally Posted by Absolutely!
There's also a difference between being a genuine knockout puncher and being perceived as one. Shavers falls into the latter camp.
Shavers lacks the body of brutal knockouts because he didn't punch as hard as advertised. It's not like he didn't have plenty of opportunity to prove that with some of the stiffs he fought. Where's his equivalent of Tua Moorer, or Ruddock Dokes? If you have the power to put someone's lights out or hurt them so badly that they're unable to defend themselves then you don't need good finishing skills.
I'm not criticising him for not having knocked out Holmes or Ali, nor am I criticising him for his losses or his lack of success at the upper level of the sport. But he doesn't belong in discussions like this, unless it's to expose just how thin the actual in-ring evidence is for legitimately justifying his place among the hardest punchers in the sport.
Foreman has very few 1 punch KOs as well. Tyson was never a 1 punch-lights out kind of guy. Tyson rarely knocked guys unconcious, actually. They usually were still able to get up or at least trying when the ref stopped it. Same with Foreman.
Marciano had more 1 punch KOs where the person was unconcious for minutes, but he didn't punch as hard as Shavers or Foreman.
Why would all of the people Shavers fought, all with mixed results, lie about who hit them hardest?
Muhammad Ali knocked Foreman out and squeeked by with a close decision win against Shavers. Wouldn't he have more to gain by saying Foreman hit hardest?
Ken Norton was blasted out in 2 rounds by Foreman and 1 round by Shavers. He stated Shavers hit hardest. He had nothing to gain or lose by saying either one punched harder. Just an honest, unbiased thought.
Jimmy Young was knocked out by Shavers, then had a draw against Shavers. He beat George Foreman. He stated Shavers was the hardest hitter.
When there are so many common oponents saying that one man hit harder than the other, it's fair to say that the guy really did hit harder than the other.
Larry Holmes and James "Quick" Tillis both fought Tyson and Shavers. Both said Shavers was the hardest hitter. Holmes did say that Tyson was the sharpest puncher, though. Which is completely different than being a hard puncher. I'd rather be a sharper puncher than a harder puncher.
Evander Holyfield and Shannon Briggs both stated that Foreman was the hardest hitter they faced. Between the two of them, they've faced Lennox Lewis, Ray Mercer, Bert Cooper, Riddick Bowe (Holyfield said he actually hit him with the hardest single punch), and Vitali Klitschko. They were quite sure Foreman was the hardest puncher they fought.
Who are we to say one hit harder than the other without actually being in the ring with them? Looking at knockouts involves so many other variables aside from sheer power.