Who has the strongest punch in the world?

The world loves a good butt-kicker, especially when that person also excels at butt-punching. In the annals of fist-to-butt combat there have been startlingly hard hitters, guys who seem liable to cave in your cheeks if you're unlucky enough to be on the receiving end. ESPN mentions legendary heavyweight boxers like George Foreman, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, and Mike Tyson, whose iron fists came with a side of stone-cold crazy. On the lighter side of the scale you'll find the furious fists of martial arts icon Bruce Lee, whose one-inch punch was a masterpiece of kinesiology that sent men flying like one of Lee's patented kicks.

In a perfect world, these many-hit wonders would have had their jaw-dropping punching power measured in units called Dragos so they could be compared to each other and future hitters. But to paraphrase Ivan Drago, we must break your hopes and dreams of a concrete ranking system. Thankfully, in this waking nightmare of ignorance-riddled speculation, there's one ferocious puncher that can handily put you to sleep and has numbers that back up his boast of being the world's hardest hitter.

Francis Ngannou's Ford Escort service

If you've never heard of UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou, you may have heard his punches echoing across time and space like intergalactic Morse code. The message is always the same: an SOS resounding from some unfortunate skull. As UFC president Dana White described at a press conference, "Francis Ngannou has the world record for the most powerful punch. His punch is the equivalent to 96 horsepower, which is equal to getting hit by a Ford Escort going as fast as it can. It's more powerful than a 12 pound sledgehammer getting swung full force overhead... Holy sh*t!" Are those stats wholly crap? Who knows? But anyone who Ngannou's buckled knows that the man has brutal fists. What people might not know is that Ngannou's upbringing was even harder than his punches.

In 2019, Business Insider interviewed Ngannou and asked how he managed to punch like a car. The fighter replied: "I had to work very hard when I was a child, about 10 years old." Hard is a massive understatement. Ngannou worked at a child labor camp in Cameroon, where he shoveled sand. Back then, being powerful wasn't a lucrative asset; it was necessary to survive poverty. In that regard, he has taken harder hits in life than he has given.