Boxing’s Best Ever Body Punchers

There’s nothing quite like a devastating body shot in boxing. When a fighter lands perfectly to the midsection of an opponent, it’s typically game over.

When a body punch lands clean it's game over (Image: Al Bello).

Whether it’s a debilitating left hook to the liver, a deadly right hand to the ribs or a paralysing shot to the solar plexus, body shots produce many eye-catching knockouts. 

Throughout boxing history, many great fighters have become known as bodysnatchers for their crushing attacks downstairs and dramatic stoppages, through effectively battering the bodies of rivals. Look back at the greatest below. 

Julio Cesar Chavez Sr

When discussing boxing’s best ever body punchers then Julio Cesar Chavez Sr is a name that must be brought up. 

Throughout the 1990s, ‘El León de Culiacán’ buried his Mexican fists into the ribs of victims and broke them down with precise, air-sapping body attacks to reign as his country’s greatest ever champion. 

Micky Ward

'Irish’ Micky Ward made a devastating left hook to the body his trademark shot throughout a career that epitomised the warrior’s mentality. 

His signature move earned him many knockout victories, most notably coming back from the brink of defeat to stun then undefeated Mexican Alfonso Sanchez in 1997. 

The popular Massachusetts bodysnatcher also dropped Arturo Gatti with his iconic liver shot on his way to a famous win in the pulsating first meeting of their historic trilogy. 

Mike McCallum

Simply known as ‘The Bodysnatcher’, Mike McCallum was a true master of his craft. 

The Jamaican legend used his clinical body attacking abilities to rally to world titles in three weight classes and secure his place in the Hall of Fame. 

Alexis Arguello

Nicaragua’s Alexis Arguello was a patient body killer who knew how to mix up his accurate combinations both upstairs and down. 

‘The Explosive Thin Man’ hurt many rivals to the midriff with his power and precision, earning him a reputation as one of the sport’s finest body bashers. 

Roberto Duran

When ‘Hands of Stone’ went to work on the body, opponents were left gasping for air and covering up from the sustained damage. 

Roberto Duran was one of the greatest inside fighters in history, knowing exactly how to set up his body attacks up close and punishing foes with his relentless approach. 

Ricky Hatton

Manchester’s Ricky Hatton produced many memorable moments for his legion of passionate fans with brutal body shots. 

Most prominently, his vicious 2007 knockout of Jose Luis Castillo sent his travelling supporters crazy in Las Vegas, delivering a perfect liver blow to break four of his rival’s ribs. 

Gerald McClellan

Former middleweight world champion Gerald McClellan was once dubbed “a miniature Mike Tyson” by his then promoter Don King. 

It was his explosive power and accuracy that gained him a fearsome aura as a deadly body puncher during the height of his pugilistic powers. 

Joe Frazier

Heavyweight legend Joe Frazier always came in ‘smokin’ to the body of his rivals, softening them up from his aggressive, crouching style and often crippling them to the canvas. 

Targeting the midsection constantly, primarily with his pinpoint left hooks, Frazier’s pressure was often too much to handle for eventual victims. 

“I hit him with body shots that would’ve brought down cities,” the iconic heavyweight once stated. 

Henry Armstrong

There have been few fighters as relentless and aggressive as Henry Armstrong. 

Add in his non-stop body assaults and he became anyone’s worst nightmare in the ring. 

The aim of the game for ‘Homicide Hank’ was to stick to an opponent and not give them a second to breath, before launching full scale bombs to their midriff. Usually, it worked. 

Jake LaMotta

Another come-forward aggressor who brought war every time he climbed through the ring ropes. 

Unloading as much heavy artillery as possible, Jake La Motta hit the torso as strongly as anyone in boxing history. 

Although absorbing a lot of punishment along the way, ‘The Bronx Bull’ didn’t care, as he got up close and dished out as much heat as he took. Typically, he came out on top. 

Other great body punchers: Mickey Walker, Bob Fitzsimmons, Tony Zale, Sugar Ray Robinson, Sam Langford, Rocky Marciano, Pernell Whitaker, Mike Tyson, Gennady Golovkin, Ruben Olivares, James Toney, Joe Louis, Tony Canzoneri, Thomas Hearns, Canelo Alvarez, Bernard Hopkins, Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez.