The Hardest Puncher in Boxing History: Julian Jackson

Hardest Puncher in Boxing History
Julian "the Hawk" Jackson

Professional boxing has had many hard punchers. However, a middleweight named Julian “the Hawk” Jackson may have possessed the hardest punch ever. Yes, that’s right. The hardest puncher in boxing history was a middleweight. During his prime, Julian Jackson possessed the hardest punch in the world, regardless of sport. To put it simply, Jackson’s punching power terrified his opponents. In this article, we analyze the career of Julian “the Hawk” Jackson—the hardest puncher in boxing history.

Hardest puncher in boxing history
Julian “the Hawk” Jackson

Julian “the Hawk” Jackson (Hardest Puncher in Boxing History) Background and Amateur Career

Julian Jackson was born on September 12, 1960, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Jackson’s father was a boxer famous for his punching power, so “the Hawk” likely inherited this trait from his hard-hitting father. Julian “the Hawk” Jackson began boxing at age 14, and his punching power was quickly recognized by his trainers. As an amateur, Julian Jackson compiled a 15-2 amateur record. However, it wasn’t until he entered the professional ranks that Jackson became known for possessing the hardest punch in the world.

Julian “the Hawk” Jackson (Hardest Puncher in Boxing History) Professional Career

Hardest puncher in boxing history
Julian “the Hawk” Jackson

Early Professional Career of the Hardest Puncher in Boxing History

Julian “the Hawk” Jackson, the hardest puncher in boxing history, began his professional career in 1981. Jackson won 28 of his first 29 fights by knockout. That is some serious punching power. His opponents often remarked that they’d never felt punching power like that from a middleweight.

First WBA Light Middleweight Title Shot

On August 23, 1986, Julian Jackson, the hardest puncher in boxing history, fought Mike McCallum for the WBA light middleweight title. “The Hawk” stunned McCallum with his ferocious punching power during the first round of the fight. However, unlike most of Jackson’s previous opponents, McCallum managed to weather the storm and turn the tables on “the Hawk.” Following a number of left hooks and well-placed body shots by McCallum in the second round, the referee waived off the contest. McCallum was crowned the champion.

In his post-fight interview, McCallum said that Jackson hit “like lightning” and that he felt “paralyzed” by Jackson’s punching power. Even in victory, Jackson’s opponent’s respected and feared his power.

Hardest puncher in boxing history
Mike McCallum vs. Julian Jackson

Second WBA Light Middleweight Title Shot

Julian Jackson took some time off following his loss to Mike McCallum. However, after putting together two more knockout victories, “the Hawk” received another shot at the WBA light middleweight title, this time against Korean boxer Baek In-chul. Jackson didn’t let his second opportunity go to waste, defeating the Korean by technical knockout in the third round and claiming the vacant WBA light middleweight title.

Hardest puncher in boxing history
Julian “the Hawk” Jackson vs. Baek In-chul

Post-Title String of Knockouts

After becoming the WBA light middleweight champion, Julian “the Hawk” Jackson knocked out his next 12 opponents, including the great Terry Norris, who he managed to dispose of in the second round of their fight.

Hardest punch in the world
Julian Jackson vs. Terry Norris

During this string of vicious knockouts, Jackson faced a tough challenge from Herol Graham. The two men fought on November 1, 1990, with Graham getting off to a great start, clearly winning the first three rounds and injuring Jackson’s eye in the process. In fact, following the third round, the ring doctor informed “the Hawk” that he would stop the fight if the injury got any worse. Luckily for Jackson, he managed to connect with Graham’s chin in the fourth round, sending Graham’s lifeless body to the canvas.

Hardest puncher in boxing history
Herol Graham

Fights with Gerald McClellan

Despite being the hardest puncher in boxing history, the one man that Julian Jackson couldn’t seem to figure out was the hard-hitting Gerald McClellan. “The Hawk” first met Gerald McClellan in the ring on May 8, 1993. Fans and experts alike expected a short fight. After all, when two of the hardest punchers in the world meet, all it takes is one shot to end the contest.

McClellan knocked Jackson out in the fifth round to capture the WBC middleweight title. The loss was Jackson’s second in over 12 years of professional boxing. Unfortunately for Julian “the Hawk” Jackson, when he met McClellan again four years later, he fared even worse, this time suffering a first-round knockout.

Hardest punch in the world
Gerald McClellan

Late Career

Following his second loss to Gerald McClellan, Jackson finally managed to reclaim the WBC middleweight title in a fight with Agostino Cardamone for the vacant belt. Unsurprisingly, the hard-hitting Jackson’s victory came via knockout in the second round. Despite his losses to McClellan, his victory over Cardamone proved that “the Hawk” still possessed the strongest punch in the world.

Hardest puncher in boxing history
Agostino Cardamone

Unfortunately for Jackson, however, his third and final title reign was short lived—he would go on to lose the title in his very next fight to the tough Quincy Taylor. Julian “the Hawk” Jackson would fight six more times after this loss, accumulating four wins and two losses, with both losses coming by way of knockout in his final two fights.

Hardest punch in the world
Julian Jackson: The Hardest Puncher in Boxing History


Following his last two losses, it was clear that Jackson’s best days were behind him. Age, a string of serious injuries, and the wear and tear of two decades of pugilism left Jackson unable to perform at his best. So, in 1998, after a career spanning nearly 20 years, the hard-hitting “Hawk” finally hung up his gloves for good.


During his 17-year career, Julian Jackson accumulated a record of 55 victories and six losses. As a man who is considered the hardest puncher in boxing history, it’s no surprise that 49 of Jackson’s 55 wins came by way of knockout.

In 2018, Jackson was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. And in 2003, Ring Magazine ranked him the 25th greatest puncher of all time regardless of weight class.

Despite his excellent record and respectable boxing skills, Julian Jackson will always primarily be remembered for one thing: possessing the strongest punch in boxing history.

Julian Jackson possessed the strongest punch ever.

Want to see the hardest puncher in boxing history in action? Check out this excellent video from Your Boxing Guide!

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