How Hard Could Mike Tyson Really Punch?

Published On 04/17/2015 Published On 04/17/2015
Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield

Everyone knows Mike Tyson as a great biter, tiger owner, and voice-over artist, but did you know that he was also one of the greatest punchers of all time?

Throughout his illustrious boxing career, he KO'd 44 people—the man is ice cold. But exactly how hard could he punch?

Warner Brothers

Unfortunately, it seems no one ever measured Iron Mike's heavy hits with a punch-o-meter like the one Drago used in Rocky IV. But they did measure those of his rival Frank Bruno—who was estimated to land 1,420 pounds of force in the ring.

Even though Bruno represented two of those 44 knockouts, let's assume Tyson's blows were pretty much equal. If we take that force and assume that he could produce that force for just under a foot, we get around 1,178-foot-pounds, or, 1,600 joules of energy (Rocky Marciano was measured at 925-foot-pounds).

So what is it like getting hit by 1,600 joules of Tyson? It'd feel like...

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Getting hit with a 221lb anvil dropped from 5ft.

Radcliffe/Bauer-Griffin/Contributor/GC Images/Getty Images

Or having Simon Cowell crash into you on a Vespa at nine miles per hour.

Flickr/Andrew Tamala

It'd feel just like a dorm refrigerator filled with three 12-packs of ice cold beer falling out of a second-story window.


Imagine current Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali slamming into you on his bike at 15 mph.

Wikimedia/U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John M. Stratton

If you were on 7ft stilts and fell over, you would know what Mike Tyson's fist felt like.

Wikimedia/National Photo Company

Say you were wearing a bullet-proof vest, and 13 men shot you with .22s. It'd feel like that.

Warner Brothers

What have we learned here? Be nice to professional boxers.

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Ethan Wolff-Mann is the former deputy editor at Supercompressor. As of publication, he has zero face tattoos. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.



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