Boxing’s weakest chins and glass jaws as exposed by Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather
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Boxing’s weakest chins and glass jaws as exposed by Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather

Nov 16, 2023

Weak chin, glass jaw, chinny: some of the most hurtful labels fans place upon a boxer – but unfortunately these otherwise elite fighters were all let down by their punch resistance.

Not every boxer can be a Canelo Alvarez or a Gennady Golovkin, blessed with a seemingly indestructible jaw. Some boxers, despite excelling in other areas – speed, skills, stamina or punch power – spend a lot of their career going up and down like a toilet seat.

Golovkin, left, and Canelo, right, are two boxers known for their durability

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Golovkin, left, and Canelo, right, are two boxers known for their durabilityCredit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

These are talkSPORT’s top 10 boxers who achieved so much in the ring – and often showed tremendous heart – but could have done even more if it wasn’t for their vulnerability.

10. Frank Bruno

Britain’s beloved ‘Big Frank’ was a strange case in that he actually withstood some mighty early wallops from some serious heavyweight punchers such as Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson (in their first fight, at least). But all five of his defeats came by stoppage.

Bruno’s problem was that his resilience seemed to deteriorate as a fight wore on – and he often found himself propped up against the ropes, fists down, shipping shots as a referee stepped in. No questioning Frank’s courage; if only his whiskers had been of the same quality.

Bruno felt the full force of Mike Tyson during his career

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Bruno felt the full force of Mike Tyson during his careerCredit: Getty Images – Getty

9. Wladimir Klitschko

An all-time great heavyweight who went 11 years unbeaten in his prime but did so by keeping opponents at the end of a ramrod jab to protect his chin. Ross Puritty, Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster all stopped Klitschko, while Samuel Peter knocked him down three times (but lost on points).

Yet the Ukrainian survived some huge punches from Anthony Joshua in his final bout before being taken out in round 11. If Wlad had had the same iron jaw as his brother, the seemingly unbreakable Vitali, we would have been looking at the perfect heavyweight package.

Joshua's hit Klitschko  with everything he had when they fought

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Joshua’s hit Klitschko with everything he had when they foughtCredit: Getty

8. Victor Ortiz

Ortiz was the last genuine boxer Floyd Mayweather knocked out (until his 50th fight against Conor McGregor). The bout was controversial, Floyd striking when Ortiz naively lowered his gloves, but two more stoppage losses followed in his next two fights to confirm Victor’s vulnerability.

Marcos Maidana was the first to defeat Ortiz inside their distance in their 2009 war. That contest shaped the American southpaw’s reputation: a quick, gifted, stylish boxer – who looked and acted the part – but who was missing the X-factor that real champions possess.

Ortiz is the last genuine boxer Mayweather knocked out, although the 2011 bout was controversial

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Ortiz is the last genuine boxer Mayweather knocked out, although the 2011 bout was controversialCredit: Getty

7. Tommy Morrison

Played Tommy Gunn in ‘Rocky V’ and basically lived out that character’s early story arc. OK, Morrison was never beaten up by Sylvester Stallone in a street fight, but the red-hot heavyweight prospect was stopped in only 28 seconds by Ray Mercer in 1991 – one of boxing’s most brutal KOs.

Another shock KO1, this time to Michael Bentt in 1993, sealed Morrison’s shaky status. Oddly, lasted 12 rounds with an aged George Foreman – by wisely avoiding his hefty but ponderous punches – and even took Lennox Lewis into round six before, inevitably, being stopped.

Morrison often found himself clutching the ropes despite possessing extreme power

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Morrison often found himself clutching the ropes despite possessing extreme powerCredit: Getty Images – Getty

6. Audley Harrison

A terrific amateur who won Olympic gold in 2000, Harrison’s pro career was not quite the flop it is painted to be. He won the European heavyweight title and challenged for world honours, but his dull southpaw style was – in part – there to protect a suspect mandible.

Michael Sprott revealed that with a third-round KO in 2007. Audley rebuilt but was taken apart in a mismatch against David Haye three years later. First-round KOs by David Price and, gulp, Deontay Wilder followed. Wilder vs Harrison – how was that even allowed?

Harrison felt the full force of Deontay Wilder's power when they met

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Harrison felt the full force of Deontay Wilder’s power when they metCredit: Getty Images – Getty

5. Julian Jackson

‘Glass cannon’ is boxing speak for a fighter with formidable power but who is also fragile when it comes to return fire. ‘The Hawk’ may embody that better than any other fighter. The flat-topped Virgin Islander was a devastating one-punch KO artist – just ask Britain’s Herol Graham.

However, in his 55-6 (49 KOs) record, all six defeats came by stoppage. Mike McCallum scored a KO2 over Jackson, while Gerald McClellan stopped him twice. Yet Jackson was also a three-time world champion and thrilled fans worldwide, so he still had a career to be proud of.

Jackson recorded 49 knockouts

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Jackson recorded 49 knockoutsCredit: Getty

4. Floyd Patterson

A supremely quick and skilful heavyweight champion, Patterson is unfortunately also remembered for being knocked down a total of 19 times in his career. Lost his world title to Sonny Liston via a first-round KO in 1962, then lasted just four seconds longer in a rematch.

There is no shame in losing to one of the hardest punchers ever (or to Muhammad Ali twice). But Patterson was also knocked down seven times in one fight by Sweden’s Ingemar Johansson and was even knocked down by Pete Rademacher, who was making his pro debut. Not ideal.

Patterson was flying until Liston battered him

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Patterson was flying until Liston battered himCredit: Getty Images – Getty

3. Bruce Seldon

Seldon infamously flopped to the canvas less than two minutes into a fight against Mike Tyson in 1996 without a fight-ending punch clearly appearing to land. But maybe Bruce was just anticipating what was inevitably going to happen. Or possibly his chin really was that dodgy.

After all, Seldon had already been stopped by Oliver McCall and Riddick Bowe (also a KO1) in 1991. After his paltry effort against Tyson, Seldon would be stopped four more times, so by the time of his belated retirement, seven of the defeats in his 40-8 record were via KO.

Seldon was on the receiving end of Tyson's ferocity and he was floored in the end

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Seldon was on the receiving end of Tyson’s ferocity and he was floored in the endCredit: AFP

2. Amir Khan

There is no questioning Khan’s bravery or almost superhuman hand speed. But a less-than-titanium chin coupled with occasional, glaring defensive holes too often spelt disaster. Unheralded Breidis Prescott wrecked Khan’s unbeaten record with a 54-second KO in 2008.

Amir rebuilt, became a world champion and even beat noted puncher Marcos Maidana over 12 rounds. But that vulnerability was always lurking, and Danny Garcia’s left hook sparked another savage KO before stoppage defeats by Canelo Alvarez, Terence Crawford and, finally, Kell Brook.

Crawford stopped Khan in 2019, with the Brit also being stopped by Garcia and Canelo among others

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Crawford stopped Khan in 2019, with the Brit also being stopped by Garcia and Canelo among othersCredit: Getty Images – Getty

1. David Price

Strange to think that had they fought 11 years ago, British heavyweight champion Price would have been strongly favoured to beat Tyson Fury, whom he had defeated as an amateur. But while Fury would ascend to glory, a series of brutal knockouts derailed Price’s career.

In defence of the 6ft 8in hard-hitting Scouser, the first two boxers to stop him – Tony Thompson, twice, then Erkan Teper – failed drug tests (the Teper defeat was altered to a no-contest). But by then, the damage to Price’s reputation was done.

Knockout defeats by Christian Hammer, Alexander Povetkin – a nasty KO by another fighter who’d tested positive for drugs – Sergey Kuzmin and Derek Chisora followed. All six of his defeats came by KO, an unfortunate stat for a likeable giant with all the tools to become a top heavyweight but for one crucial flaw.

Price's career never lived up to its undoubted potential

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Price’s career never lived up to its undoubted potential


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