Punching cheetahs, contrary to what’s suggested below, is not the toughest thing a person can do with regard to punching dangerous animals in their faces. It might not even qualify… because cheetahs aren’t dangerous. Punching a cheetah in the face might be the silliest thing a person can do with a cheetah, or the most likely to start a tickle-fight, but that’s all.
Punching a gorilla is a much tougher thing to do.
Let’s walk through two hypothetical scenarios: in the first, it’s 1936 and you’re walking around Berlin when you bump into famed sprinter Jessie Owens. He’s upset at being bumped into but, because it was really his fault for not watching where he was going, you take offense at his upset and punch him in the face.
In the second and equally likely situation, the year is 1990 and you’ve just stepped out of a rickshaw in Tokyo and bumped into “Iron Mike” Tyson. He’s just lost his belt to Buster Douglas and he’s in no mood for bumping. Tyson is no sprinter, but he’s six feet tall and weighs 220 pounds, and all of it (in 1990) is solid muscle. He’s the youngest man to ever win boxing’s World Heavyweight Championship and he won his first 19 professional bouts by knockout… 16 of those coming in the first round. His overall record remains 50-6, with 44 of those 50 wins coming by way of knockout. You punch him in the face also.
Rewind: it’s 1936 again. Assuming you’re a good-sized guy, a fight with 157-pound Jessie Owens will likely go your way. He’s a world-class sprinter but he has very small fists and, in a close tie-up, his speed won’t help. You beat him handily and are transported back to 1990, where Mike Tyson immediately breaks your face open with one punch, just for living.
Sounds like cheetahs and gorillas.
Consider Noah’s four points in favor of cheetahs:
Cheetahs are fast, and gorillas are easily distracted. This is half-true: cheetahs have learned to be fast because they often have to run away from tougher animals, like ducks. And gorillas aren’t easily distracted, they just have little patience with anything that isn’t as tough as they are, which is everything. If a gorilla ever walked away from a cheetah, it was because the cheetah wasn’t tough enough to be worth his time. The gorilla probably went looking for a worthy opponent, like a tornado.
Cheetahs have knives attached to their hands and feet. This isn’t entirely accurate either. Cheetahs do have knives attached to their hands and feet, but only plastic picnic knives. Gorillas don’t need knives because weapons are for cowards, and gorillas fight with honor.
Cheetahs don’t respond to trash talk. This actually is true, but only because cheetahs aren’t tough enough to engage in it. They’re never exposed to insults because they spend all of their time watching Lifetime Channel movies or knitting.
Cheetahs don’t hunt in packs, like wolves. This is also true, but only because cheetahs are too afraid to hunt in packs, or to hunt at all. They mainly just order their food from vegetarian restaurants, and they only ever finish half of it.