Hal von Luebbert on "Hands"! (from his website)
How do you train your hands! In the same manner that a chain is only as strong as its strongest (weakest, SIC) link, a fighter is as strong as his hands. I have beaten literally dozens of men far stronger than me in terms of how much they can lift or do a body-building exercise, simply because my hands were far stronger.
The studs I watched in gyms everywhere as I traveled the U.S. a few years ago kidded themselves into believing they were strong because they had eighteen-inch upper arms, yet used wrist-wraps to hold the weight were fooling themselves in pretty much the same way as handgunners and riflemen who think they are ready to shoot in actual combat shoot because they've done massive dry-firing and actual shooting exercises. Being able to hit a target from a bench or using the dozens of high-tech sights and other aiming gismos isn't much different than using wrist-wraps. The ignorance or self-deception can kill you.
The fact is that even with the dawn of the "ultimate fighter" sort of mixed martial arts competition, and with one or two exceptions having to do with my age, I have not yet seen a fighter I don't feel assured I would beat in an alley, a jungle, or a woods somewhere, sometime. The reason? My hands are invariably almost twice as powerful as theirs (I am also, of course, un-abused or un-bemused by the relentless torrent of ("BS" SIC) which surrounds and inundates discussion and study of fighting everywhere - fighting poorly is as insidious as physical weakness).
How strong do your hands have to be? Well,..... I reached the point that I could, with a device consisting of a length of two and a half inch PVC pipe attached to a length of rope tied to a weight, roll-lift a one hundred pound dumbbell up to my fists. The photo shows the method.
How strong is strong? Well, like I said, try the rope, pipe, and weight. The threshold that separates strong from mediocre - approximately ninety percent of males - is fifty pounds. Seventy-five pounds puts you in the ninety-fifth percentile (only five percent are stronger). A hand that can crush the top or bottom of an aluminum beer can (in my youth, I could do that with a steel can - or holding a steel "church key" beer opener between forefinger and thumb, fold it in upon itself) between thumb and the first two fingers can crush a man's larynx (without an immediate tracheotomy, incidentally, almost certain death). Even being held by the upper lip and/or nose by a hand like that is excruciatingly painful and, in my experience, ends the fight.