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Boxing’s 10 biggest knockouts
Everyone knows that skills pay bills in the sport of boxing, but there's nothing quite like a good, quick and brutal knockout.
The sporting equivalent to the walk-off home run or last-minute three-pointer, the knockout is the great equalizer in boxing and, pound for pound, the most exciting moment in sports today.
Here's a look at boxing's biggest knockouts— The devastating, awesome, and most significant power shots that shook chins and rattled the sporting world:
James "Buster" Douglas KO 10 Mike Tyson
(February 11, 1990)
What better way to punctuate boxing's biggest upset than by sending the previously undefeated and seemingly invincible "Iron" Mike Tyson to the canvas? A vicious uppercut from the underdog, Douglas, put Tyson out on his feet and a brutal left-right combination sealed the deal and sent the reigning world champ down hard. Tyson drunkenly searched for his fallen mouthpiece and staggered to his feet, but was obviously in no condition to continue. Douglas had pulled off the unthinkable upset at Japan's Tokyo Dome and he did it quite devastatingly.
Sugar Ray Robinson KO 5 Gene Fullmer II
(May 1, 1957)
Four months prior, Fullmer, had taken the middleweight title of the world from Robinson via upset 15 round decision. In their rematch, Robinson would not leave his fate in the judges' hands. As Fullmer stalked, Sugar Ray lured his opponent in and connected with a perfectly-timed left hook that immediately turned out the lights on his rugged foe. Fullmer struggled to get back to his feet, but never could— He had been knocked out by what many in the sport still call "The Greatest Left Hook Ever Thrown."
Marvin Hagler TKO 3 Tommy Hearns
(April 15, 1985)
At the culmination of a fierce two and a half rounds of primal violence between the proverbial unstoppable force and immovable object, defending middleweight champ, Hagler, put an end to the war with a wide right hand that sent Hearns staggering across the ring. He then finished things off with another pulverizing right that sent his opponent down hard.
George Foreman TKO 2 Joe Frazier I
(January 22, 1973)
Two years removed from his thrilling win over Muhammad Ali, "Smokin" Joe Frazier wold meet his match in the form of the hulking, brooding destroyer, George Foreman. Thought to be a shoot-out between two legit power punchers, the contest for Frazier's world heavyweight championship turned into a two round blow-out with Foreman dropping Frazier six times, total, in just under six minutes of action. So powerful was Foreman's last sweeping right hook that it actually lifted Frazier off the ground.
Joe Louis KO 1 Max Schmeling II
(June 22, 1938)
In a bout that carried massive political overtones, Germany's Max Schmeling, who had become a poster boy for Nazi Germany's rise to prominence in the prelude to World War II, was bested at Yankee Stadium by America's "Brown Bomber," Joe Louis. Despite being knocked out in 12 rounds by Schmeling two years prior, Louis came out strong and determined, pinning his rival to the ropes and rocking him with brutal right rands. Schmeling would fall to the canvas three times in the first round, prompting Schmeling's corner to throw in the towel.
Mike Tyson KO 1 Michael Spinks
(June 27, 1988)
While the 22-year old Tyson held three world heavyweight belts coming into the contest, Spinks was regarded by many as the true, lineal champ after his two wins over Larry Holmes. Expected to be a competitive bout between Tyson's power and Spinks' skill, Tyson immediately jumped on his veteran rival, stunning him against the ropes with an uppercut-body shot combination that dropped him. Spinks got up, only to be put back down seconds later and stopped at the 31-second mark. To any remaining doubters, Mike Tyson was now, officially, the man in the heavyweight division.
Rocky Marciano KO 13 "Jersey" Joe Walcott I
(September 23, 1952)
Down in the first round and behind on the scorecards, Italian-American, Rocky Marciano feinted a left while Walcott was on the ropes and then landed a picture-perfect right hook that sent the defending world heavyweight champ to his knees. With a bludgeoning left hook following the right while Walcott was dazed and sitting on the bottom rope, the legend of Rocky Marciano had begun in a most spectacular fashion.
George Foreman KO 10 Michael Moorer
(November 5, 1994)
Behind on the scorecards and taking a beating, 3-1 underdog, the 45-year old Foreman, reached back and buzzed Moorer with a thudding left-right combination. A second left-right, even stronger than the first, would drop Moorer for the count, allowing Foreman to regain the title he lost some 20 years prior and to become the oldest boxer in history to win the world heavyweight title.
Antonio Tarver TKO 2 Roy Jones II
(May 15, 2004)
Six months earlier, Jones won a controversial majority decision over the southpaw, Tarver, in defense of his undisputed light heavyweight title. With a decade of utter dominance behind him and world titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight, it was hard to envision a scenario where his lackluster first bout with Tarver was anything more than a fluke. After a cautious first round, typical of many Jones bouts, a counter left hook came out of nowhere in the middle of the second and flattened the four-division champ. Jones managed to get to his feet after the crushing blow, but was in no condition to continue. Antonio Tarver had ended the era of Roy Jones Jr. with a shocking KO.
Manny Pacquiao KO 2 Ricky Hatton
(May 2, 2009)
After a competitive first round, Filipino Sensation, Manny Pacquiao turned out Hatton's lights with a perfect left hand that had the British former champ crashing hard to the canvas. There was no need to count. Hatton would remain unconscious for an uncomfortably long time while Pacquiao knelt in his corner in his usual post-fight prayer. Pacquiao was already a force in the boxing world at the time, but the Hatton KO affirmed his status as boxing's most exciting draw.
Boxrec, Boxrec Records and Stats, Boxrec
David Margolick, Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink, Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink (Book)
Martin Kane, A Punch for History, Sports Illustrated Vault
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