ENTERTAINMENT | Lifestyle

Hardest Puncher In Heavyweight History

Earnie Shavers is considered by many as the hardest puncher of all time, he was born into a poor working class family in the Southern region of America on August
23 Nov 2014 10:36
Hardest Puncher In Heavyweight History
Earnie Shavers (right), interviewed by Ajay Bhai Amrit.

Earnie Shavers is considered by many as the hardest puncher of all time, he was born into a poor working class family in the Southern region of America on August 31, 1945.

When asked about his phenomenal punching power and how he gained such tremendous hitting strength,  Shavers contributes this to his hard upbringing , where as a child he would work long hours in the fields chopping wood and attending to the land.

Known as a dangerous and uncompromising puncher, Shavers compiled an impressive record, winning 44 of his first 47 fights by knockout. His KO streak included 27 consecutive knockouts, of which 20 victories were in the first round.

His power was such that he was knocking out all but the elite fighters of the day. Shavers fought in the 1970s era as a heavyweight and that particular time was known as the golden age of boxing and without a doubt had the greatest fighters in history all in combat during this time.

The list of active fighters in the 1970s was legendry with names like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Ken Norton and the list goes on.

Shavers certainly made his mark in this division which was laden with great fighters.

He scored 68 KO wins in total, and 50 of those knockout wins came inside three rounds. Shavers released an autobiography about his life and his fights, called “Welcome to the Big Time” in 2002.

Shavers certainly was in the big time where he challenged for the heavyweight championship of the world two times.

Unfortunately both times he came up against legendary fighters. In his first bid for the title he lost a unanimous decision to “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali in September 1977.

When he challenged once more for the title he came up short against Larry Holmes in September 1979 getting stopped in the 11th round. This proved to both Shavers and the world that he could certainly hit, but when it came to fighting the elite champions he just fell short.

The only other boxer who is mentioned as the hardest hitter in history is George Foreman. They actually fought during the same era, but for some reason they were never matched against each other.

Regardless of this, Shavers continued to terrorise opponents in the ring and finished his ring career with one of the highest knock out ratios in boxing history.

After retiring from boxing Earnie Shavers became an ordained Christian minister and lived and preached in Phoenix Arizona. He has also appeared on the Benny Hinn TV show several times where they both took sermons.

During the early 1980s while preparing for the feature film Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone explored the possibility of using a real heavyweight boxer in the role of the fictional heavyweight champion for the film James Clubber Lang by inviting Earnie Shavers to spar with him.

Shavers initially refused to hit Stallone with anything other than a soft jab. This frustrated Stallone, who asked Shavers, “C’mon Earnie, show me something real.” Earnie responded by punching him only once to the stomach, this forced an immediate retirement; Stallone later said: “that punch nearly killed me. I got out of the ring and threw up”.

When I met up with Earnie Shavers he still had the menacing eyes and vice like hand shake. We all knew about his legendary power, but I had to ask him did he ever have any regrets in regards to his fighting career.

He said he only had one regret and that was not to have fought another formidable puncher, the legendry George Foreman.

Shavers felt that the fight itself would have been one of the greatest fights in history and the money they would both have earned would have been astronomical.

Well there you are viewers a brief insight into the life and times of maybe the hardest puncher the world has ever seen.

– The writer is a Fiji Sun columnist.

Feedback:  ajayamrit@hotmail.com

 




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