Was Earnie ‘Black Destroyer’ Shavers The Hardest Punching Heavyweight?
By Ken Hissner: Boxing’s heavyweights were known for being some of the hardest punchers in boxing, especially if they won the world title, such as the following:
Joe ‘The Brown Bomber’ Louis was 66-3 with 52 knockouts. ‘Big’ George Foreman was 76-5 with 68 knockouts. Rocky Marciano was 49-0 with 43 knockouts.
Never able to win the world heavyweight title was light heavyweight champion Archie ‘Old Mongoose’ Moore, who was 186-23-10 with 132 knockouts. He was stopped by both Floyd Patterson and Rocky Marciano in heavyweight title fights.
Another who was unable to win the heavyweight title but was known for his punching power was Young ‘King of the Canebrakes’ Stribling, who was 224-13-14 with 129 knockouts.
Some of the top heavyweights who fought him claim the hardest puncher was Earnie ‘Black Destroyer’ Shavers, who was 76-14-1 with 70 knockouts who never won a title. He had Holmes down but lost.
Muhammad Ali said, “Earnie hit me so hard, it shook my kinfolk back in Africa.”
Larry Holmes said, “Earnie hit me harder than any other fighter, including Mike Tyson. Getting hit by Mike Tyson was like getting hit by a speeding Ferrari. Being hit by Earnie Shavers was like being hit by a Mack truck.”
Ron Lyle said, “Hey man, that’s the hardest I’ve ever been hit in my life. George Foreman could punch, but none of them could hit as Earnie Shavers did. When he hit you, the lights went out. I can laugh about it now, but at the time, it wasn’t funny.”
Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb said, “Nobody hits like Shavers. If anybody hits harder than Shavers, I’d shoot him…Earnie could punch you in the neck with his right hand and break your ankle.”
Shavers scored twenty-three first round knockouts. Also, he scored fifty knockouts within the first three rounds.
Eight fighters retired after being knocked out by Shavers: Ron Asher, Frank Smith, Bunky Akins, Bill McMurray, Harold Carter, Eddie Parrote, Larry Simms, and Jim Daniels.
After retiring from boxing, Shavers became an ordained Christian minister and moved to the UK to pastor his own church. Foreman did the same after retiring after losing to Jimmy Young, only to come back winning the title.