Fox News reports that boxing great Earnie Shavers has passed away at the age of 78.
Not much is being reported about Shavers’s passing other than that it occurred on Thursday, Sept. 1, which happened to be the day after Shavers’s 78th birthday.
A cause of death has not been revealed.
Shavers’s boxing career
Born in Garland, Alabama, in 1944, Shavers would go on to become one of the biggest names in professional boxing.
In 1969, Shavers won the National AAU heavyweight title, and it is following this that he turned pro. Less than a decade later, Shavers would be fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world.
In 1977, Shavers faced off against boxing legend Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight championship. Shavers did end up losing to Ali, but he earned another shot at the heavyweight title in 1979 against Larry Holmes. Shavers, though, also lost that matchup.
Shavers would continue fighting, on and off, through 1995 when he decided, at the age of 51, to hang up his gloves.
When all was said and done, Shavers had a career of 74 wins, 14 losses, and 1 draw. 68 of Shavers’s 74 wins came by way of knockout.
As would be suspected from his knockout percentage, Shavers was particularly known for his power. Many of Shavers’s opponents have said that no one hits harder than Shavers.
Larry Holmes, following the news of Shavers’s passing, recalled when Shavers knocked him out. Holmes said:
Earnie came to my house a lot over the years and we’d laugh and talk. He’d say, “I had you, Larry!” He hit me a couple of times, knocked me down and stuff. I told him, “You hit too damn hard!” I’ve said it before, he knocked me out with that shot and when I hit the ground I woke up. Not long ago, I told him that story.
Muhammad Ali is similarly reported to have said after his fight with Shavers that “Earnie hit me so hard, it shook my kinfolk in Africa.”
Another boxing great, George Foreman, who is also considered one of the hardest punchers in history, has, in the past, “thanked goodness” that he never fought Shavers, which goes to show just how much Shavers’s fellow boxers feared his power.