Boxing legend Earnie Shavers passed away at age 78 on Thursday.
Shavers, who is often considered the hardest punching boxer of all time, had a professional record of 74-14-1 with 68 total knockouts during his 26-year-career that spanned from 1969 to 1995, according to ESPN.
We’re saddened to learn that Earnie Shavers has died. The legendary puncher was 78 years old. Sleep tight, champ. pic.twitter.com/Kp5E58Dcn9
— Boxing News (@BoxingNewsED) September 2, 2022
Shavers sparred with some of the biggest names in the history of the sport, such as Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes in heavy-weight championship matches.
According to the New York Times, Shavers lost to Ali unanimously in a 15-round fight for the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association heavyweight championship titles back in 1977. Larry Holmes also defeated Shavers in a thrilling heavyweight title match in 1979 by way of technical knockout in the 11th round of the bout, after Shavers had knocked Holmes to the canvas in the seventh round of the match. Despite failing to conquer both champions, Shavers going the distance against Muhammad Ali and dropping Larry Holmes to the ground mid-fight solidified his skills as a world-class boxer.
“He was one of the nicest guys in the world, until he got into the ring and tried to take your head off,” former New York State Athletic Commissioner Randy Gordon told the Associated Press on Friday. (RELATED: Baker Mayfield Throws Gas On The Fire With Blunt Warning To His Former Team)
Shavers’ death occurred just one day after his birthday. His boxing career will forever be remembered.