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Boxing legend Earnie Shavers dies at 78

9/15/2022, 6 p.m.
Earnie Shavers, among the hardest punch- ers in heavyweight boxing history, died Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, at the home of ...

Earnie Shavers, among the hardest punchers in heavyweight boxing history, died Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, at the home of one of his daughters in Virginia. He was 78.

Known as the “Black Destroyer,” Mr. Shavers posted a career record of 74-14-1 between 1969 and 1995.

His worksheet included 68 knockouts with 23 coming in the first round. The Alabama native won 44 of his first 47 bouts via knockout.

Twice he fought for the world title, losing to Muhammad Ali in 1977 and Larry Holmes in 1979.

Mr. Shavers left an indelible impression on Ali.

“Earnie hit me so hard, it shocked my kinfolk back in Africa,” Ali said.

Along the way, Mr. Shavers scored ring victories over three former world champs, Jimmy

Ellis, Ken Norton and Vincente Rondon.

Mr. Shavers’ immense power came up in the 1980s when late-night TV host David

Letterman interviewed boxing champ George Foreman.

Letterman asked Foreman about Mr. Shavers.

Foreman replied: “I never fought Earnie Shavers. Thank goodness.”