Knockout legend Shavers dies aged 78

-Ikenna Okafor

Two-time world heavyweight title challenger Earnie Shavers, the man who shook Muhammad Ali in 1977, has died at the age of 78.

Despite fighting mainly during the 1970s, Shavers hung up his gloves aged 51 in the mid-90s ending his career with a record of 74-14-1 and a huge 68 knockouts.

Shavers went 15 rounds with Ali in their title fight but lost on a decision, however, he was rewarded with the one of greatest lines in boxing history.

“Earnie hit me so hard, it shook my kinfolk in Africa,” Ali said after the fight.
Shavers had another crack at the WBC heavyweight title this time against Larry Holmes in 1979, where he knocked down the champ in the 7th round.

Holmes recovered and eventually polished off Shavers in the 11th, but also claimed the punch that dropped him to the canvas that night was the hardest he had ever been hit with.

Shavers’ big wins included a first round knockout of Ken Norton in 1979, a first round knockout of Jimmy Ellis in 1973, and a third round stoppage of Jimmy Young, also in 1973. He also a lost a memorable battle with Ron Lyle in 1975 where both boxers went down.

After boxing, Shavers became a Christian minister in Phoenix and also auditioned for the role of Clubber Lang in Rocky III, which eventually went to Mr T.

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