Earnie Shavers the greatest heavyweight puncher of the 20th century limited edition 1/250 bronzed cast of his mighty right fist which after it landed flush on Muhammad Ali's jaw, Ali later said Shavers was the hardest puncher he ever faced, famously stating "Earnie hit me so hard, it shook my kinfolk back in Africa".
Beautifully displayed upon mahogany display base accompanied with mounted encased autograph feature SIGNED and INSCRIBED "Peace" by Earnie Shavers.
Condition - AWESOME heavyweight collectible
Price: £ SOLD
Earnie Shavers - Knockouts
Earnie Dee Shaver (born August 31, 1945), best known as Earnie Shavers, is an American former two-time World heavyweight title challenger. He is considered by most boxing experts to be the hardest-punching knockout artist of all time. Having knocked out or stopped fifty of his opponents inside three rounds, his one-punch power remains legendary in the boxing community. In a career spanning 26 years, Shavers defeated three World champions in Vicente Rondón, Jimmy Ellis and Ken Norton, as well as top contenders such as Jimmy Young and Joe Bugner. Shavers' status as the hardest puncher of his era was backed up by former opponents such as Bugner, Norton, Larry Holmes, and Ron Lyle.
Prior to turning professional, Shavers had a short but notable amateur career. He was the 1969 National AAU Heavyweight champion.
Early Professional Career
Known as the "Black Destroyer," Shavers compiled an impressive record, winning 44 of his first 47 fights by knockout; mostly against unremarkable opposition. His KO streak included 27 consecutive knockouts, of which 20 victories were in the first round. He suffered setbacks with losses to Ron Stander and Stan Johnson.
He began to rise through the ranks of the heavyweight division after he hired a Cleveland-based promoter and ex-con named Don King to be his manager. His wins included a novice Jimmy Young who would later become a top contender. Stepping up the class of opposition, he came to public prominence with a first round KO of one time WBA heavyweight champion Jimmy Ellis. His progress was halted when he was KO'd in the first round by Jerry Quarry which was followed by another loss to a journeyman Bob Stallings. Shavers then had a thunderous match with hard hitting Ron Lyle but was stopped after 6 brutal rounds. He then knocked out hard hitter Howard King and beat Roy Williams in a back and forward battle in which Shavers was nearly knocked out. The latter Shavers always said was one of the toughest of his whole career.
Shavers vs Ali
Shavers fought Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden on September 29, 1977. Coming into the bout, Shavers had a record of 54-5-1, with 52 knockouts. Ali nicknamed Shavers "The Acorn" because of his shaved bald head, unlike early appearances. The fight was shown in prime time broadcast television by NBC, which rarely did prime time fights (ABC tended to get the Ali fights) and had the judges' scoring announced after each round to help avoid any controversial decision. Ali's cornerman Angelo Dundee had a crony (Baltimore matchmaker Eddie Hrica) in the dressing room watching the broadcast, and would get signals from his friend on the scoring. In the second round, Shavers hurt Ali badly with an overhand right. Ali exaggerated his motions enough that it seemed he might be play acting and Shavers hesitated. On the scorecard they exchanged rounds. Ali won the fifth decisively. To win the fight Ali had to survive the last three rounds. Shavers, whose stamina was suspect before the fight, came alive in the 13th round. In the 14th, he battered Ali about the ring. Before the 15th, (according to the story by Sports Illustrated's great boxing writer Pat Putnam) "Ali was on very wobbly legs."
Realizing Ali needed to last three more minutes, Dundee told him, "You don't look so good. You better go out and take this round." In a furious final round, the two men tagged each other, but Ali closed strongly, nearly dropping Shavers in the last 20 seconds. He won a unanimous decision. The next day, Garden Match Maker Teddy Brenner encouraged Ali to retire by stating the Garden would never make another offer to host an Ali fight. Brenner also thought that Shavers deserved the nod against Ali. The fight made the cover of Sports Illustrated, with "ALI'S DESPERATE HOUR" featuring a photograph of Shavers scoring with an overhand right. Fight doctor Ferdie Pacheco also urged Ali to retire after noting the damage Ali had absorbed against Shavers. Ali later said Shavers was the hardest puncher he ever faced, famously stating "Earnie hit me so hard, it shook my kinfolk back in Africa" although Ali had previously used this amusing punch line in reference to various other hard hitting opponents.
Shavers v Norton/Holmes
In a mandatory title challenge eliminator he knocked out former champion and Ali beater Ken Norton in the first round, possibly the best win of his career.
Shavers then fought for the title against skilled champion Larry Holmes at Caesars Palace in Paradise on September 29, 1979, exactly two years after his defeat by Ali. Shavers knocked Holmes down in round seven but was himself knocked out in round eleven after taking punishment. Holmes, known for his ability to take a punch, later said that Shavers' blow was the hardest he had ever taken in his career.
The Holmes bout was the last big fight for Shavers. In 1980, he was knocked out in the seventh round by durable prospect Randall "Tex" Cobb. He never again fought for the World title. In 1982 he fought Joe Bugner, also on the comeback trail. Bugner was knocked down in the first but was stopped by cuts in the second round.
Shavers continued to fight professionally for several years, retiring in 1995 after losing to Brian Yates. Many thought he should have retired after his upset loss to lower contender Bernardo Mercado. Shavers suffered a similar retinal eye injury as boxer Sugar Ray Leonard.
Shavers was a heavy-handed puncher who stalked his opponents, setting them up for his thunderous right, which was responsible for many of his knockouts. At times lacking grace and accuracy, Earnie had a reputation for exhausting himself before round 7. Critics remarked he rarely won a bout that went beyond 8 rounds. In subsequent fights he fought Ali well for 15 rounds and Holmes for 11. Earnie would throw punches against any legal area he could reach, exposed or covered, relying on his tremendous power to wear down his opponents and exploiting any opening. His fighting stance produced a short and powerful image. His chin was his weakness. He could "box" as well as slug. Notably, he injured his right hand early in a 10 round match against rated fighter Henry Clark and then nearly jabbed Clarke's head off, beating him at his own game as it were, to win on points.
Video And Book
Shavers published a video of highlights of his career in 1992 titled Earnie D. Shavers, The hardest One-Punch Hitter, and later an autobiography.
Life After Boxing
Shavers retired in 1983 after retinal problems were discovered. After retirement, he became an ordained Christian minister and moved to Phoenix, where he preached for many years. He moved to England to pastor a church there in the early 2000s. He has been on the Benny Hinn TV show several times.
During the early 1980s while preparing for the feature film Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone explored the possibility of using a real heavyweight boxer in the role of James "Clubber" Lang by inviting Earnie Shavers to spar with him. Shavers initially refused to hit Stallone with anything other than a soft jab. This frustrated Stallone, who asked Shavers, "C'mon Earnie, show me something real." Earnie responded by punching him once near the liver, forcing an immediate retirement; Stallone later said: "that nearly killed me. I went straight to the men's room and threw up".
Shavers has visited Ali several times and he says he, Ali, and George Foreman have become very good friends over the years. Shavers accepted the invitation of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International to preach at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Earnie also works in Liverpool in the UK, as head of security at Hannahs' bar, where he is very much respected. The staff of Hannah's bar say that he does not work there now. Until five years ago (2009) he worked at Yates' Wine Lodge in Liverpool "meeting and greeting". On occasion Shavers was a troubleshooting referee in professional wrestling after his retirement.
He is also a Patron of The Shannon Bradshaw Trust, a children's charity based in Warrington, Cheshire, helping children with life-threatening conditions, and their families.
Earnie speaks to pupils at Barr Beacon Language College in Walsall. Earnie also gave a speech 26 February 2008 at The Streetly School in Walsall, which was based upon helping kids make the right decisions in life.
Shavers was married to Laverne Payne and has five daughters from their union, Tamara, Cynthia, Catherine, Carla, and Amy. He also has four daughters from other unions, Catherine, Lisa, Natasha and Latonya. He has 24 grandchildren. He worked at General Motors in Lordstown, Ohio in the late 1960s. Shavers made a guest appearance on the Irish TV programme The Late Late Show hosted by Ron Lyle where the two fighters discussed their previous bout that had happened a month earlier. Shavers was a frequent visitor to the pub "Roddy Bolands" in Dublin. There is a signed picture of Shavers drinking a pint of Guinness on the wall there.
Shavers made a short comeback in the late 1980s and early 1990s. After a few wins and losses he retired in 1995 after being KO'd by Brian Yates in round 2.
In 2003, Shavers was ranked number 10 among boxing's greatest punchers in history by Ring Magazine. Within the sport of boxing, he is widely considered to be the hardest puncher of all time.
Shavers finished his career in 1995 with a record of 74 wins (68 by knockout, 23 inside the first round), 14 losses and 1 draw.