Earnie Shavers

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Name: Earnie Shavers
Alias: Black Destroyer
Birth Name: Earnie Dee Shavers
Hometown: Warren, Ohio, USA
Birthplace: Garland, Alabama, USA
Died: 2022-09-01 (Age:78)
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 183cm
Reach: 201cm
Pro Boxer: Record
Amateur Boxer: Record

Amateur Career

  • Shavers, who started boxing at age 22, had an amateur record of 20-6.
  • 1967 Youngstown Golden Gloves Open Division Heavyweight Finalist, losing to Mike Boswell on points.
  • 1968 Cleveland Golden Gloves Novice Division Heavyweight Champion, defeating Mike Boswell.
  • 1968 National Golden Gloves Tournament Quarterfinalist in Salt Lake City, UT. Results:
  • 1969 Youngstown Golden Gloves Open Division Heavyweight Champion.
  • 1969 Cleveland Golden Gloves Open Division Heavyweight Champion.
  • 1969 Ohio Golden Gloves Open Division Heavyweight Champion.
  • 1969 National AAU Heavyweight Champion in San Diego, CA. Results:
    • Defeated Morris Hill by knockout.
    • Defeated Wayne McGee by knockout in quarterfinals.
    • Defeated Otis Evans in semifinals.
    • Defeated Jim Lee Elder by knockout in finals.

Professional Career

  • Shavers, 44-2 with 43 knockouts, knocked out former WBA Heavyweight Champion Jimmy Ellis in the first round on June 18, 1973.
  • Jerry Quarry knocked out Shavers in the first round on December 14, 1973. Shavers had won his previous 32 fights, 31 by knockout.
  • Ron Lyle knocked out Shavers in six rounds on September 13, 1975. In the second round, Shavers almost scored a knockout when he dropped Lyle with a left hook, but Lyle was able to come back and knock out Shavers in the sixth round with a series of right hands.
  • Shavers fought Muhammad Ali for the World Heavyweight Championship on September 29, 1977. He hurt Ali badly with a right hand in the second round, but Ali survived the round and went on to win by a fifteen-round unanimous decision in a grueling fight.
  • Larry Holmes defeated Shavers by a lopsided twelve-round unanimous decision in a WBC title eliminator on March 25, 1978.
  • Shavers knocked out Ken Norton in the first round in a WBC title eliminator on March 23, 1979.
  • Shavers fought Larry Holmes for the WBC Heavyweight Championship on September 28, 1979. After losing the first six rounds, Shavers dropped Holmes with a devastating right in the seventh round. Holmes fell as though he had been hit by a sledgehammer, but he was able to get up and survive the round. Holmes came back to stop Shavers in the eleventh round.
  • After losing to Holmes, Shavers was diagnosed with a detached retina. He had an operation to reattach the retina and continued his boxing career. The procedure was performed by Dr. Ronald G. Michels, who later operated on Sugar Ray Leonard when he suffered a detached retina.
  • Shavers recorded 23 first-round knockouts and 50 knockouts within the first three rounds.
  • Eight fighters retired after being knocked out by Shavers: Ron Asher, Frank Smith, Bunky Akins, Bill McMurray, Harold Carter, Eddie Parotte,Larry Sims an Jim Daniels

Quotes About Earnie Shavers

  • Muhammad Ali: "Earnie hit me so hard, it shook my kinfolk back in Africa."
  • Larry Holmes: "Earnie hit me harder than any other fighter, including Mike Tyson. ... Being hit by Mike Tyson was like getting hit by a speeding Ferrari. Being hit by Earnie Shavers was like being hit by a Mack Truck."
  • Ron Lyle: "Hey man, that's the hardest I've ever been hit in my life. And George Foreman could punch, but none of them could hit like Earnie Shavers did. When he hit you, the lights went out. I can laugh about it now, but at the time, it wasn't funny."
  • Randall (Tex) Cobb: "Nobody hits like Shavers. If anybody hit harder than Shavers, I'd shoot him. ... Earnie could punch you in the neck with his right hand and break your ankle."


  • Shavers auditioned for the role of Clubber Lang in Rocky III. As part of the audition, he sparred with Sylvester Stallone, who not only starred in the movie but wrote and directed it as well. Shavers was pulling his punches during the sparring session, but Stallone told him to open up. Shavers said no, but Stallone kept telling him not to hold back. Eventually, Shavers opened up and hit Stallone with a shot under the ribs, doubling him over. With that, the sparring session was over. Stallone was then helped from the ring and taken to a bathroom. Shavers said Stallone "sent word out later that they couldn't use me."
  • After retiring from boxing, Shavers became an ordained Christian minister and moved to England to pastor his own church.
  • Shavers' autobiography, Welcome to The Big Time, was published in 2002.