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Legendary knockout artist Earnie Shavers dies at 78

Earnie Shavers went 74-14-1 as a pro with 68 knockouts

Earnie Shavers portrait
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

Multiple sources report that Earnie Shavers, arguably the most destructive man to lace up the gloves, has passed away the day after his 78th birthday.

Shavers, a fixture of the 1970s-1980s golden age of heavyweight boxing, was recognized by his pears as a nonpareil knockout artist. He amassed a 74-14-1 (68 KO) record in a career that spanned over 35 years, famously destroying Ken Norton in 1:58, and sharing the ring with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, Ron Lyle, and more. The overhand right he landed on Holmes in their rematch might just be the single hardest punch ever landed; any human being on the planet besides Holmes would still be asleep.

After boxing, Shavers turned to the pulpit, though he also auditioned for the role of Clubber Lang and, according to both Stallone brothers, proved such a devastating hitter that Stallone couldn’t take more than one punch during sparring.

“The Acorn” was both a truly unique force in the ring and, by all accounts, a truly good man outside of it. We wish his family the best.

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