Over the past decades there have been numerous memorable boxing matches. Perhaps what gets audiences on their feet (or cringing) is when one fighter delivers a hit or series of blows so hard that the opponent collapses to the ground. The knockout (KO) is the most dramatic way to end a fight, often preferable to a Technical Knockout (TKO) or judging decision when it comes to deciding a winner. The following list gives 20 of some of the more memorable boxing knockouts over the past 60 years, in no particular order.
1. 2007 – Darnell Wilson KO Emmanuel Nwodo
2. 1986 – Mike Tyson KO Trevor Berbick
‘Iron’ Mike at his best. Berbick was so stunned by the hit that he can’t even get back to his feet despite his best attempts.
3. 1990 – Julian Jackson KO Herol Graham
4. 1984 – Thomas Hearns KO Roberto Duran
5. 1957 – Sugar Ray Robinson KO Gene Fullmer
6. 2011 – Nonito Donaire TKO Fernando Montiel
7. 1952 – Rocky Marciano KO Joe Walcott
8. 1965 – Muhammad Ali KO Sonny Liston
This is the ‘Phantom Punch’ thrown by Ali. Some people say they never actually saw Liston get hit. Ali didn’t seem to care one way or another – he then proceeded to yell at Liston, telling him to get up off the mat.
9. 1994 – George Foreman KO Michael Moorer
George Foreman withstood 10 rounds of punishment from his opponent before catching him with a straight right. At 45, Foreman became the oldest Heavyweight Champion ever.
10. 1998 – Vladimir Klitschko KO Najee Shaheed
11. 2004 – Samuel Peters KO Jeremy Williams
12. 2009 – Manny Pacquiao KO Ricky Hatton
All that needs to be said here is that this KO sent Hatton into retirement.
13. 1988 – Mike Tyson KO Michael Spinks
14. Juan Manuel Marquez KO Manny Pacquiao
15. 1990 – Buster Douglas KO Mike Tyson
Douglas was a massive underdog heading into this fight. In round 10, he landed a series of blows against Tyson, sending him to the mat. Many say this was the turning point in Mike Tyson’s career.
16. 1974 – Muhammad Ali KO George Foreman
In the 8th round, both fighters looked exhausted. Foreman had Ali pressed onto the ropes and both giants threw blows at each other. Then Ali broke out and delivered a series of hits to Foreman’s head.
17. 2004 – Antonio Tarver KO Roy Jones Jr.
18. 1990 – Mike Tyson KO Henry Tillman
19. 1985 – Marvin Hagler KO Thomas Hearns
“Hearns is down, Hearns is down in the third round.” Well remembered commentary from the fight at Caesar’s Palace in Nevada. A battered and blood soaked Hagler and semi-conscious Hearns remain iconic images to this day.
20. 2010 – Sergio Martinez KO Paul Williams
What is amazing about this KO is that you can hear the power and contact of Martinez’ punch over the crowd noise and commentary. Williams was out long before he hit the floor. This is widely considered to be the ‘Kockout of the Year’ for 2010.