Top 15 Most Brutal Knockouts In Boxing History

Top 15 Most Brutal Knockouts In Boxing History
Muhammad Ali Knocks down defending world champion George Foreman in the 8th round of the WBA/WBC championship bout at Kinshasa, Zaire on 30 October, 1974. Flickr

The sight of the most brutal knockouts in boxing history can be so gory that one may begin to wonder if such boxers have any humanity left in them.

Sometimes, it looks like they are a pure breed from a beast covered in the flesh and wearing a glove. 

The adrenalin-pumping moment can be entertaining and scary to spectators at the same time.

Most times, what is regarded as a knockout is a lifeless body dropping down and convulsing as they will never make it back on their feet.

Indeed, boxing is not for the fainthearted.

The Most Brutal Knockouts in Boxing History

15. David Tua Vs John Ruiz

This is a 19 seconds fight with damaging hooks, spinning head, and lethal combination knockout.

Ruiz receives some lashing from Tua before he got knocked out.

He survived with minimal injuries, but the fight was short and epic.

14. Nonito Donaire Vs Fernando Montiel

Early into the match, Donaire delivered some heavy punches that sent Montiel down to the canvas.

He made it back to his feet.

In the second round, Donaire drops some combinations with a heavy hook that drops down his opponent for good.

13.  Gerry Cooney Vs Ken Norton

This match was termed a mismatch due to the amount of life-draining punches Gerry was served in the ring.

It was a terrific knockout as Gerry was defenseless, and Nortan was serving him some brutal punches that can detach one’s jaw.

Gerry was lucky to have survived with minimal injury.

12. Lennox Lewis Vs Hasim Rahman

The two fighters were a perfect match as they fight toe-to-toe.

Later in the game, Lewis was lashing out more and Rahman was taking the defensive side.

In a brief moment, Rahman turns the table, landing a huge punch that strikes Lewis like a clap of thunder to a tree.

He fell flat to the canvas.

11. Mike Weaver Vs John Tate

At the beginning of this match, the odd was in favor of Tate.

His strength and agility were all on display as he was dominating Weaver.

12 rounds went by, and Tate was maintaining a nice score.

In the 15th round, all Tate could have done to win was stay on his feet but Weaver never let that happen.

He launches a late left hook that sends the tired Tate to the mat unconscious.

10. Earnie Shavers Vs Jimmy Ellis

In 1973, Madison Square was filled with spectators who want to be delighted with a boxing match that has been well anticipated.

The bell rang; Ellis seems to be having the upper hand as he cornered Shavers into a neutral angle where he lashes him with some right punches.

Fans were already cheering his name, but there was a swift change in the game as Shaver’s fought his way out of the corner.

He then pounces on Ellis with an unrecoverable uppercut to the jaw, which sent Ellis to the canvas.

The count begins, and he tried to regain his stand, but the after-effect of the punch wouldn’t let him.

9. Julian Jackson Vs Herol Graham

The fight between Jackson and Graham was an interesting one.

Graham was in total control and Jackson was behind in all the scorecards.

Surprisingly, there was a swift change in the 3rd round.

Although Graham was still dominant, Jackson manages to throw a counter hook that landed on the chin of Graham, and he went out cold to the ground.

It was a shocking knockout.

8.  Arturo Gatti Vs Joey Gamache

In February 2000, one of the devasting knockouts in boxing took place between Gatti and Gamache.

It was like taking a sheep to the slaughterhouse.

Gatti doubled down on Gamache with a sickening knockout that sent Gamache straight to the hospital, where he almost lost his life.

That was the end of his career as a boxer.

7. Darnell Wilson Vs Emmanuel Nwodo

One of the greatest boxing knockouts was recorded in this fight as it became the 2007 ESPN knockout of the year.

Before the match, Wilson had predicted Nwodo couldn’t take his punch.

He predicted that he is going to hurt him, which is what he did.

During the fight, Wilson knocked down Nwodo in the 3rd and 10th round before delivering what he promised in the 11th round.

Wilson cornered Nwodo to the ring and dropped a mighty left hook to his chin that sent Nwodo crashing down.

An analyst was recorded saying: “when the power of the lightning strikes from the sky, it is devastating” 

6. Ray Mercer Vs Tommy Morrison

Mercer and Morrison were two undefeated upcoming heavyweight champions.

Morrison was dominating in the early start of the fight as he outboxes Mercer.

He went ahead to land some combination that tore Mercer’s lower lip. 

In the fourth round, Mercer rebounds and overturned the game as he releases several punches on Morrison’s head.

During the 5th round, Mercer launched some powerful combination that sends Morrison to the rope defenseless.

Yet, Mercer never relented as he punched Morrison even harder before the ref ruled him victorious.

5. Muhammad Ali Vs George Foreman

This is one of the most viewed matches in the 20th century.

The match was called The Rumble in The Jungle.

It was hosted on African soil; Kinshasa Zaire, now known as the Federal Republic of Congo.

Ali who came into the fight as an underdog had made it known before the fight that he has a secret plan for Foreman.

He let Foreman punch him in his arm and body while he leans on the rope to avoid a head punch.

Foreman was punching but not earning many points, and Ali makes use of any chance he’s got to land one on Foreman’s face.

Eventually, Foreman was getting tired with a damaged face from Ali’s punches. 

Foreman’s defense was weakened in the eighth round, and Ali delivered some powerful combinations, with a hard straight punch to Foreman’s face.

Foreman fell to the canvas, and Ali won the bout.

Foreman and fans alike clamored for a rematch but that never happened.

Related: Top-25 Greatest Boxers Of All-Time 2020

4. Derrick Jefferson Vs Maurice Harris

Jefferson and Harris had their brawl in 1999 at the City Convention in Atlantic City.

The first round was a good fight as they went toe-to-toe.

Things started to get interesting in the 3rd round as Jefferson launched an uppercut that knocked Harris’s mouthpiece out of his mouth.

Harris was saved by the ref, who called a time out so he could fix back his mouthpiece.

Trouble beckons at Harris in the sixth round as Jefferson weighed in on him with some heavy punches.

Lastly, Jefferson drops a lethal left hook that sinks Harris to the mat with his mouthpiece leaving him for good this time.

3. Mike Tyson Vs Michael Spinks

The undefeated champions met in a fight promoted as Once and For All.

It was one of the richest fights with a gross sum of $70 million at that period.

Before the fight, Tyson’s trainer whispered to him that he made a bet that Tyson was going to knock Spinks out in the first round.

This made Tyson give all he’s got in the first round.

So, Tyson was able to knock Spink down on his knee twice before he finished him with a combination that he couldn’t rise.

The ref ended up counting him out.

The fight lasted for 91 seconds with a total of 10 punches, of which 8 came from Tyson.

Related: 14 Most Brutal & Best Mike Tyson Knockouts

2. Juan Manuel Vs Manny Pacquiao

Manuel and Pacquiao engaged in the fight of the decade in 2012 in Las Vegas at the MGM Ground.

The match began getting to its heat in the third round as Manuel landed some hooks to halt Pacquiao’s movement, which paid off.

Pacquiao dominated the 5th round with several punches, and he ended the round by bursting open Manuel’s nose — it became a bloody scene. 

In round 6, Pacquiao continues with the same spirit, and he had his opponent cornered in the rope.

He launched a heavy jab which Manuel was able to duck.

This gave Manuel a kind of balance that he could unload a right-hand punch straight to Pacquiao’s mouth.

This punch sent him straight to the canvas, motionless for two minutes, twenty seconds.

He never saw that coming. 

1. Vincent Pettway Vs Simon Brown

In this match, two friends had to become a foe to the extent one had to be knocked out, topping the list of the most brutal knockouts in boxing history.

The fight became intense in round six as Pettway launched a missile-like hook that went ahead, destroying Brown’s nervous system.

The outcome was dramatic and scary as Brown journeyed into the unconscious realm, still throwing some punches unconsciously while on the floor.

His mind was still in the game, but his body betrayed him. It was a brutal knockout.

To Wrap Up

The forenamed list are our top-15 list of the most brutal knockouts in boxing history.

Boxers who suffered these knockouts t will live to remember that date which they were shown the path to afterlife.

Think we missed out any boxing knockouts that should have made this list? Let us know in the comments.

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