By Huck Allen: Former heavyweight world title challenger Earnie Shavers has passed away at 78 today.
Known for his huge power, Shavers knocked out 68 of his opponents during his career and was lethal from start to finish in his fights. He was one of those types of fighters that retained his power to the
As good as Shavers was, it’s shocking that he never won a world title during his career.
Shavers was too powerful and talented not to capture a world title, but back when he fought, the sport was less watered down with titles as it is today.
Nowadays, it’s impossible not to capture a world title if you’ve got superb power and better-than-average talent. Shavers’ power would easily lead to him capturing a world title in a short period.
With his talent, he’d easily win a belt if he fought during this era, especially if he was well connected with one of the powerful promotional companies that help pull strings for their fighters.
Alabama native Shavers (74-14-1, 68 KOs) enjoyed a long 26-yer-old career in the pro ranks before retiring in 1995. Along the way, Shavers fought great fighters like Muhammad Ali, Kenny Norton, Jimmy Ellis, Jerry Quarry, and many, many more.
One of the most memorable of Shavers fights was his 15-round war against Muhammad Ali in 1977. Shavers and Ali battled toe-to-toe much of the time, exchanging blows. Ultimately, Ali had too much talent for Shavers, but it was a fight that took a lot out of him.
Other interesting fights for Shavers came against Larry Holmes, who he fought twice, losing both in back & fourth contests.
Shavers’ best wins came against these excellent heavyweights:
- Ken Norton
- Joe Bugner
- Jimmy Ellis
- Jimmy Young
Shavers is one of those types of fighters that could have competed at a high level in any era, including this one. He would be right at home with the likes of Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk, and Deontay Wilder. With Shavers’ power, he would be problematic for all of those fighters, particularly Joshua & Wilder.
Shavers’ losses to high-profile heavyweights:
- Muhammad Ali
- Jerry Quarry
- Randall Cobb
- James Tillis
- Larry Holmes
- Bernardo Mercado
- Ron Lyle