Earnie Shavers, one of boxing’s hardest punchers, dies at 78

by | Sep 2, 2022 | Sports

Earnie Shavers, whose thunderous punches stopped 68 fighters and earned him heavyweight title fights with Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes, has died. He was 78.Former British boxer and close friend Kenny Rainford told The Associated Press in a telephone call from Liverpool, England, that his close friend died on Thursday in Virginia at the home of one of his daughters.“He had a hard career, traveled a lot and slowed down all the sudden,” said Rainford when asked about a a cause of death.Rainford’s aunt (Sue) was married to Shavers for a decade. Their marriage ended amicably when Shavers wanted to return to the United States to be with his children and she wanted to stay in England, Rainford said.Shavers’ death came a day after his birthday. Rainford said a funeral is planned for Sept. 17 in Warren, Ohio. Shavers was born in Garland, Alabama, in 1944 and grew up in the Youngstown, Ohio, area. He didn’t take up boxing until he was 22.Shavers fought from 1969-1995, which included two abbreviated returns from retirement. He finished 74-14-1 with 68 knockouts.Shavers lost a unanimous decision to Ali in September 1977 at Madison Square Garden in a fight for the WBC and WBA world heavyweight titles. Ali pulled out the victory with a strong rally in the 15th round. In Ma …

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