Happy Birthday Earnie Shavers!
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
On August 31, 2016, heavyweight knockout artist Earnie Shavers turned 71 years old. Shavers is a great survivor, whose career went up and down over the years. One view has it when he got the big opportunities and did not win them, Earnie got real discouraged.
Between 1969 and 1995, heavyweight Earnie Shavers of Warren, Ohio, AKA The Black Destroyer won 74 pro bouts, lost 14 bouts and drew one, with 68 knockouts. Not every bout was successful, as Shavers got knocked out early in his career by Jerry Quarry, Ron Lyle, and Ron Stander. Shavers also got knocked down for a nine count against Bob Stallings, and lost a 10 round decision. Shavers also drew over 10 rounds with Jimmy Young, a fighter he had previously knocked out. In 1977, Shavers lost his WBC and WBA title bid in a 15 rounder by decision against Muhammad Ali, and in 1978 Shavers lost a 12 round decision in a heavyweight eliminator to Larry Holmes.
His bright moments came in 1979, when a first round knockout of Ken Norton propelled Earnie into a 12 round title bout with WBC world champion Larry Holmes in a rematch. Shavers knocked down Holmes in the seventh round, but Larry stopped him in the eleventh round to retain his title.
Despite many wins, critical losses to Bernardo Mercardo, Randall Tex Cobb, James Tillis, Walter Santemore and George Chaplin caused Earnie to retire at age 37 in 1983 after losing to Chaplin by disqualification. Earnie won comeback bouts over Larry Simms in March 1987, and Brian Morgan in September 1995. A November 1995 knockout loss in the second round against Brian Yates ended Earnie’s career for good at age 50.