After I realized Juan Manuel Marquez didn’t seriously harm (or kill) Manny Pacquiao in their fight last December, I started to think about where the knockout I witnessed belongs in boxing history. For absolute fear of what I thought I just wached, there are not any KO’s that compare. But being a boxing fan, I thought I would list five that I feel are some of the best one-punch knockouts of all time.
Number 5: Mike McCallum vs. Donald Curry
The date was July 18, 1987. Donald Curry, known as the “Lone Star Cobra”, or simply the “Cobra” was a 2-1 favorite to beat McCallum. Things didn’t go as planned for Curry that day. I remember watching this fight with my Dad and jumping out of my seat when this happened…because it seemed like it came out of nowhere.
Number 4: Tommy Hearns Vs. Roberto Duran
June 15, 1984 Las Vegas, Nevada. Duran was one of the greatest fighters of all time, certainly one of the greatest lightweights ever. He had some bizarre losses in his career however – and while everyone remembers the strange ending to the “no mas” fight, I feel this is a strange one as well. No doubt Hearns had Duran in every statistical category – taller, faster, younger, etc. But this wasn’t his only fight where that was the case. The dude just didn’t show up (although I’m sure he did for the check). Duran did get hit a lot, but the last punch was a classic.
Number 3: Hasim Rahman Vs. Lennox Lewis
Lennox Lewis comes in overweight and out of shape because he wanted to be in “Ocean’s 11” instead of train. A great right hand later and he is a former champ. Because of this fight and his loss to Oliver McCall, Lewis generally isn’t considered one of the top tier heavyweight champs of all time.
Number 2: Manny Pacquiao Vs. Ricky Hatton
This is just a classic. This is the Pacquiao everyone wanted to see against Mayweather. Time slows everyone down.
Number 1: Rocky Marciano Vs Jersey Joe Walcott
September 23, 1952. Rocky was knocked down in the first round by Walcott and was losing this fight as well. But in the thirteenth Marciano’s famous “Suzie Q” right hand ended the fight and won the title for the The Brockton Blockbuster.
Honorable mention: Foreman Vs. Cooney
I loved watching Foreman in his second stint as heavyweight contender/champion, and this is my favorite KO. How Cooney got this fight escapes me, because George was already making a name for himself in his comeback while Cooney was not. I can’t decide which KO of Cooney I like better – this one or the beat-down Holmes put on him. It’s not that I dislike Cooney, it’s just that I am a huge fan of the other two men.