Features > THE 15 MOST DEVASTATING KOS IN BOXING HISTORY

THE 15 MOST DEVASTATING KOS IN BOXING HISTORY

After three blistering contests between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez went the distance, their long-running rivalry ended (or did it?) in explosive fashion in the final second of round six in their fourth meeting on Saturday.

The right-hand finish from Marquez was a brutal shot which left 'Pac-Man' in a motionless heap for several minutes as referee Kenny Bayless waved the fight off. The Filipino even went to a local hospital later that night for a precautionary CAT scan.

But was it the sport's best-ever KO? Our American expert Kevin Iole disagrees. See for yourself what he regards as boxing's best-ever stoppage as he counts down his 15 grandest finales.

He starts with another Pacquiao fight from three years ago - one which saw the sport's first-ever eight-weight world champion on the other end of the knockout:

15. Manny Pacquiao KO2 Ricky Hatton, May 2, 2009 — Hatton was expected to provide a stiff test for Pacquiao, but he was completely outclassed. He entered the fight with a 45-1 record, but was battered in the first round and then knocked stone cold by a Pacquiao left in the second.

14. Jack Dempsey KO2 Luis Angel Firpo, September 14, 1923 — The fight was a wild brawl and Dempsey had Firpo on the floor seven times in the first round. But Dempsey was down twice and once was knocked through the ropes. In the second, Dempsey blasted out Firpo, stopping him in the first minute of the round to retain the heavyweight title.

13. Sugar Ray Robinson KO5 Gene Fullmer, May 1, 1957 — Four months earlier, Robinson lost the middleweight title to Fuller in New York. They rematched in Chicago and Fullmer was again doing well when Robinson hit him with a left hook to the jaw that put Fullmer out cold.

12. Diego Corrales TKO10 Jose Luis Castillo, May 7, 2005 — The first nine rounds were incredible, but the 10th is one of the all-time greats. Castillo knocked Corrales down twice early in the round and Corrales seemed like he may not be able to continue. Out of nowhere, he crushed Castillo with a straight right that essentially put Castillo out on his feet. He landed several more shots before referee Tony Weeks jumped in to halt it and give him the improbable win.

11. Jack Johnson KO12 Stanley Ketchel, October 16, 1909 — Johnson was the heavyweight champion and Ketchel the middleweight champion, but the knockout was one of the most brutal ever. First, the power-punching Ketchel, one of the great punchers in the sport's history, decked Johnson in the 12th. When Johnson got up, he went hard after Ketchel. He landed a right uppercut that not only knocked Ketchel out, but also reportedly left a few of Ketchel's teeth embedded in his glove.

10. Mike Tyson KO1 Michael Spinks, June 27, 1988 — This fight was Tyson at his peak, as he terrorized a petrified Spinks. It was a matchup of two unbeaten men holding heavyweight belts, but Spinks was battered around until Tyson stopped him. Tyson decked Spinks with a right to the body about 70 seconds into the fight. Spinks got up, but Tyson went right after him and quickly knocked him out with a short right hand.

9. Buster Douglas KO10 Mike Tyson, February 10, 1990 — Tyson was a 42-1 favorite to defend his IBF/WBA/WBC heavyweight titles, but he was in trouble right from the start. He had a powerful jab that he kept popping in Tyson's face. Tyson dropped Douglas in the eighth, nearly saving his title, but Douglas came back strong. He hit Tyson with an uppercut and then a series of shots, that dropped Tyson. Tyson was unable to get up and suffered his first, and most stunning, defeat.

8. Thomas Hearns KO2 Roberto Duran, June 15, 1984 — Hearns showed his power in this fight, dropping Duran twice in the first and ending the fight with a blistering straight right in the second that sent Duran face first to the canvas.

7. Juan Manuel Marquez KO6 Manny Pacquiao, December 8, 2012 — The fourth fight in the epic rivalry was the best of them all. Marquez knocked Pacquiao down in the third, but Pacquiao turned the tables in the fifth. Pacquiao seemed to be taking over in the sixth. Late in the round, Pacquiao threw a combination, backing Marquez to the corner. Pacquiao missed a lead right and walked into a perfect right from Marquez that sent him face first to the canvas and ended the match.

6. Rocky Marciano TKO13 Jersey Joe Walcott, September 23, 1952 — This fight marked the start of Marciano's reign as heavyweight champion. He was far behind on points, but caught Walcott on the chin with a right cross that led to one of the great boxing photos of all-time. The photo showed the punch at the moment of impact, with Walcott's face grotesquely contorted.

5. Marvelous Marvin Hagler KO3 Thomas Hearns, April 15, 1985 — Regarded by many as the best short fight in boxing history, Hagler was too powerful for Hearns and proved it in this all-out slugfest. Hagler was cut in the third and knew he'd have to do something dramatic. Hagler landed a right hook to the head that staggered Hearns. Hagler literally ran across the ring after Hearns and cracked Hearns with a right. Hearns fell face first as Hagler celebrated a hard-fought win.

4. Joe Louis TKO1 Max Schmeling, June 22, 1938 — With tensions rising between the U.S. and Germany because of the Hitler regime's aggressive foreign policy, the fight had societal, as well as sporting implications. Schmeling had beaten Louis in 1936 and Americans badly wanted to see Louis get revenge. He did so in a big way, knocking Schmeling down three times in the first, forcing referee Arthur Donovan to stop it.

3. George Foreman KO10 Michael Moorer, November 5, 1994 — Foreman was 45 years old and trying to regain the heavyweight title. He was being badly outboxed by Moorer throughout the first nine rounds, when his legendary punching power came to the rescue. Foreman threw a jab and a straight right behind it, crumpling Moorer, as HBO broadcaster Jim Lampley shouted, "It happened! It happened!" Foreman became, at 45, the sport's oldest heavyweight champion.

2. George Foreman TKO2 Joe Frazier, January 22, 1973 — Frazier entered the bout as the champion, with a record of 29-0 with 25 knockouts. Foreman was 37-0 with 34 knockouts. It promised to be an action-packed fight, but it was all one-sided. Foreman knocked Frazier down six times, once lifting Frazier off his feet with a punch, en route to claiming the title.


1. Muhammad Ali KO8 George Foreman, October 30, 1974— The bout was known as "The Rumble in the Jungle," and was held in Kinshasa, Zaire, now known as The Congo. Ali was seen as on the downside of his career and many were worried he'd be seriously injured. It was in this fight that Ali pulled out the "Rope-a-Dope" strategy. He leaned back against the ropes, covering up and allowing Foreman to punish him. Once Foreman tired, Ali opened up and knocked Foreman out in the eighth to win the title a second time.

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