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Famous Knockdowns Scored by Boxers Who Went onto Lose the Bouts!

Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury boxing photo

By Ken Hissner: This writer was thinking today about how many boxers scored knockdowns, usually against a favorite opponent, but went on to lose the fight.

In October of 1909, Middleweight champion, Stanley Ketchel challenged heavyweight champion Jack Johnson. In the twelfth round, he dropped Johnson, who got up and knocked out Ketchel.

The most famous was in September of 1927 when, in a rematch, heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey knocked down Gene Tunney and stood over him, not realizing the new rule was he was to go to a neutral corner that the referee ordered Dempsey to but instead stood over him for approximately 20 seconds. Tunney would go on to win the decision.

In December of 1976, heavyweight contender Earnie Shavers was knocked down by Roy “Tiger” Williams in the tenth and final round. Williams walked to his corner with his hands raised in victory, not realizing Shavers beat the count. Shavers went after Williams knocking him out before the round was over at 2:46 of the round.

In June of 1963, Muhammad Ali came off the canvas against Henry Cooper in the fourth round only to come back and stop Cooper in the next round. Between rounds, Ali’s trainer cut the glove of Ali’s giving him time to re-coup until a new glove was put on.

In February of 1978, Richie Kates knocked down Matthew Saad Muhammad face-first to the canvas, later stating he thought he was knocked out. Saad came back to stop Kates.

In March of 1975, Muhammad Ali was knocked down by Chuck Wepner in the ninth round. Wepner went to his corner with his hands raised until his trainer told him, “don’t look now, but Ali’s up, and he looks pissed!” Ali would stop Wepner in the fifteenth and final round.

In July of 2002, in his final career bout, Larry Holmes was credited with a dubious knockdown by Eric “Butterbean” Esch in the last seconds of the ten-round bout. It was later reviewed that Esch stepped on Holmes’s foot, causing Holmes to hit the canvas. Holmes won the ten-round decision against the “champ of the four rounders.”

In October of 2021, WBC Heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury was knocked down for the second time in round four, only to come back and knock out the former champ in their rematch Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, only to come back to score an eleventh round stoppage.

In December of 2018, in their first of three fights, Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury was knocked down in the ninth and twelfth and final round by Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, only to earn a split decision draw.

I’m sure readers will come up with knockdowns they remember, and I look forward to their comments.




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