Legendary boxer Earnie Shavers died on Thursday, a day after celebrating his 78th birthday on Wednesday. He was known as one of the hardest punchers during his famed career where he appeared in two title bouts. Read on to know how did Earnie Shavers die.
The two of his world title fights came in losing efforts. The first one was against the boxing GOAT Muhammad Ali where Shavers lost in a 15-round decision in 1977 at Madison Square Garden. Ali praised him after the fight saying, “Earnie hit me so hard, it shook my kinfolk in Africa.”
Shavers’ next title fight came against Larry Holmes in Las Vegas in 1979 for the WBC heavyweight title. His opponents always feared his hard-hitting strikes.
How did Earnie Shavers die?
Earnie Shavers passed away suddenly on Thursday, September 1, 2022. He had just celebrated his 78th birthday a day before. His death was confirmed by several reports coming from reliable news outlets.
Boxing news columnist Michael Benson also announced his passing on Twitter. “Former heavyweight contender Earnie Shavers has died aged 78,” he wrote.
DAZN Boxing’s official Twitter handle also reported Earnie Shavers’ death calling him “one of the hardest punchers in boxing history.”
One of the hardest punchers in boxing history 💥— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) September 1, 2022
Earnie Shavers has sadly passed away at the age of 78. RIP Champ 🙏 pic.twitter.com/0TFkRWaLob
Earnie Shavers dead: What was the cause of his death?
No cause of death was revealed in the reports announcing Earnie Shavers’ death. He allegedly passed away suddenly and unexpectedly as he wasn’t suffering from an illness prior to the unfortunate event.
Netizens are speculating that Shavers suffered a cardiac arrest that led to his demise. However, nothing is confirmed at this moment. We’ll keep you updated once more information is revealed.
Earnie Shavers was one of the most feared boxers in history
He started boxing at the late age of 22. Earnie had a short but eventful amateur career highlighted by his National AAU heavyweight title win in 1969. After that, he turned Pro and became known as the “Black Destroyer.”
Earnie went on to have nine straight knockout wins before getting knocked out by Horst Koschemann. National Golden Gloves director Tony Mange said in 1969 that Earnie “carries a hefty punch.”
He won 44 of his first 47 fights by knockout including 27 consecutive knockouts. Although most of them were against unremarkable opponents. Earnie started rising to the upper ranks of the heavyweight division even after losses against Ron Stander and Stan Johnson.
He hired Cleveland-based promoter, Don King, to be his manager. In 1977, he unsuccessfully challenged Muhammad Ali for the WBA and WBC belts at the MSG. His next heavyweight title challenge was against Larry Holmes in 1979 at Caesars Palace.
Earnie’s signature win came against former champion Ken Norton in the mandatory title challenge eliminator. He knocked him out in the first round. Vicente Rondón, Jimmy Elis, Joe Bugner, and Jimmy Young were the other world champions defeated by Earnie.
Earnie retired from professional boxing in 1995 due to retinal problems with a 74-14-1 record and a 76.4% knockout ratio. In 2001, he released an autobiography titled “Welcome to the Big Time.” He had been working as a special guest, autograph signer, and motivational speaker after retirement.
Earnie Shavers is survived by his Ten Children
Earnie Shavers married Laverne Payne in 1965. Their marriage lasted for 17 years until their divorce in 1982.
The couple has five daughters from their relationship named Tamara, Cynthia, Catherine, Carla, and Amy.
Earnie also has four daughters and a son from other relationships named Catherine, Lisa, Natasha, Latonya, and Earnie Jr. He also has 24 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Our heart goes out to Earnie’s family, friends, and loved ones. May God let the departed soul rest easy.