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Hall of Fame Weekend with the Great Ernie Shavers


PhilBoxing.com




IBHOF, NY - He is known for having one of the hardest punches with an unbelievable 76% knockout rate from a golden era of Heavyweights from 1970?s and into the 80?s. Although he didn?t get a chance to become a world champion at the peak of his fighting career, he was a feared slugger with 68 knockouts when boxing was broadcasted on national television when it was a part of mainstream sports. In 1979, he knocked out former Champion Ken Norton in the first round which was the pinnacle of his career in addition to 23 devastating wins by knockouts within the first round.

Born in Akron, Ohio in 1945, Heavyweight legend Ernie Shavers (74W[68KO]-14L-1D) has fought on national TV across the United States from Las Vegas to New York and everywhere in between where boxing thrived from 1969 to 1983. Ernie Shavers fought for 14 years straight and faced the best heavyweights from the 70?s and 80?s. He made a comeback in 1995 for two fights before hanging up his gloves. Ernie Shavers is a living legend of the sport, The International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York officially inducted Shavers last Saturday for his contributions and accomplishments to the sport of Boxing.
Ernie Shavers has many knockout highlight reels during his career where heavyweights fought over 15 rounds and the best of the best had to face each other. Shavers most notable wins were against Ken Norton, Henry Clark twice and Joe Bugner. Shavers fought ?The Greatest ?Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes for the WBC Heavyweight title. Although Shavers didn?t beat the two best Heavyweights from his era, his legacy is intact with his signature compact punching power from right uppercuts and crosses which was feared and legendary. It has been over 30 years ago when Shavers was at his prime, however his knockout power is still spoken of today. Ring Magazine ranks Ernie Shavers tenth in the greatest punchers of all time list back in 2003. Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, Tyler Cobb, Ron Lyle and Ken Norton described Ernie ?The Acorn/The Black Destroyer? Shavers as the hardest puncher they have ever fought.

After a couple of days from the International Boxing Hall of Fame ceremonies, this writer is still soaking in all the events and humbling experiences with the time IBHOF inductees, ring gladiators from the past who fought up to 15 rounds and some having over 100 fights throughout their career.

It was a pleasant surprise and an absolute honor to have lunch with the legendary heavyweight slugger Ernie Shavers at the legendary Graziano?s Inn and Restaurant in Titletown, NY. Michael Schmidt of Boxing.com invited Ernie Shavers to have lunch with our group of friends from Canada consisting of Carlos ?Cutman? Valera Sr and Jr., former Canadian Boxing Olympian/retired pro boxer Johnny Kalbhenn of the legendary Toronto Cabbagetown Boxing Gym, and reigning NBA Canadian Middleweight Champion Fitzroy Vanderpool.

Ernie Shavers who is 68 years old has kept himself in great shape over the years and represents a vitamin supplement company and plans to travel across the US this year. Shavers talked about how blessed he has been in boxing and his life after retiring from the sport. He fondly recalls how good promoter Don King has been to him over the years, he commented that whenever he needed something, Don King has always been there for him. Shavers also said the same of Top Rank?s Bob Arum.

While seated beside Shavers for the duration of our lunch, this writer discovered that we had something in common that we love to do and live for, we are both avid fishermen who will go fishing at every opportunity. Our conversations went back and forth between boxing and fishing. For this writer, it felt like time stood still with a great ambassador of the sport, a ring gladiator from the past who many regard as the hardest puncher from his era. Shavers? mild manner, gentle personality and faith in the Lord is what champions are made out of. Hopefully we will all have the opportunity to cast a line together and share another moment up in God?s country in Northern Ontario where the fishing is pristine.

Ernie Shaver?s induction at the International Boxing Hall of Fame Banquet cemented his legacy in the sport. He came up to the podium with his fellow inductees as humble and thankful as a God Fearing man can be. We all witnessed great moment for Boxing and a great moment for a great man.

Photo: Ernie Shavers (R) poses with the author.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rob Cruz.


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