Earnie Dee Shaver (born August 31, 1944), best known as Earnie Shavers, is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1969 to 1983, with two further comebacks in 1987 and 1995.
A two-time world heavyweight championship challenger, Shavers is known for being one of the hardest punchers in boxing history.
He scored 68 knockout wins with 46 of them in the first 3 rounds and 23 first round knockouts. He holds a 91.8% knockout-to-win ratio, and a 76.4% overall knockout ratio.
Shavers had two world title fights, against Muhammad Ali in 1977 and Larry Holmes in 1978. He scored a seventh-round knockdown against Holmes, and badly hurt Ali in the second round. Shavers never won a world title, but defeated former world champions Vicente Rondón, Jimmy Ellis and Ken Norton, as well as contenders Jimmy Young and Joe Bugner.
Shavers started boxing at the fairly late age of 22. Prior to turning professional, Shavers had a short but notable amateur career, winning the 1969 National AAU heavyweight title.
Known as the “Black Destroyer”, Shavers won 44 of his first 47 fights by knockout; mostly against unremarkable opposition. This included 27 consecutive knockouts, of which 20 were in the first round. He suffered setbacks with losses to Ron Stander and Stan Johnson.
Shavers then had a thunderous match with hard hitting Ron Lyle but was stopped after 6 brutal rounds.
He then knocked out hard hitter Howard King and beat powerful prospect Roy Williams in a brutal back and forward battle in which Shavers was nearly knocked out. The match Shavers always said was one of the toughest of his whole career.