The 10 Most Memorable Knockouts by Uppercuts in Boxing History

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The 10 Most Memorable Knockouts by Uppercuts in Boxing History
(Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)

(Uppercut – noun, boxing; a short, swinging blow directed upward, as to the chin.)

One of the most devastating punches of the sport, the uppercut is usually used to wear the opponent down and set him up for the big finish. 

But when executed perfectly by the right hands, an uppercut could mean the end of the fight for the boxer on the receiving end.

Perhaps the best attribute of the said punch is its unpredictability and suddenness. As legendary trainer Emmanuel Steward puts it, “punches that you don’t see coming, hurt you the most.”

The uppercut, when performed brilliantly, does not announce its bad intentions on the way. It kicks the door open.

These are the 10 All-Time Memorable Knockouts via the uppercut.

 

10. Nonito Donaire Jr. vs. Raul Martinez – April 19, 2009

In his third defense of the IBF crown, flyweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. outclassed then the undefeated Raul Martinez throughout the duration of the fight.

Donaire decked the Mexican challenger twice in the first round, once in the second, and finally ending the bout with a quick, left uppercut in the fourth.

What makes it memorable:

The way Martinez landed after he caught the uppercut straight in the face was a spectacle of beauty. He staggered from the middle of the ring and fell into the corner, butt-first.

 

9. David Tua vs. Maurice Wheeler – Nov. 11, 2006

Maurice Wheeler was winning the scorecards in a very uneventful 10-round fight when David Tua, a man known for devastating knockouts, launched a left uppercut to Wheeler’s stomach in the seventh round.

Tua looked slow all night with Wheeler picking him apart with jabs, but the gut-wrenching uppercut was all he needed.

What makes it memorable:

The fight was so bad, so slow, and did not pack any action from start to finish. It was so terrible it lingers.

 

8. Manny Pacquiao vs. Fashan 3K Battery – Dec. 11, 2004

Defending IBF Intercontinental featherweight champ Manny Pacquiao made short work of Thailand’s Fashan 3K Battery. Pacquiao dropped his challenger four times: once in rounds two and three and twice in round four. The final knockdown was a sneaky left uppercut that came in after Pacquiao faked a right cross.

What makes it memorable:

It was a technical masterpiece.

Also, Pacquiao lifted the Thai off his feet with that left uppercut; a rare feat in the lower weight classes and a clear demonstration of Pacquiao’s raw power.

 

7. Roy Jones, Jr. vs. Vinnie Pazienza – June 24, 1995

IBF Super Middleweight champ Roy Jones, Jr. dispatched former two-time champion Vinnie Pazienza in the sixth with a six-punch flurry Jones initiated and ended with a left  uppercut.

What makes it memorable:

Jones was on the run when he quickly delivered the final six punches of the fight in this order: left uppercut, left hook, left hook, right hook, right uppercut, left uppercut.

 

6. Earnie Shavers vs. Ken Norton – March 23, 1979

Despite Norton’s tight defense, Shavers eventually wore him down and knocked him down twice in the fight. The final knockdown came moments after the first, with Shavers whipping a vicious right uppercut to Norton’s face. All this within the first round.

What makes it memorable:

Two old guys going at it makes it memorable. Shavers and Norton were 34 and 36, respectively, at the time of the bout.

An old guy unloading such an uppercut makes it a legend.

 

5. Gerry Cooney vs. Ken Norton – May 11, 1981

In a title eliminator bout that would have the winner face Larry Holmes, Cooney finished a washed-up Norton in 54 seconds with a thunderous barrage of uppercuts.

What makes it memorable:

Cooney battering a sitting Norton with uppercuts was just merciless. Norton retired after suffering such beating.

 

4. Earnie Shavers vs. Jimmy Ellis – June 18, 1973

Former heavyweight champion Jimmy Ellis started out strong and managed to stun and stagger Shavers into a corner and gave the latter a beating. Moments later, Shavers unleashed a right uppercut to Ellis’ face, knocking him out in the process.

What makes it memorable:

Ellis was bent on ending the fight in the first round, but a hard-punching Shavers turned the tide with one single punch.

 

3. George Foreman vs. Joe Frazier – Jan. 22, 1973

Foreman was in complete domination in this bout, decking Frazier a total of six times in a matter of two rounds and finishing him in the second with a right uppercut.

What makes it memorable:

Frazier was lifted off his feet and landed awkwardly after Foreman delivered that finishing right uppercut.

 

2. Ray Mercer vs. Francesco Damiani – Jan. 12, 1991

Defending WBO heavyweight champion Damiani was clearly taking Mercer to school, outboxing the challenger right from the start.

But late in the ninth round, Mercer conjured a crushing left uppercut to Damiani’s face, ending the night for the Italian champion.

What makes it memorable:

Mercer’s uppercut was so devastating it broke Damiani’s nose. Blood was streaking from Damiani’s nose as he was counted out by the referee.

 

1.  Rocky Marciano vs. Joe Louis – Oct. 26, 1951

Marciano finished the Brown Bomber in eighth round, knocking Louis out of the ring. Although the finishing punch was a right cross, it was two quick left uppercuts from Marciano that ended the fight.

What makes it memorable:

It was Joe Louis’ last fight as a professional boxer.

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