A list of boxing's most brutal knockouts is a hopelessly slippery list to try and grasp.
Coming at it purely subjectively, my list would have a far more generous serving of Chris Byrd and Evander Holyfield being subjected to harm. I would deprive you of witnessing any harm coming to Roberto Duran or Tyson.
That's the thing with brutal knockouts making an impact—you have to care about who's dishing out the punishment or receiving in order to really take it in. Brutal knockouts in boxing have very little to do with staring at a car wreck. An extraordinary knockout comes in all kinds of varieties, but when one of our favorite fighters offers or suffers one, it inevitably becomes a defining characteristic in his legacy.
In 1990, Douglas took something from Tyson that Tyson never got back.
In 1984, Hearns crushed not just Duran, but my big brother who could never care about boxing the same way after that.
In October of 2011, Brin-Jonathan Butler relived the joy of Chris Byrd's misfortune on Youtube and lost his mind to the degree of even trying to get his wife to take part in beholding the majesty (she refused, adamantly).
We're all drawn to the drama of the big finish for different reasons.
Usually, I watch them when insomnia gets a nasty hold of me. I can't witness the gravity of these kinds of defeats without feeling exhausted (unless it's Chris Byrd).
Of all the knockouts on display in this series of clips, I'm pretty sure only Joey Gamache discontinued his career after the punishment Gatti inflicted. Of course, Gamache also suffered permanent brain damage to go along with the beating.
Not all the damage of boxing comes long after the final bell on a career. Some of it happens right before your eyes.