In what has to rank as one of the saddest of days for a boxing fan, we have now learned of the passing of heavyweight legend Earnie Shavers. On a depressing day that registered the passing of Everett “Bigfoot” Martin, and esteemed scribe Ted Sares, we have also been forced to say goodbye to Earnie Shavers.

Shavers, the “Puncher of the Century,” passed away just a day after his 78th birthday. Fans, both shocked as well as saddened, have been paying tribute to “The Acorn,” as Muhammad Ali dubbed Shavers.

Shavers was indeed a truly ferocious puncher; his KO’s of Ken Norton, Jimmy Ellis, and Jimmy Young being X-Rated affairs. While Earnie’s losing wars with Larry Holmes and Ron Lyle are also legendary – to say nothing of Shavers’ “Rocky-like” slugfest with Roy Tiger Williams.

In short, Shavers goes down as one of the greatest never to have won a world title. Some experts say no man EVER punched as hard as Shavers punched. And Earnie was a truly nice guy.

As were the other two fine men who gave so much to the sport of boxing yet sadly left us today.

R.I.P, Earnie Shavers, Everett Martin, and Ted Sares.

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