The Top 10 One-Punch Knockouts in Boxing History

There’s nothing quite like a knockout in boxing. While fans turn up in their thousands and millions tune in to witness the skill and talent fighters possess within the squared-circle, the most craved outcome is someone being put unconscious.

As crude as that may sound, it’s ultimately the name of the game once pugilists step foot into the ring, and there has been many an eye-catching finish to occur throughout the history of the sport.

They say that one shot is all it takes and that is literally the case with this list. So, here are 10 of the greatest ever single-shot knockouts, showcased in chronological order.

1. Jersey Joe Walcott KO7 Ezzard Charles (July 18, 1951)

At the time of this fifth shot at the heavyweight crown and third meeting with Charles, Walcott was the oldest ever challenger for the title.

He sealed success here with a huge left hook, sending “The Cincinnati Cobra” to the canvas for the referee’s count.

2. Rocky Marciano KO13 Jersey Joe Walcott (September 23, 1952)

Hard-hitting Marciano was behind on the scorecards deep into the championship rounds against Walcott.

But the fearsome puncher unloaded a devastating right hand to put his opponent’s lights out, as his body drooped down on the ring ropes in this boxing knockout.

3. Sugar Ray Robinson KO5 Gene Fullmer (May 1, 1957)

One of the most famous one-punch knockouts in boxing ever.

Remembered as ‘the perfect punch’, Robinson landed a lethal left hook on Fullmer to gain redemption for his loss in their first fight just months prior.

4. Mike McCallum KO5 Donald Curry (July 18, 1987)

Curry was left stretched out on the ring floor from a sickening McCallum left hook, with “The Body Snatcher” ending proceedings instantly in the fifth round.

5. Julian Jackson KO4 Herol Graham (November 24, 1990)

Another incredible and highly-memorable one-shot stoppage from one of the hardest hitters in history.

Jackson unleashed a concrete right hand on Graham as he came rushing in during their dramatic encounter.

6. George Foreman KO10 Michael Moorer (November 5, 1994)

With one well-timed pile-driver of a right hand landed on the much younger Moorer, Foreman became the oldest heavyweight world champion in history in Las Vegas.

7. Hasim Rahman KO5 Lennox Lewis (April 22, 2001)

Rahman defied all expectations when he was able to relieve Lewis of both his senses and world heavyweight crown in their South Africa showdown.

Ushering him to the ropes, feigning down then connecting with a brutal right hand over the top, the American caused a massive upset with one bout-ending punch.

8. Manny Pacquiao KO2 Ricky Hatton (May 2, 2009)

Manchester icon Hatton was left a pile on the floor in Las Vegas when he was on the receiving end of a phenomenal left hand from a prime Pacquiao.

9. Sergio Martinez KO2 Paul Williams (November 20, 2010)

Turn the sound up for this one!

Argentine Martinez got revenge for his defeat to Williams the year before when he sent his rival flailing to the canvas unconscious following a mammoth left hand.

10. Juan Manuel Marquez KO6 Manny Pacquiao (December 8, 2012)

Mexican legend Marquez put an abrupt end to his historic rivalry with Pacquiao when he landed a perfectly flush right hand on the incoming Filipino.

His flattening of “Pacman” stands as one of the best ever KOs in what was also a ‘Fight of the Decade’ front runner, while his joyous celebration and Roy Jones Jr’s famous commentary made the moment all the more memorable.

Other one-punch knockouts in boxing: Carl Froch KO8 George Groves (May 31st, 2014), James J. Jeffries KO23 James Corbett (May 11th, 1900), Mike Weaver KO15 John Tate (March 31st, 1980), Bob Fitzsimmons KO14 James Corbett (March 17th, 1897), Antonio Tarver KO2 Roy Jones Jr (May 15th, 2004).

Other posts by Lee Gormley include 5 best fighters over the age of 40 and why boxers make more than MMA fighters.