Get in Line Pacquiao-Marquez IV: Boxing’s Top-10 One-Punch KOs

By Mike Silver on January 2, 2013
Get in Line Pacquiao-Marquez IV: Boxing’s Top-10 One-Punch KOs
Dead end kid Rocky Graziano is in the midst of an epic slugfest with the "Man of Steel."

Marquez lands a tremendous overhand right to Pacman’s jaw. The power of the punch is increased by Manny’s forward momentum…

Marquez lands a tremendous overhand right to Pacman’s jaw. The power of the punch is increased by Manny’s forward momentum…

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Sugar Ray Robinson KNOCK OUT Gene Fullmer

Marciano KO's Walcott

Bob Fitzsimmons vs. James J. Corbett

Thomas Hearns vs Roberto Duran

George Foreman vs Michael Moorer KNOCK OUT

Joe Walcott V's Ezzard Charles TKO

marquez KO's pacquiao highlights

Tony Canzoneri KO 3 Jackie "Kid" Berg II

Bob Foster V's Dick Tiger TKO

Archie Moore vs Embrell Davidson

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  1. Mike Silver 11:24pm, 01/27/2013

    No one has mentioned one of the most devastating one punch lights out—Joe Frazier’s belt out of Bob Foster!!!

  2. the thresher 09:58am, 01/13/2013

    Whoops, Calvin Brock’s near decapitation of Zuri Lawrence also has to be right up there.

  3. the thresher 09:58am, 01/13/2013

    The Ding-a-Ling-Man’s near decapitation over Emmanuel Nwodo in 2007 was startling. It was his least decent fight.

    Also, Sam Peter’s near decapiation of Half Man Half Amazing Jeremy Willimas almost made him a half man.

  4. clifford fulwood 03:38pm, 01/09/2013

    Jack Johnson’s KO of Stanley Ketchel not only doesn’t make the list but not even make honorable mention? U kidding me???? What are u guys smoking? Ketchel needed a new grill (all front teeth broken… FROM THE ROOT!!!)  and Johnson was brushing them from his glove. But got a few more.
    Naverette KO Boza-Edwards One of the most devastating southpaw left to the body right hooks to the head ever!
    Julian Jackson KO of Wayne Powell and Buster Drayton(TIIIMMMBERRRR!!!)
    Molinares KO of Starling. To this day Starling still doesn’t know he’s been KO’D
    Arguello KO Rooney
    Pacman KO Hatton
    Johnson KO Galindez
    Delayed KO? Check out Luisito Espinosa KO of Khaosai’s twin bother Khaokor. Never seen a delayed effect like that in my life! Khaokor never fought again.

  5. Tex Hassler 11:29am, 01/08/2013

    I am glad I got off my horse and looked at my laptop. Mike Sliver wrote an excellent article and reading it was better than eating a cold watermelon on a hot day. I appreciate Mike saying that Foreman maneuvered Moore into a right hand instead of calling it a lucky punch like the “experts at ringside did that day!” All 10 were winners!

  6. Chris Conforti 05:05am, 01/07/2013

    How about Sergio Martinez KO of Paul Williams?  That should be up there, no.

  7. Jethro Tull 12:31am, 01/07/2013

    p.s. Holyfield vs Rodrigues is a lot better than Holyfield vs Douglas.

    Douglas could have got up, Rodrigues had no chance.

  8. Jethro Tull 12:27am, 01/07/2013

    “bikermike 04:53pm, 01/04/2013
    I have to say that when I heard Hearns over Pipino Cuevas on the radio….(was on a fishing trip) it sounded really bad…......when I saw the fight…it made me start to figure there should be same day weigh ins”

    There were same day weigh ins in those days. Leonard and Hearns weighed in for their 1981 match on the morning of the fight.

    As for Duran, he didn’t belong at 154lbs anyway, despite winning a title. It also didn’t help him that he had ballooned after fighting Marvin Hagler but he was doomed against Hearns anyway.

  9. Jethro Tull 02:36pm, 01/06/2013

    “Bob Foster KO 4 Mike Quarry;”

    Actually, this is a strong contender for the best of all time and the available footage of it is excellent as well.

    The same cannot be said about Fitzimmons vs Corbett though I appreciate that Foster vs Tiger is on this list and that is a worthy entry.

    Also, to not have Julian Jackson KO4 Herol Graham even as an honourable mention is criminal. Contrary to what Ali used to say, Jackson’s hands could hit what his eyes couldn’t see and Herol Graham was very hard to hit in his prime.

  10. Don from Prov 06:22am, 01/05/2013

    What a great list—and great additions by posters

    I could watch Robinson walking Fullmer into that hook all night long

  11. bikermike 05:08pm, 01/04/2013

    when I saw ‘Big’ George Foreman KO Michael Moorer…..I wept.  Foreman was behind on points…badly.  Michael was faster…younger..and was building a huge point spread.  Foreman lured Moorer into the zone….nailed him twice with the right hand….Moorer dropped for the count…..Foreman dropped to his knees to thank the Lord

  12. bikermike 05:03pm, 01/04/2013

    To be sure… Mike Silver has touched most fight fans’ hearts with this list….....Keep ‘em coming Mike…....

    Shawn O’Sullivan getting KO’d by Terry Norris is pretty brutal…...maybe it’s just me….but I knew Shawn….Several years later…he didn’t recognize me…..he got really hammered during that one…with no mouthpiece…

    Like riding a hard tail on a Saskatchewan Highway..ffs Lotsa damage to the person getting ‘rocked’

    Saw a contingency of ‘Hell’s Angels pull into Sturgis one year…all the way from California….....on hard tails…some of them (hardtail means no suspension on the back wheel…so the bike rides lower)....betcha that trip took more guys outta the Hells Angels than the DEA in five years

  13. bikermike 04:57pm, 01/04/2013

    I felt the same with Hearns Duran… way was this two guys ..the same weight ...fighting….No way…..If weight division means anything….it should be two guys at the same weight .....Same day weigh ins .....should be the rule…..weigh in at midnight on Friday…fight on Saturday… that

  14. bikermike 04:53pm, 01/04/2013

    I have to say that when I heard Hearns over Pipino Cuevas on the radio….(was on a fishing trip) it sounded really bad…......when I saw the fight…it made me start to figure there should be same day weigh ins…....even midnight, the day before the fight.  Hearns was massive…Cuevas was a regular welterweight…

  15. bikermike 04:50pm, 01/04/2013

    Zale over Graziano… that was enough to send most fighters into retirement…..Zale was very tough….could take a punch..but could really put ‘em in there

  16. bikermike 04:48pm, 01/04/2013

    Nice mix of modern and past great Knockouts…....Even today….who can say they didn’t know about ‘Ruby’ Bob Fitzsimmons knockout of ‘Gentleman ’ Jim Corbett….....What a shot !!!!  My favourite…was Jersey Joe Walcott ‘s KO of Ezzard Charles…....

    BTW…saw the interview with Joe louis and jersey joe walcott…...Walcott ...due to lifestyle…looked twenty years younger than the ‘ol Brown Bomber…..and they were the same age

  17. Mike Silver 11:35am, 01/04/2013

    Here are two more: Dempsey flattens Sharkey; Mayweather Jr. does same to Victor Ortiz. Both times the fighters looked to referee, ignoring instructions to ‘protect yourself at all times’.

  18. Bodyshots 11:31pm, 01/03/2013

    nice write-up. Hearns KO of Cuevas put an end to Pipino’s punishing run at the top. Iron Mike’s KO of Berbick was good for three KDs(?!). Evander’s about-face-face-first KO of Qawi gets an honorable mention. Lewis walloping Rahman as well. fun stuff.

  19. the thresher 01:00pm, 01/03/2013

    And Benitez did it to Hope.

  20. the thresher 12:59pm, 01/03/2013

    Didn’t Mike McCallum ice someone with one punch. Was it Curry?

    And didn’t Curry do it to McCrory?

    And Toney did it to Nunn.

  21. Eric 12:58pm, 01/03/2013

    I think Mike Weaver’s knockout of John Tate should have made the top 5 or at the very least the top 5. Definitely feel the Marciano knockout of Walcott is the greatest one punch kayo in boxing history. The Hearns demolition of Duran would have to rate as one of the most shocking knockouts. Bob Foster knocking out Mike Quarry should crack the top 10 also and Rahman-Lewis might/should get an honorable mention.

  22. Tony 10:51am, 01/03/2013

    Great article—and I’d expect no less from Mike Silver!

    As one other poster said, I might quarrel slightly with the Zale-Graziano inclusion, because it seemed like the body shot was nearly as significant as the coup de grace in producing the final result.

    I’d like to offer two modern candidates for honorable mentions in the Fitz-Corbett “Debilitated But Not Unconscious” category.

    One is Roy Jones’ stoppage of Virgil Hill with a single right hand body shot.  No matter what you think of Jones, if you were watching that one, you’d have a hard time forgetting it.

    The second is a bit more of an oddity: Ray-Mercer-Francesco Damiani.  Damiani was pounding out a boring, monotonous decision over Mercer for 9 1/2 rounds.  If Mercer landed a punch before the deciding one, it didn’t dent Francesco’s chin or my memory.  Okay, the fighters involved were nowhere near those on this list for historical significance.  But for sheer “where did THAT come from?!” dramatic turnaround with a single blow, this one was hard to beat.

  23. Matt McGrain 01:06am, 01/03/2013

    Jackson’s KO of Graham should be on that list!

  24. the thresher 08:03pm, 01/02/2013

    Tim Witherspoon-Anders Eklund

  25. the thresher 08:00pm, 01/02/2013


  26. Mike Silver 07:57pm, 01/02/2013

    Thanks for the comments guys. Just thought of two more! Benvenuti KO of Luis Rodriguez and Monzon doing the same to Benvenuti!
    More will probably surface. But these two were beauts.

  27. FrankinDallas 07:55pm, 01/02/2013

    Julian Jackson ko Terry Norris

  28. maypac 05:50pm, 01/02/2013

    Come to think of it what about Pacquiao vs Hatton?

  29. maypac 05:39pm, 01/02/2013

    Sergio Martinez vs Paul Williams didn’t make your list, why?

  30. tuxtucis 01:52pm, 01/02/2013

    Excellent list, except maybe for Zale-Graziano (not a single punch ko)...
    As Italian I would like to mention Nino Benvenuti’s ko of Sandro Mazzinghi in their first meeting….

  31. mike schmidt 01:46pm, 01/02/2013

    Great list—soooo many great knockouts—one of my all times—Julian Jackson vs Herol Graham. Lennox in fight number two vs the Rockman was another big one—Tyson cruncher on Mike Spinks—Patterson’s big left hook on Ingo…. Stop me now Mike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You could probably form a top ten on Julian Jackson’s all alone. My article from a few months back—and still probably my all time personal fav—Mike Rossman scorching Mike Nixon.

  32. peter 01:38pm, 01/02/2013

    Why isn’t Rocky Marciano’s crushing right hand number one? That punch was short, sweet, ballsy, dramatic, aesthetically pleasing and nearly ripped poor Walcott’s cheek off….The number one SNEAKY punch was Walcott’s left uppercut on Charles’s jaw. Charles never saw it coming…Mike, let that be your next article—“The Ten Top Sneaky Punches”. Nice article! Thanks!

  33. Mike Casey 12:50pm, 01/02/2013

    Hearns over Shuler was a beauty, Ted.

  34. Mike Casey 12:48pm, 01/02/2013

    Very good list, Mike. What Robbie did that night in Chicago was incredible. Nobody had ever knocked out Fullmer before and nobody ever did it again. Walcott’s little body shift before nailing Charles, Rocky’s KO of Jersey Joe, Foster’s peach of a left hook over Tiger, and two classic wallops from Hearns and Big George…. all these 10 choices here were of the highest quality. And I shudder when I imagine what it must have been like to get hit by Fitzsimmons!

  35. the thresher 12:41pm, 01/02/2013

    I love these kinds of lists.

    Shavers over Norton was a good one—maybe honorable mention. And Klit’s KO over Brock was as clean as they get.

    Hearns over Shuler was another clean one.

    But I can’t argue with your top 10.

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