REMEMBER THE ACORN? Alabama heavyweight Earnie Shavers gained fame fighting Muhammad Ali. The boxer passed away today at 78.
Tex Cobb, on the hardest puncher he ever faced: “Larry Holmes doesn’t hit as hard as Earnie Shavers. Nobody hits like Shavers. If anybody hit harder than Shavers, I’d shoot him.” “Earnie Shavers could punch you in the neck and break your ankle.”
Razor, known as the “Black Destroyer,” won 44 of his first 47 fights by KO; mostly against humble opposition. That included 27 consecutive eliminations, 20 of which were in the first round. He suffered setbacks from losses to Ron Stand and Stan Johnson.
He began his rise at the top of the heavyweight division after hiring Cleveland promoter Don King as his manager. His victories included freshman Jimmy Young, who went on to become a contender for the world title. He beefed up his opponent’s ranks and caught the public eye with a first-round knockout of former WBA heavyweight champion Jimmy Ellis.
His progress stopped when he was knocked out by Jerry Quarry in the first round, followed by a loss to compatriot Bob Stallings. The Razor then had a thunderous match with thumping Ron Lyle but was stopped after six brutal rounds. He then beat tough Howard King and formidable contender Roy Williams in a brutal back-and-forth that nearly knocked Razor out in the toughest fight of his career Contest.
Razor fights Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden on September 29, 1977.  Razor entered the fight and went 54-5-1 with 52 knockouts. Ali called the razor “acorn” because he shaved his head. The game is broadcast on prime-time television by NBC, which rarely airs prime-time games (ABC tends to fight Ali), and the judges’ scores are announced after each round to avoid controversial decisions.
Alli’s corner Angelo Dundee asked Baltimore matchmaker Eddie Hurica to watch the broadcast and signal the goal in the locker room. In the second round, the razor injured Ali with the upper right hand. Ali acted like he was badly injured, and Razor hesitated. They traded several rounds on the scorecard. Ali decisively won the fifth. To win this fight, Ali must survive the final three rounds. Razor, whose stamina was in doubt before the fight, came alive in round 13. On the 14th, he hit Ali in the ring. According to Sports Illustrated boxing reporter Pat Putnam, before the 15th, “Ali’s legs were shaking.”