10 Of The Baddest Head Shot Knockouts In Boxing History

Boxing remains one of the most popular combat sports worldwide thanks to the memorable battles that take place inside the squared circle. Amidst the hypnotizing footwork, mesmerizing head movement, and tactical defense boxers often showcase, the headshot knockout is the most electrifying moment in boxing.

A headshot knockout occurs when a boxer renders their opponent unconscious with a single blow, bringing the contest to a dramatic end. A knockout can occur at any moment in a boxing match, regardless of who is dominating the contest.


The Ten Most Epic Headshot Knockouts In Boxing History

Ready to find out which knockouts are etched in the annals of boxing history? Let’s dive right into our list:


1) Mike Tyson vs. Trevor Berbick

Mike Tyson scored many brutal knockouts during his boxing career, but none stand out like his knockout of Berbick in 1986. It was Tyson’s first chance to secure a major title, and he passed the test with flying colors, dominating Berbick from the opening bell.

Tyson dropped Berbick late in the first round and did it again early in the second round. He landed a powerful left hook late in the second stanza that sent Berbick to the canvas for the third time. Berbick tried to get back to his feet multiple times, but his legs kept failing him, forcing the referee to stop the contest.

With the win, Tyson improved his professional boxing record to 28-0 and became the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history by claiming the WBC’s belt.


2) George Foreman vs. Michael Moorer

George Foreman was looking to put the ghosts of the “Rumble in the Jungle” behind him when he returned to boxing in his 40s. He worked his way to a title shot against Moorer, but most of the fight didn’t go his way, as the latter worked his jab effectively.

The miraculous comeback finish came in the tenth round as Foreman dropped Moorer with a right hand that left him unable to get off his back. The win made Foreman the oldest champion in heavyweight history.


3) Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Manny Pacquiao IV

The first three fights between these three ended with controversial scorecards as fight fans could reach an agreement on who won. The fourth fight gave fans a definitive ending as both men sent each other to the canvas before Marquez landed a hard right hand that left Pacquiao face down. There was no need for a count, and Pacquiao remained motionless on the ground for over two minutes before regaining consciousness.


4) Thomas Hearns vs. Roberto Durán

Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns scored one of the most impressive knockouts of his career when he squared up against a fellow legend in Duran. The WBC super welterweight title was up for grabs when the two collided, but the fight didn’t last long, with Hearns sending Duran face-first to the canvas with a vicious right hand. To his credit, Duran tried to will himself back up, but his body wasn’t responsive.


5) Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton

Manny Pacquaio helped to send Ricky Hatton to early retirement when the two collided in 2009. Debates about a matchup with Floyd Mayweather were at an all-time high, and many were eager to see how Pacquiao’s performance against Hatton would stack up against Mayweather’s.

Pacquaio only needed two minutes to put Hatton away, securing the IBO and Ring light-welterweight titles in the process.


6) Julian Jackson vs. Herol Graham

Jackson is still considered one of the hardest hitters in boxing history, and that power was on full display when he faced Graham in 1990. The vacant WBC title was on the line when these two squared off.

Graham put on a boxing clinic during the opening rounds, but that didn’t mean anything when Jackson landed a mighty right hand on Graham’s jaw. The punch was so powerful that Graham lost consciousness before his body hit the ground.


7) Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston II

Ali scored a controversial finish of Liston in 1965 when he landed his infamous “phantom punch” during the first round, sending Liston to the canvas with a quick right hook. The referee bungled the count, and the action was momentarily restarted before the fight was called.


8) Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou

Ngannou performed memorably when he fought Tyson Fury to determine who the baddest man alive was, losing a controversial split decision. That performance helped him secure a fight against Joshua, but Francis wasn’t as impressive this time, getting knocked out cold during the second round. It was the first time Francis had been knocked out in his combat sports career.


9) Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks

Spinks was on a roll when he squared off against Tyson, handing Larry Holmes his first loss and winning the rematch. Tyson vs. Spinks was one of the most hyped fights in boxing history, but it didn’t live up to it.

Tyson only needed 90 seconds to put Spinks away with a right hook. The finish came moments after Tyson had dropped Spinks with a hook to the body.


10) Deontay Wilder vs. Bermane Stiverne

Wilder showcased why he’s widely considered one of the best knockout artists in boxing history. Wilder looked like he was having fun from the fight’s opening moments, dropping Stiverne with a cross early on.

Stiverne only spent a few seconds back on his feet before Wilder sent him back down with a left, right combo. Moments later, Wilder ended the contest, performing a Euro step before putting Stiverne away with a barrage of hooks. It remains one of the most entertaining finishes in boxing history.



Headshots allow you to bring any boxing match to an end, regardless of how it’s unfolding. Liver shots can be just as devastating, so mix up your targets to get the best results inside the ring.


You may also like: 

Breaking Down The Brawler Boxing Style

More in Boxing

Also On Evolve