6 Unstoppable Uppercut Knockouts In Boxing To Study

When it comes to boxing, the uppercut is one of the most powerful weapons boxers have at their disposal, but there’s a catch. You need to be in the phone booth with your opponent to land uppercuts, which puts you in range to get hit with powerful counters.

Uppercuts aren’t a punch you spam mindlessly; precision is the name of the game here. Uppercuts should be used sparingly when you’re confident you’ll land them. This article will go over some of the most devastating knockout finishes in boxing and go over whatever lessons can be gathered from them.


The Six Most Brutal Uppercut Finishes In Boxing History And The Lessons They Offer

Without further ado, let’s jump right into our list of unstoppable uppercut knockouts:


1) Zhanibek Alimkhanuly vs. Danny Dignum

Dignum suffered his first loss as a professional boxer during the tenth round of his showdown with Alimkhanuly for the interim WBO World Middleweight title. Alimkhanuly swarmed Dignum with punches while the latter tried to get on his bicycle before finding himself trapped against the ropes.

Alimkhanuly launched off a vicious barrage of crosses and lead hooks before dropping Dignum with an uppercut.

Lesson: The uppercut that put Dignum away was the only one he threw during the exchange. At that point, Dignum was fighting for dear life, and Alimkhanuly forced him to bring his hands to the side of his head to protect himself against looping punches before catching him off guard with the uppercut.


2) Terence Crawford vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa

Crawford’s first successful title defense of the WBO lightweight title came against Gamboa, and he couldn’t have been more impressive. It was Crawford’s first time fighting in his native Nebraska, and Gamboa came to win, dominating the opening rounds with his speed.

Crawford eventually made some adjustments, dropping Gamboa in the fifth and eighth rounds and twice in the ninth. The ending sequence involved Gamboa charging at Crawford despite being visibly hurt, while the latter fired off a few hooks before ending the contest with an uppercut that landed flush.

Lesson: Gamboa could have probably avoided the fight-ending uppercut if he hadn’t been so careless. In the ending sequence, Crawford also showcased his pedigree, getting Gamboa to roll to his left with a left hook, leading to him moving his head into the uppercut.


3) Nonito Donaire vs. Manuel Vargas

Donaire defended the WBA interim super flyweight title when he faced Vargas in 2010. Vargas had stepped in as a last-minute replacement for Gerson Guerrero, who was initially scheduled to face Donaire.

The champion landed an uppercut during the third round, but Vargas tried to play it off by smiling. That’s how Donaire knew the first uppercut hurt him, so he spammed a few more. The punch that ended the fight barely glanced off Vargas’ chin, and its delayed effect made the finish even more spectacular.

Lesson: An uppercut doesn’t have to land flush to have a devastating effect on an opponent. Donaire’s decision to spam uppercuts wasn’t the best, and a more experienced boxer might have countered him. However, it was the right move for him, as the one uppercut that landed ended the contest.


4) George Foreman vs. Joe Frazier I

Foreman and Frazier were both undefeated when they shared the ring in 1973. Frazier had already handed Muhammad Ali his first loss as a professional boxer, and he was the favorite heading into the showdown.

The fight took place in Kingston, Jamaica, and Foreman dominated from the opening bell. He knocked down Frazier six times during the fight, the sixth resulting from an uppercut that lifted Frazier’s heel off the canvas.

Lesson: Foreman had Frazier pinned against the ropes and set up the fight-ending uppercut with a flurry of hooks. Pinning your opponent against the ropes restricts their movement and ability to evade strikes with head movement, making it one of the best times to unload hard uppercuts.


5) Ray Mercer vs. Francesco Damiani

Ray Mercer won the WBO heavyweight title with an uppercut knockout of Damiani during the ninth round of their showdown. Both men were undefeated heading into the title match, with Damiani being the more experienced fighter.

For a moment, the fight appeared to be Damiani’s coming out party as he used his fast hands and ring generalship to put on a clinic on Mercer. It was a one-sided affair until Damiani charged Mercer recklessly and walked into an uppercut that broke his nose.

Lesson: The uppercut is an effective tool for discouraging opponents from swarming you inside the ring. Fighters often get careless and forget to protect the front of their jaw when charging forward, leaving them wide open for uppercuts. The next time you’re in the ring, and your opponent is overwhelming you with their pressure, throw a few hard uppercuts down the middle to make them rethink their strategy or turn the tide of the fight as in Mercer’s case.


6) Mike Tyson vs. Marvis Frazier

Yes, the legendary Joe Frazier’s son also had a decent professional boxing career, but Tyson didn’t seem one bit impressed by his last name when they fought in 1986. Tyson scored the fastest knockout finish of his career when the two shared the ring, trapping Frazier against the ropes before unloading a vicious barrage of uppercuts that left him crumpled in the corner.

It was one of the most brutal finishes in boxing history, with Frazier remaining motionless while his legs were folded under him. That was one of the performances that made Tyson’s name synonymous with brutal uppercuts.

Lesson: While many boxers prefer to use uppercuts sparingly, there’s a case to be made for spamming them if your defense is good enough. Tyson’s peek-a-boo style allowed him to throw barrages of hard hooks and uppercuts without putting himself at much risk.


Spectacular Finishes Are Part Of Boxing

The uppercut is one of your best weapons inside a boxing ring, so make sure you spend lots of time practicing throwing it.


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