Ouch! 9 Of The Best Liver Shot Knockouts In Boxing

The liver shot is one of those punches that personifies everything boxing represents. It’s a precision attack that targets the liver, the largest and most impact-vulnerable organ in the body. Successfully landing a liver shot often leaves opponents paralyzed in pain and rethinking their decision to take up boxing.

The liver shot has brought many of the toughest fighters in boxing history to their knees, creating moments in the annals of boxing history that fighters and fans will never forget.

The liver is located on the right side of the body, right below the rib cage, and it’s one of the worst regions of the body to get hit. Roughing up a person’s liver can lead to a sharp decrease in blood pressure and heart rate, leaving parts of the body paralyzed. In some cases, liver shots have led to boxers losing consciousness.


The Nine Most Devastating Liver Shot Finishes In Boxing History

Now that we understand how devastating a punch to the liver can be let’s dive into our list of the most memorable liver shot finishes in boxing history:


1) Saul “Canelo” Alvarez Vs. Liam Smith

Saul Canelo’s ability to target the body was on full display when he defeated Smith to win the WBO middleweight title. Alvarez was committed to going to the body from the opening bell, leading Smith’s torso reddened by the start of the ninth round.

That’s when Alvarez put him away by throwing a light lead hook to the head and following up with a devastating hook to the liver. That left Liam writhing in pain as he tried to will himself back to his feet to no avail.


2) Ricky Hatton Vs. Jose Luis Castillo

Hatton’s liver-shot finish of Castillio helped him to earn a title shot against Floyd Mayweather. The fight turned out to be quite an entertaining affair as both men battled under the bright lights at phone boot distance.

The exciting battle ended abruptly in the fourth round when Hatton fired off an uppercut to the head, followed by an uppercut to the liver.

It was almost as if Castillo had no idea what had happened as he turned away from Hatton before dropping to the canvas.


3) Gerald McClellan Vs. Jay Bell

This remains the quickest liver shot finish in boxing history, as Gerald only threw a single punch that landed right on the liver during the fight. Bell could not recover from the punch, bringing the contest to an end 30 seconds after the opening bell.


4) Naoya Inoue Vs. Emmanuel Rodriguez

Inoue has emerged as one of the best body punchers around today, and he’s put several opponents away with liver shots. He scored one of the most impressive liver-shot finishes of his career when he fought Rodriguez for the vacant Ring bantamweight title and the IBF belt.

Rodriguez tried to convince the crowd, and perhaps himself, that he wasn’t hurt by shaking his head, but the blood flowing out of his nose and his inability to get up before the count was over proved otherwise.


5) Mike McCallum Vs. Randall Yonker

McCallum won the WBC interim light heavyweight title with his fifth-round body shot finish on Yonker. McCallum had landed enough headshots to put most men away by the time the fifth round started, but Yonker refused to go down. That’s when McCallum decided to target the liver, which instantly paid off.


6) Floyd Mayweather Vs. Shamba Mitchell

Floyd improved his professional boxing record to 35-0 with his liver shot finish of Shamba Mitchell. Many boxing experts questioned Mayweather’s ability to hurt a legit welterweight like Mitchell, and boxing commentator Larry Merchant echoed those sentiments when Mayweather sent him to his knees during the sixth round of the fight.


7) Erik Morales Vs. Daniel Zaragosa

The WBC super bantamweight title was on the line when the then-undefeated Morales faced Zaragosa. It was entertaining, with “El Terrible” putting on one of his best performances, but Zaragosa’s chin withstood the onslaught.

However, his body wasn’t as durably as Morales found his liver with a hard right hand that left Zaragosa on his knees as the referee counted him out.


8) Gerry Cooney Vs. Ron Lyle 

Cooney scored one of the most memorable finishes in boxing history when he squared off against Lyle to earn a shot at the WBC and Ring heavyweight titles. He hurt Lyle with a liver shot that sent him backpedaling and followed up with a barrage of punches before launching another liver shot that led to Lyle falling out of the ring.

Cooney went on to fight Larry Holmes for the title two fights later but ended up getting stopped during the 13th round.


9) Sugar Shane Mosley Vs. Shannon Taylor

Mosley was coming off his upset victory against Oscar De La Hoya when he defended the WBC title he won from Oscar against Taylor. Mosley delivered a masterclass performance culminating with a liver shot at the end of the fifth round.

For a moment, it looked like Taylor would be saved by the bell, but he couldn’t get back up to start the sixth round, bringing the contest to an end.


Don’t Neglect Punches To The Body When You Train

Many boxers tend to be biased toward throwing head punches, but that isn’t the optimal approach for boxing. Attacking the body, particularly the liver area, can lead to amazing stoppages, just like headshots. Attacks to the body are often easier to land since most fighters instinctively protect their heads with their hands.


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