For 14 rounds, big 6-4 John Tate clubbed Mike Weaver around the ring in their 1980 WBA title fight. Trailing by a sizable margin on all three judges' cards, Weaver connected with a short left hook to Tate's chin with less than a minute to go that made everyone who saw it want to yell, "Timberrrrrr!!!" Tate pitched forward and was counted out at 2:15 of the 15th.
That was the most memorable knockout ever for the majority of readers who read my top-five lists of one-punch knockouts, and knockouts from cumulative punches last week and responded with their own lists. As Dr. Marshall Hubsher wrote, Tate "fell over like a stiff tree." Another reader, Douglas Graham, described the KO shot as "the perfect left hook."
As I noted last week, my lists were for fights I covered, but I certainly agree with many of the KOs mentioned by all the readers who responded. These lists represent the readers' consensus of best KOs I didn't mention last week:
1. Weaver's 15th-round KO of Tate in 1980: Reader Bobby Tedeschi called it a "lefthanded bomb" and mentioned two other dramatic stoppages by Weaver, including his 13th-round KO of Gerrie Coetzee while trailing on all cards in South Africa in his first defense after Tate.
3. Joe Louis' first-round KO of Max Schmeling in 1938: This is the most famous KO of all-time. Schmeling stopped Louis in 12 two years earlier, but in the rematch, Schmeling was down twice from rights before a third knocked him cold.
4. Rocky Marciano's 13th-round KO of "Jersey" Joe Walcott in 1952: Down for the first time in his career in round one, Marciano trailed on all cards when he won the heavyweight title with what reader W.M. Cappella called "one of the most devastating punches of all-time," a right hand.
5. Julian Jackson's fourth-round KO of Herol Graham in 1990: Fighting for the vacant WBC middleweight title, Jackson was losing badly when his counter right turned out Graham's lights. Cappella reminded me of this shocking ending.
Here's the list of stoppages from cumulative blows:
1. Julio Cesar Chavez's 12th-round TKO of Meldrick Taylor in 1990: At 2:58 of the 12th, ref Richard Steele stopped it. Taylor would have won a split decision two seconds later. Reader Scott Floman called it a "travesty," while reader John Rivera called it "awesome." That reflects the split opinions on Steele.
2. James "Buster" Douglas' 10th-round TKO of Mike Tyson in 1990: Tyson's first loss, in a fight in which he was a 42-1 favorite, was an overwhelming beating that punctured his myth. "I never tire of watching this one," Floman wrote.
3. Muhammad Ali's eighth-round TKO of George Foreman in 1974: Ali's use of the "rope-a-dope" strategy to tire Foreman before knocking him out is a classic that cemented his reputation as "The Greatest" for many readers.
4. Ray Mercer's fifth-round TKO of Tommy Morrison in 1991: I actually covered this one but had forgotten the brutal finish of about 15 unanswered punches in a fight Mercer was losing on all cards.
As a postscript, I'd like to mention the comment of reader Neil Williams, who recalled Howard Cosell's immortal call of Foreman's shocking second-round TKO of Joe Frazier in 1973 for the heavyweight title: "Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!"