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Best 12th Round Knockouts in Boxing History

Updated on September 4, 2014

Jack Johnson K.O.12 Stanley Ketchel (1909)

Jack Johnson defended his heavyweight crown by knocking out Stanley Ketchel. Johnson knocked Ketchel's front teeth out with the knockout blow.
Jack Johnson defended his heavyweight crown by knocking out Stanley Ketchel. Johnson knocked Ketchel's front teeth out with the knockout blow. | Source

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Jack Johnson vs. Stanley Ketchel

Jack Johnson was the legendary heavyweight king and Stanley Ketchel was the King of the middleweights.

Johnson used his size to dominate the first three rounds including putting Ketchel down in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Ketchel started moving in and out landing hard shots here and there over the next several heats. After ten rounds the matchup seemed pretty close. Ketchel missed many shots and Johnson didn't want to throw shots. The bout embed to be an exhibition of sorts until the fateful twelfth round. Not long into the twelfth, of a scheduled 20 round fight, Ketchel shocked the crowd by landing a destructive right hand that actually floored the heavyweight champion. As Johnson got to his feet and Stanley rushed him he was met by a leaping Jack Johnson who landed a right hand that put Ketchel out cold and left several of his teeth stuck in Johnson's boxing gloves.


J.C. Chavez K.O. 12 Meldrick Taylor (1990)

Julio Cesar Chavez was down on the scorecards when he knocked out Meldrick Taylor with seconds to go in the 12th and final round.
Julio Cesar Chavez was down on the scorecards when he knocked out Meldrick Taylor with seconds to go in the 12th and final round. | Source

Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Meldrick Taylor

Chavez was the undefeated WBC jr. welterweight champion and Meldrick Taylor was the IBF jr. welterweight champion.

The first six rounds were competitive with Taylor holding a strong edge because of his superior speed. Chavez pounded the body and landed hooks but Taylor landed double the amount of shots including jabs and hard right hands. The seventh, eighth and ninth rounds were good rounds for Taylor as he circled the ring flashing quick combinations. The tenth and eleventh heats were closer as Chavez began landing more often to the body and head as Taylor began to tire from the pressure and from his own high punch output. In the twelfth, a swollen and bloodied Taylor only had to make it to the final bell to win but it wasn't meant to be. With less than ten seconds to go Chavez landed a huge right hand to put Meldrick Taylor on his back. He beat the count burr couldn't respond to the ref so the bout was stopped. Chavez made an incredible comeback by scoring a devastating knockout.


James Toney Lays Out The Prince

Lights Out Toney K.O. 12 Prince Charles (1994)

James Toney put Prince Charles Williams down and out with a perfect right hand in the 12th and final stanza.
James Toney put Prince Charles Williams down and out with a perfect right hand in the 12th and final stanza. | Source

James Toney vs. Charles Williams

James "Lights Out" Toney was the undefeated (44-0) super middleweight King and "Prince" Charles Williams was the former light heavyweight champion moving down in weight for the title shot.

For eight rounds the bout took place in a phone booth with both guys swinging away up close. Toney was far more accurate and he also used his slick defense to slip much of the incoming punches. On the other hand, Williams was active throughout throwing punches from all angles. In the ninth, tenth and eleventh Toney started to get space enough to land uppercuts and hard hooks to the ribs. Williams kept punching and landing some but the steam seemed to be gone from his shots by the tenth stanza. In the twelfth round, Toney stepped back, fired a few jabs and landed a picture perfect right hand that made Williams double backward and fall hard to the mat. The match was ended immediately and that knockout definitely made the highlight reel.

Birthplace of Jermaine Taylor (Little Rock, Arkansas)

Arthur Abraham K.O. 12 Jermaine Taylor (2009)

Both boxers are former middleweight champions and were now fighting in the super middleweight class.

"Bad Intentions" Taylor won three of the first four rounds with footwork and long, fast jabs. The fifth heat was close with Abraham finally finding his range. The sixth was down hill for Taylor as he lost the round and had a point taken for his constant low blows. Abraham really started landing clean body shots that seem to sap Taylor of his power as the bout progressed. Taylor should have been DQ'd for fouls but somehow only lost one point. The seventh and eighth rounds were fairly close with both boxers landing clean head shots but Taylor seemed spent when he slumped on his stool. As Taylor faded, Abraham poured on the pressure in the final few rounds. In the 12th and final round, Taylor had his guard up and "King" Arthur threw a straight and accurate right hand that broke Taylor's guard and knocked him out cold before he even hit the ground.

Tito K.O. 12 El Feroz (2000)

Felix Trinidad unified the Jr. Middleweight titles by stopping Fernando Vargas in the 12th heat.
Felix Trinidad unified the Jr. Middleweight titles by stopping Fernando Vargas in the 12th heat. | Source

Felix Trinidad vs. Fernando Vargas

Felix "Tito" Trinidad was the undefeated WBA jr. middleweight champ and "Ferocious" Fernando Vargas was the undefeated IBF jr. middleweight champion.

This fight exceeded expectations. The first round was distorts for Vargas as he teed off with his famous left hook and right hand producing two knock downs in the first round. In the second, Vargas fought back but took heavy hooks near the end of the round causing him to hold. The third was all Trinidad as he landed lead right hands and a few solid left hooks that shook Vargas to the core. In the fourth heat Vargas turned the tide and landed his own hook to put Tito on the canvas. Upon resuming action Trinidad cheated on purpose and landed a hard low blow so he himself could recuperate from the knockdown. The fifth, sixth and seventh were close rounds but by the eight round Vargas was breathing heavy and his face was starting to look rough. Tito was constantly moving forward behind a hard jab and snapping hooks. Vargas and Trinidad both lose points for low blow fouls in this heated contest. The ninth and tenth were hard to watch if your a Fernando Vargas fan as Tito landed several head snapping right hands and a couple of jaw snatching hooks as well. The eleventh was slower with Vargas landing some jabs and right hands mid round. The twelfth was when Trinidad really jumped on his prey. Trinidad knocked down Vargas three times with the final knockdown leaving Vargas looking really hurt. The ref calls it off as soon as Vargas hit the deck for the third time.

Shannon Briggs K.O.12 Siarhei Liakhovich (2006)

Shannon Briggs was losing on the cards when he scored a come from behind knockout to win the heavyweight crown.
Shannon Briggs was losing on the cards when he scored a come from behind knockout to win the heavyweight crown. | Source

Shannon Briggs vs. Siarhei Liakhovich

Siarhei Liakhovich was the WBO heavyweight champion and Briggs was a top heavyweight contender.

Briggs and Liakhovich fought on even terms for three rounds before Liakhovich started to take over and control the tempo with his jab and combinations in the fourth and fifth heats. Briggs was getting beat to the punch in the sixth but managed to stagger his foe once with a big right hand. The seventh was a good Briggs round as he found the mark with the jab and left hook. Briggs began slowing his output to a crawl and getting tagged repeatedly by Liakhovich in the eighth and ninth. Briggs was breathing heavy in the tenth and eleventh rounds and was now losing heavily on the scorecards. In the twelfth round, Briggs knocked the champion down with a right and when Liakhovich got to his feet Briggs knocked him out of the ring and onto the judges scoring table where he lost by K.O.

Max Schmeling vs. Joe Louis 1 (Round 12)

Max Schmeling KO.12 Joe Louis (1936)

Max Schmeling knocked out Joe Louis in the 12th round with big right hands in their first encounter,
Max Schmeling knocked out Joe Louis in the 12th round with big right hands in their first encounter, | Source

Max Schmeling vs. Joe Louis 1

Joe Louis was the undefeated top heavyweight contender and Max Schmeling was the veteran former heavyweight champion. Louis was a 10-1 favorite to win this bout.

For three rounds, "The Brown Bomber" was using his jab and straight right hand to pile up the points but then came round 4. Louis was winning but he kept pulling his jab back low and Max landed an overhand right that toppled Louis. The fifth and sixth were hotly contested with both guys getting hit square in the jaw. Schmeling was starting to time Louis more and more over his low hanging left with hard rights to the nose and jaw. Louis had his moments in the middle rounds with the right but he was getting countered with Schmeling's lethal right as well. By the 11th round Louis had swelling under the eye and he looked the loser of the two. Schmeling beat Louis with everything he had in the eleventh and in the the 12th round he landed a right hook to the body and as Louis was falling he finished him with another right hand to the head. Louis was counted out.

Carmen Basilio K.O.12 Tony DeMarco 2 (1955)

Carmen Basilio fought Tony DeMarco twice and he won both bouts by 12th round knockout.
Carmen Basilio fought Tony DeMarco twice and he won both bouts by 12th round knockout. | Source

Carmen Basilio's Greatest Victories

Sugar Ray Robinson
Tony DeMarco
Johnny Saxton
Ike Williams
Gil Turner
Billy Graham
 
Lew Jenkins
 
 
 
 
Seven boxers who tasted defeat at the hands of Carmen Basilio.

Carmen Basilio vs. Tony DeMarco 2

Basilio was the welterweight champion of the world and DeMarco was the top challenger who had already lost once to Basilio.

The fight was brutal throughout and named as Fight of the Year. The first round could have went either way as it was very slow as they filled each other out. The second was a good round for Basilio as he plowed forward firing from all angles. DeMarco got going in the third and fourth firing snapping jabs and accurate combinations to the head and body. Basilio almost went down in the fifth and in the sixth he had to clinch a few times after tasting heavy right hands. Basilio was landing wide, looping shots but he was still losing the contest. The seventh and eight were De Marco's best rounds as he caught Basilio coming in and wobbled him twice to easily win the rounds on the cards. The ninth was when Basilio seemed to get another wind and DeMarco seemed to tire. The tenth and eleventh were especially ferocious as Basilio kept landing head shots to a stationary DeMarco. In the 12th round, Basilio landed a combo to floor DeMarco. Tony DeMarco arose and was caught by a fight ending shot.

© 2014 Buster Johnson

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    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 2 years ago from Cape Cod

      Great feature on real boxing. The sport is in a down cycle right now, but it will bounce back as it always has. Good job. Voted up and interesting.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 2 years ago from Virginia

      Great hub, well researched and knowledgeable. Voted up and shared!

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