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Best 3rd Round Knockouts in Boxing History

Updated on April 24, 2017

Prizefighting Pictures

Evander Holyfield knocked out Buster Douglas in 1990 to win the Heavyweight championship of the world.
Evander Holyfield knocked out Buster Douglas in 1990 to win the Heavyweight championship of the world. | Source
Marvelous Marvin Hagler defended the Middleweight title twelve times during his tenure as the 160 pound champion.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler defended the Middleweight title twelve times during his tenure as the 160 pound champion. | Source
Sonny Liston was the former heavyweight champion of the world.
Sonny Liston was the former heavyweight champion of the world. | Source
Sugar Ray Robinson knocks out Rocky Graziano in three rounds.
Sugar Ray Robinson knocks out Rocky Graziano in three rounds. | Source
Buster Drayton( Above) was flattened by Julian Jackson in the third stanza an I mean this man was starched to say the least.
Buster Drayton( Above) was flattened by Julian Jackson in the third stanza an I mean this man was starched to say the least. | Source

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The Brown Bomber

Joe Louis holds the record for the most title defenses with 25 and he held the crown for over 11 years in all.
Joe Louis holds the record for the most title defenses with 25 and he held the crown for over 11 years in all. | Source

9 Minutes of Destruction

1. Marvin Hagler K.O. 3 Thomas Hearns (1985): Marvelous Marvin defended his Middleweight crown against Tommy Hearns with a thrilling third round knockout. The first round was close, competitive and a classic. Hagler got cut on the forehead but held his own. The second round featured great two way action in another equal round. In the third Hagler hurt Hearns with a right then chased him across the ring and landed a right hand that laid Tommy out for the count. Hearns had his eye rolling in his sockets.

2. Evander Holyfield K.O. 3 James Buster Douglas (1990): The Real Deal fought Buster for the heavyweight title and won by third round stoppage. Holyfield dominated the first stanza with crisp jabs and slick footwork. In round 2 Holyfield started mixing in combinations to the head and body to confuse and outclass Douglas. Round three started like the previous two with Douglas barely landing lazy jabs and Holyfield on his toes landing crisp one- two's. Douglas lunges in with a huge right uppercut which Evander dodged with ease and countered with a booming overhand slash strit right if you will. Douglas was counted out.

3. Sugar Ray Robinson K.O. 3 Rocky Graziano (1952): Rocky tried hard in round one and rabbit punched about 12 times by my count. Robinson won the jabbing contest and his hooks were very accurate. Robinson is now landing at will but Graziano is game. Robinson constantly circles the ring firing pinpoint punches. Round three was actually an okay round for the Rock until he ran into Sugar Ray's uppercut and then a huge overhand right. Rocky could not beat the count in this Middleweight showdown.

4. Joe Louis K.O. 3 Jack Sharkey (1936): Louis was a top contender and he solidified this ranking with an easy destruction of former heavyweight champ Jack Sharkey. Round one was the only competitive round of the bout. Still, Louis dominated with stiff jabs and solid uppercuts. In the second The Brown Bomber opened up with both hands. Sharkey landed two left hooks but otherwise he took a true beating. The finisher came in the third when Louis trapped Sharkey on the ropes with a stunning right hand and finished him with a left hook to the body.

5. Archie Moore K.O. 3 Carl BoBo Olson (1955): Middleweight Champion BoBo Olson moved up to light heavyweight Archie Moore. Archie Moore repeatedly landed jabs and straight right hands, that stunned BoBo in the first round. The second round was more of the same except this time, The Ol`Mongoose starting mixing in uppercuts and hooks. The bell to end round two saw Olson stumbling at the rope and went to the neutral corner at the bell. After finding his way to his corner he sadly came back for round three. Less than half-way Moore landed a leaping left hook and another left hook. Olson didn't move. After the referees count to ten. the fight was called and Olson just then began to move.

6. Henry Armstrong K.O. 3 Chalky Wright (1938): The first round was a toss up as Homicide Hank landed several huge body shots and Wright maintained a stiff jab. The second round saw Armstrong take over and began to swarm Wright with both hands pumping. At the start of the third Wright looked like a beaten man. Armstrong landed two left hooks to the head, a right hook to the body and then a devastating left hook to the temple to end matters.

7. Sonny Liston K.O. 3 Zora Folley (1960): Folley dominated the first round with a stiff jab and excellent footwork but in the second Liston unveiled his jab and right hand which resulted in a knockdown. Up at 5, Folley fought back gamely until tasting the Liston hook and falling hard on his back. Folley gets up unsteady and is saved by the bell. Less than 30 seconds in Liston corners Folley and unloads with two left hooks and a booming right uppercut. Zora was counted out to ten before he even moved at all.

8. Bob Foster K.O. 3 Eddie Cotton (1967): Foster pelted Cotton with jabs and strait rights from the start. Cotton went down hard in the second from a left hook but survived the round by clinching. Foster came out in the third sensing the kill. Bob unloads with a big left hook and an even bigger right hand to put Cotton out for the count.

9. Julian Jackson K.O. 3 Buster Drayton (1988): The first round was slow as Jackson pursued but, could not find the target. In the second Drayton through a lazy jab and The Hawk countered with a booming right hand that deposited Buster on the canvas. Drayton finished the round on shaky legs. In the third frame both boxers began to trade. Drayton landed a couple of big shots. Jackson landed two left hooks and a right to floor Drayton for the ten count.

10. Muhammad Ali K.O. 3 Cleveland Williams (1966): Ali peppered Williams with pinpoint jabs and right hands to easily dominate the first three minutes. The second round was more of the same. Ali started mixing in hooks and lead rights to put The Big Cat down twice. In the third Ali opened with both hands landing four crisp shots that put Williams down and out.

Muhammad Ali vs. Cleveland Williams Highlights

Evander Holyfield Knocks Buster Douglas Out in 3

Holy Was Near Perfect

Evander Holyfield barely got hit in his 3 round match with James Buster Douglas. In the third after Buster missed a huge uppercut Holyfield flattened him with a perfect counter right. Buster laid their wiping his bloody nose as he was counted out.

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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