‘Cool Hand’ Luke Campbell overcame the most challenging obstacle of his career last night in Liverpool with an exceptional performance and an even more exceptional body-shot knockout against home town hero Derry Matthews. No easy customer. It got us thinking about compiling an all time top 5 best body punch knockouts list.
After picking up steam following his first professional defeat, it seems body punching is becoming a key staple in the young prospect’s arsenal – he dispatched a determined Tommy Coyle in a similar fashion over ten rounds a year ago.
It doesn’t always have to look pretty, it doesn’t always have to look clean. It doesn’t even have to look that big. But, when that sweet-spot gets rocked it’s effects can be completely debilitating and will paralyse the hardest of men.
Here are my top five body-shot knockouts:
Matthew Macklin v Gennady Golovkin
Golovkin may be universally recognised for his insatiable power, but it’s easy to forget that he isn’t confined to knocking his opponents’ block off, so to speak.
When he fought Matthew Macklin back in 2013 people naturally expected a knockout but not in the manner in which it came.
After dominating the opening two rounds, Golovkin managed to pin down Macklin against the ropes and launched a beautiful left hook to the body, dropping Macklin, who was in a concerning amount of pain which lingered long after the ten count had been reached:
(Hat tip to the Талгат Салимов YouTube account)
My favourite knockout of that particular year and one of the best of the past few.
Oscar De la Hoya v Bernard Hopkins
Whenever two modern icons of the sport meet it always makes for mandatory viewing if nothing else.
Oscar De La Hoya moved up to middleweight to challenge undisputed middleweight king Bernard ‘The Executioner’ Hopkins on September 18th, 2004.
In a very subdued chess-match both fighters kept their distance and threw shots sparingly for the first half of the fight. De La Hoya, able to tell he was behind on the scorecards, amped up the aggression leading into the ninth round.
Eager to trade on the inside, De La Hoya left himself exposed and suddenly fell, writhing on the canvas in agony. The referee reached ten and people were understandably confused:
(Hat tip to the MattayReturns YouTube account):
The replay showed Hopkins had landed a clipping left hook to the body on the inside. It didn’t look like there was much behind it, but it was enough to get the job done.
The ones you don’t see coming, right?
Ricky Hatton v Jose Luis Castillo
Still undefeated and a rising presence in the U.S, Ricky ‘Hitman’ Hatton fought veteran Mexican Jose Luis Castillo on June 23rd, 2007.
Both men traded well in the first three rounds, Hatton expectedly targeting the body and looking to apply the pressure it what was shaping up to be an entertaining twelve round scrap.
Any notion of that came to a halt in the fourth when Hatton landed a pitch-perfect left hook to Castillo’s liver, ending the fight. Hatton would later claim he felt Castillo’s ribs break upon impact:
(Hat tip to the Kevin McMahon YouTube account):
While this has never been confirmed, judging from the precision and power of the shot, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Juan Manuel Marquez v Robbie Peden
Already an established star by this time, an experienced Juan Manuel Marquez stepped into the ring against Robbie Peden on March 9th, 2002.
In a competitive contest, Marquez was able to use his superior skills to secure a comfortable points lead going into the tenth round.
Sensing he might be able to stop a tired Peden, Marquez upped his body attack throughout the round with some violently crunching blows and put a stamp on his work with one final body blow at the bell.
Peden looked visually shaken walking back to his corner and began vomiting blood in one of the more grotesque scenes you’ll ever see in a boxing ring, a result of the accumulation of body shots he’d suffered throughout the night:
(Hat tip to the BlackEyeBoxingWar YouTube account):
The fight was quickly stopped – Thank God.
Mickey Ward v Alfonso Sanchez
When ‘Irish’ Mickey Ward faced off against Alfonso Sanchez in 1997 few predicted Ward would be able to withstand the speed of the younger man, who was being touted as one of the rising stars of the sport.
At first it seemed like Ward was sticking to the predicted script most had laid out – Sanchez landing superior shots against the slow-footed stepping stone.
It even got to the point that the commentary team were calling for the fight to be stopped due not only to the boring nature of the fight, but mostly due to the lack of any threatening offence coming back from Ward.
What followed was, as Jim Lampley put it:
“The most unlikely knockout you will ever see.”
Ward put his foot on the gas, employing the classic up and down head-body-head tactic. He managed to land a decent left hook to Sanchez’s ribs and produced comical appraisal from the commentary team.
They weren’t laughing when Ward’s next left dropped Sanchez like a hacked-down tree. Sanchez failed to answer the count resulting in one of the most unpredictable victories in boxing history:
(Hat tip to the spow4now YouTube account):
They don’t make Oscar-winning movies about you for no reason, do they?
(Top image source and credit: HBO)
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