Experts Contemplate: The Hardest Punch I Ever Felt
Boxers discuss the wide variety of feelings and sensations from being hit hard by a great punch. Jose Ribalta, Bobby Czyz, Buddy McGirt, Gene Fullmer, Renaldo Snipes and others share their memories of being hit by Mike Tyson, Ray Robinson and Bonecrusher Smith...
Bobby Czyz: "I never fought him but I trained with him – the hardest puncher I ever faced was in the gym – Ray Mercer. He hit me harder with 18 oz. gloves than Holyfield did with 8 oz. gloves. He hit me so hard I thought a piece of cement fell out of the ceiling and hit me in the head. That’s how hard he hit."
Jose Ribalta: "To me the hardest puncher was Bonecrusher (Smith). Bonecrusher - he could punch. His hands are so heavy. He caught me, Wow. Eddie Gregg - you ever hear of him? I was sparring him in New York. He was the only guy who hit me and it sounded like a bomb. Then I hit the ground, it woke me up. One thing about me, I'd recover fast."
Eusebio Pedroza: "Orlando Omares hit me the hardest. He was the only fighter that actually had me seeing the ring upside down!"
James "Buddy" McGirt: "Vincent Relaford out of Texas. He was a tough man. He hit me in the stomach and I felt it in my nose [laughs]. I felt it in my nasal passage. I mean it. Like someone stuck a shank in me."
Renaldo Snipes: "I knew guys that fought on my undercards, that could not remember anything. It was a long time ago so I don't remember their names or which fight but I can recall laughing. They would say, When is my fight? And they just got through fighting. They would say, What round did I knock him out in? And it was he who got knocked out."
Juan Diaz: "When I first got knocked down, ever in my boxing career, as an amateur or professional, I was in my tenth pro fight. I got knocked down in the second round. I blacked out. I finished the fight. I didn't even know it, if I won or lost. I remember waking up when my strength coach was taking off my boxing shoes. I said, Man, what happened? Did I win or what? And I go back and that's like the only fight I don't remember, from like the second round on. (Who was the opponent?) Ubaldo Hernandez. (What punch did he hit you with?) Left hook to the chin. I was pulling back and it caught me right on the chin."
Cornelius Boza Edwards: "John 'The Heat' Verderosa hit me with a right hand in the first round that felt like bricks. I always wanted to know what he had in those gloves."
Bob Foster: "Joe Frazier put me right to sleep with a left hook. I saw a bunch of stars, the most beautiful stars I've ever seen in my life [laughs]."
Gene Fullmer: "That left hook from Robinson must've been hard - but I never felt it."
Andrew Golota: "The Pou'ha fight. He hit me with a right and I didn't know my name. So I bite him on the shoulder to stop him from hitting me."
Jose Torres: "Dick Tiger caught me with one good punch in 30 rounds. It felt like a million ants came crawling inside my body through the pores, all at once."
Howard Davis Jr.: "There was a Colombian in the amateurs. The guy was a big guy, his record was like 88-0 with 55 KO's. I'll never forget that record. We fought in Washington DC in 1975, it was USA vs. Colombia. In the first round the guy hit me real hard. I woke up in the dressing room. He hit so hard he jarred my memory. I woke up when my father took my handwraps off. I whispered to him, Where am I? Did I win? He said, Yeah, you won. He hit you with one punch, he never hit you again. After that one punch I didn't remember anything. My father said I was signing autographs on the way to the dressing room."
Anonymous: "Sultan Ibgragimov just stopped Al Cole at the Garden in the first round. The next fight Sultan had at the Garden he stopped Javier Mora in the first round too. And in the ring after I was talking to one of the New York State Commission guys and he said he asked Al Cole right after the fight, Where are you? And Al Cole said, I'm going shopping with my wife. And he isn't even married."