Last week we had a ton of uppercut knockouts in both boxing and MMA. Gervonta Davis’ walloping finish of Leo Santa Cruz no doubt was the most violent one and it generated the most attention.
For today’s Sunday Punch we go way back to November 28th, 1980 in San Diego, California. Matthew Saad Muhammad was the reigning WBC light heavyweight champion and a fearsome puncher. His opponent was Zambia’s Lottie Mwale, who came into the bout with an unbeaten record and wins over Tony Sibson and Marvin Johnson, whom Muhammad had already stopped.
Mwale found out the hard way just how much power Muhammad possessed. In round four, Muhammad landed a good right hand but followed it with a left uppercut that produced a fall that looked straight out of a video game. Truly Mortal Kombat type stuff. Watch the video at the top of the page for the spectacular knockout. If the timestamp feature isn’t working for you then check at 11:42.
Muhammad would lose his title to Dwight Muhammad Qawi in 1981 and would never become champion again, but he produced some all-time classics. Look up his second fight with Yaqui Lopez as it’s one of the best you’ll ever see.
Sadly, neither fighter is with us anymore. Muhammad died in 2014 at the age of 60 after spending his final years in a homeless shelter in Philadelphia. At the time of his death he was suffering from ALS. He was inducted into the boxing Hall of Fame in 1998 with a record of 49-16-3 (35 KOs). Mwale battled Parkinson’s Disease until his death in 2005 at the age of 53. His record was 44-9 (34 KOs) and while he did fight plenty of notable opponents throughout his career, this would be his only title shot.