It was the 24th of September 1946 that the World of Boxing witnessed one of its most spectacular feats, the fastest Knockout. Aurele “Al” Couture fighting in his hometown of Lewiston, Maine, against his long-time rival Ralph Walton, scored the fastest Knockout in Boxing History – 10.5 seconds. Normally, boxers dedicate the first two to three rounds in feeling out their opponent and getting into the rhythm, but Couture begged to differ. The bell rang, and Couture rushed to his opponent and threw a punch. It was that punch that dropped the unseemingly-ready to engage Walton. Unconscious, the referee counted to 10 before waving it off. It merely took Couture half of a second to deliver a mark that will never fall.
“In the rematch, we almost had it out in the aisle before we got in the ring. This guy wanted at me and I wanted at him,” Couture recalled in a 1977 interview with The Courant.
This record has always been loomed with controversy. After the knockout, Couture was still standing over the unconscious Walton. Under today’s regulations, boxers are now sent to the neutral corner before the 10-count begins. And Walton, who forgot his mouthpiece, was distracted by his cornerman prior to the punch. Unfortunately, aside from boxing archives and accounts, there is no video footage of this bizarre achievement.
So how often do we get to see Knockouts just seconds into the bout? Was it the power, speed, and accuracy that is responsible for it? Or does sheer LUCK played a huge role in these astonishing display of boxing prowess? Here, recorded on video, we list down the boxers that probably spent more time entering the ring than being in it itself:
1. Mike Tyson vs. Marvis Frazier (1986-07-26)
Marvis Frazier, son of boxing great Joe Frazier, continued to struggle with expectations as Tyson dominated their short bout. Tyson took advantage of an almost relaxed Frazier, pushing a crisp stand-up offense until a solid uppercut made Frazier slump to the ground. Referee stepped in to end the match by KO at 30 seconds.
2. Jimmy Thunder vs. Crawford Grimsley (1997-03-18)
Did anybody got the license number of that truck?
Grimsley took a wide stance and dug deep for a jab. Thunder stepped forward and put his whole body into an overhand right that came down on the left side of Grimsley’s chin. The shock of the blow sent Grimsley straight to the canvas, where he laid unconscious, giving Thunder a clear knockout win by 13 seconds.
3. Bernard Hopkins vs. Steve Frank (1996-01-27)
A fast right followed with hard blows to the head dropped Frank, a last minute substitute, for “nine”. But he was in such bad shape that the referee then stopped the fight after only 24 seconds.
4. Allan Green vs. Jaidon Codrington (2005-11-04)
With no plans of blemishing their perfect records, Green and Codrington went all out on their bout. Both fighters were feeling out each other until Green connected with a lethal left hook that left Codrington groggy. Codrington still managed to defend himself against a series of blows but succumbed at 18 seconds with another left hook.
5. David Tua vs. John Ruiz (1996-03-15)
Tua Knocked out Heavyweight threat Ruiz after only 19 seconds. After getting tagged with a crushing left hook, Ruiz was hard-pressed to respond with any certainty. Tua then followed up with numerous unanswered strikes to the head.
6. Nigel Benn vs. Ian Chantler (1987-11-24)
Chantler, made use of his superior height and reach continuously throw jabs until he got caught with a crisp right that belied his size, sending him down for the full count. Benn’s devastating power earned him his 11th consecutive knockout victory with just 16 seconds into the fight.
7. Gerald McClellan vs. Jay Bell (1993-08-08)
Bell, who many believe to be the better fighter, was caught off-guard by McClellan. McClellan, well-aware of Bell’s durable chin, threw a vicious left hook to the body that demolished his hapless opponent. The perfectly timed body shot earned him a knockout victory just 20 seconds into the bout.
8. John Ruiz vs. Ray Anis (1997-06-17)
Opinion clearly favored Anis, but Ruiz was able to accomplish in 22 seconds what others before him couldn’t. Ruiz initially connected with a crushing left hook then followed up with several heavy blows. Anis went limp as he tried to stand up, enough to convince referee to stop the action.
9. Jeremy Williams vs. Arthur Weathers (1996-03-19)
Don’t even think of grabbing that slice of pizza, as Heavyweight contenders Jeremy Williams and Arthur Weathers doesn’t seem to like having their precious time wasted.
Weathers absorbed Williams’ early aggression in their match. Not planning to end his 9 consecutive Knockout wins, Williams came in with a right hook to the body followed with another hook to the head, Weathers replied with an extended but fruitless hook of his own making him open for an explosive uppercut, giving Williams a knockout win after only 10 seconds.
10. Sechew Powell vs. Cornelius Bundrage (2010-06-25)
Probably the most entertaining of the fastest Knockout I’ve ever seen.
Powell and Bundrage met in a bout that seemed lopsided in terms of preparation. As the bell rang, both fighters threw a powerful blow that dropped both of them to the canvass. Confused, the referee ruled it as a slip. The bout resumes and Powell immediately came in with a right straight that caught Bundrage off-guard. Left dazed and unable to maintain composure, the referee decided to end the match by KO at 18 seconds. It was a good showing and a well-deserved Knockout win for Powell.
These fighters have dedicated hundreds of hours as they shed tears and blood training in the gym. Even so, it’s still almost impossible to go throughout a boxing career without having a defeat. Knockout loss like these will surely be devastating. But one should always understand that failure is there to bring you wisdom. Just like in life, the most important part is to rise up again.
Strong spirit and heart has always been their secret recipe in handling defeat and using it as a motivation to do better in their careers has always been the game plan.