9 Of The Worst Beatings in Boxing/MMA History
In honor of Mark Hominick’s acquisition of a gigantic forehead this past weekend, here’s a collection of some of the worst beatings in the history of fighting sports. Of course, I’m sure worse beatings have been both doled out and taken, but we wanted to give you, dear reader, graphic evidence of these beatings. Plus, the more these pictures show, the less I have to write. You know the adage. Anyway, here’s why your mom wanted you to apply to law school instead of joining that boxing gym. Do it for mom. These sports are dangerous.
9. Evander Holyfield – 1997
Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit here. It was a 1997 title bout that had Tyson actually consumed part of Evander Holyfield’s ear. Ok, so he didn’t swallow it, but if you asked him, he could probably tell you what it tasted like. Tyson’s career was on the downslope, but he was still a formidable fighter who was very much in the fight. He bit off a piece of Evander’s ear, and had two points deducted. This was probably for the sake of preventing a riot at the MGM Grand Casino. Anyway, Tyson did the exact same thing again after the bell rang, the fight was called, people rioted, and I’m pretty sure it left Holyfield hearing slightly better out of his left ear than his right.
8. Vitali Klitschko – 2003
Going up against title holder Lennox Lewis, Vitali was doing everything right. However, one Lewis shot got past him and cut a gash over his left eye. Klitschko continued to fight, dominating against Lewis, but in the 7th round, the doctors thought the cut was bad enough (look for yourself) to stop the fight. Since it wasn’t the result of any shady behavior, but rather just an unlucky break, Lewis got the TKO, despite Klitschko leading on all the cards. The crowd booed Lewis upon the announcement, and Klitschko got the reputation for being one of the toughest heavyweights in the business.
7. Richard Grant – 2001
This guy made the mistake of trying to congratulate his opponent after winning the bout. However, James Butler thought little of this gesture and, for reasons completely unknown, belted Grant without any gloves on, knocking him out and breaking his jaw. Three years later, Butler was convicted of killing Sam Kellerman, the brother of ESPN boxin analyst Max Kellerman.
6. Mark Hominick – 2011
Amazingly, this MMA fight actually made it to decision, with Hominick losing to opponent Jose Aldo by decision. Regardless of what injury it is determined that Hominick suffered (subdural hematoma is my guess, and I’m a writer so I’m totally qualified to diagnose ailments) the image alone is enough to at best drive away fans and at worst attract attention by inquiring regulatory bodies. This probably won’t go down as the worst injury ever sustained in MMA, but it’s certainly one of the most graphic.
5. Billy Collins – 1983
Collins went up against Luis Resto in this 1983 bout. Resto stepped into the ring knowing fully well that his trainer, Panama Lewis, had removed padding from his gloves to make Resto’s punches more damaging. Mission accomplished. His cheating cost Collins his vision in both eyes. Unfortunately, this clip doesn’t show the culmination of Resto’s cheating, but rest assured that these punches played a role in handicapping Collins for life.
4. Jon Thaxton – 1998
It’s no surprise that Thaxton suffers from migraine that stem from abuse taken “early in his career.” I think I can pinpoint the exact moment, actually. It’s about two minutes into this video that brain damage probably began to set in. He’s still functional these days, but I wouldn’t say he’s at his best. Remarkably (insanely) he went on to fight for another 11 years. That couldn’t have helped the issues in his dome.
3. Hasim Rahman – 2002
This, um, condition was obtained following a fight with Evander Holyfield in the twilight of Holyfield’s career. Well, if you can cause this kind of damage to your opponent, my guess is that you still have a little something in the tank. This was to be Rahman’s comeback fight after losing to champion Lennox Lewis earlier. Unfortunately, the goal of a comeback fight is to “come back” rather than to “have your head explode.” Tricky business, this boxing.
2. Antonio Margarito – 2010
You get as good as you give in this sport, and Margarito’s pummeling at the hands of Manny Pacquiao probably serves as sweet consolation to Sugar Shane Mosley, who beat Margarito despite the fact that Margarito had dipped his hand wraps in plaster of Paris before the fight. Well, things come full circle and Manny had his way with Margarito to such an extent that he had to skip the postfight conference and go straight to the hospital. Oh well.
1. Jess Willard – 1919
Jess Willard received what is largely considered the worst beating in boxing history in this fight at the hands of Jack Dempsey, who put a large sum of money on himself at 10-1 to knock out Willard in the first round. Dempsey was the challenger, but he was 13 years younger and in much better shape. Dempsey didn’t take him out in the first round, so the beating continued for two more rounds while Willard refused to throw in the towel. Eventually, even the crowd was begging for the fight to be stopped. Just watch the video.