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Archie Moore has more knockout wins than any other fighter in the history of the sport. He has amassed an amazing record of 219 fights of which 185 were wins and a staggering 131 were by knockouts over four decades of fighting for a living.
Born in December 1916, into a poor farming family in Mississippi, Archie’s life looked destined to be one of oppression and fear as the black man in the early 1900’s had no rights and especially coming from the South of the country, things were even worse.
Desperately wanting to make a better life for himself, Moore took up boxing in 1935 at 18 years of age and found he wasn’t too bad at it.
Through boxing Archie managed to make a good living and also toured the whole world fighting in places like Canada, Germany, Argentina, United Kingdom, Brazil, Philippines to name a few.
His first overseas trip was to Australia in 1940 at the age of 23 where he won all his seven bouts, six by knockout.
Moving up to become a contender in the light heavyweight division (80kgs), he was in a position to challenge for the title in 1945,
However because of the colour of his skin and not having the right connections, Archie Moore would cruelly have to wait another frustrating seven years before he was finally given a shot at the title in 1952.
The wait was not in vain, for he won the World Light Heavyweight Championship after 16 long years of waiting; he would go on to defend that title for another eight years until 1960.
Standing at around 5 feet 11inches (1.80 metres) tall and filling out as he got older Moore also fought in the land of the giants, the Heavyweight division.
Archie Moore was indeed a great fighter, he not only met all the great heavyweight champions of the past, but fought and sparred most of them.
He sparred with the great Joe Louis the Heavyweight Champion of the 1930’s.
He fought Ezzard Charles the Heavyweight Champion of the 1940’s.
He fought Rocky Marciano the Heavyweight Champion of the 1950’s for the title.
He fought Floyd Patterson the Heavyweight Champion of the 1960’s for the title
He even fought Muhammad Ali the greatest fighter in history in 1962 as this phenomenally gifted contender was making his way towards the title.
Archie Moore was constantly asked who in his opinion was the Greatest Heavyweight Champion of them all. Well it doesn’t get any better than asking the man who personally fought all the great champions from four decades.
Archie Moore fought Ali at the end of his career and when I asked him to give his true and honest opinion about who was the best, Archie said “Ajay I have to say begrudgingly that no heavyweight champion in history would be able to overcome Ali; too fast, too agile and too tough. I have had 219 professional fights and the most knockouts in history (131) and fought them all and I should know”
This assessment of Moore regarding the greatest heavyweight in history should not undermine Archie’s achievements in the ring. He is widely recognised as the greatest light heavyweight fighter in History.
He has the most knockouts in history and he fought professionally for a staggering 28 years travelling all over the world.
It is mind- boggling to try and think if Moore was given an equal chance and allowed to fight for the championship without being frozen out for seven years, how good he could have been.
I did ask Archie what is was like fighting all those years and being so popular for such a long period of time. Archie felt he had been blessed and loved every moment of the travelling, the adulation, the meeting of new people and the whole package that came with being a champion fighter.
Archie Moore, the king of the ring, has met and dined with Kings, Presidents, famous movie stars, sports stars you name it. A true icon of boxing and of life, it is difficult for mere mortals like ourselves to comprehend what it is like to live a life like this great champion.
I did ask the legendary Archie Moore what makes a person so successful and what are the true ingredients needed for this. His reply was, “Love, compassion and forgiveness are the foundations of any truly great person”