Were his final numbers 219 total fights with 131 KO’s scored, or 233 total fights with 145 KO’s scored?
Either way, it cannot be denied, by anyone, how great, how special, how unique Archie Moore was. It was on this day in 1963, when Moore, by then either aged 46 or, according to some records, a couple of years older, had his final fight. He won it by knockout.
Moore, who had ruled as light-heavyweight king from December of 1952 to May of 1962, fought wrestler Mike DiBiase in Phoenix, Arizona and he scored a third round TKO. This final stoppage win saw Moore retire with the world record for the most knockouts ever scored by a pro boxer. The record still stands.
So what can we say about Moore, other than he was a great fighter and a great puncher? Well, Archie was also an incredibly clever fighter, and a clever man. Moore studied human anatomy and learned about the certain vulnerable points to place a hard shot in order to get the desire result – a KO. Whether it be the temple area, the point of the chin, the floating rib, Moore was adept at hitting a foe there and taking him down.
Some of the fine fighters Moore knocked out or stopped include: Jack Chase, Lloyd Marshall, Cocoa Kid, Jimmy Bivens and Holman Williams (all of “Murderer’s Row” fame and notoriety), Bob Baker, Harold Johnson, Bobo Olsen and Yvon Durelle.
Moore did suffer some KO defeats, notably to Ezzard Charles (who stopped him once, winning two decisions over “The Mongoose”) and to Floyd Patterson and Rocky Marciano, both fights up at heavyweight Also up at heavyweight, in his penultimate fight, Archie was stopped by a young star in the making called Cassius Clay. But when he was at his best, when he was in his prime (and even beyond; Archie taking care of business against the best in his late 30s and his early 40s), Moore was usually victorious.
And even against the fearsome, unbeatable Marciano, Moore scored a piledriver of a knockdown early on, only to see Rocky rise and overpower him and out-strength him late on in the fight that. And until his dying day, Archie said Marciano benefitted from a “slow count” in the second round after the knockdown.
Today, it’s almost impossible to imagine a fighter scoring as many KO’s as Moore scored, or of an established world champion taking as many risky fights as Moore did without once opting to cherry pick.
From September of 1935, when he scored his first KO as a pro fighter, to March of 1963, when he scored his final KO, Archie Moore was fully deserving of wearing the crown of Knockout King.