Top 10 Boxing Worst Injuries: Common and Shocking Injuries in the Ring

Professional boxing is a beautiful sport where fighters clash with strength and skill and common injuries are sustained. However, there are moments that stand out for their sheer brutality. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the most severe injuries (boxing worst injuries) that have happened in the ring. These stories highlight the incredible toughness and determination of the fighters involved and some of them are actually really funny.

The Boxing Worst Injuries Ever!

Can you guess which fight is going to be top of the list of worst boxing injuries? Let’s dive right in and find out!

1. Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson II (June 28, 1997)

First on the list of boxing worst injuries is the fight between Holyfield and Tyson. This fight was a highly anticipated rematch between two of the most famous heavyweights in boxing, Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. Their first encounter in November 1996 had ended in a stunning upset when Holyfield defeated Tyson by TKO in the 11th round to become the WBA heavyweight champion.

The Fight

The rematch took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. From the outset, it was clear that this bout would be just as intense as their first meeting. Holyfield used his boxing skills and clinching tactics to frustrate Tyson, who appeared to be struggling.

In the third round, a pivotal moment occurred when Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear, tearing off a piece of it. After spitting out a part of the cartilage onto the canvas, the fight was momentarily stopped, and Tyson was penalized two points by referee Mills Lane for the infraction. The bout resumed, but Tyson bit Holyfield’s other ear a minute later, yes, both right and left ears were bitten – resulting in another stoppage and bringing an end to the fight. This time, Tyson was disqualified, and Holyfield was declared the winner by disqualification.


The biting incident shocked the boxing world and led to a series of legal and professional consequences for Mike Tyson. He was fined $3 million and had his boxing license revoked temporarily. It also tarnished Tyson’s reputation and further fueled controversies surrounding his behavior inside and outside the ring.

The Holyfield-Tyson rematch remains one of the most talked-about events in boxing history, not only for the fight itself but for the bizarre and unsportsmanlike conduct displayed by Tyson. It’s worth noting that both fighters have since reconciled and have mutual respect for each other. Evander Holyfield continued his boxing career, and Mike Tyson made a comeback to the sport years later, but this infamous fight remains a significant moment in their careers.

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2. Chris Eubank jr vs Nick Blackwell

The Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Nick Blackwell fight took place on March 26, 2016, and it is notable for the severe injury sustained by Nick Blackwell during the bout. Here’s a brief overview:

The fight was competitive and intense, with both Eubank Jr. and Blackwell giving their all. Eubank Jr. showed his boxing skills and power, while Blackwell displayed incredible toughness and resilience. As the rounds went on, Eubank Jr. began to land more significant punches on Blackwell, particularly giving repeated blows to the head.

As the fight progressed, it became evident that Blackwell was taking a considerable amount of punishment and getting serious injury, especially to his face and head. By the later rounds, Blackwell’s left eye had swollen severely, impairing his vision and coming off as one of the worst boxing injuries recorded. Despite the increasing damage, Blackwell continued to fight with great determination. 

The Stoppage

The pivotal moment came in the 10th round when the referee, Victor Loughlin, decided to stop the fight on the advice of the ringside doctor. Blackwell’s eye had swollen shut, and it was clear that he could no longer defend himself effectively. Chris Eubank Jr. was declared the winner by a 10th-round technical knockout (TKO).

Nick Blackwell’s Injury

Following the fight, it was revealed that Nick Blackwell had suffered a bleed on the brain. He was placed in a medically induced coma to reduce swelling and underwent surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain. Fortunately, Blackwell survived, but the injury ended his boxing career and that was his last fight.

This fight brought attention to the dangers of boxing and raised questions about fighter safety. It also led to discussions about the responsibility of corner teams, referees, and officials in ensuring the well-being of fighters during bouts.

Both Chris Eubank Jr. and Nick Blackwell have expressed their respect and concern for each other since the fight, with Eubank Jr. acknowledging Blackwell’s bravery and toughness. The incident stands as one of the worst injuries in boxing and serves as a reminder of the physical risks involved in professional boxing and the importance of medical oversight in the sport.

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The bout between Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko is one of the most memorable and highly anticipated heavyweight fights in boxing history. Here’s an overview of their epic clash:

The fight between Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko took place on June 21, 2003, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Lennox Lewis, a British-Canadian boxer, was the reigning WBC and IBF heavyweight champion, and Vitali Klitschko, a Ukrainian fighter, was a formidable challenger. The bout was scheduled for 12 rounds.

The Fight

From the opening bell, it was clear that this fight would be a hard-hitting and intense battle. Vitali Klitschko, known for his height, reach, and heavy punches, came out aggressively, pressuring Lewis and landing powerful jabs and right hands. In the early rounds, Klitschko gained an advantage as he consistently landed punches and opened a cut above Lewis’s left eye.

As the fight progressed, Lennox Lewis started to find his rhythm and landed some significant shots of his own. The bout became increasingly competitive, with both fighters showing tremendous heart and determination.

The Controversial Ending

In the sixth round, the referee, Lou Moret, called a halt to the fight due to the severity of the cut above Lennox Lewis’s left eye. Vitali Klitschko was ahead on the scorecards at the time of the stoppage, and many fans and observers felt that the fight was just reaching its peak and should have continued. The stoppage was controversial, and it left the outcome of the fight with an air of uncertainty.


Lennox Lewis was declared the winner by technical knockout (TKO) due to the cut, winning the fight and retaining his WBC and IBF heavyweight titles. However, the fight left both fighters with mutual respect for each other’s abilities and toughness. It also left boxing fans with a sense of what might have been had the bout gone the distance. Vitali’s performance in the fight raised his profile in the boxing world, and he went on to have a successful career, eventually becoming the WBC heavyweight champion himself. The Lewis vs. Klitschko showdown remains a classic example of the drama, skill, and unpredictability that makes boxing such a captivating sport, despite its sometimes controversial decisions. 

4. Wladimir Klitschko vs Samuel Peter

This was a rematch between the two fighters, and Wladimir Klitschko dominated the bout. Here’s a summary of the fight: Wladimir, the Ukrainian heavyweight champion, had previously faced Samuel Peter in 2005, winning by unanimous decision. The 2010 rematch was for Klitschko’s IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles.

The Fight

Wladimir Klitschko put on a clinical and dominant performance throughout the fight. He used his superior reach, boxing skills, and jab to control the distance and keep Samuel Peter at bay. Klitschko consistently landed clean punches and combinations while avoiding Peter’s attacks.

In the 10th round, Klitschko landed a series of powerful punches that sent Samuel Peter to the canvas. Peter managed to get up, but his corner decided to throw in the towel, signaling the end of the fight. Wladimir Klitschko was declared the winner by TKO, successfully defending his heavyweight titles.

This victory showcased Klitschko’s technical prowess and solidified his position as one of the dominant heavyweights of his era. Samuel Peter’s corner’s decision to stop the fight was seen as a reasonable choice, given the one-sided nature of the contest.

It’s worth noting that this fight was part of Wladimir’s reign as one of the most dominant heavyweights in recent boxing history, during which he held multiple world titles and had a long and successful championship run.

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Klitschko vs Samuel Peter

5. Ray Mancini vs. Duk Koo Kim

The fight between Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Duk Koo Kim in 1982 is one of the most tragic and significant moments in the history of boxing. Here’s an overview of that fateful bout:

Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini was an American lightweight boxer known for his exciting fighting style and charisma. Duk Koo Kim was a South Korean boxer who came to the United States seeking a shot at the world title. On November 13, 1982, they met in a world title fight for the WBA lightweight championship.

The Fight and Tragic Consequences

The fight was held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a grueling battle with both fighters trading heavy punches from the first round. Mancini, known for his relentless pressure, targeted Kim’s body, wearing him down over the rounds.

In the 14th round, Mancini landed a series of powerful blows that severely weakened Kim. In a heartbreaking moment, Kim collapsed to the canvas and was unable to continue. The referee stopped the fight, and Ray Mancini was declared the winner by technical knockout (TKO).

Tragically, Duk Koo Kim suffered a brain injury during the fight. He underwent emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain but never regained consciousness. Four days after the fight, on November 17, 1982, Duk Koo Kim passed away due to the injuries sustained in the ring.

Aftermath and Reforms

The death of Duk Koo Kim had a profound impact on the world of boxing. It raised questions about fighter safety and the dangers of the sport. This tragic event led to several reforms in the sport, including the reduction of championship fights from 15 rounds to 12 rounds, increased medical examinations, and improved safety regulations.

Ray Mancini was deeply affected by the tragedy and became an advocate for safer conditions in boxing. The fight and its aftermath serve as a poignant reminder of the inherent risks and physical toll that boxing can exact on its participants, prompting the boxing community to prioritize safety and the well-being of fighters.

5. Ray Mancini vs. Duk Koo Kim

While there can be serious damage on the ring, there are also some minor injuries that you can avoid while on the ring with the right skills and gear from Fierce Fight Gear. Here are some common injuries you can look out for:

  1. Facial Injuries
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Swelling and bruising (one of the most common boxing injuries)
  • Broken nose
  • Broken jaw
  • Black eyes
  1. Hand and Wrist Injuries in Boxing
  • Fractured hand or wrist
  • Sprained or strained fingers
  •  Boxer’s fracture (injury to the metacarpal bones)
  1. Head Injuries
  • Concussion
  • Traumatic brain injury or brain damage (rare but severe)
  1. Eye Injuries:
  • Retinal detachment
  • Orbital fractures
  •  Corneal abrasions
  1. Jaw Injuries:
  • Dislocated jaw
  • Fractured jaw
  1. Rib and Chest Injuries
  • Rib fractures
  • Bruised or injured sternum
  1. Shoulder Injuries
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Shoulder dislocations
  1. Abdominal Injuries
  • Liver injuries
  • Abdominal muscle strains
  1. Knee Injuries
  • Ligament tears (e.g., ACL, MCL)
  •  Meniscus injuries
  1. Ankle and Foot Injuries
  • Sprained ankles
  • Fractured or sprained metatarsal bones
  1. Neck Injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Cervical strain
  1. Knuckle Injuries
  • Abrasions, calluses, and blisters
  • Boxer’s knuckle (injury to the knuckle tendons)

It’s important to note that while these injuries are relatively common in boxing, the severity can vary widely. Many boxers take extensive measures to protect themselves, such as wearing proper protective gear like gloves, mouthguards, and headgear, and training to strengthen their bodies and minimize the risk of injury. With Fierce Fight Gear, you can get high quality protective gear and remain safe. Additionally, medical professionals are typically present at boxing events to assess and treat injuries when they occur. 

While some of these boxing worst injuries may be shocking and others heartbreaking, they all contribute to the ongoing conversation about the ethics and safety of professional boxing. They underscore the importance of celebrating the resilience of fighters while striving to make the sport as safe as possible. In the end, these matches are a testament to the indomitable human spirit that drives these athletes to push the limits, even in the face of adversity.

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