Heavyweight boxing legend Earnie Shavers was born and spent his early life in Garland.
Shavers is largely regarded as on the hardest punchers in the history of the sport.
He finished his career with a 92 percent knockout-to-win ration.
Though he never managed to capture the world heavyweight title, he scored a seventh-round knockdown of then-champion Larry Holmes and went the distance with Muhammad Ali in a 1977 bout at Madison Square Garden.
Shavers finished his career in 1995 with a record of 74 wins (68 by knockout, 23 inside the first round, with 46 in the first three rounds), 14 losses and a draw.
Shavers retired in 1983 after retinal problems were discovered and became an ordained Christian minister and moved to Phoenix, where he preached for many years.
Afterwards, he moved to England to pastor a church there in the early 2000s and has been on the Benny Hinn TV show several times..
A copy of Shavers’ autobiography ‘Welcome to the Bit Time’ is available at the Greenville-Butler County Public Library.
Excerpted from the publication “Six Facts about Black History in Butler County” by the Greenville-Butler County Public Library.