By The Associated Press
Earnie Shavers, whose thunderous punches stopped 68 fighters and earned him heavyweight title fights with Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes, has died. He was 78. Former British boxer and close friend Kenny Rainford told The Associated Press in a telephone call from Liverpool, England, that his close friend died on Thursday in Virginia at the home of one of his daughters. Shavers lost a unanimous decision to Ali in September 1977 in a fight for the WBC and WBA world heavyweight titles. Holmes stopped him in the 11th round to retain the WBC heavyweight title in September 1979.