Image: The Boxer | Jean-Michel Basquiat | 1982

“People don’t realize how you’re affected by a knockout punch when you’re hit on the chin. It’s nerves is all it is. There’s no real concussion as far as the brain is concerned. I got hit on the point of the chin [in a match with Tony DeMarco in 1955] It was a left hook that hit the right point of my chin. What happens is it pulls your jawbone out of your socket from the right side and jams it into the left side and the nerve there paralyzed the whole left side of my body, especially my legs. My left knee buckled and I almost went down, but when I got back to my corner the bottom of my foot felt like it had needles about six inches high and I just kept stamping my foot on the floor, trying to bring it back. And by the time the bell rang it was all right.”

Carmen Basilio

From the comic Slow Motion (1955, Mad Magazine), by Harvey Kurtzman & Jack Davis


Muhammad Ali knocks out Cleveland Williams at the Astrodome Houston, 1966. (Photo by Neil Leifer)