Skip to main content

One of the NBA's greatest boxing matches happened in the 1977 NBA Finals


The Sixers were on their way to take a 2-0 series lead in the '77 NBA Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers when all hell broke loose, as the NBA world got to witness a boxing match between two of its players. And this one was for the ages.

With 4:52 left on the clock, and Philly ahead 96-76, the Sixers were on a fastbreak. After they failed to capitalize on it, Darryl Dawkins and Bobby Gross got tangled up for a rebound, as the force of 6-11 Dawkins threw both players hard to the floor. After some finger-pointing by Gross, Dawkins delivered a haymaker, with the collateral victim being his teammate Doug Collins, who ended up needing four stitches over his right eye.

After he threw a punch, Dawkins started running back towards the half-court. That's when Maurice Lucas came to Gross' aid, as he sucker-punched Darryl without the Sixers big man looking. That's when squared off at center court, with fans storming the court at Spectrum.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

When play was finally restored, Dawkins and Lucas had both been ejected from the game. Dawkins took his frustrations to the locker-room, kicking the bathroom stall off its moorings. By the time the game was over, he was already dressed and on his way out of the arena. And he was angry at everyone involved.

I'm mad at my teammates. They let another player sneak up behind my back and hit me.

Darryl Dawkins, NY Times

According to Collins, Dawkins' punch was a culmination of frustration for the Blazers' dirty play since the start of the second half. With the game slipping through their fingers, they turned to non-basketball stuff to provoke a reaction and force a momentum shift that would steer the game back to their favor.

But no, momentum wasn't shifted, as the Sixers beat Portland 107-89 and took a 2-0 lead in the Finals. However, a reaction was certainly provoked. A reaction so epic that it made our list of craziest fights in NBA history. What are the other nine? Check out the video below. And keep in mind, there's also a Part 2, with our third iteration of NBA's greatest fights on the way.

NBA players react to the leaked video of Green punching Poole

NBA players react to the leaked video of Draymond Green punching Jordan Poole in practice

NBA players were also shocked at the recently leaked video of Draymond Green punching Jordan Poole in Warriors practice and took to their social media to share their thoughts on the incident


“He’s a commissioner's dream.” - Adam Silver dishes out high praise for Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo comes up with solid performance at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Games

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook and head coach Darvin Ham

"Whatever he needs me to do!"-Russell Westbrook and Darvin Ham are off to a good start

Russell Westbrook likes how the Los Angeles Lakers have approached the preseason games


“It wasn’t really beef” — Shaquille O'Neal opens up about his story with Kobe Bryant

Shaq also said that he wished he stayed with the Lakers and believes he and Kobe could've won more championships together.