5. Mongo vs. Horse - Blazing Saddles
A classic among classics, this entire list would never be complete without Mongo’s horse knockout in Blazing Saddles.
As a kid, I would rewind this epic moment back again and again while me and my young homies would laugh hysterically until we almost pissed ourselves. I also gotta say that the horse that gets whacked unconscious is either the greatest actor of all time or Mongo (Alex Karras) has got the illest right cross around. I like to think that this was literally a one-shot take and Mongo was the one swinging the real-life hammer.
4. Deebo vs. Red - Friday
You all know it. You all love it. By far one of the most classic scenes in all of cinema, Deebo’s epic uppercut from 1995’s Friday still satisfies to this very day. Oh, and Chris Tucker delivering the line "You got knocked the f*** out!" didn’t hurt matters either.
Even though I always felt kinda bad for Red and his poor busted up face, it’s near impossible not love everything about this black and white snippet. The punch as well as Red flying through the air cartoon-style directly after impact is obviously way over the top, but it all somehow gels perfectly into a legendary cinematic moment that would be quoted on schoolyards for years to come. That's my bike, punk!
3. Mickey O'Neil vs. Horace "Good Night" Anderson – Snatch
Man, oh man, is this a great one. With some of the best hand-to-hand fight scenes in quite some time, Guy Ritchie’s testosterone-filled opus Snatch gave us the type of film we had been waiting for a very long time. One of the main elements that brought it all together was a character by the name of Mickey O'Neil.
After taking a serious beating against Horace "Good Night" Anderson in the boxing ring, it seemed like it was lights out for Mickey O'Neil (Brad Pitt). Not on this night, people. Even though we knew throughout the scene that he’s not supposed to win the battle, something in the back of our heads told us that this guy has something else up his sleeve and there’s seriously no way he was leaving that ring unconscious. After winning with one solid badass blow, it seems like our battered warrior hero and his family are surely dead, but the knockout punch pays off even more when we all finally find out Mickey indeed bet on himself in the bout and got his people the f**k outta dodge before any harm could come there way. So dope.
2. Biff Tannen vs. George McFly - Back to the Future
On a personal level, based on the fact that Back to the Future is easily one of my favorite films of all time, it’s really hard not to place this amazing cinematic moment in the top slot. Needless to say, Marty McFly’s long overdue one-punch ass-kicking of Biff Tannen is one of film’s finest knockout moments.
First and foremost, it must be said right of the bat that Biff is one of the greatest villains ever seen in film. Duh. That’s why this climactic moment in Zemeckis’ masterwork instantly pays off in spades the very moment Crispin Glover clinches his fist together and cracks Biff Tannen across the ol’ Jack Johnson. The ridiculous level in which Biff is the king of all a**holes sent audiences worldwide into a frenzy the very second McFly delivered the line “Hey you…get your damn hands off her!” They sure don’t make’em like they use to, guys.
1. Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed - Rocky II
For those of you that thought the final fight in the original Rocky could not be topped, Stallone returned (now in the director’s seat) and pulled a real humdinger out of his sleeve. Some people may obviously argue this, but the ending to Rocky II is the best in the series. Most of them are all pretty amazing in their own way, but the drama created at the end of this sequel with Rocky literally winning the title in a last-second KO against Apollo Creed is easily the greatest knockout in the history of cinema. It may come off a little cheesy nowadays, but you damn well know you were on the edge of your seat during your first viewing of this 1979 box office smash. When you think of knockouts in the movies, you instantly think Rocky. Why? Well, because Stallone, in his own, way, is the godfather of this particular type of action-packed high-drama. I dare you to try and watch the last 10 minutes of Rocky II and not get invested instantly. You know a movie battle like this is special when an actor can get inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame without even actually stepping in the ring for a professional bout. Yo, Adrian, I did it!