Boxing’s Greats of the States | South Dakota: Shawn Hawk

By Mike Sloan Apr 3, 2017
Boxers come from every corner of the globe. Sometimes, fighters are products of their environment, favoring styles prevalent in the country or state from which they hail. Various regions of the United States are considered factories for great fighters, though that certainly is not the case with each state. In this weekly series, the spotlight will shine on the best boxer of all-time from each of the 50 states. Fighters do not necessarily need to be born in a given state to represent it; they simply need to be associated with it.


South Dakota may not be known as a haven for boxers, but the man they called “The Sioux Warrior” nevertheless carved out a nice name for himself.

Shawn Hawk went 18-0-1 across his first 19 appearances before a July 2009 decision loss to Matt Godfrey knocked him from the ranks of the unbeaten. He rebounded with a five-fight winning streak that was punctuated by the most significant victory of his career: The Sioux Falls, South Dakota, native outpointed promising contender Henry Buchanan on March 31, 2012. After besting Buchanan, Hawk dropped a lopsided unanimous decision to Eleider Alvarez. He was then granted a surprising world title shot, as he met Nathan Cleverly for the WBO light heavyweight championship in November 2012. Cleverly cut him down in the eighth round at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Now 32, Hawk remains the only South Dakota native to fight for a world title. He retired with a respectable 23-3-1 record and 17 knockouts.



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