Mourners gathered early this morning to remember and celebrate the life of Ernie Shavers. 
 
Calling hours and the funeral took place at Shavers Alma Mater at Newton Falls Schools in the auditorium.
 
The retired professional boxer will forever be remember for the large impact he has made on the Mahoning Valley. 
 
Earnie Shavers fought between 1969 and 1995 in the golden years of boxing. He finished winning 74 bouts, 68 by knock outs, He lost 14 and one match was determined even.
 
He fought heavyweight Champions Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes.
 
"I used to watch him fight, especially when him and Muhammad Ali fought, which as Muhammad Ali said he was the hardest hitting puncher he ever faced. Earnie was  a good man. He did a lot in the community," said Warren Councilman Ronald White.
 
"His knock out ratio was unsurpassed, but he was truly loved and admired by every boxer and every fan. I can't tell you how many times we would be in a Walmart and he would see a single lady with children and he could go up and pay for their groceries. He was such a huge influence on me. I pray before every meal because of him," a best friend Chico Sherwood said. 
 
His first boxing coach at the Rebecca Williams Community Center in Warren is closed. But decades ago his first coach Robert Saffold, a USMC veteran, and Golden Glove Boxing Champion and trainer   tells us Shavers started boxing at the age of 22.  
 
"Earnie came to the gym. I knew there was something special about him, his big broad shoulders. He was really mild not saying a whole lot, but he could hit the bag. I didn't know he grew up on a farm and was used to cutting down trees. He was a fine young man, serious about boxing, probably one of the hardest boxing, probably one of the hardest working in the gym," Robert Saffold said. 
 
The 1963 graduate of Newton Falls High School, was proud of his hometown, and enjoyed meeting with students when the district held Ernie Shavers Day.
 
"He was a football and track star here in his hey day and we are honored to be able to have his family have the funeral services here today. Mr. Shavers was very proud of his hometown of Newton Falls. He would come back to the schools and he had a couple of boxing matches in the schools. There was also an Earnie Shavers day when he came in the schools and the students were able to see him," Justin Christopher, Interim Superintendent of Newton Falls Schools said.
 
Newton Falls School District planted an Oak tree on the school campus to honor and in memory of Earnie Shavers. One of his nicknames was acorn due to his bald head and an Oak tree produces acorns.  He was also called the black destroyer by some. 
 
After packing a punch in the ring, he packed church pews as a Christian minister in Phoenix, then as pastor of a church in England. He passed away in Virginia.
 
He was a family man. A patron of children's charities, and helped so many other people and families without seeking recognition. The children's charity near and dear to his heart was The Shannon Bradshaw Trust, a children's charity in Warrington Cheshire, which helps children with life threatening conditions.  
 
"He was a family man. He had a clean heart, he became a minister late in life and he had a strong message to young people in particular, so he is going to be very very missed," said Saffold. 
 
Earnie Shavers was 78 years old.