The bigger they come, the harder they fall. Never has hype been more perilous than in that most dangerous of sports: boxing. Boxing is famous for mismatches: greedy promoters like Don King and Eddie Hearn pitting their prized charges against lesser opponents in order to build hype. Some of the most amazing moments in boxing history have been instances where, against all the odds, a ‘tomato can’ nails his much-hyped opponent.
The heavyweight division is renowned for upsets. Pretty much all of the ‘big guys’ can hit like a sledgehammer. Not even the most skillful of heavyweight champs is immune to a lucky right hand from a big hitter. Here are some of the most astounding upsets in blue riband history.
Playing the odds can be thrilling in the heavyweight division. For example, you can watch boxing live with Unibet when betting.
Andy Ruiz Junior Beats Antony Joshua
Antony Joshua, the chisel-jawed Olympian and dominant professional heavyweight was supposed to make a triumphant American debut at Madison Square Garden against the somewhat pudgy and diminutive Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr. Most critics didn’t give Ruiz a chance in hell – predicting a knockout win for Joshua.
Andy Ruiz Jr had other ideas. After tasting the canvas early in the fight, he bamboozled the muscle-bound Joshua with flurries of fast hooks. The fight was waved off after Joshua was seen disorientated and completely beaten down after the last of several knockdowns. The heavyweight boxing world was shaken to its core.
Buster Douglas Beats Mike Tyson
February 11th 1990 is a day that will live in infamy among heavyweight boxing fans. ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson was the king of the division, and was expected to blast the ‘roly poly nice guy’ Buster Douglas off his feet within a couple of rounds. Tyson was the 70/1 favorite to win under the Tokyo Dome. It was, however, not to be.
While Tyson was busy entertaining busloads of sex workers in the week before the fight, Buster Douglass was working his heart out. He was grieving after the death of his mother, a divorce from his wife and the cancer diagnosis of his ex partner. He was an emotional wreck, and put all his efforts into training in order to keep sane and honor his mother.
During the match, he simply refused to give up under Tyson’s pressure: dealing him a knockout blow in round 10.
Hasim Rahman Beats Lennox Lewis
Prime era Lennox Lewis was a boxer’s boxer. He was a student of the game and a great technician as well as having an almighty right hand. It comes as no surprise then that he was expected to crush Hasim Rahman during their 2001 title fight.
Rahman proved all his doubters wrong when he stunned the boxing community by knocking out the vaunted Lewis.
Unfortunately for Rahman, he didn’t fare so well in the rematch. He began uncontrollably sobbing in the ring while being dominated by Lewis – suffering a nasty emotional breakdown under the huge weight of expectation.