Five boxers who were beaten by unknowns as Mayweather vs Moore on hold

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Boxing is one of the most iconic sports when it comes to drama.

By the sheer nature of the sport, you can lose each minute in every round but land the killer knockout to take the victory. Until the contest is over, no fighter is out of the running to win.

Fans love an underdog story – the man who has no chance at coming away with the win only to pull it out of the bag one way or another. We can see this same underdog narrative in the build up to Floyd Mayweather’s exhibition clash with Don Moore, although the fight has now been put on hold following the passing of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed.

Mayweather, who retired from boxing with a perfect 50-0 record, and is known as the sport’s GOAT, had been tempted into another bout just a year after he fought YouTuber Logan Paul in June 2021. Moore, who is also unbeaten, has a record of 18-0-1, although he has not competed professionally since 2016.

Mayweather is the heavy favourite, dependant on when the bout may be rescheduled, but here are five of the biggest shocks in boxing history where champions and big names were upset and the script was thrown out of the window.

Andy Ruiz defeats Anthony Joshua via TKO, 2019

Andy Ruiz stunned the world in 2019 as he defeated the previously unbeaten Anthony Joshua to become heavyweight champion of the world. The Mexican-American was a late replacement after Jarrell Miller failed a drugs test and he certainly took his opportunity on Joshua’s debut in the United States.

In front of a packed Madison Square Garden crowd, Ruiz thumped Joshua to the canvas in round three, and the Brit remained uneasy for the remainder of the contest. Ruiz knocked Joshua – who was 22-0 and the heavy favourite – down three more times before the referee intervened to give him a stunning seventh round win via TKO.

Antonio Tarver defeats Roy Jones Jr. via TKO, 2004

Jones Jr. was considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world with a record of 46-1. He had only just become the first middleweight champion to win a heavyweight honour as he topped John Ruiz to claim the WBA title in March 2003.

Jones returned to light heavyweight to defeat Antonio Tarver and take his WBC belt in the process. They met in a rematch six months later, and Tarver dominated the occasion as he floored Jones via a powerful left hook to win via second round TKO.

Hasim Rahman defeats Lennox Lewis via KO, 2001

Lennox Lewis came into his 2001 world title bout against American Hasim Rahman as the overwhelming favourite. The Brit was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world after defeating Evander Holyfield, and he had dominated his opponents to defend the belts.

Rahman was on the back stretch of his career, and Lewis was expected to easily defeat the challenger to improve his record. In the fifth round, Rahman struck a sensational right hand while Lewis was against the ropes – and it was game over.

The champion failed to beat the count, and Rahman had pulled off one of the biggest upsets in boxing history to become undisputed world heavyweight champion.

What do you think is the biggest boxing upset in history? Let us know in the comments section.

Buster Douglas defeats Mike Tyson via knockout, 1990

In 1990, Buster Douglas was considered a 42-1 shot against Mike Tyson, who was entering his 38th professional bout undefeated. However, Douglas landed a killer strike to secure a 10th round knockout victory.

Douglas wouldn’t be champion for long as he would fall to Evander Holyfield soon after, but he had his moment. Douglas’ win over Tyson is considered the greatest upset in boxing history.

Randolph Turpin defeats Sugar Ray Robinson via decision, 1951

The iconic Sugar Ray Robinson came into his clash with Randolph Turpin boasting an insane 128-1-2 record. However, Turpin inflicted the second defeat of Robinson’s career on the middleweight champion, securing his title in the process.

Turpin’s win was a true upset, and Robinson needed to exact his revenge. Just a couple of months later, Robinson secured a 10th-round TKO.

  • Boxing
  • Floyd Mayweather
  • Anthony Joshua
  • Mike Tyson

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