Top Boxing Upsets of 2017
It was the year of the underdog for boxing in 2017. Usually a top-heavy sport with a small crop of elite boxers smashing everyone in their path, 2017 continued what was an extension of 2016's "passing of the guard". The year saw a handful of major upsets stemming from established veterans and heavy favourites bowing out to lesser known talent or unproven prospects.
It was a great year for boxing and the fans and only chalk artists and bookies suffered during these unexpected Rocky stories. We look at five of this year's biggest upsets based on boxing odds:
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai Stuns Chocolatito Twice
- Odds: Rungvisai (+1000); Gonzalez (-2000) (First Bout)
- Odds: Rungvisai (+270); Gonzalez (-390) (Second Bout)
When it came to boxers under 115 lbs, few looked beyond Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez. The Nicaraguan phenom was unbeaten with 38 of his 46 victories all coming via knockout. Chocolatito was at one point regarded as the top pound-for-pound boxer and he looked to run through little-known challenger Rungvisai.
But nobody told the Thai challenger he was the underdog. In his first bout against Chocolatito, Rungvisai surprised everyone by dropping Gonzalez and earning the decision. He remained a dog in the immediate rematch but silenced any doubts by finishing the job and flattening Chocolatito in what could go down as 2017's Knockout of the Year.
Tony Bellew Exploits a Hurt David Haye
- Odds: Bellew (+500); Haye (-600)
Bellew beating Haye is similar to Tyson Fury upsetting the great Wladimir Klitshcko in 2015. While not on the same magnitude, Bellew essentially outgrinded Haye en route to a late TKO victory. Haye, a heavy favourite, suffered what appeared like an Achilles injury midway into the match. With his hampered movement, Bellew took over and finished him.
Despite his reputation as one of the sport's biggest trash talkers, Haye made no excuses. The two men embraced after in what would go down as one of 2017's most iconic moments. This was a win-win scenario for everyone. Haye lost but has a legitimate reason for an immediate rematch. Bellew made a name for himself. And everyone gets to see the sequel to one of the year's best fights.
Jeff Horn Edges Manny Pacquiao
- Odds: Horn (+550); Pacquiao (-900)
Stephen A. Smith and the legions of Pacquiao fans won't ever accept this as a legitimate loss for the living legend but when all is said and done, Horn won the biggest fight of his young career. The Australian beat Pacquiao in a contentious unanimous decision in front of 50,000 fellow Aussies. Despite being outlanded by Pacquiao, Horn's aggression won over the judges.
The fighting school teacher took a beating but overcame Pacquiao's power as he pushed through and won the final rounds to seal his victory over the eight-division world champion. The immediate rematch fell through but could still happen some time in 2018.
Caleb Truax Outworks James DeGale
- Odds: Truax (+1200); DeGale (-5000)
Truax pulled off 2017's biggest upsets in terms of betting odds when he turned back the top-ranked super middleweight. The Minnesotan started the fight quickly and attacked DeGale with heavy shots and constant pressure.
Although DeGale made a spirited comeback and won the later rounds, it was too little too late as two of three judges awarded the bout to Truax with a lone judge scoring it a draw.
Truax, not fully convinced of his victory, immediately voiced his intents on fighting DeGale again with a rematch confirmed by Haymon Boxing. The additional excuses made by DeGale makes the rematch worth seeing and should be one of 2018's must-watch matches.
Sadam Ali Sends Miguel Cotto Off in Style
- Odds: Ali (+600); Cotto (-1200)
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Manny Pacquiao. Canelo Alvarez. These are just some of the legends who have beaten Cotto. One does not simply win a fight against one of boxing's most brilliant boxers. But that's exactly what Sadam Ali did. In Cotto's final match, the Yemeni-American took the fight to the legendary Puerto Rican boxer and made the most of his opportunity.
With this huge win, Ali has officially put the boxing world on notice. Following a TKO loss to Jessie Vargas, his first and only loss to date, Ali laid low and worked his way back up. This victory over Cotto firmly puts him back on the radar and is an emphatic passing of the torch.
Betting on Boxing in the Future
These upsets are just a sample of boxers beating the odds emphasizing that anything can happen in this prize fighting world. Canadians are avid boxing fans and bet through online sportsbooks, which offer the best betting lines not just for boxing but including UFC/MMA and other sports. A generous signup bonus is offered for those on the fence about giving wagering a try.
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