Many boxing pundits have been screaming from the roof tops that this year, 2013, that is winding down is one of the best in recent memory. Even Al Bernstein, long-time boxing analyst for Showtime, recently went on record during a broadcast to say as much. Like any other year, upsets are what makes the twelve months more dramatic than the previous ones. This year we had a number of major fights in which the least expected fighter won. Here in chronological order are the biggest four:
Guillermo Rigondeaux Defeats Nonito Donaire – The first upset of the year came in April courtesy of the Cuban Olympic gold medalist when he gave a boxing lesson to the 2012 Fighter of the Year. In typical “Chacal” fashion, Rigondeaux completely controlled the action with superb boxing skills while he nullified Donaire for the entire twelve rounds. Despite the high profile win, it didn’t really do much to raise Rigondeaux’s profile within boxing fans, HBO and even with his own promoter Bob Arum. Since then Rigondeaux has defeated another world champion Joseph Agbeko while Donaire has also performed. Not surprisingly Donaire has not asked for a rematch.
Jesus Soto Karass Defeats Andre Berto – In a fight of the year candidate, the latest boxing “Cinderella Man” Soto Karass pulled a number on HBO and Al Haymon’s golden child Berto. In an all action war both fighters met the canvas with Soto Karass going down by a body shot while Berto was dropped for good in the twelfth and final round with a devastating left hook to add to the drama lived back in July. The stoppage marked Berto’s second loss and first by TKO. Berto has not fought since while Soto Karass was stopped in nine by Keith Thurman just a couple of weeks ago. With both coming off losses, a rematch would not be a under card fight for a major Pay-Per-View card.
Jhonny Gonzalez Defeats Abner Mares – In quite possibly the second biggest update of the year, veteran Jhonny Gonzalez shocked the boxing world by knocking out three divisional world champ Abner Mares to capture the WBC featherweight title back in August. A perfectly placed left hook half-way through the first half shook Mares’ world up as he dropped to the canvas. Mares beat the count but never recuperated and the veteran Gonzalez knew exactly how to finish him off going after Mares until he landed a straight right that put Mares on the canvas again. Referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight. Rematch is set for February 15th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Marcos Maidana Defeats Adrien Broner –In the biggest upset of the year, Marcos Maidana quite possibly might have won himself golden ticket and put himself on the short list to face Floyd Mayweather Jr sometime next year by defeating and finally shutting up big mouth Adrien Broner this past December 14th in San Antonio, Texas. Maidana did the unthinkable by dropping Broner twice en route to an undeniable unanimous decision that made Broner run out of the ring. It wasn’t a complete beat down since Broner was able to work himself back into the fight in the middle rounds but Maidana was strong and determined enough to weather the storm. Maidana wants Mayweather Jr while Broner has not come out of his cave just yet to say much of anything.