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Heavyweight Boxing History

When Giants Fall: The Top 5 Upsets in Heavyweight Boxing

We will look at the top five knockout upsets in boxing history, investigating why the favorites lost and what happened to them afterwards


Boxing has a rich history full with remarkable triumphs and defeats. The chance of an upset, in which the underdog defies the odds and defeats the favorite, is one of the most fascinating parts of the sport.

These upsets not only amaze viewers, but they may also have a big impact on the fighters' careers and legacies. We will look at the top five knockout upsets in boxing history, investigating why the favorites lost and what happened to them afterwards.

Buster Douglas vs. Mike Tyson:
Mike Tyson was at the pinnacle of his career in 1990, with an unbeaten record and the reputation of being invincible. However, on February 11, 1990, in Tokyo, Japan, Buster Douglas, a relatively unknown fighter, stunned the world by knocking out Tyson in the tenth round. Douglas, a huge underdog, used his height and reach advantage, as well as a ruthless game plan, to wear Tyson down and eventually deliver the fatal blow. This upset not only brought Tyson's unbeaten streak to an end, but it also had a tremendous impact on his career and reputation as one of the best heavyweight champions of all time.

Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman:
The 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" is regarded as one of boxing's greatest upsets. The reigning heavyweight champion, George Foreman, was known for his tremendous punching power. Muhammad Ali, who was past his prime and considered an underdog, used his "rope-a-dope" tactic, absorbing Foreman's punches while conserving energy. Ali threw a flurry of devastating blows in the eighth round, knocking out Foreman. Ali's victory not only stunned the boxing world, but it also cemented his reputation as one of the greatest fighters of all time and becoming a legend of sports betting.

Hasim Rahman vs Lennox Lewis
The battle between Lennox Lewis and Hasim Rahman in 2001 was one of the most anticipated heavyweight championship fights in years. Lewis was the incumbent champion, and Rahman was seen as a long-shot with little chance of victory. However, in the fifth round, Rahman landed a tremendous right hand that knocked Lewis out cold, claiming the world title and leaving the boxing world flabbergasted. This defeat ended Lewis' reign as heavyweight champion and pushed Rahman into the limelight. Despite his meteoric climb to stardom, Rahman's career was marred by inconsistency, and he was unable to sustain his level of popularity.

Max Baer vs James J. Braddock (Cinderella Man)
The 1935 fight between Max Baer and James J. Braddock was a great battle that captivated people all around the world. The match was widely favored to Baer, the defending heavyweight champion. Braddock, on the other hand, delivered a succession of powerful strikes that left Baer bewildered and confused, ultimately resulting to his defeat. Braddock's victory was a surprise upset and the start of his reign as heavyweight champion. While Baer had a good career following this setback, he was never the same, and he never reclaimed the title.

Hasim Rahman vs. Lennox Lewis:
In 2001, the defending heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis, was anticipated to comfortably defeat Hasim Rahman, a relatively unknown challenger. Rahman threw a tremendous right hand in the fifth round, knocking Lewis out and capturing the world title. This stunning upset not only brought Lewis' era as heavyweight champion to an end, but it also thrust Rahman into the spotlight. However, Rahman's subsequent career was marred by inconsistency, and he was unable to maintain his level of success.

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