Boxing: Shocking Underdog Wins of 2020

Published 12/25/2020, 6:45 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 17: Teofimo Lopez Jr celebrates after defeating Vasiliy Lomachenko (not pictured) in their Lightweight World Title bout at MGM Grand Las Vegas Conference Center on October 17, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)


Maybe 2020 was the underdog that no one saw coming until facing it in its full form. It has been a strange year for the entire world, especially the sports community.

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However, we are on the verge of bidding the year adieu, which gives us a splendid chance to look back at the controversial calendar. If we look at boxing, it has been an intense ride.

Pulling off the fights in the empty arenas, to witnessing some surprising in-ring moments, boxing fans weren’t deprived of a feast. That said, boxing might be at its peak with several fantasy matchups on the brink of being materialized.

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2021 can settle those big games. However, it’s time to look at some stunners landed in 202o that paved the way for fresh matchups ahead.

This year, several underdogs have come up to the top and silenced their critics. When no one envisioned them to win, the pugilists brought their A-game to the mix. Here’s a peek at the major underdog wins that boxing has seen in 2020.

Alexander Povetkin knocks out Dillian Whyte

After a brief hiatus of 4 months, boxing regained its form with Matchroom’s heavyweight thriller ‘Whyte vs Povetkin’ for the WBC Interim heavyweight title.

Whyte was the ultimate favorite in the fight and showcased the same inside the ring. He dominated Povetkin for a long time and also knocked down the Russian a couple of times.

But Povetkin had the last laugh by landing an unpredictable uppercut in the 5 round that left Dillian Whyte concussed. The fight was immediately stopped and Povetkin walked away with the Interim heavyweight (WBC) belt. It was a huge upset that stopped Whyte from entering the WBC title conversation against Tyson Fury.

Joe Joyce stops Daniel Dubois

23-year-old Daniel Dubois, often billed as the modern era Mike Tyson, suffered his maiden loss against a veteran in Joe Joyce. The 12-round main-event clash went till Round 10 as ‘Juggernaut’ stopped Dubois with a TKO. The fight was built up in the best way possible, putting 2 unbeaten heavyweights against each other.

 

While many predicted Dubois to bag the win, it was Joe Joyce who shook the odds. He showcased the experience and outpointed Dubois until making his ultimate statement in Round 10.

Teofimo Lopez takes out ‘The Matrix’

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‘Take Over’ Lopez became the unified lightweight world champion by beating Vasyl Lomachenko via decision, in one of the biggest clashes of this year.

Teofimo Lopez outboxed a veteran Lomachenko over the course of 12 rounds. Although Lomachenko had his moments, it wasn’t enough to bag the win. The judges awarded the win to Lopez after a 12-round war, and the Top Rank prodigy endured as an undefeated boxer.

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2020 was seemingly the year of the underdog. Whyte, Joyce, and Lomachenko were highly favored going into their matchups; however, they weren’t fated to prevail. Boxing is an unpredictable sport, and this year was a testament to the same.

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Raj Sarkar

1620 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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