Klitschko-Chisora This Saturday: Where Will It Rank Amongst the Biggest Heavyweight Upsets If Chisora Wins?
By James Slater: World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight title challenger Dereck Chisora is being called by some people one of the most inexperienced world title challengers of the last 50-years going into his fight this Saturday night with the mighty Vitali Klitschko. A huge underdog on paper, there are, however, those - promoter Frank Warren and pundit Steve Bunce for two - who feel Chisora might just do it and that an upset could be in the air.
It will certainly go down in boxing history if Chisora does manage to shock “Dr. Iron Fist,” and the result would go down in the books as one of the biggest upsets of all-time. In fact, it could be argued that a Chisora win, a KO win especially, would deserve to be ranked right alongside the following earth tremblers that did go down!
Here the ten biggest shocks the heavyweight division has ever seen when the world title was on the line:
1: James “Buster” Douglas KO 10 Mike Tyson. February 1990, Tokyo Japan.
This one absolutely nobody, and I mean NOBODY saw coming! Likely to never be topped in the shockers department, Douglas’ win will remain right where it is; at the top of the biggest ever boxing upsets list , even if “Del Boy” pulls it off in Munich.
2: Hasim Rahman KO 5 Lennox Lewis. April 2001, Gauteng, South Africa.
As big an upset as it would be if Chisora managed to topple the elder Klitschko brother, it wouldn’t quite rank as highly as this shocker. Lewis was, after all, in his prime at the time of his loss to “The Rock.” Vitali, though still awesome, might, just might, be ready for the taking. Which is just what the critics will holler loud and clear if Chisora does manage to bring the WBC crown back home with him in four days time.
3: James J. Braddock WU15 Max Baer. June 1935, New York.
“The Cinderella Man,” as Braddock became known, punched his way to a marvellous unanimous decision win, as well as a to a permanent place in boxing history. Will Chisora be given an unforgettable nickname if he wins on Saturday?
4: Cassius Clay WRTD6 Sonny Liston. February 1964, Miami, Florida.
Seen as invincible, defending champion Liston was expected by practically everyone to make short, violent work of the upstart, highly vocal (some said scared) challenger. Clay, like Chisora, sounded utterly convinced he would win - even if nobody really believed him (a couple of experts aside). Will “Del Boy” back up his big words like his hero Ali did? Interestingly, the then Cassius Clay was predicting an 8th-round win over Liston, just as Chisora is against Vitali.
5: Leon Spinks WS15 Muhammad Ali. February 1978, Las Vegas.
Young upstart Spinks was even less experienced than Chisora, what with his pro career not even in double figures at the time of his fight with the ageing Ali. “Neon Leon” managed to pound out a close decision victory - can Chisora also make an ageing lion pay the price for taking on a man so much younger and fresher?
6: Ingemar Johansson TKO3 Floyd Patterson. June 1959, New York.
Labelled a quitter in his amateur days, big Swedish outsider Johansson rose to the occasion and decked Patterson no less than seven painful times in the 3rd-round. Unleashing his soon to be famous “Hammer of Thor,” or “Ingo’s Bingo,” the challenger made mincemeat of the shell-shocked champion. It would be utterly spellbinding if Chisora were to win in similar fashion on Saturday!
7: George Foreman KO2 Joe Frazier. January, 1973, Kingston, Jamaica.
Forget about it! No way will Chisora do a Foreman on the rock-chinned Vitali. If anything, it could be “Del Boy” who gets turned into a yoyo in Germany
8: Muhammad Ali KO8 George Foreman. October, 1974, Zaire, Africa.
As he did when he burst onto the world stage with his stunner over Liston a decade ago, “The Greatest” left seasoned experts in awe of him once again in his fight with the “unbeatable” Foreman. The exotic location of the “Rumble in The Jungle” added to the surreal nature of Ali’s stoppage win. Ali’s latest masterpiece also gave us his “Rope-a-Dope.” How will Chisora fair if he tries to lay on the ropes in the hope of allowing Vitali to punch himself out? Not very well, I’d assume.
9: Evander Holyfield TKO11 Mike Tyson. November 1996, Las Vegas.
“The Real Deal” was not only looked at as a sure loser against Tyson; he was seen as a guy who might get seriously hurt in the fight - just as some feel will be Chisora’s fate. Instead, Holyfield made an overconfident Tyson look ordinary. It’s highly unlikely the ultra-professional Klitschko will have made the mistake of underestimating his challenger, but Chisora’s fans sure will be hoping he has.
10: George Foreman KO10 Michael Moorer. November, 1994. Las Vegas.
“Big” George may only have been a little over a 2/1 underdog at the bookies but, as Larry Merchant said, he was looked at as a “gazillion-to-one underdog” by many experts, himself included. Taking a beating in the early, middle and late rounds, the teak-tough, mentally strong challenger reached back in time in the 10th and unleashed a wicked right hand to the chin. Moorer went down; Foreman went down in history as the oldest heavyweight champion of all-time! Chisora won’t break any records if he beats Klitschko on Saturday, but his name will instantly be placed amongst the heavyweight greats. Maybe.