Boxing Experts Blog - Boxing

November 25, 2009

Upsets of the decade

You can follow Martin Rogers on Twitter at @mrogersyahoo.

Yahoo! Sports' decade in review takes to the ring for a series of boxing-related top-fives.

First up is upsets of the decade and if you even think about arguing that the decade doesn't really end until next year then we're going to send Corrie Sanders 'round to have some harsh words. Now you're scared.

5. Danny Williams beats Mike Tyson

Tyson already was well past his prime by the time he took on British journeyman Williams in Kentucky in July 2004. Even so, "Iron Mike" had dispatched Clifford Etienne inside a round in his previous contest and was expected to have little trouble in disposing of Williams in similarly quick time.

It was even suggested that a Tyson victory could put him back in the title picture following Lennox Lewis' retirement. However, Williams silenced that talk with a fierce flurry toward the end of the 4th, to which Tyson had no answer and was counted out.

4. Glen Johnson beats Roy Jones Jr.

Jones was still one of boxing's biggest stars when he took on Johnson in Memphis in September 2004, despite having being knocked out by Antonio Tarver four months earlier.

His bout with Johnson, who was 35 and had lost nine times, was supposed to get his career back on track but instead ended with him flat on his back once more. A huge right hand from Johnson put Jones out cold in the 9th, and Jones hasn't been the same since.

3. Corrie Sanders beats Wladimir Klitschko

The younger of the Klitschko brothers was unbeaten in five years and was defending his WBO heavyweight title for the sixth time when he faced South African southpaw Sanders in Hannover, Germany, in 2003.

Klitschko was an overwhelming favorite but got tagged by a big left hand in the first round and never recovered. Big Wlad went down twice in the opener before being saved by the bell, but the Sanders assault continued and he finished it off less than 30 seconds into Round 2.

2. Bernard Hopkins beats Felix Trinidad

Few gave Hopkins a chance against Puerto Rican superstar Trinidad, who was 40-0 going into the final of Don King's 2001 middleweight unification tournament. Hopkins taunted Trinidad mercilessly before the fight, and even placed a $100,000 wager on himself to emerge victorious.

Once the contest started, Hopkins swiftly assumed control, fighting brilliantly on the outside and never giving Trinidad a chance to settle. He was at least five points up on each scorecard going into the final round, but capped it off in style by knocking Trinidad out midway through the 12th.

1. Hasim Rahman beats Lennox Lewis 

Lewis was the dominant heavyweight on the planet when he took on unheralded Rahman in South Africa in 2001. Even though the Brit had spent some of his precious training time filming on the set of "Ocean's Eleven," it was expected that he would be too big and too strong for Rahman.

But Lewis looked jaded and sluggish in the ring and was never able to generate any serious momentum. Even so, the fight was still even until the fifth round, when Rahman sent Lewis crashing to the canvas with a monstrous right hand that turned the heavyweight division on its head.

Comparisons were immediately drawn between this fight and Mike Tyson's loss to Buster Douglas. It might not be as big an upset, but it's the biggest one of this decade.

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