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2013 Boxing upset of the year award

Credit: Esther Lin / Showtime

Who Scored the Biggest Upset in Boxing in 2013?

Boxing fans witnessed many different big upsets in 2013, all throughout the year. While some included comebacking fighters, hot, undefeated prospects, or even champions, only one of them featured a top 5 pound for pound fighter getting knocked off. That’s why it was the clear upset of the year in the sport.

2013 Upset of the Year in Boxing: Jhonny Gonzalez KO1 Abner Mares

Abner Mares walked into the ring on August 24 in Carson, California, as the number 4 pound for pound fighter on the planet. He just brought home his third divisional title with an easy defeat of Daniel Ponce de Leon, and before that he tore right through Anselmo Moreno.

Nonito Donaire’s team wouldn’t let the Filipino Flash anywhere near Mares, who had previously of course emerged as the winner of Showtime’s bantamweight tournament. All to say, Mares was a fighter very much in stride.

Then came Jhonny Gonzalez. A friend, a former sparring partner (although it was Mares who was the sparring partner at the time), and one of the outright hardest hitters in the game.

His big KO win over Mares was the 47th of his career, in 55 victories. Just when you think Jhonny is done, for a career, or within a particular fight, he pulls something out of thin air with that crushing left hook of his. If Mares had stayed down from that first shot, this very well could have been the 2013 Knockout of the Year as well.

Fans will get to see a rematch between the two in February 2014. And whether the young pound for pound heir apparent returns to form, or Gonzalez puts him down once again, it won’t be one you’ll want to miss.

—> Check out all of the 2013 Boxing Awards

2nd Biggest Upset of the Year: Tony Thompson TKO2 David Price (1st fight)

At 15-0 with 13 knockouts, David Price was the glimmering British heavyweight hope when 2013 began. Seen as the superior fighter to domestic rivals such as the rising Tyson Fury, it was only a matter of time until Price captured a heavyweight title, even if he had to go through Wladimir Klitschko to do so.

Despite a lack of accomplishment, ProBoxing-Fans.com even had him rated in the top 10 of the heavyweight division, due to the moribund state of the division, as well as his reputation as the next big thing.

The problem is that two-time title challenger (and two-time Klitschko victim) Tony Thompson didn’t care a lick that he was brought into the ring to be a name on Price’s resume. With his career on the line after a second blowout defeat to Wladimir, and at 41 years old, Thompson was ready to handle his business.

Ultimately, Price’s chin betrayed him, as it would, along with his stamina, in his second KO defeat to Thompson later in the year.

A heavyweight with a bad chin won’t make it very far at the top of the division. We’ll see if Price is ever able to approach the pinnacle of the sport once again, though. It’s not unheard of, after all, for chinny, skillful fighters to become champions. Even great ones. Right, Wlad? If only the late Emanuel Steward was around to do the teaching.

Runners Up:

  • Berto vs. Soto-Karass: Coming off a loss to Robert Guerrero, his second loss in three fights, Andre Berto needed to get back into the mix with a big win. Jesus Soto-Karass was lined up as an all-too-easy to hit opponent who’d help the supremely athletic Berto shine. Except, Berto hurt his shoulder, and couldn’t keep Soto-Karass at bay. He got stopped in the 12th round and has been out of action since.
  • Martinez vs. Romero: Kiko Martinez’s career was defined by being unable to win once he stepped up in class, losing to Rendall Munroe, Takalani Ndlovu and Carl Frampton. The undefeated, rangy Colombian Jhonatan Romero, who had previously picked up a vacant title at 122 lbs, was expected to cruise on by. But Martinez wasn’t having it. He was too determined, too willful to be denied, and scored a 6th Rd TKO win.
  • Stevenson vs. Dawson: Adonis Stevenson scored the Knockout of the Year against light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. Even with Dawson coming off a one-sided defeat against Andre Ward, he was favored to win this fight. But one punch in the first round and it was lights out for Bad Chad.
  • Broner vs. Maidana: Marcos Maidana knocked down the undefeated Adrien Broner twice, and pummeled him around the ring for 12 rounds. Fans everywhere rejoiced.
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Matt Taylor is a boxing enthusiast and fan who has been interested and involved within the sport for over 15 years. He loves watching and analysing fights from all over the world and is a big fan of the Heavyweight division.