Home News Showtime celebrates 30 years of boxing upsets this month: Holyfield-Tyson, Maidana-Broner &...

Showtime celebrates 30 years of boxing upsets this month: Holyfield-Tyson, Maidana-Broner & more

Credit: Tom Casino / Showtime

In continuation of the 30th anniversary year of Showtime Championship Boxing, the network will feature four of its most memorable “Upsets”. For the past three decades Showtime has been home to countless upsets—some of the most shocking each year. Whether it be SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING or, for the last 15 years, ShoBox: The New Generation, fighters often face their biggest challenges, their most fierce opponents.

It started in 1986 when Iran Barkley knocked out heavily favored Thomas Hearns and continued through this past weekend when Carl Frampton edged the favored featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz by decision in thrilling Fight of the Year candidate. To date, some 151 fighters have suffered their initial loss on ShoBox since the series premiere in July 2001.

Below is the schedule of SHOWTIME EXTREME premieres for the month of August:

· Thursday, Aug. 4: Josesito Lopez vs. Victor Ortiz

· Thursday, Aug. 11: Marcos Maidana vs. Adrien Broner – Ring Magazine 2013 Upset of the Year

· Thursday, Aug. 18: Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson I – Ring Magazine 1996 Fight of the Year and Upset of The Year; Holyfield was named The Fighter of the Year by The Ring and Boxing Writers Association of America

· Thursday, Aug. 25: Austin Trout vs. Miguel Cotto

These unforgettable battles will air on “Throwback Thursdays” on SHOWTIME EXTREME (10 p.m. ET/PT) throughout the month of August and will be available on SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, SHOWTIME ANYTIME® and via the network’s online streaming service. Each fight will be wrapped with context and commentary from SHOWTIME Sports host Brian Custer.

“Throwback Thursday” Tidbits

Lopez vs. Ortiz – June 23, 2012 – Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif.

Former welterweight world champion Ortiz was set to fight Canelo Alvarez in September. All he needed to do was to win his upcoming match. After two fights with Andre Berto earlier in the year fell through, Ortiz took on the relatively unknown and inexperienced Lopez. Stepping up in weight and competing for the first time as a welter, Lopez became the “Riverside Rocky” as he shocked the boxing world by breaking Ortiz’s jaw and winning by TKO.

Lopez rallied to triumph despite swelling to his left eye from the end of the sixth round on. After nine rounds, he was trailing on all three scorecards (88-83, 87-84 and 86-85). But in the ninth of what had been a back-and-forth, seesaw, tough battle, Lopez connected late with a punch to Ortiz’s jaw that broke it on impact. Moments later, the skirmish was stopped when Ortiz said he could not continue because of a broken jaw. Lopez landed a fight against Canelo. The unbelievable upset remains the biggest victory of Lopez’s career.

Maidana vs. Broner – Dec. 14, 2013, Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas

The unbeaten Broner, a 5-1 favorite to retain his WBA Welterweight World Title on his first defense, was instead dealt his first defeat.

A poised yet aggressive Maidana, the target of heavy trash talk all week, overpowered and dominated the brash Broner from the outset while putting him down for the first time in his career. In a surprisingly one-sided performance, Maidana scored knockdowns in the second and eighth and won a 12-round unanimous decision by the scores of 119-109, 116-109 and 115-111. While tying Maidana up after going down in the eighth, Broner absorbed what appeared to be an intentional headbutt. Broner’s reaction: He over-dramatized the effect of it, falling to the canvas in a heap and rolling over in agony. Maidana more than doubled Broner’s punch output, out-throwing him, 964-400.

After the decision was announced, Broner exited the ring hastily without being interviewed by SHOWTIME or congratulating Maidana. Fans booed at Broner as he made his way back to the dressing room. The victory propelled Maidana into two consecutive fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Holyfield vs. Tyson I – Nov. 9, 1996, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nev.

In one of the most legendary and monumental bombshells in history, Holyfield, who opened as a 25-1 underdog, bullied the bully and stopped Tyson on a TKO at 0:37 of the 11th round to capture the WBA Heavyweight World Title.

Holyfield, a built-up cruiserweight not known for power, utilized his reach advantage and superior strength to engage Tyson and fight him on his terms. The action was intense and non-stop; Holyfield applied constant pressure and kept in close to nullify Tyson’s power (left hook). Tyson landed hard shots, but only one at a time, and Holyfield took them all. As the bout wore on, Tyson wore down. With 20 seconds remaining in the 10th, Holyfield chilled Tyson with a right hand to the chin. A barrage of powerful combinations to the head and body sent Tyson staggering backward into the ropes. Tyson, out on his feet and defenseless, was saved by the bell. Thirty-seven seconds into the 11th, Holyfield landed a big right that left Tyson staggering again. Moments later, the referee stopped the fight. Holyfield was ahead by 100-93 and 96-92 twice.

A fight that was aired on SHOWTIME PPV® was supposed to be a mere formality for Tyson: he’d won eight straight since bowing to Buster Douglas in Japan and Holyfield was thought to be “washed-up” after three lackluster performances in a row. It was the third time Holyfield attained a heavyweight title; he was the first one to do so since Muhammad Ali. The Holyfield-Tyson rematch took place seven months later (June 28, 1997).

Trout vs. Cotto – Dec. 1, 2012, Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.

Cotto, a Puerto Rican hero and three-division world champion, was deemed unbeatable in New York where he was 9-0—7-0 at Madison Square Garden. He had a fight slated with Canelo Alvarez next. Seven months after dropping a competitive decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr., all Cotto had to do was hook Trout, throw him back to sea and then, gear up for the deepest waters. It was that simple, but it didn’t go as planned. Trout won a controversial 12-round unanimous decision. He boxed beautifully to successfully defend his WBA Super Welterweight Title for the fifth time (119-109 and 117-111 twice).

With the majority of his passionate fans cheering and waving Puerto Rican flags, Cotto came on strongly in the middle rounds, trapping Trout on the ropes and keeping him there. He had his greatest success in the closing seconds of the 10th when he backed Trout into a corner and dazed him with a flurry of punches. The big crowd erupted. But southpaw Trout silenced them by cranking up the pressure and roughing up Cotto the last two rounds. Cotto was bidding for a fifth world title. Trout got the shot at Canelo.