Ngannou next for heavyweight boxing’s biggest upsets?

Is Ngannou contributing to upsets in heavyweight boxing?

Francis Ngannou is a major underdog in his fight against heavyweight Anthony Joshua on March 8, but don’t tell that to Ngannou, who is looking to cement one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.

almost led to him winning one of the most unexpected victories

The 37-year-old veteran MMA fighter shocked the world when he stepped into the ring for a debut fight against heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury in October 2023. His brazen negligence towards his opponent led many to believe he would lose quickly, but it almost led to him achieving one of the most unexpected victories in the history of the sport.

When the burly Cameroonian returns to fight Joshua, he may be 12 rounds away from entering boxing for good – and with just two fights under his belt.

Ngannou vs Joshua

According to FanDuel, Ngannou is a +370 underdog against Joshua, a -500 favorite. The implied probabilities of these odds suggest that Ngannou has a 21.3% chance of winning, while Joshua has an 83.3% chance.

While these odds are still unfavorable, they give Ngannou a much better chance for his second fight than the majority of boxing fans and experts would have expected. After all, some sportsbooks had him rated as a +850 underdog for the Fury fight (10.5% implied odds), while many live betting odds suggested he was the favorite to win heading into the final round.

Although Fury is considered a better fighter than Joshua, the latter could represent a more difficult matchup for the 37-year-old newcomer. He is stronger and more willing to perform powerful throws and throw his own, while Fury quickly realized that he could not stand in the middle of the ring and survive.

Joshua also features footage of Ngannou, while Fury has had very little to offer outside of his successful MMA career.

A Ngannou win wouldn’t be the first time a former heavyweight champion fell victim to one of the many upsets, but it would be one of the underdog’s most memorable victories. Here are some of the sport’s best so far.

I remember the biggest surprises in heavyweight boxing

Buster Douglas defeats “Iron” Mike Tyson via TKO

Tyson was the most feared man in the world in 1990. He had a record of 37-0 with 33 KOs and fought for the WBA, WBC, IBF and The ring heavyweight title when he faced Douglas, a 6-foot-2 fighter with a record of 29-4-1 (19 KOs).

He lands quick jabs to keep Tyson away from the inside and throws punishing power shots

Experts believed Tyson would defeat the seventh-ranked heavyweight contender, who was given betting odds of 42-1 (+4200 – 2.3% implied odds). But Douglas showed from the opening moments that he envisioned the fight differently, landing quick jabs to keep Tyson away from the inside and firing punishing power shots when he got the window.

Just about a month after his mother’s death and in the tenth round, Douglas knocked Tyson down with a vicious uppercut that sent him stumbling backwards. He pounced on the wounded champion and landed four shots to the head, putting him on the canvas for the first time in his career. Tyson tried to get back to his feet but couldn’t, and the biggest upset of all in heavyweight boxing was assured.

Boxing’s “Cinderella Man” delivers

James J. Braddock, a poor man from New Jersey who survived the Great Depression to become the heavyweight champion of the world, was a +1000 (9.1% chance) underdog against champion Max Baer when the pair met in June 1935 Fight aimed for date.

Braddock had a rugged style and was past his peak as a fighter with 27 losses in his career. Baer was now bigger, stronger, smoother, more powerful and more dominant.

Braddock received a unanimous decision and was given control of all three heavyweight titles

While many expected Baer, ​​already a ring, NBA and NYSAC heavyweight champion, to steamroll past Braddock, the two completed all 15 scheduled rounds and their fate was decided at the judges’ table. Braddock received a unanimous decision and was given control of all three heavyweight titles, which he retained for two years until losing to Joe Louis.

Muhammad Ali beats Sonny Liston…twice

Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, was just 22 years old and already an Olympic champion when he laid eyes on Liston, the most feared man of the time. Johnny Tocco, a trainer who also helped George Foreman and Mike Tyson, said Liston was the hardest hitter of the three and was arguably even scarier than Tyson in his prime.

The young challenger had little chance as a +800 underdog after being beaten down early in his career and narrowly edging out some decisions on the judges’ scorecards against lower-ranked opponents. But that didn’t stop him from doing his usual verbal exercises and making pre-fight headlines.

Liston was furious and tried to take out the smaller, younger Clay, but quickly discovered he didn’t have the speed to keep up with his young opponent. Midway through the fight, controversy arose when Clay claimed that Liston smeared his gloves with a substance that caused his eyes to burn and he lost his vision.

Undeterred, Clay continued his attack until Liston threw in the towel after a corner, citing a shoulder injury he sustained during training. This led to a rematch between the two as Liston did not believe Clay was the better fighter.

However, this fight also ended in controversy. Clay, now Ali, landed a right-handed shot in the first round that sent Liston clattering to the floor, although the shot came so quickly and subtly that many in the audience didn’t even notice it.

The referee ignored the count as he tried to guide Ali back to his corner, leaving that task to the timekeeper. There was no microphone or easy way for the pair to communicate, but ultimately it was decided that Liston did not meet the ten-second stand-up window and Ali was declared the winner.


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