Joshua, Tyson, Ali: What are boxing's biggest shocks?

Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua

A shock happening always adds to the excitement that can be experienced when watching sport.

Indeed, it might not always be as enjoyable for the individual or the team that are on the wrong end of the surprise, but it can not be denied that this particular element can be great to keep things as interesting as possible.

Naturally, there is almost always a favourite to win a contest, whilst the opponent could be considered a huge outsider, and the sport of boxing is certainly no different!

Just as recently as the weekend, a shock was witnessed when Vasyl Lomachenko was beaten by Teofimo Lopez via the method of a unanimous decision following the judges' scorecards.

Admittedly, whilst it was a shock as not many would have backed him to win, it may not have been considered that big as the American had been performing incredibly well and was a more-than-worthy competitor for the Ukrainian.

Nonetheless, it still happened and it got GIVEMESPORT thinking, what are some of the other biggest shocks to have rocked the boxing world?

Here are our eight top shocks...

Andy Ruiz Jr defeating Anthony Joshua

Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua

Let's face it, almost no-one in the world would have been able to foresee what had happened when the two initially clashed in their fight in the summer of 2019.

Andy Ruiz was called up as a replacement for Jarrell 'Big Baby' Miller as he had failed a drugs test, but he looked out of shape and appeared to fancy far too many Snickers bars.

Nonetheless, the challenger would go on to floor Anthony Joshua four times in the contest before recording a seventh-round stoppage that ultimately shocked everyone around the world.

Of course, the British heavyweight would go on to reclaim his belts just a mere few months later in their rematch in Saudi Arabia, but it is one fight that will not be forgotten in a hurry.

James 'Buster' Douglas defeating 'Iron' Mike Tyson

When this fight was scheduled in 1990, many would have thought it was nothing more than an exhibition match to try and promote the sport in Tokyo and Japan. What many would not have thought, though, is that Mike Tyson would be going home with a loss.

'The Baddest Man on the Planet' came into the contest as a heavy favourite and was expected to make light work of James 'Buster' Douglas. Things were not going well prior to the contest for 'Buster' as he had to deal with his mother's death just weeks before the fight.

However, he dominated Tyson from the first bell, which was probably coupled with the accusations that Iron Mike's preparations were of a poor standard. Douglas may have been floored in the eighth, however he got back up and put his opponent on the mat in the tenth.

'The Baddest Man on the Planet' would get his revenge, but not after the damage had already been done.

Hasim Rahman beat Lennox Lewis

In the 90s, Lennox Lewis was on the top of the world and was arguably one of the best boxers of his generation, as was Tyson. However, that did not stop him from suffering the same shocking experience that his rival felt.

Whilst waiting to try and get a match between the two heavyweight behemoths scheduled, Lewis decided to take a fight up against Hasim Rahman and it was one that would make history.

However, not in the way he would have liked. Taking place in South Africa, the Brit left his preparation far too late as he was too busy filming in Hollywood. Altitude certainly played a part, as he was seen breathing heavily in the opening rounds, and a punch on the chin was enough to put him on the canvas. Despite managing to get back to his feet, the referee waved off the contest in favour of Rahman.

The duo would go face-to-face once again a few months later, but Lewis would end things inside four rounds. Some would have said that was a great way to exact revenge after a six-year winning streak.

Mike Tyson loses to Evander Holyfield

Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield

There is no doubt that Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield had one of the fiercest rivalries in the 90s, however it was considered a shock when the latter defeated the former in their 1996 contest.

Holyfield had recently been misdiagnosed with a heart condition and there would have been fears that a contest with 'The Baddest Man on the Planet' could have been too much.

However, he appeared to have Tyson's number in the ring and upset those that bet against him as he knocked 'Iron Mike' down in the 11th round.

Of course, the rematch a year later become infamously known as 'the Bite Fight' after Tyson was disqualified after biting Holyfield on the ear twice.

Muhammed Ali defeating George Foreman

'The Rumble in the Jungle' is one of the most famous fights to have taken place, and it has since seen a number of films use the events to produce blockbuster hits.

The contest took place in Zaire back in 1974 and Muhammed Ali was considered a huge outsider to defeat George Foreman. However, that is exactly what he did. He managed to take hit after hit and once his opponent ran out of steam, he unleashed his own attack and put Foreman on the mat with a knockout punch of his own in the eighth round.

The fight, arguably, made Ali's name a global one and catapulted his career into what it had become.

Leon Spinks beat Muhammad Ali

Now, Ali might have caused his own positive shock result, he was on the end of his own surprising defeat. Admittedly, he was reaching the end of his career at this point, however no one would have fancied Leon Spinks to defeat Ali in 1978.

Spinks managed to last the 15-round distance with the power-hitter and managed to win the bout via a split decision, in which he became the most inexperienced boxer to become a heavyweight champion.

Ali would get revenge in his rematch with Spinks by beating him on points, although that contest would ultimately be his last.

Wladimir Klitschko loses to Corrie Sanders

Corrie Sanders

Wladimir Klitschko was a hugely successful boxer during his career, however he would arguably suffer one of the most surprising defeats ever.

In 2003, he came up against Corrie Sanders in a contest that many would have heavily backed the 40-1-0 Ukrainian. However, the South African rained on his parade as he defeated the favourite in two rounds.

Sanders had only boxed twice in three years prior to their contest but the 37-year-old would go on to knock Klitschko down three times in the first round. The referee had clearly seen enough, as he waved the fight off after another knockdown in the second to give the South African a remarkable victory.

Michael Moorer loses to George Foreman

In 1994, a fight between Michael Moorer and George Foreman had been billed as a 'joke' by Sports Illustrated, however it happened to be nothing like a joke for the former of the duo.

Moorer was defending his title and was heavily favoured to win the contest as he was undefeated in 35 bouts and had age on his side - he was 26, whereas Foreman was 45.

However, you clearly never lose it as one big punch from Foreman was enough to put Moorer on his back in Round 10 long enough to be counted out. It was supposed to be a tune-up for the champion ahead of a match with Mike Tyson, however this match did not happen and Foreman would take the belt he had last held two decades prior to that bout.

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