For a gambler; this is why you win. For a writer: this is why you obsess. For a fan: this is why you cheer.
Upsets are why we all watch.
Here are boxing's top five upsets of 2012:
Lopez Shatters Ortiz's Big Pay Day (And Also His Jaw.) 6.23.12
This was suppose to be an easy fight for Victor Ortiz. It was agreed that after he beat Josesito Lopez he would have received a bout (and huge pay day) with Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez. The man known for the head-butt heard 'round the world was favored by most ring-side observers to win the fight easily. Lopez however was the man who ended up with the shot against Alvarez after a nine round toe-to-toe war that ended with Ortiz's corner throwing in the towel. The reason was baffling at first until it was revealed that Lopez broke Ortiz's jaw, subsequently ending the fight.
Ortiz shouldn't feel that bad though; Lopez went on to fight Alvarez and was pummeled by flame haired slugger.
Undefeated Heavyweight Mitchell's Hype Train Gets Derailed By Man On A Mission 11.17.12
Seth Mitchell was Golden Boy Promotions' answer to one of the sports everlasting questions: where have the American heavyweights gone?
After an impressive showing against the tough Chazz Witherspoon, the former NCAA football standout was set to take on fellow American heavyweight Johnathon Banks, who was thought to be another stepping stone in Mitchell's career. Banks played the role of spoiler after his legendary trainer, Emanuel Steward passed away before the bout.
Mitchell attempted to steamroll the smaller man as he did with previous opponents but Banks was having none of it. With 2:37 left in the second round it was clear that Mitchell walked into a ring riddled with land mines as Banks ended the night early with a shocking knockout. RIP Emanuel Steward.
Cotto's Madison Square Garden Lease Finally Expires 12.1.12
You've probably never heard of WBA Light Middleweight Champ Austin Trout. By the end of this, you'll know exactly who he is.
Puerto Rican superstar and future Hall-Of-Famer Miguel Cotto has enjoyed a great run at New York's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden. For the past seven years Cotto has beaten the likes of Antonino Margarito, Zab Judah and Shane Mosely. However this past December Cotto was served the bitter taste of defeat after suffering his first loss at MSG by the hands of Trout.
The unknown Texan used superior footwork and a gorgeous straight left to hold Cotto off most of the fight. He even managed to hurt him. Cotto kept coming but was shut down and ultimately dominated during the final stretch of the fight by the bigger, stronger -- and most importantly -- better boxer, Trout. Look for this man in the future. He is coming.
Bradley kind of..sort of…well. Let's keep it real. He DID NOT beat Pacquiao 6.9.12
You can call this fight many things. A fix; sham; mistake; accident; or what I refer to it: 2012's most pathetic display of boxing judging.
Timothy Bradley was apparently going to be a tough opponent for the human-highlight reel known as Manny Pacquiao in their summer WBO Welterweight clash. What we saw was the "Pacman" pick the overmatched Bradley apart for the better half of 12 rounds. What we heard was the insane judges scorecard read after the fight. 115-113 for Pacquiao and two scores of 113-115 for Bradley. HUH??
Talk about a black eye for boxing. What made this even more unbelievable was four days after the WBO "Championship Committee" hired five high ranking judges to rematch the bout and give their own scorecards. Two scores of 117-111, 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113 were submitted after a close review. And guess what!? All five scorecards had it a unanimous decision for Pacquiao! Thus everyone's favorite phrase of the moment began: "Boxing is dead."
Boxing isn't dead, dimwits. It was simply on hibernation for this particular fight. Hey, it happens.
"King" Khan Dethroned By The New Kid On The Block 7.14.12
One of the year's most surprising stories took form in the shape of a bombastic left hook thrown to perfection. The owner: undefeated jr. welterweight knockout artist Danny Garcia. The victim: former jr. welterweight elitist Amir Khan.
Khan was well on his way to bigger and better things before he crossed paths with Garcia. He continually invited the idea of a fight between he and P4P kingpin Floyd Mayweather during an impressive rise to jr. welterweight prominence. His suggestion of future opponents was abruptly put on hold though when Garcia landed a brutal left hand that dropped Khan during the third round. Khan dominated the first two rounds of the night but after eating that left hand he went into survival mode. Garcia found Khan again in the very next round, dropping him two more times. The referee waved off the fight and Garcia was crowned the new king of the 140-pound division.
This was good as it gets in 2012.
Photo Credit: AP