The role of spoiler was played none better this year than by Jhonny Gonzalez. The hard punching featherweight came in 2013 as just another name after his loss to Daniel Ponce in 2012. When a fight with Abner Mares materialized for Mares’ 126 lb title, he was seen just as a guy with a puncher’s chance that might not even be there at all.
Golden Boy Promotions had eyed its version of a big fight of sorts with their two best little guys in Abner Mares and Leo Santa possibly in 2014, two all-action Mexican fighters on a collision course. Well that was until Jhonny Gonzalez happened.
In round 1 of their August fight at the Stub Hub Center (Where else right?), Gonzalez hit Mares with a text book left hook that sent Mares to the canvas. Mares did his best to get up and did but his legs were all but gone. Gonzalez followed it up with another left and straight to the head that put Mares down again causing the end of the fight and Mares’ 1st loss.
Gonzalez left a new champion much to the dismay of the fans who were flinging beers and for the time being earned himself another big fight in a rematch. Mares, like the champion he is has decided not to take a soft touch bag and is going back into the fire to get his title back. Santa Cruz on the other hand will have to wait for Mares to avenge his loss or take on another challenge from his UK counterparts Scott Quigg or Carl Frampton since a fight with the 122 lb King Guillermo Rigondeaux is a casualty of the Cold War.
Other Notable upsets:
Maidana over Broner: Broner took his first loss in a fight of the year candidate which saw him hit the canvas twice from a relentless attack of the hard hitting Argentine. Maidana sets himself up for a title defense and bigger payday in 2014, maybe against Floyd Mayweather.
Vetyeka over John: John has never lost in his career and certainly stayed in Asia fighting no hopers for a while and finally it caught up to him. Vetyeka is now the king of Indonesia as he stopped Indonesia’s two best featherweights in John and Yordan. Vetyeka will make his first title defense against Akifumi Shimoda on a Zou Shiming undercard in February.
Stevenson over Dawson: Not many see it coming and when it did, Stevenson’s celebration was certainly noteworthy.