“I’ve been an underdog for my entire career. I’ve been vaccinated; I’m immune to this.”
– Rod Salka
“People will still talk trash about me after I knock Peterson out. But that’s not my problem.”
– Edgar Santana
“I didn’t travel all the way here and spend months in the gym just to get a paycheck. I’m not just an opponent. I came here to take that title back to my fans in Australia.”
– Jarrod Fletcher
BROOKLYN (July 31, 2014) – Rod Salka, Edgar Santana and Jarrod Fletcher are all, understandably, being referred to as underdogs heading into their respective fights Saturday, Aug. 9 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. But the overlooked fighters are all relishing in their opportunity to pull off the upset and shock the world, live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®.
In the main event on SHOWTIME, Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia will face the hungry “Lightning” Rod Salka in a 10-round welterweight bout. In the co-feature, IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion Lamont Peterson will risk his title against veteran contender Edgar Santana in a 12-round match. In the opening fight of the telecast, Brooklyn’s own Daniel Jacobs will take on once-beaten Australian Jarrod Fletcher for the vacant WBA Middleweight World Title.
Will these dogs have any bite? Check out SHOWTIME boxing expert Steve Farhood’s list of top 10 underdogs who pulled off extraordinary upsets and read what each aforementioned fighter has to say as they head into the biggest fights of their careers:
- Buster Douglas KO 10 Mike Tyson, February 11, 1990, Tokyo (Wins WBA, WBC, IBF Heavyweight Titles) – Tyson is 37-0, Douglas is a 42-1 underdog in at least one Las Vegas sports book; not even Nostradamus saw this coming.
- Evander Holyfield KO 11 Mike Tyson, November 9, 1996, Las Vegas (Wins WBA Heavyweight Title) – Tyson opens as 24-1 favorite; not first or last time “Real Deal” is overlooked.
- Randy Turpin W 15 Sugar Ray Robinson, July 10, 1951, London (Wins world middleweight title) – Robinson went in with a ridiculous record of 128-1-2, and hasn’t lost since 1943.
- Frankie Randall W 12 Julio Cesar Chavez, January 29, 1994, Las Vegas (Wins WBC Super Lightweight Title) – “J.C. Superstar,” 89-0-1, suffers first knockdown and first loss in same bout.
- Hasim Rahman KO 5 Lennox Lewis, April 22, 2001, Gauteng, South Africa (Wins WBC & IBF Heavyweight Titles) – Rahman does it with one legendary punch vs. ill-prepared Lewis.
- Billy Backus KO 4 Jose Napoles, December 3, 1970, Syracuse, NY (Wins world welterweight title) – New York Times lists local challenger, who has 10 losses, as 9-1 underdog; aging Napoles stopped on cuts.
- Leon Spinks W 15 Muhammad Ali, February 15, 1978, Las Vegas (Wins world heavyweight title) – Almost beyond belief: In only ninth pro bout, Olympic gold medalist Spinks shocks “The Greatest.”
- Corrie Sanders KO 2 Wladimir Klitschko, March 8, 2003, Niedersachsen, Germany (Wins WBO Heavyweight Title) – Southpaw from South Africa crushes Wlad with huge left hands.
- (tie) Cassius Clay KO 7 Sonny Liston, February 25, 1964, Miami (Wins world heavyweight title)
Muhammad Ali KO 8 George Foreman, October 30, 1974, Kinshasa, Zaire (Regains world heavyweight title) – Ali is at least 7-1 underdog in both bouts; his handlers, in fear of his fate vs. Big George, had reportedly mapped out route from stadium to hospital.
- Kirkland Laing W 10 Roberto Duran, September 4, 1982, Detroit (junior middleweight bout) – A 7-1 underdog, the UK’s Laing surprises Duran, 74-3 at the time.