5 fighters primed to be upset in 2020

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November 21st, 2019

Perhaps more than any other sport, there is nothing more exciting than a boxing underdog overcoming the odds and sending shockwaves through the sport. In this day and age, where fighters are carefully guided to titles and protected by promotional red tape, upsets seem few and far between, with many bouts seemingly foregone conclusions. However, these five elite fighters might be flirting with danger, and in 2020 their luck may run out.

Jermall Charlo

For the same reasons twin brother Jermell Charlo caught a loss in 2019, Jermall’s generic technique and uninspired offense is going to catch up with him, now that he is in a weight class where his size cannot mask his deficiencies. Jermall is hoping a blowout win over the undersized and out-of-his-league Dennis Hogan masks his near-miss against Matt Koborov earlier this year, but unless he shows something outside of a vanilla offense, he is bound to pick up his first loss.

Tyson Fury

No matter how hard ESPN and its pundits try to claw it into our minds that Tyson Fury is the holder of the invisible “lineal” title, Fury has taken his liberties thanks to his new Top Rank contract and has been feasting on pathetic opposition. He is committing the cardinal sin of fighting to the level of his opposition, which is concerning for a fighter with his skill set. Fury also seems serious about pursuing a career with either the UFC or WWE, which suggests his desire to compete is waning.

Billy Joe Saunders

The mouthy, annoying and overachieving two-division champion has the ultimate bargaining chip in a WBO super middleweight title and a DAZN connection, which can net him mega fights with the likes of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Gennadiy Golovkin or Callum Smith. The problem is that Saunders’ recent performances suggest he may catch a loss before he cashes a check. Abysmal performances and inactivity have been the norm for Saunders, and all it may take is an opponent who wants it more than he does.

Jamie Munguia

We are not too far removed from when the Nevada State Athletic Commission refused to grant Munguia a license to fight Gennadiy Golovkin because of concerns about his safety. That isn’t the kind of press a young, undefeated champion should have, but his recent performances show he is way too green to compete beyond the level he is at right now. Munguia is looking to move up to middleweight in 2020, and unless he’s matched with the worst of the worst, his days as an undefeated fighter are numbered.

Manny Pacquiao

Boxing’s living legend is coming off of the best performance of his career, when he dethroned Keith Thurman in July, but one can only wonder how much time is left for the 41-year-old senator.

Pacquiao’s next move is allegedly to take a tune-up fight with either Mikey Garcia or Danny Garcia, ahead of what should be the biggest fight of 2020 against Errol Spence Jr. As good as Pacquiao looked, time waits for no man, and both Garcias have tools that can trouble the aging legend, which could cost him the Spence showdown.

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