The category really was packed, and not at all in a bad way, and there was a number of very good candidates that saw Asians winning in upsets and losing in upsets as the year went on.
Oswaldo Novoa (Vs Xiong Zhao Zhong)- Back on February 5th we saw the then WBC Minimumweight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong attempt to defend his title against the unknown Oswaldo Novoa. To many fans the bout was a farcical mismatch with Zhong, a good but not great champion, being accused of hand picking a Mexican patsy to defend his title against. What transpired in the ring however was a beat down by Novoa who battered Zhong from pillar to post until the fight was finally stopped in round 5. Sadly for Novoa his reign was to be a short one and he lost in his second defence, suffering a TKO defeat to Wanheng Menayothin.
Allie Laurel (Vs Tiger Tor Buamas)- On January 3rd, in fact in one of the years very first bouts, we saw the relatively unknown Allie Laurel stop Thailand's very own Tiger Tor Buamas, a then world ranked and unbeaten Thai. The win saw Laurel claim the WBO Oriental Bantamweight title, a belt he has defended once, though unfortunately it's a bit of a forgotten win with Laurel being somewhat inactive since the bout. Incidentally Tiger has scored 2 wins since the bout though both of them came against very limited foes.
Joebert Delos Reyes (Vs Valentine Borg)- March 28th featured one of the most eye catching upsets as the heavy handed but limited Jeobert Delos Reyes sent shock waves through the Australian boxing scene. Delos Reyes is a big of an upset king and had beaten a number of unbeaten fighters such as Andrew Wallace and Charlie Sugiura but yet his best came when he iced the much touted Valentine Borg and claimed the IBO Youth Lightweight title with a monster right uppercut that really was something special.
Arnel Tinampay (Vs Koshinmaru Saito)- The final upset of the year shouldn't have been an upset in many ways but in other ways it was a shock. This happened on December 17th when late replacement Arnel Tinampay blasted through the Japanese ranked Koshinmaru Saito in just 2 rounds. On paper it was a huge surprise given that Tinampay's record was poor, his KO rate wasn't high and he'd been inactive for more than a year. That however was forgetting that he had upset upset both Yosuke Kirima and Shoma Fukumoto in his 2 previous bouts with Japanese fighters. Tinampay deserves a notable mention here, especially given the manner of his win which was sensational.
Faris Nenggo (Vs Merlito Sabillo)- Another that came late in the year saw Indonesian journeyman Faris Nenggo score a TKO win over former WBO Minimumweigth champion Merlito Sabillo. Sabillo had began the year as a world champion though ended the year with his career in tatters after a pair of losses. The first loss was understandable, a stoppage loss to the excellent Francisco Rodriguez Jr, this however was unfortunate as he suffered a major cut that ended his fight and may well have ended any dreams of reclaiming a world title.
Whilst there was a lot of contenders for the upset of the year, in regards to Asian boxing, there was a stand out winner. Rey Loreto. Loreto caused a major stir in the boxing world on February 1st when he scored a 3rd round KO against the very highly regarded Nkosinathi Joyi in Monaco. The bout was expected to be an easy win for Joyi, a former IBF Minimumweight champion, though turned out to be a nightmare with Loreto, priced around 12/1, scoring a win that left the boxing world talking about the Filipino. Sadly Loreto has had a frustrating time since with a rematch against Joyi being delayed until February 28th 2015. A win in that rematch would likely shoot Loreto into a major title bout by the end of the year.