Our new "What a Shock!" feature is where we look at major upsets that have some connection to Asia.
As a result these will be full of spoilers, so please be warned that we will be making it very obvious who won and lost these bouts. Thankfully we won't be using any recent (last 6 months) bouts in this section so there is clearly some lee-way for fans catching up on recent contests.
We also won't reveal the names of the fighters in the title of any of these articles, but they certainly won't be hard to find, if you do open them.
With that said, lets get on to our first "What a shock!"
October 10th 2009
Yoyogi #2 Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan
Jorge Linares (27-0, 18) Vs Juan Carlos Salgado (20-0-1, 14)
In 2009 Jorge Linares was seen as the rising star of Venezuela and one of the big faces of the future for Japanese promotional power house Teiken. He had also recently inked a co-promotional deal with Golden Boy Promotions and this was supposed to be one of, if not the, final fight in Japan before he launched a full scale attack on the American market. He was a wonderfully talented fighter, one of the best natural talents in the sport, and a fighter who looked like he was going to be a genuine star and was already a 2-weight world champion. The only problem was his chin, and he had been dropped a few times as he rose through the ranks, including being put down by Chawan So Vorapin in 2003 and by Jean Javier Sotelo in 2005. Despite the question marks over his chin the view was that a win here would open the door to a unification bout.
Relatively little was known about Salgado who was 24 but without a win of real note on his record. He was unbeaten but untested and all of his bouts had taken place in either Mexico or the US, except for a single fight in Costa Rica that ended with a draw. He had stopped just 1 of his previous 4 opponents coming in to this and although perhaps seen as a danger man on the Mexican scene he was just supposed to be another easy win for Linares. Even those who were fans of Salgado viewed him as a prospect, and one with issues in terms of activity, going up against one of the most talented fighters out there.
What no one expected to see was for Salgado to put Linares on his backside after just 46 seconds with pretty much the first meaningful punch he landed. Linares got to his feet but, as we've seen from Linares in recent years, he never recovered and Salgado was all over him as soon as the bout continued. Salgado's follow up forced the referee to step in and completely silence the venue.
Fan had come to see Linares show what he could do, and instead their hero had been taken out in just 73 seconds!
This is short, but also a real, real shock!
Sure, what we know now about Linares makes this win look less impressive than it was at the time, but back in 2009 this was a massive surprise and one of the biggest upsets of the year.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).