Today we continue with a run of upsets by Filipino fighters, though we leave Manny Pacquiao alone and look at another Filipino in an upset. This win was less high profile than some of the others we'll feature here, but did come in a world title eliminator and is a relatively recent one, coming back in 2014. It also came on a US TV broadcast with the opinion leading into the bout being that the previously unbeaten prospect was heading towards a world title fight.
July 2nd 2014
Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut, USA
Michael Farenas (38-4-4-1, 30) Vs Mark Davis (18-0, 5)
When we look back over some upsets we can be a little surprised to even find out they were upsets, but in the summer of 2014 that's exactly what we saw when experienced Filipino Michael Farenas took on unbeaten American Mark Davis.
Heading into the bout the 30 year old Filipino, known as "Hammer Fist", had been seen as old, shot and beyond his best. He was well respected by those who knew the sport and had fought all over the place, though had done so with mixed success. During his first 47 bouts the most notable results on his record was a technical draw in a world title bout against Takashi Uchiyama and a loss to Yuriorkis Gamboa.
In terms of his biggest wins they had Farenas had beaten veteran Hector Velazquez and taken a split decision over Fernando Beltran. He was however viewed as just a tough, slow, clumsy fighter who could be out boxed and out sped.
The then 27 year old Mark "Too Sharp" Davis was being eyed up as a future star. He had had over 200 amateur bouts and was a genuinely celebrated US amateur. It was assumed his amateur skills would take him to the top of the sport. He had the athletic ability, the boxing brain and the skills to do great things in the ring, and if matched well he was going to be a major player at 130 for the coming years.
Coming in to the bout Davis was ranked higher than Farenas with the IBF. It was unclear what Davis had done to earn such a high ranking but it was clear that someone saw something big in him and he was now stepping up big time thanks to promoted 50 Cent.
Although he was stepping up Davis was the betting favourite, priced at around 1/2 to win, and this was supposed to be his break out win.
Despite being the favourite Davis was under pressure from the off with Farenas pressing the action from the very start. After about a minute Davis was cut around the eye, from a punch, and from there on Farenas had a target for his southpaw left hands.
Davis, knowing he had to turn things around quickly, tried to use his speed and skills, using the ring to create distance. Sadly for Davis however he had nothing to get Farenas's respect. Instead the unfancied Filipino just kept the pressure coming, pressing forward round after round and landing numerous huge left hands.
By round 5 Davis' speed was going, his confidence was crumbling, his skills weren't enough and he simply couldn't do anything to stop Farenas, wh dominated the round. In fact if anything what Davis was doing was making it easy for Farenas, standing in front of the stronger Filipino, who made the most of Davis's poor tactical decisions. Davis not only tried to fight with Farenas, but also stood still too much and was being broken and battered.
Farenas, although never a good technical fighter, was simply too strong, too big, too experienced, too heavy handed and ferocious for Davis, who was spoken to by the doctor after round 6. The bout probably could have been stopped there and then but Davis was allowed to come out for round 7, being given the opportunity to have one more round.
Impressive from Davis he actually had a very decent 7th round. It wasn't a round that saw him shake Farenas or anything, but was a round that saw him doing better than he had in the previous few. He did enough to be allowed out for round 8.
Despite making his way through round 7 with no major issues that luck and fortune ran out in round 8, when Farenas rocked him to his core with about 50 seconds of the round gone. A follow sent Davis stumbling and Steve Smoger finally came in and stopped Davis.
Sadly for Davis his career never recovered and this was the end for him. His once promising career was over.
For Farenas there wasn't a world title fight fight to follow this. Instead he was put in another eliminator which he lost against Jose Pedraza. That set back didn't end Farenas' career but did end his hopes of competing at the top of the sport again, and he would only fight 3 more times afterwards, picking up 3 low key wins.
On reflection this wasn't a huge upset, but certainly was an upset in regards to the pre-fight odds. Farenas was seen as a live under-dog, but exceeded tat expectation and ended up pummelling the pre-fight favourite in what would be his final notable win.
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).