Tom Shaw (8-1) was seen by many as a true prospect with a real future ahead of him. Aged just 22 he had lost only a single round in his first 8 fights and had looked excellent in the process.
Dubbed "The Shaw Thing", Tom Shaw was expected to easily out box Jamaican born-London based journeyman Mark McKray (4-17-1, 3). Despite only scoring 1 of his last 19 fights McKray came out for the win and it didn't take long for him to tag McKray on the chin who went down in eye catching fashion. Sadly for McKray he got to his feet before recovering his sense and just moment later was dropped again, this time getting to his feet whilst looking lost and forcing the referee to step in and stop the bout.
Hopefully this is a lesson to Frank Warren to stop feeding us what appear to be mismatches on his often awful domestic shows on Boxnation. Shaw was hyped as someone with potential when really he was little more than a well matched 8-0 fighter who's opponents up to this point had been 58-419-20, not the sort of opponents that would have helped developed Shaw's potential.
At the start of 2012 German based Armenian born Susi Kentikian (29-2-0-1, 16) was 29-0-0-1 (16) with her unbeaten record stretching back to 2005. She had been universally regarded as one of, if not the best, female Flyweight in the world and had unified the WBA, WIBF and WBO womens titles.
Surprisingly in May 2012 Kentikian suffered her first professional loss, losing a majority decision American Melissa McMorrow (7-3-3) and losing her WIBF and WBO titles in the process.
It was thought that the loss to McMorrow was just a bad day at the office for Kentikian though she was then shockingly upset, for the second fight running as Carina Moreno (23-5, 6) would score a split decision win over Kentikian who then lost her WBA belt.
Whilst no one had expected Kentikian to lose either fight, what made the loss to Moreno possibly even more shocking was that the former Minimum and Light champion was thought of as being shot. Moreno had lost 4 of her previous 5 with her only win coming against the journey(wo)man Sharon Gaines.
It's likely Kentikian will return to the ring, though I doubt she'll ever be seen as the force she was once. Shocking really as she's only in her mid 20's now.
In Thailand boxing is seen as a job however they do have a number of rising fighters that may well seek to make a real name for themselves. One such fighter was the previously unbeaten Petchbodin Por Nobnom (9-1, 6).
Petchbodin had started his boxing career back in 2010 and in just his 7th professional bout he claimed the vacant PABA Lightweight title thanks to a 2nd round TKO victory over Afrizal Cotto (no relation to Miguel). Although he didn't fight t all in 2011 he returned to the ring earlier this year and bagged 2 more victories to move to 9-0 (6) and he was expected to move to 10-0 when he met Jen Yu Jia (2-3, 1).
Unlike Petchbobin, Jen Yu Jia wasn't expected to make a name for himself inside the ring. He only turned professional earlier this year though had really struggled to even claim a victory in his first 4 fights, needing a favourable split decision over Saksri Petchtwin Gym (who had already beaten Jia) to get his first win.
Surprisingly the Chinese born, Thai based Jia managed to defeat Petchbodin thanks to a cut based TKO giving Petchbodin his first loss in 10 bouts and Jia's first stoppage win in 5.
In Thailand, unlike the west, an early career loss doesn't spell the end so expect Petchbodin to return to the ring sooner rather than later, however this is a set back for the Thai.
Note-Sadly Afrizal Cotto passed away earlier, his death was sadly from his injuries suffered in the ring against Irvan Barita Marbun in his native Indonesia.
At the beginning of the year Leon Williams (9-6, 4) was the British Cruiserweight champion, he had decrowned the long reigning Rob Norton, albeit in controversial fashion. Since then however things have gone downhill, and fast, for Williams who has lost not only his title (being stopped by Shane McPhilbin) but also every fight he has had this year.
Whilst the loss to McPhilbin was a bit of an upset, he later blown out by Tony Conquest in an expected result. A less than expected result however was Williams being completely shut out by Latvian journeyman Arturs Kulikauskis (8-14-3, 4) on Monday. Williams failed to win any of the 8 rounds as Kulikauskis showed him up to be a very, very limited fighter and arguable the worst "British" champion, at any weight, in living memory.
Going into the bout you had to go back over 2 years to find the last fight Kulikauskis won (out pointing Algirdas Bendikas, currently 0-6). Since his last win, Kulikauskis had gone 0-8-2 losing to some very decent fighters such as Thierry Karl, Mateusz Masternak (the only man so far to stop him), Dimitri Sartison (who was somewhat fortunate to earn the decision) and Server Yemurlayev. It may be fair to say that the Latvian could have had a very respectable record had he not been used as "an opponent", though for Williams, the future is bleak and ironically he may well become "an opponent" himself.
Going into his bout against Chris Higgs (12-1, 1), journeyman William Warburton (9-38-2, 2) had won only 3 of his last 18 bouts. This was supposed to be Higgs' chance to bag another win and claim the vacant International Masters Welterweight title. Sadly for Higgs however Warburton had other things in mind.
Although Higgs started the bout well, Warburton showed his survival instincts and fought back bravely, before changing the flow of the bout in round 6 where he really stunned Higgs. Higgs never really recovered and Warburton managed to counter Higgs wonderfully in the 7th before the previously unbeaten man's legs started to betray him and force the stoppage by referee Ken Curtis.
For Higgs this was certainly unexpected, he wasn't supposed to lose here, though amazingly it was Warburton's fourth victory of the year from an amazing 18 fights! If all fighters were as busy as Warburton has been this year, it'd be fair to say this sport would be much more interesting!