By Albe Carbo
What’s not to love about a good underdog story?
For bettors, wagering successfully on the underdog can bring success untold. It’s all about knowing the trade, thinking smart, and believing when nobody else does.
Below are our favourite stories about the most amazing underdog bets of success ever.
Muhammad Ali’s Jungle Rumble
While Muhammed Ali isn’t a typical addition to a list such as this, there was actually a time when the boxing giant wasn’t the automatic favourite to win the bout.
In 1967, Ali refused to sign up for military service. As a result, he was stripped of his heavyweight title and slapped with a 3-year ban from the sport.
Upon his return in 1973, he had seemingly lost some of his punching power, and lost the very first bout of his career on March 8, 1971. This had been against Joe Frazier in the historically famous “Fight of the Century”.
Also, there was suddenly a new boxing bigwig in town: George Foreman.
In 1973, Foreman became the talk of the sports betting town when he beat Joe Frazier to become the new heavyweight titleholder. He defended this honour twice – once against Jose Roman, and on the second occasion, against Ken Norton.
At the time Norton had been fresh off of beating Muhammed Ali.
In 1974, “Rumble in the Jungle” organised a fight between Foreman and Ali. Foreman, then a youthful 25, would enter the ring undefeated with an incredible 40-0 record, with an even more incredible 37 of those KO victories. Ali, who was 32 at the time, was presented by the bookies as the 4-1 underdog.
Even though everybody expected Foreman to make quick work of delivering the losing blow to Ali, the latter caused quite the shock when he managed to completely take the punch out of Foreman with his clever “tiring” antics.
Finally, during the 8th round of the fight, Ali dealt a couple of perfectly placed blows to send his opponent face-first to the floor, thereby ensuring an unexpected and wild win for the ultimate underdog of all time.
The 1980 Miracle On Ice
The famous 1980 “Miracle On Ice” belongs on every list of unexpected underdogs.
The US team started out strong by ending the first period with a 2-all tie. But the Soviets went on to dominate the second period, which set the stage for a victory.
Halfway through the third period, however, the underdogs made a comeback and history by scoring two quick goals to take the winners’ spoils.
Hockey announcer Al Michaels will always be remembered for his famous broadcast cry, “Do you believe in miracles?”.
The US went on also to defend Finland two days later, for which they were rewarded the Olympic gold medal.
Holly Holm Vs Ronda Rousey
This particular underdog story happened fairly recently.
In 2015, Ronda Rousey enjoyed enormous fame for becoming the very female fighter to be signed by the UFC.
In short: Rousey was officially the darling of women’s MMA.
The fight which pitted Rousey against Holy Holm was widely anticipated to mean an easy win for “Rowdy Rousey”.
However, when the big day rolled around, Rousey surprised everybody by opting for reserved punches instead of her usual energetically furious style in the ring. Holm, meanwhile, proved just how evading she could actually be when it came to crunch-time.
By the time the bell announced the beginning of the second round, Holm looked cool as a cucumber, while Rousey was clearly starting to grow tired. Holm made the best of her chances by delivering a swift kick to the head of her opponent, thereby securing an incredible knockout finish.
Holly instantly became proof again that even underdogs aren’t to be taken “with no gloves on”.