Juan Carlos Salgado wins SecondsOut Award
By Paul Upham: It is always dangerous to write off any undefeated boxer so quickly. The experts were predicting a win for WBA super featherweight boxing world champion Jorge Linares in Japan on October 10, 2009, but Juan Carlos Salgado had other ideas. Not only did he win by TKO in less than one round, he produced SecondsOut’s Upset of the Year.
24 year-old Linares 27-1 (18) had signed a contract with Golden Boy Promotions before the fight with Salgado and was looking forward to facing Humberto Soto and Robert Guerrero in featured matches in the USA. All those plans were scuttled in 73 seconds.
The fight was held at the Yoyogi #2 Gymnasium in Tokyo. The first solid punch that Salgado landed, a left hook, sent Linares, a Venezuelan fighting out of Japan, to the canvas. It seemingly stunned both the champion and the crowd in attendance.
Asia’s No.1 boxing writer, the legendary Joe Koizumi, watching from ringside wrote of the stunning upset, “Many ringsiders sensed Linares just took a flash knockdown, but when he barely pulled himself up, he looked paralyzed so much that his damage was visible, so serious and heavy. As the referee ordered them to fight on, Salgado rushed from the neutral corner to the still dizzy champ and pinned him to the ropes with a flurry of punches. Linares attempted to avert them with his high guard, but Salgado landed a solid right to the head followed by a right uppercut to the face. The champ’s legs appeared buckled and went down again. Linares again managed to raise himself, but his body apparently lost the equilibrium.”
After seeing Linares’ shaky legs and glassy eyes, referee Luis Pabon from Puerto Rico stopped the contest at the 1:13 minute mark of round 1.
25 year-old Salgado 21-0-1 (15) from Mexico City, Mexico was competing in his first world title fight. He had one draw in November 2005 on his record, but no standout performances that suggested such an upset was imminent.
Linares had confirmed his talent when he won the WBC world title against Oscar Larios in July 2007. He then won the vacant WBA world title against Whyber Garcia in November 2008.
“As I was knocked down, I lost my coolness,” said Linares, trying to explain the quick finish. “I might be careless. But I will regain my belt in a rematch.”
In one round, Salgado announced his arrival at the top level in a performance that will long be remembered by those who saw it.
The victory is now also recorded as SecondsOut’s “2009 Upset of the Year”.
WINNER: Juan Carlos Salgado W.TKO.1 Jorge Linares
Previous SecondsOut.com Upset of the Year Awards
2008: Manny Pacquiao W.RTD.8 Oscar De La Hoya
2007: Nonito Donaire W.TKO.5 Vic Darchinyan
2006: Carlos Baldomir W.12 Zab Judah
2005: Zahir Raheem W.12 Erik Morales
2004: Danny Williams W.KO.4 Mike Tyson
2003: Corrie Sanders W.TKO.2 Wladimir Klitschko
2002: Vernon Forrest W.12 Shane Mosley I
2001: Hasim Rahman W.KO.4 Lennox Lewis
2000: Chris Byrd W.RSF.10 Vitali Klitschko