Boxing

7 Pretty Mad Things That Have Happened In Sport That No One Would Have Predicted In August

Sport can be absolutely mental at times. It's totally unpredictable and always exciting.

It's fantastic that games and fights don't happen on paper - because then we wouldn't get some of the jaw-dropping shocks we've seen in the last four months.

It's been quite a batshit crazy few months in sport. If you had many any of these predictions back in August, then you'd probably be lying. Here are seven sporting things that next to no one saw coming back in the late summer

Connacht Being The Top Province In Ireland

Connacht

Some people might still scoff at this. But those people don't watch Connacht play every week. To be fair, most people don't watch Connacht every week; they aren't on television that often.

It's a real pity because Connacht are the shining lights in Irish rugby at the moment. They know how to entertain - being at the top of the try-scoring charts in the Pro 12 shows that, and they know how to win. They enjoyed a brief period atop the Pro 12, and a huge win over Munster. They are the highest-ranking Irish province on the Pro 12 table at the moment.

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Connacht and Pat Lam are flying high, but no one would have seen them beat Munster in their backyard for the first time in 29 years. Would they?

Tyson Fury Being World Heavyweight Champion

Tyson Fury

Back in August, Wladimir Klitschko hadn't been beaten in 11 years. Before his fight with Tyson Fury, Klitschko had had just three losses in his long career, including title defense of 23 fights in a row.

No one gave Fury a chance. In fact, Klitschko was the 1/5 (83.3%) favourite for the fight.

That Fury won by a unanimous decision is remarkable. It's a pity that his comments in the last few months are overshadowing what an achievement it was to be the first boxer to beat Klitschko in 11 years.

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Donal Og Cusack Joining The Clare Management Team

Donal Og

Donal Og Cusack is a coach and a selector for Clare. That's the legendary Cork goalkeeper and former Sunday Game pundit Donal Og Cusack will join up with Davy Fitzgerald's management team for Clare going forward.

Given the acrimonious history the two share, did anyone see this coming? I still can't believe it to be honest.

Leicester Being The Premier League Champions Elect

Jamie Vardy

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Just what is going on in the Premier League this season?

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself with "Premier League champions" elect talk, but imagine being told at the start of the season that Leicester would be in first place in the middle of December with Jamie Vardy going on the mother of all goal scoring runs. That Alan Pardew would be being touted as a potential England manager despite Crystal Palace having a very under-the-radar season in sixth place. That Chelsea would have suffered eight losses in just 15 Premier League games, including a loss to Bournemouth last weekend. Like we said, batshit crazy.

Some court-mandated therapy would be on the cards for anyone who predicted this four months ago.

Ireland Beating Germany And Qualifying For Euro 2016

1064820

It still feels like a wonderful dream. Back in August, Ireland were languishing behind Scotland, Poland, and Germany in the race to qualify for Euro 2016.

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Then two things happened within four days of each other to start the beginning of a wonderful dream. First - Scotland lost to Georgia handing Ireland a lifeline. Second - miraculously at odds that were at a high of 10/1 at one stage - Ireland beat Germany.

Yes, Ireland BEAT Germany. The world champions were vanquished in the Aviva Stadium thanks to the greatest goal in the world from Shane Long.

Ireland wouldn't let Scotland back in the race for the playoffs from there, and even getting past Bosnia was no foregone conclusion. So much so that even proclaiming that Ireland would be in Saturday's draw back in August would have been scoffed at.

Japan Beating South Africa (and the Japan coach getting the England job)

Japan

It wasn't just that the Japanese beat the Springboks, it was the manner of the victory. It's that they deserved it. It's that they had earned it, they outplayed, out-fought, and out-muscled them. It's that with time up, and three points down they went for the win.

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It's that with a significantly smaller pack, they beasted the much-vaunted South African scrum. It was a victory for the ages, and thrilled the entire rugby world. Japan became everyone's second team overnight, and Eddie Jones was plucked to be the next England coach to be the man roundly criticised for the next four years.

It was the most exciting rugby match of 2015, and we bloody loved it.

Holly Holm Beating Ronda Rousey

Holm

Ronda Rousey was meant to be unbeatable. She was this juggernaut that swatted competitors aside in 30 seconds or less, and made them feel very inadequate. Rousey was the UFC.

Rousey was a bigger favourite than Klitschko at a whopping 1/20 (95.24%).

I'm sure even Rousey knows how she lost.

See Also: Definitive Proof That Ireland Have Been Screwed In Major Tournament Draws

See Also: Irish Players You Might Have Forgotten Played For Both Munster And Leinster

Photo Credit: Sportsfile

Conor O'Leary
Article written by
"That's what." - She.

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