Adrien Broner returns on Saturday’s big BoxNation televised bill aiming to show he still has superstar potential, despite losing his last fight against Marcos Maidana - the sole loss of his career so far.
The crass-talking American three-weight world champion faces Carlos Molina Jr over 10 rounds in Las Vegas determined to impress and show his potential as a future lb for lb king.
Boxing is littered with fighters who never recovered from their first defeat.
Some crumbled as prospects while others are world champions who never found their mojo after losing for the first time.
We look at 10 fighters who were never the same again after that first setback...
1) FRANCISCO BOJADO
Bojado represented Mexico at the 2000 Olympics and great things were expected when he started punching for pay, signing a big money deal with Showtime. His first nine opponents were all brushed aside inside three rounds, but after suffering a points loss to Juan Carlos Rubio in 2002 it became a struggle. Bojado retired in October 2007 after losing on points to Steve Forbes, ending with an 18-3 record.
2) JOHNNY BUMPHUS
The American welterweight won 341 of his 358 amateur contests and seemed destined for greatness. He won his first 22 fights picking up the WBA crown when he beat Lorenzo Garcia over 15 rounds, but was shocked in his first defence by Gene Hatcher. He had a handful of wins after that loss, but was then annihilated by Lloyd Honeyghan in a WBC title challenge.
3) HOWARD DAVIS
The American captured a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics and won the best boxer trophy in Montreal despite competition from Sugar Ray Leonard, Teofilo Stevenson and the Spinks brothers, Leon and Michael. He boxed just 13 times professionally when he challenged Jim Watt for his WBC lightweight title at Ibrox park on June 1980. The American was expected to win but lost a unanimous decision. He never found top form again and was beaten by Edwin Rosario and Buddy McGirt in subsequent world title fights.
4) DONALD CURRY
He was considered one of the world’s best boxer’s when he reigned as world welterweight champion in the 1980s and looked unbeatable winning his first 25 fights. His invincibility was shattered when he lost to Londoner Lloyd Honeyghan in September 1986 - a result considered one of the sport’s biggest ever upsets. He was 9-5 in subsequent bouts after that loss.
5) MICHAEL GRANT
It’s now seems incredible to think that many Americans were tipping him to take the IBF and WBC heavyweight titles from Lennox Lewis in April 2000. Grant was unbeaten in 31 fights and a supposed devastating puncher. He was petrified of Lewis and taken out inside two rounds. The 6ft 7in slugger still fights but has never ever recovered from that heavy loss. He’s now 41 years old and boasts a 48-5 record.
6) JEFF LACY
The Florida southpaw was IBF super-middleweight champion and considered the saviour of boxing when he and his mass entourage flew into Manchester to challenge WBO king Joe Calzaghe. Defeat seemed unthinkable on that famous night in March 2006. Calzaghe had other ideas and hammered Lacy over 12 one-sided rounds in a contest that was painful to watch. Lacy has never come close to recapturing top form.
7) JOHN MUGABI
The London based Ugandan was one of boxing’s most feared hitters and after winning his first 25 fights by KO, ‘The Beast’ was ranked number one middleweight challenger by the WBA, WBC and IBF to earn a crack at Marvin Hagler in March 1986. He gave it everything, before being knocked out in 11 rounds. His next fight was a WBC light-middleweight challenge against Duane Thomas which he lost in three rounds. Mugabi last fought in 1999 losing to Aussie Glen Kelly and retired with a 42-7-1 record.
8) MICHAEL NUNN
‘Second to Nunn’ was IBF middleweight champion and beaten men like Iran Barkley, Donald Curry, Sumbu Kalambay and Marlon Starling in a 36 fight winning streak. The skilful southpaw then came unstuck in 11 rounds against James Toney. He did land the WBA super-middleweight crown, but never had another marquee win. He last boxed in January 2002 and retired with a 58-4 record. In 2004, Nunn was jailed for 24 years for drug crimes.
9) MICHAEL OLAJIDE
The Canadian who was born in Liverpool seemed the future of the middleweight division winning his first 23 fights. His career crumbled spectacularly after he lost on points over 15 rounds against Frank Tate in a vacant IBF middleweight title fight in October 1987. He boxed eight more times and lost half of those contests. He is legally blind in his right eye, and his 1991 retirement from boxing was the result of his eye injury. “I wasn’t seeing ‘em coming anymore,” Michael says.
10) KELLY PAVLIK
Pavlik is one of the best examples you will ever find of fighters who become damaged goods after a loss. He had won all 34 fights and was expected to beat 43-year-old Bernard Hopkins in October 2008. Hopkins had just been defeated by Joe Calzaghe, and the WBC and WBO middleweight champion was expected to win the non-title bout against B-Hop. The old stager won a virtual shutout and although Pavlik did make another couple of title defences he never ever had the X Factor again.
Steve Lillis | Follow on Twitter
Mayweather vs. Maidana is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD & Virgin 546) this Saturday from midnight BST.
- Sports & Recreation
- Marcos Maidana
- Joe Calzaghe
- Lloyd Honeyghan