5 boxers who never recovered from a devastating loss

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July 30th, 2020

Sometimes, a boxer carries a loss for a long time. Others never recover.

These five fighters were never able to turn it around.

Hasim Rahman

Rahman scored one of the biggest upsets of the last 20 years, when he stopped an out-of-shape Lennox Lewis to become heavyweight champion.

When Lewis exercised his rematch clause, he showed their divide in talent when he blasted Rahman in the fourth, with an all-time great knockout.

The loss sent Rahman spiraling. He went 0-2-1 in his next three fights and was on a rebuilding trail for the next two years. Though he regained a part of the title he lost, Rahman was never taken as a contender after the Lewis loss.

Roy Jones Jr.

Ahead of his rematch with Antonio Tarver, Jones was two fights removed from the defining moment of his career, when he defeated John Ruiz for the heavyweight title.

Jones then foolishly drained himself down to light heavyweight and avoided a loss to Tarver, his former amateur rival. In the rematch, Tarver clobbered Jones with an overhand left that knocked Jones out.

With his trademark reflexes and speed dulled by the weight drain, Jones was a shell of himself after the Tarver loss.

David Reid

Reid was the only gold medalist of the 1996 U.S. Olympic team and was dubbed “the American Dream” after he turned pro.

Fast tracked by his handlers, Reid won a junior middleweight title in his 10th bout and earned a super fight against Felix Trinidad. The beating Trinidad put on Reid was horrifying.

Though the fight ended in the 11th, it left permanent psychological and physical damage on the young fighter. A nagging eye injury and a diminished desire to compete saw his career end four fights later.

Meldrick Taylor

A common misconception in the boxing world is that Taylor was compromised following his brutal war with Julio Cesar Chavez.

While Taylor did take a beating then, it was his lopsided thrashing at the hands of Terry Norris that did the most damage. Norris needed only four rounds to destroy Taylor.

Following the Norris fight, Taylor was unable to absorb any sort of sustained punishment for the rest of his career.

Donald Curry

After Ray Leonard retired, and with Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran competing at junior middleweight, “the Lone Star Cobra” was destined to carry the baton of greatness.

Curry didn’t have the drive for greatness of his predecessors, and that was exposed when he faced Lloyd Honeyghan.

Dismissive of his opponent from the get-go, Curry was drained from cutting weight and wilted under Honeyghan’s pressure.

After Curry was stopped in the shocking upset, he wasn’t able to right his ship, and his legacy suffered. Curry could have been remembered as one of the best but ended up just another contender.

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