5 terrible boxing comebacks

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

May 26th, 2020

These five legendary fighters thought they had enough left in the tank to go out on their own terms, but boxing had other plans. 

Here are the five worst boxing comebacks.

Ricky Hatton

Three years after Hatton was blasted by Manny Pacquiao, the popular British fighter felt renewed and confident enough to make one last run.

However, Hatton made a career of being in terrible shape between bouts, and that did not serve him well against Vyacheslav Senchenko, who was supposed to be a patsy for Hatton to discard.

Sloppy from the onset, and in no condition to fight a 12-round bout, Senchenko landed a body shot in the ninth that ended Hatton’s career.

Sugar Ray Leonard

In his 40s, and five years removed from a horrifying beating at the hands of Terry Norris, Leonard just couldn’t walk away from boxing and faced off against an opportunistic Hector Camacho.

The light-hitting Camacho looked like a destroyer in this bout. He battered the shell Leonard, who was once the most captivating man in the sport. Camacho beat Leonard into submission, and the one-sided bout was stopped in the fifth.

Shane Mosley

Mosley also went sour at the end of his career.

At the age of 43, and two years removed from the first stoppage loss of his career, Mosley thought he had enough left to make a run at a welterweight title.

Sham fights against a faded Ricardo Mayorga and Venezuelan journeyman Patrick Lopez did little to suggest that he had anything left, which was the case when Mosley faced off against David Avanesyan.

Showing the wear of a long career, Mosley ran out of gas early and lost to an unbecoming foe in the final fight of his career.

Bernard Hopkins

Father Time had already come knocking, after Hopkins was soundly beaten by Sergey Kovalev at the age of 49.

Unable to walk away with a loss, Hopkins wanted to go out on his terms and even handpicked Joe Smith Jr. as his mark for one last performance.

To Hopkins’ dismay, Smith beat him worse than Kovalev did. Smith knocked him clean out of the ring and gave Hopkins the first stoppage loss of his career.

Muhammad Ali

The Greatest was clearly the worst when it came to comebacks.

Already falling apart physically and mentally toward the end of his career, a disillusioned and cash-strapped Ali was coaxed into a fight against Larry Holmes, after two years of retirement.

Holmes doled out a horrifying beating on his former employer and stopped Ali in 10.

Ali sadly attempted one last shot at glory, when he performed slightly better against future champion Trevor Berbick, in an otherwise uneventful end to his career.