The 5 worst title challengers of all time

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

Danny Howard

February 2nd, 2021

In the world of championship boxing, not every title bout is a fair fight.

These five unlikely "contenders" paid the price when they entered the ring against far superior foes.

5. Tim Tomashek

Tommy Morrison was set to face fellow Rocky V co-star Mike Williams for the first defense of his WBO title, but Williams balked at a pre-fight drug test and refused to fight. Promoter Bob Arum would not let Morrison’s homecoming go to waste, and lucky for him, local fighter Tim Tomashek was ringside eating a hot dog.

In a twist almost out of a Rocky movie, the truck driving, beer-guzzling club fighter was given a chance to challenge for a heavyweight title. Not surprisingly, Morrison blitzed Tomashek into submission in a three-round massacre.

4. Uriel Lopez

As boxing was on the ropes in 2020, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, some fighters were willing to get in the ring with anyone, just to stay sharp.

Emanuel Navarrete may have needed to stay busy, but why did his handlers grant a title shot to 13-13-1 Uriel Lopez? 

Lopez had a  4-6 record in his last 10 fights and could have been seriously hurt. Though this fight was reversed to a no-contest, as it was never formally sanctioned, Lopez caught a beating and was stopped in the sixth.

3. Mike Lee

Mike Lee was a boxer whose claim to fame was being a spokesman for Subway, but when that money dried up, he had to make his living in the ring.

He got his cash-out opportunity against IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant in 2019.

Plant is not known as a big hitter, but he savaged Lee and dropped him three times in the third round en route to a stoppage win.

2. Richard Frazier

“Tricky Rick” was an NYPD officer who moonlighted as a club fighter, but somehow, someway, Frazier found himself across the ring from Roy Jones Jr., with a shot at the light heavyweight title.

Frazier was one of many terrible opponents Jones wasted his prime on and perhaps the worst. Jones landed shots on Frazier at a near 10-1 rate, dropped the challenger in the first, and put a merciful end to Frazier’s boxing career in the second.

1. Eddie Croft

Eddie Croft is undeniably the worst challenger to ever compete for a title.

Croft was inactive for three years and 1-5 in bouts going back eight years, the WBC somehow allowed Erik Morales to defend his title against him in 2003.

Time away from the ring didn’t do Croft any favors, as Morales pummeled the helpless and hapless challenger for three rounds, until Croft's corner threw in the towel.

This awful performance was thankfully the end of Croft’s career, and he is lucky he didn’t get badly hurt in the process.