Top 10 Boxers Avenging Defeats
A loss can be critical to a boxer’s career these days but there is plenty of form which suggests fighters can avenge defeats and go on to great success as a result. George Groves is desperate for a rematch after his controversial loss to Carl Froch and he will take inspiration from the following men, including the man who defeated him in Manchester.
10. Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler (2013)
Carl Froch had a perfect record from 26 fights and the WBC super-middleweight title around his waist when he travelled to Denmark to meet Mikkel Kessler in 2010. He lost a controversial points decision and had to wait three years for the rematch most thought he deserved. In front of a packed O2 Arena in London the Cobra barely lost a round and scored a one-sided unanimous decision.
9. Bernard Hopkins v Roy Jones Jr (2010)
Rarely has a rematch taken so long to be made as the 17 years it took for Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr to get back in the ring together. They first met way back in1993 for the IBF middleweight title, a bout which Jones Jr won comfortably on points. They returned for the second contest in 2010 somewhat heavier at light-heavyweight and Hopkins got his revenge with a clear points win although the fight was a bizarre one with both men throwing illegal punches and even a brawl at the end of the sixth involving entourages and security.
8. Miguel Cotto v Antonio Margarito (2011)
Two brilliantly brutal contests were shared between these two great warriors with the Mexican coming out on top in the first and the Puerto Rican emerging victorious from the second. Margarito scored a late stoppage in 2008 to hand Cotto his first loss in 33 fights but Junito returned the favour in 2011 by ending the bout in round 10 with Margarito’s eye swollen shut.
7. Manny Pacquiao vs. Erik Morales (2006)
Pac Man’s move up to super featherweight didn’t do to plan when he lost a unanimous decision to Mexican Erik Morales in March 2005. It did not take him long to gain his revenge though as he fought him again not once but twice during 2006 winning each with brutal knockout, the latter coming just three rounds in which effectively put an end to Morales as a really top level fighter.
6. Sergio Martinez v Paul Williams (2010)
The first clash between the two was one of the greatest wars of recent times and one that Williams narrowly won by majority decision handing the Argentinian legend only his second ever defeat. Martinez was to get his revenge though with a savage second round knockout less than a year later.
5. Evander Holyfield v Riddick Bowe (1993)
These two brutes first met in November 1992 as two unbeaten fighters to decide who was the greatest heavyweight on the planet and it was Bowe who come away with the win after a classic contest in Las Vegas. The fans clamoured for a rematch and that is what they got the next year with Holyfield gaining retribution with a majority decision win to reclaim his belts.
4. Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Carmen Basilio (1958)
Sometimes two great fighters’ styles just click and that was certainly the case between these two American greats. For two successive years their bouts won the Ring Magazine Fight of the Year title, each ending in split decisions. Basilio won the first in 1957 and Robinson returned the favour in ’58 as they battled for what was then the only world middleweight title available.
3. Lennox Lewis v Evander Holyfield (1997)
The Brit did not lose his first bout with Holyfield but he may have felt like he did after clearly beating the American and having to settle for a draw after some outrageous judging. The pair returned to the ring less than a year later and Lewis got his revenge by gaining the unanimous points decision that he should have had eight months prior.
2. Joe Louis v Max Schmelling (1938)
Schmelling pulled off a huge upset when he handed the Brown Bomber his first ever defeat via 10th round knockout in New York in 1936. Neither were world champion then but Louis went on to win the title the following year. Unsurprisingly Schmelling felt he was entitled a shot at the champion that he had beaten, he got that chance but Louis avenged his defeat in style with a first round knockout in the Bronx.
1. Joe Frazier v Muhammad Ali (1974 & 1975)
The world was shocked when Smokin Joe Frazier handed Muhammad Ali his first defeat by unanimous decision over 15 brutal rounds in 1971. The Greatest had to wait three years for the return match which he won by the same route but over the more humane 12 round distance. He had avenged his loss but the rubber match was to come which Ali again won as the famous Thrilla in Manilla ended with a Frazier’s retirement in the 14th round.