In any sport being undefeated is a massive accomplishment. At the weekend Manny Pacquiao attempted to be the first man to put a 1 in the loss column of Floyd Mayweather. Unfortunately for him Mayweather was just too good. Mayweather says he will fight one more time and then retire hopefully with an undefeated record. Not many boxers have done this in fact only 8 have done so, the most famous being Rocky Marciano 49-0. One of the other 8 was Britain’s own Joe Calzaghe who retired with a record of 46-0.
For this week’s Where are they now I am going to look at some boxers who put the first 1 in the loss column for boxers who were on a roll of undefeated fights.
Steve Collins was a middleweight world champion in1994 when he defeated Chris Pyatt for the title. He then relinquished that belt to set up a fight with the unbeaten super middleweight world champion Chris Eubank.
When they met Eubank had notched up 41 wins and 2 draws and had never tasted defeat. But on the 18/03/1995 Steve Collins would prevail over 12 rounds and win by unanimous decision.
Both fighters were down in the fight with Collins taking a heavy fall in the 11th only for Eubank not to follow it up. They met again in September when Collins again won over 12 rounds this time by split decision.
Collins has not fought since 1997 and retired in 1998. However he did challenge long-time nemesis Roy Jones Jnr to a fight in 2013 but this is still yet to happen.
Since retiring he has appeared in reality TV programmes and also the hot British film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Marco Antonio Barrera was a 3 weight world champion and renowned for his aggressive come forward style and the wars he had with Erik Morales.
In 2001 he moved up from super-bantamweight to take on the undefeated Prince Naseem Hamed at featherweight. Hamed was odds on favourite to win due to his exciting style and devastating punch power. Hamed had worked up an impressive record of 35 wins with 31 knockouts and 0 losses leading up to the fight.
On the 07/04/01 Hamed got his first tastes of defeat after Barrera took him to school over 12 rounds. So much so Hamed only fought once more afterwards then retired.
Barrera’s last fight was in 2011 a 2nd round TKO victory. Barrera has not fought since and is believed to be retired.
Vernon Forrest was a 2 weight world champion who was the first man to beat Sugar Shane Mosley.
Mosley up to facing Forrest had amassed 38 wins and 0 losses, but had lost to Forrest as an amateur. On the 26/01/02 he would hand Mosley his first ever professional loss via unanimous decision. He would go on to repeat this win 6 months later.
Forrest at this time was also undefeated 35-0 after the 2 Mosley fights but lost his next fight against Ricardo Mayorga via a 3rd round TKO the lose the rematch via majority decision.
In 2007 he won a version of the light-middleweight world title. He lost the title in 2008 and reclaimed the same year. This would be his last fight as he was murdered in 2009 after being robbed at a gas station.
Frankie Randall is a 3 time world champion, and got his shot at stardom against Julio César Chávez.
Chávez is a modern day great. He was a 6 time world champion over 3 different weight divisions. His career spanned 25 years amassing a total of 115 fights 107 of them were wins.
His record was 89 wins and 1 draw when he went up against Frankie Randall on the 29/01/1994. The fight went 12 rounds with Randall building up an early lead, then Chávez coming back only to be docked a point via a low blow and be knocked down for the first time in his career. Randall gave Chávez his first taste of defeat via a split decision.
In the rematch in May Chávez got his revenge via a technical split decision due to a clash of heads. They also fought for a 3rd time as Chávez chose Randall to be his retirement opponent.
Randall retired in 2005.
Montell Griffin has to be mentioned as he beat the man who was considered the best pound for pound in the 90’s. When Griffin took on Roy Jones Jnr on the 21/03/97 it was 2 undefeated fighters going up against each other for the light-heavyweight world title. Griffin was 27-0 whilst Jones Jnr was 34-0.
Jones Jnr was favourite and in the ninth he put Griffin down. Whilst Griffin was on his knee Jones Jnr hit him twice in the head, leading to Jones Jnr getting disqualified and picking up his first ever defeat, something that still bugs him to this day.
5 months later in the rematch Jones Jnr got revenge and stopped Griffin in the 1st.
Griffin’s last fight was in 2011. He now works as a sheriff in the Chicago area.
Lloyd Honeyghan was a British boxer who became the undisputed welterweight world champion when he beat Don Curry on the 27/09/1986 stopping him in 6 rounds.
Curry was known as the pound for pound king in his day and gave Honeyghan little chance when he referred to him as a “ragamuffin” a name Honeyghan took as his nickname afterwards.
Curry up to this fight had won all 25 of his professional fights and was odds on favourite to win.
Honeyghan retired in 1995. He has tried his hand at promoting but mainly does after dinner speaking.
Bobby Watts was the first man to beat Marvin Hagler.
On the 13/01/76 they met in a 10 round non-title fight. Hagler’s record was 25 wins and 1 draw with 0 loses.
The win was via majority decision and at the time was deemed as controversial.
After retirement Watts has stayed in boxing training former super-middleweight world champion Charles Brewer.
Esteban de Jesús went on to become world lightweight world champion in the 70’s.
On the 17/11/1972 he took on the undefeated Roberto Duran the fearsome puncher who had a 31-0 record.
The fight was over 10 rounds and Jesús took Duran the full distance winning via majority decision. Duran would get revenge though in 1974 winning in 11 rounds.
Jesús retired in 1980 and ended up in prison after he fatally shot someone.
In prison he excelled at baseball and made the Puerto Rico penal system all-star team three times.
He later went on to contract aids after sharing drug needles and was pardoned so he could spend his last days at home. He dies aged 37 in 1989.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Andrew Huddlestone