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Did that really just happen: Coming back from crushing defeats

By Gav Duthie: We often say things like “it’s boxing, anything can happen”, unfortunately 99% of the time it goes exactly like we thought it would. In the last couple of weeks however I have been quite surprised to see the return of Mike Jones end in a knockout defeat and top super middleweight prospect J’Leon Love lose the same way.

These were massive upsets and helps remind us that anything CAN happen in this great sport. Some of our top world champions today have even suffered such defeats and against far inferior opponents which makes you ask the question, how did that happen?

Manny Pacquaio 11-0 (4) v Rustico Torrecampo 11-4-5 (5)
Date: 9-Feb-1996
Torrecampo WKO 3

Rustico Torrecampo had never really achieved anything in boxing before this fight nor did he achieve much after. Manny may have been inexperienced but he showed very good skills in the opening exchanges. Commentators were only just praising his ring craft seconds before the fight was over. Pacquaio attempts to throw a straight left at the same time as Torrecampo off the ropes and is caught flush by his compatriots straight left. Video footage is of a poor quality and can look like both a head and body shot from different angles. One can’t even say that Manny learned from the experience because he was stopped with a single body shot against Singsuratt a few fights later. How Pacquaio could be knocked out at Flyweight level and go on to be a multi weight champion is anybody’s guess. 

Wladimir Klitschko 24-0 (21) v Ross Purrity 24-13-1 (22)  -3 (klitschko)
Date: 5-Dec-1998
Purrity TKO 11

This is actually quite an exciting performance for the most part from Wladimir. He was fighting in his home country Ukraine in Kiev for the first time in his career and said he couldn’t control his emotions and didn’t stick to his normal game plan wasting both punches and his energy. Klitschko won the first 9 rounds easily but couldn’t really hurt The American. Purrity was only stopped 3 times in his entire career (one by Vitaly Klitschko) and Wladimir had punched himself out. In the 10th round Purrity backed him up landing a good uppercut and a further big right sending Wladimir to the canvas. Wlad beat the count but for the rest of the tenth and into the eleventh he was stumbling around like a drunk. After the American landed some big shots the Ukranian’s corner stepped into the ring to stop the fight. Wladimir said he had matured 10 years after the fight but it wasn’t until years later after a further two losses and joining up with the late Emmanuel Steward that he started to dominate heavyweight boxing. 

Bermaine Stiverne 12-0 (12) v Demetrice King 11-15 (9) 
Date: 7-July-2007
King TKO 4

The Haitian was just a prospect at this point against the journeyman King but in heavyweight boxing especially one punch can change a fight. This bout is available on youtube and I’m sure Deontay Wilder and his team have had a look to spot any weaknesses. Stiverne starts well using his solid jab as usual and knocks King down in the first round with a right hook to the side of the head. King only made it to his feet at the count of 9 but was game to fight on. Despite King’s limited skills he was tough and was only stopped twice in his whole career respectably against Fres Oquendo and Shannon Briggs. King landed a succession of solid right hands backing Stiverne against the ropes. Stiverne mocks King but takes some more shots and is hurt but to be fair is occasionally throwing back. When the referee steps in Stiverne is furious and in hindsight watching how he fought Arreola, halting him in the stoppage was a major mistake. 

Adonis Stevenson 13-0 (11) v Darnell Boone 16-15-2 (6)
Date: 16-Apr-2010
Boone TKO 2

Boone was only given 2 weeks notice for this fight but he had been in this situation so many times before. Boone also boasts a knockdown over Andre Ward in his career. His fighting style may be wild and uncultured but he has decent power. Considering how dominant Stevenson has been lately it seems unthinkable that he was knocked out by a journeyman only a few years ago. Superman is going in low with jabs to the body when Boone lands a huge single overhand right sending Stevenson crashing down to the canvas. He did get up but the referee waved away the contest. Stevenson left the situation for a bit but came back to knock Boone out a few fights later in the 6th round. 

The encouraging element for any top prospect is that getting knocked out, even by a journeyman, need not be the end of your career. These four boxers have displayed great determination and self believe to come back and be world champions. 

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