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The biggest busts in boxing history

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

January 7th, 2020

While boxing does not involve a traditional draft process like other professional sports, there is no shortage of hype jobs, disappointments, and underachievers that make up the sour side of the sweet science. Whether it was Olympic success, political backing, or wonderful self-promotion, these fighters set themselves up for great things, only to fall well short of expectations.

Rocky Juarez

If the encyclopedia of boxing has an entry for “championship futility,” one would find the picture of the beleaguered Rocky Juarez, who failed on five separate occasions to win gold, despite showing massive potential early in his career.

The former Olympian could not get over the hump, despite being in the mix at junior lightweight for the majority of his prime. The writing was on the wall when Juarez went on a 1-6-1 skid from 2009-2012. He retired for good in 2015.

Seth Mitchell

Seth Mitchell was the product of selective matchmaking and network propaganda. HBO featured the technically limited heavyweight and touted his greatness, as he inexplicably marched toward a title shot in 2012.

The former Michigan State linebacker was stopped in two rounds by cruiserweight Jonathan Banks and then stopped by Chris Arreola in a single round for the final fight of his career. Mitchell never returned to the ring after it was clear he didn’t belong to begin with.

Allan Green

The mouthy, cocksure Allan Green was one of the best trash talkers in the sport, but his pathetic performances in critical fights made it all for naught, as he never scored a major victory over the course of his 40-fight career.

Green’s attitude got him a spot in Showtime’s legendary Super Six World Boxing Classic, where he was dominated by Andre Ward and stopped by Glen Johnson, but the KO loss to Mikkel Kessler closed the book on Green’s career, even th0ugh he carried on until 2019.

Ricardo Williams Jr.

The silver medalist at the 2000 Olympics appeared destined for big things, but Ricardo Williams Jr. couldn’t put it together over the course of his forgettable career. So assured that Williams would be a star, Lou DiBella signed him, with a $1.4 million bonus.

Williams then lost in his 10th professional bout, got imprisoned in 2005 for drug-related charges, and lost bouts upon his release. Olympic success is not always an indicator of success, and Williams ended up a cautionary tale.

Paul Gonzales

Gonzales was part of the legendary 1984 United States Olympic team that included future all-time greats, such as Evander Holyfield and Pernell Whitaker, and many believed the junior flyweight was the best of the bunch. Gonzales floundered when he lost his ninth pro bout and was stopped in two rounds against Orlando Canizales in his only title fight. Gonzales turned pro in 1986, but was all done in boxing five years later and retired with a forgettable 16-4 record.




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