Rebounding from a tough loss is no easy task. The records are filled with fighters who are never the same after catching their first defeat. Here is recognition to those who came back better than ever.
5. CHRIS EUBANK JR. (21-1-1, 16 KOs)
Record in 2015: 3-0 (2 KOs, 1 RTD)
Eubank Jr. ended 2014 on the sour note of his first defeat at the hands of Billy Joe Saunders via split decision. He regrouped well in 2015 with victories over previously unbeaten Dmitry Chudinov (TKO12), Tony Jeter (KO2) and Gary O’Sullivan (RTD7). These victories have catapulted Eubank to Top 5 rankings with both the WBA and WBC, meaning 2016 could be the year he earns a title shot against the likes of Danny Jacobs or Gennady Golovkin. And there’s always the lucrative domestic showdown rematch with Saunders.
4. GABE ROSADO (22-9, 13 KOs)
Record in 2015: 1-0
FINALLY! After a three-year winless drought, Gabe Rosado got a much-needed victory when he decisioned Joshua Clottey earlier this month. Because his fights are exciting, Rosado never hurt for steady work against name opponents despite the previous losses. But this one win might prove pivotal.
Canelo Alvarez is looking for a May dance partner and Clottey had been a preferred opponent. Could Rosado be next in line?
3. GARY RUSSELL JR. (26-1, 15 KOs)
Record in 2015: 1-0 (1 KO)
Russell wasn’t active in 2015, but his lone appearance established him as a force at featherweight. He surprised many by bombing out Jhonny Gonzalez in four rounds to pick up the WBC belt. At press time, Russell is rumored to face Abner Mares in February.
2. ANDRZEJ FONFARA (28-3, 16 KOs)
Record in 2015: 2-0 (1 RTD)
Fonfara could’ve faded back into the contender pool after his admirable, 2014 decision loss to Adonis Stevenson. Instead he upped his profile further by handing Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. his first KO defeat and sending him scurrying from light-heavyweight. Fonfara followed that up with a Fight of the Year level toe to toe brawl with Nathan Cleverly.
Fonfara is one now one of the few fighters in the sport to hold a Top 5 ranking in every major sanctioning body.
- BADOU JACK (20-1, 12 KOs)
Record in 2015: 2-0
The Ripper was left for dead when he was blown up last year in one round by fringe contender Derek Edwards. A year later, he’s the first homegrown Mayweather Promotions fighter to win a world title. He outgunned Anthony Dirrell in a dogfight to pick up the WBC strap and then outboxed top contender George Groves to retain it on Mayweather’s last pay-per-view.
For 2016, Jack is in talks to face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.