10 Fighters Who Need to Flush Away the Memories of 2012

Kevin McRae@@McRaeWritesFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2012

10 Fighters Who Need to Flush Away the Memories of 2012

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    Boxing is the only sport where you can lose every second of every round and hit the proverbial hundred run home run in the final seconds to win.

    It's a tricky game where fortunes and fame rise and fall as quick as a solid right hand can end a night. In literally, the blink of an eye. 

    One second your on the top of the world. The next you're laying on the mat, looking up at the lights and wondering how you got there.

    For the following list of men, 2012 was not very kind, and they'll be looking to find better fortunes in the coming year. 

Manny Pacquiao

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    Manny Pacquiao had a 2012 full of things worth forgetting.

    Firstly, it became the latest in a seemingly endless number of years without the long promised super-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    In June, Pacquiao was defeated by Timothy Bradley in one of the worst decisions in recent memory. It was widely panned by the media and several other prominent members of the boxing community. In many eyes the decision isn't a true loss, despite what the official record reads.

    Then the Pac-Man ended his 2012 campaign with an exciting, but stunning knockout defeat at the hands of his long-time rival Juan Manuel Marquez. 

    Unlike the Bradley fight, this one was clear and decisive. And it leaves Manny Pacquiao looking forward to next year.

Miguel Cotto

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    Miguel Cotto had a bit of a mixed year but one that certainly ended on a sour note.

    For some, Cotto's spirited performance against Floyd Mayweather in May signaled the resurgence of a great fighter primed to make one more run at the top.

    But then Cotto ran into Austin Trout, and his jab, and got dominated in his backyard of Madison Square Garden in early December. 

    Then the cheers turned to boos, and the calls for a fight with Canelo Alvarez turned to calls for retirements.

    If Miguel Cotto does in fact choose to fight on, and he has said he plans to do just that, he'll need to flush away what ended up as a bad 2012.

Chad Dawson

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    Chad Dawson also had a mixed bag in 2012.

    He did decisively beat Bernard Hopkins, and how many can say that, in April. But how many people even mention that fight when talking about "Bad" Chad?

    Not many. Most talk about him getting absolutely schooled by Andre Ward in September. 

    Granted Dawson had to come down in weight, but that was his choice, and appeared off his game.

    But Ward deserves credit for putting on a boxing clinic. He beat Dawson like a drum, dropped him multiple times and stopped him when he had him in trouble.

    Dawson has correctly returned to the light heavyweight division and will seek to right his ship and avenge an earlier defeat to Jean Pascal in March.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

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    After dominating Andy Lee in June, many observers who felt Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. wasn't ready for Sergio Martinez began publicly doubting themselves.

    Turns out they should've stuck to their first instinct.

    Chavez was dominated for all but the final 90 seconds of the bout, plodding around, rarely throwing and getting peppered with huge shots. 

    Even with this terrible performance, Chavez still nearly managed to stun the world and win the fight by dropping and hurting Martinez in the final seconds. 

    But he didn't close the show and after the fight tested positive for marijuana and was suspended in Nevada. 

    There was near immediate talk of a rematch with Martinez next year but before that's even considered he needs to put this year behind him.

Timothy Bradley

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    Timothy Bradley only fought once in 2012 and that was his thoroughly discredited decision win over Manny Pacquiao in June.

    Largely due to the backlash he failed to capitalize on the win in any significant way, failing to secure a rematch with Pacquiao and not finding any other lucrative bouts. 

    Bradley was offered an early December date in Miami against former foe, whom he dominated, Lamont Peterson but declined. He instead chose to wait out the year and try to make things happen in 2013.

    This strategy is full of risk and ironically Bradley could wind up facing Peterson early next year anyway, should Lamont get by Kendall Holt.

    You can say a lot of things about Timothy Bradley, but you can't deny that 2012 was a lost year for him.

Andre Berto

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    There was a time, not that long ago, when Andre Berto was considered an elite prospect and superstar in the making.

    If it feels like that was lightyears ago then you've summed up the current state of his career. 

    Berto's career took a beating when he dropped a slugfest with Victor Ortiz in 2011. In subsequent months he would see a rematch with Ortiz cancelled after testing positive for a banned substance.

    The year 2012 was not kind to the Haitian former star, who made his return to the ring last month, only to be beaten up and decisioned by Robert Guerrero.

    It was a crossroads fight for both men and now Berto is the one who will need to figure out exactly where he stands in the sport in 2013.

Lamont Peterson

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    Lamont Peterson was completely absent from the boxing ring in 2012 stemming from his positive test from a banned substance and the cancellation of a rematch with Amir Khan.

    It was a sad year for a man who scored one of 2011's upsets of the year, albeit under spurious circumstances, when he decisioned Amir Khan. 

    Peterson denied any wrongdoing and blamed the positive test on legitimate medical use, but none of that changes the fact that 2012 was a real lost year for him.

    He will hope to forget the memories of what wasn't when he returns in 2013.

Yuriorkis Gamboa

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    Yuriorkis Gamboa returned to the ring after a year long layoff on the undercard of Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV. 

    It was certainly not the performance he, or his promoter 50 Cent, were looking to showcase.

    The unknown Michael Farenas was more than game, even dropping Gamboa, and highlighting many of the flaws that make the Cuban both exciting and vulnerable.

    If 2013 is going to be the year that he finally fulfills his potential, Yuriorkis Gamboa is gonna need to drastically improve on 2012. 

Juan Manuel Lopez

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    Juan Manuel Lopez was once considered an absolute force in the lower weight classes. He was fast, had great skill and frightening power.

    That was all before he ran into his kryptonite in the form of veteran Orlando Salido.

    The Mexican veteran stopped Lopez once in 2011 and again in 2012. After the fight Lopez was highly critical of the officials and was slapped with a suspension in his native Puerto Rico.

    All in all it was a terrible year for the once rising superstar and he hopes to get back on track in the new year. 

Seth Mitchell

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    Seth Mitchell was hyped as the next great American heavyweight hope. That is until he met Jonathan Banks and got his lights turned out.

    Now nobody is saying that Mitchell cannot bounce back from even that devastating a defeat. Lots of fighters have gone on to lose fights early in their careers and bounce back.

    What was troubling about the loss to Banks was how it went down. Banks is known as a lot of things, but a big puncher is and was never one of them.

    How Seth Mitchell bounces back from that defeat will go a long way to determining if he's still a hope or just hype.