Ranking the Most Disappointing Boxing Performances in 2014 So Far
In boxing, disappointment comes in a lot of forms.
Sometimes, a fighter has a bad night, and sometimes he just loses whatever it was that made him special.
Other times, a fighter gets in over his head, quickly realizing that he's bitten off more than he can chew.
It's early in the boxing year, and there are plenty of big fights and fighters left to go, but we decided to give you an early glimpse—the front-runners, if you will—for the most disappointing performances of 2014.
You can bank on this list changing between now and the ball dropping on 2015, but let's see which fighters came out of the gate early and jumped to the front of the pack.
These are 2014's most disappointing boxing performances...so far.
5. Adonis Stevenson
Adonis Stevenson makes this list despite having not fought yet in 2014.
But he’s here anyway—not for what he did outside of the ring, but for what he did once he had done it.
Stevenson recently signed with boxing's biggest power broker, the famous/infamous—depending on your perspective—Al Haymon, moving from HBO to Showtime for his next fight. In the process, he left HBO and WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in the lurch.
But Main Events, which promotes Kovalev, isn't willing to let the matter go, claiming, per Lem Satterfield of The Ring Magazine, that it has a deal with Stevenson to face the "Krusher" in September, and the promotion is planning on doing everything within its legal rights to enforce it.
That saga is for another day.
But Stevenson is here for one thing and one thing only, and that's trash talk.
Trash talk you say? Isn't that normal in the world of boxing?
Of course, but it's one thing to talk smack before a fight or after one gets made. But it's another to do it once a fight doesn't get made—especially, when you're the guy who—right or wrong—walked from the table.
After Kovalev knocked out the overmatched Cedric Agnew last week in Atlantic City, he had something particularly nasty to say about the man he was supposed to face in the fall, calling him a "piece of s—."
Stevenson, not to be outdone, took to his Twitter account to say all of the things about Kovalev that he refused to say when a fight was still a possibility. He called him a bum that would be easy work and told Main Events to get on the phone with Haymon if they wanted to give him an easy payday.
And then he referred to Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events and a veteran boxing promoter of 30 years, as "mama" in reference to her visiting Kovalev in the hospital, should the fight take place.
Now, again, nobody should fault Stevenson for taking the better deal, if that's indeed what happened here. His job is to fight and make as much money doing it as possible.
But taunting a fighter, whom you had the chance to face, looks bad once the fight has been scrapped. Stevenson is behaving like the child who steals your toy, runs into his parent’s car and makes faces at you from the back window as they drive away.
That's why he's on this list.
4. Victor Ortiz
When the final chapter is written on his boxing career—if it hasn't been already—fans will remember Victor Ortiz as a phenomenal talent who, for whatever reason, was just missing something.
You can call it heart, will or even a desire to be a fighter.
But whatever it is, this much is for sure: Ortiz's career has definitely been a disappointment.
The 27-year-old former WBC welterweight champion has now lost three consecutive fights, all by stoppage, and it's hard to see any path forward if he chooses to continue his boxing career.
His most recent defeat—probably the most shocking of all—came in a comeback attempt against Luis Collazo late in January at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Collazo has been a solid professional for years, but he's never been known as much of a puncher. And yet, he not only stopped Ortiz in Round 2, he left him cowering in the corner, unwilling to continue.
That's not really anything new for Ortiz—he's been accused of quitting on a fight in the past—but given that this was probably his last shot, it's still somewhat surprising.
3. Alfredo Angulo
When it was announced that Canelo Alvarez would be returning to the ring—for his first fight post Floyd Mayweather—it was fair for fans to salivate at the prospect of him facing Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo.
Angulo, known as a crude and unrefined slugger, was just the type of opponent that the cinnamon-haired former champion needed. He's tough, powerful and willing to stand in the pocket and unload bombs—otherwise known as the polar opposite of what Canelo's previous two opponents, Mayweather and Austin Trout, brought to the table.
Fans lined up, expecting fireworks for a card dubbed "Toe-to-Toe" by the media gurus at Showtime pay-per-view, but what they got instead was a bit of a disappointment.
Not from Canelo. He looked great and was definitely at the top of his game.
Angulo just didn't have it. And by it, we mean anything at all.
Perro looked all sorts of outta sorts. He didn’t throw many punches, the ones he did throw weren’t crisp, and the few that landed seemed to have little mustard on them.
His protestations at the end of the fight notwithstanding, Angulo was clearly being taken apart by Alvarez. He swallowed over nine rounds of punishment, and there was no reason for the fight to continue.
The disappointment in Angulo didn't come from the fact that he lost—most, if not all, expected him to do so—but that he didn't put up much in the way of resistance.
2. Vasyl Lomachenko
Remember when Vasyl Lomachenko, the most-hyped amateur fighter in history, jumped to the professional ranks and won a world title in just his second fight?
Maybe that's because it didn't happen.
Lomachenko failed in his quest for history, dropping an all-too-close split decision to veteran Orlando Salido in March. He showed that he still has a ton to learn before becoming a successful professional fighter.
Salido was just too experienced for the 26-year-old Ukrainian. He made the fight rough on the inside, using both legal and illegal tactics to make his opponent uncomfortable. The judges reached the right verdict, although it's hard to see how you could score the fight for Lomachenko as one judge did.
He came on late in the fight, that's for sure, but Salido largely outclassed him in the majority of rounds.
Salido's highly unprofessional failure to make weight may have been an issue, but that doesn't give Lomachenko too much of an out. His punches didn’t move the veteran, and he looked clueless during the rough inside exchanges that made up a good deal of the fight.
He just didn't look ready for this stage or that class of fighter.
1. Danny Garcia
Sometimes, a homecoming can quickly turn into a nightmare.
That was the case for Danny Garcia on March 15, when he took a narrow, highly controversial, majority-decision nod over Mauricio Herrera in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Now, we can argue all day about whether or not Garcia deserved the victory—it's this writer's opinion that he did not—but that's not the point here. The point is that the unified 140-pound champion turned in his worst performance in years, and he was very lucky not to leave the island of his parent's birth as a former champion.
Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? Probably not.
Garcia isn't the first, and he won't be the last, big-name fighter to get a generous look from the judges while fighting at home. He'll move on from this fight and continue his quest to become a big star in Puerto Rico. He'll still—assuming he continues to win—be frequently mentioned as a future Floyd Mayweather opponent.
None of that changes. But it also doesn't make his showing in March any less disappointing.