The upset first-round knockout loss of Abner Mares at the hands of Jhonny Gonzalez on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California results in yet another previously undefeated champion losing a title and suffering his first professional defeat, a trend that has emerged in 2013 and may potentially continue before the year comes to an end.
27-year-old Mares (26-1-1, 14 KO's) was rocked by a left hook from the powerful Gonzalez, losing his WBC featherweight title to the Mexican veteran at 2:55 of Round 1. It was Mares' third championship in three weight classes over the past two years and first loss in 28 pro fights.
Tavoris Cloud (24-1, 19 KO's) lost his IBF light heavyweight championship to Bernard Hopkins this past March. The legendary ring technician not only made history (again) by becoming the oldest man to win a world title, he also handed Cloud the first loss of his pro career.
Following an impressive unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto last December at Madison Square Garden to retain his WBA light middleweight championship, Austin Trout (26-1, 14 KO's) was unable to unify the titles nor preserve his unblemished record against WBC champion Canelo Alvarez in April. Trout was knocked down for the first time in his career in the seventh round and lost a unanimous decision to the young Mexican star.
Most recently, the WBO light heavyweight title changed hands as Nathan Cleverly (26-1, 12 KO's) suffered his first loss as a professional on August 17 via a fourth round TKO by hard-hitting Russian powerhouse, Sergey Kovalev. Cleverly was knocked down for the first time in his career when he hit the canvas twice in Round 3.
Even though he was not defending a world title, former WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO's) tasted defeat for the first time when he lost a unanimous decision in a rematch with Mike Alvarado in March for the interim WBO light welterweight belt.
Nonito Donaire (31-2, 20 KO's) had not lost a fight since his second career bout in March 2001, dominating the flyweight, bantamweight and super bantamweight divisions since that time. However, he was outboxed and outsmarted by WBA Super World super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux this past April, losing his WBO belt to the crafty Cuban by unanimous decision and suffering his first loss in over 12 years.
As we look ahead to the upcoming boxing schedule, a few fights exist where this trend could potentially continue.
On September 14, undefeated WBA/WBC light welterweight champion Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KO's) takes on dangerous Argentine Lucas Matthysse (34-2, 32 KO's) who has been on an absolute tear, winning his last six consecutive fights by dramatic stoppage since his controversial split decision loss to Devon Alexander in June 2011.
The main event that evening features the ultimate undefeated champion in pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0, 26 KO's) against Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KO's), another undefeated titleholder. Absent a draw or "No Contest", someone's "0" will go.
On October 12, undefeated Timothy Bradley (30-0, 12 KO's) is out to defend his WBO welterweight title against Mexican warrior and counter-puncher extraordinaire, Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KO's). In his continued quest to earn the respect that has eluded him and coming off a "Fight of the Year" candidate against Ruslan Provodnikov this past March, Bradley may throw caution to the wind against Marquez which might lend itself to an outcome similar to those endured by the former champions previously mentioned.
"You learn to win, you've gotta' learn how to lose, too," Mares graciously stated after his loss to Gonzalez on Saturday night.
As we have seen throughout the year, this is something many champions will have to learn how to do in 2013.
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