These fighters had a tough time in 2012. Having climbed to the highest levels of the sport, each of the following six boxers saw themselves drop violently from their perch and plummet into the abyss of professional uncertainty.
However, if all goes well and if everything plays out true to form, 2013 should see rebuilt and reestablished versions of these fighters back on the boxing main stage.
The Filipino icon was winless in 2012 and finished the year flat on his face via perfectly-timed Juan Manuel Marquez right hand. But even the greatest of Pacquiao critics should be slow to doubt Manny's ability to still hang with the very best in the sport. Rumor has it that he won't be making his ring return until September, but the chances are very good that he could avenge his knockout loss to Marquez and then, possibly, sign up for a return bout against Timothy Bradley in 2014 to reverse the controversial split decision loss dealt to him last June.
Peterson was riding high in 2011 after victories over Amir Khan and Victor Manuel Cayo placed him firmly atop the junior welterweight divisional rankings. 2012, though, proved to be a nightmare. The Washington DC native would test positive for a banned substance prior to his scheduled rematch with Khan, putting his entire future in doubt. Peterson would not only lose the big money Khan date, but would also sit out the entire year while unable to find a bout. In February, Peterson will finally return to the ring in an IBF world title defense against former champ, Kendall Holt. A good performance will put much of the doping scandal behind him and get him ready for bigger challenges later in the year.
Khan not only finished 2011 with a loss, but he also got stopped in July of 2012 when Danny Garcia, a replacement opponent for Lamont Peterson, stopped him in four rounds. The boisterous Brit restructured his entire camp, cutting ties with Freddie Roach in favor of Virgil Hunter and finishing 2012 with a one-sided shellacking of undersized, overmatched lightweight import, Carlos Molina. Khan will be given every opportunity to succeed in 2013 and, frankly, is still talented enough to beat most opposition without making any changes. The true test will be when Khan is again face to face with an elite-level junior welterweight.
"Tyson" Marquez was having a very solid 2012 as WBA flyweight world champ until he ran into WBO flyweight titlist, Brian Viloria. The hard-hitting 24-year-old southpaw from Sonora, Mexico would find himself over his head in a TKO 10 loss to the talented, well-schooled veteran from Hawaii. Marquez is planning his ring return in February and looks to turn the Viloria loss into a learning experience. At 24 and with plenty of career ahead, Marquez will likely be back near the top of the 112 lb. division by the second half of 2013.
After a controversial decision loss to Tomasz Adamek last year, Chambers made the career choice to trim off about ten pounds of belly fat and compete in the cruiserweight division. Chambers was always a small heavyweight competing in the land of giants, but still managed a certain level of success. At the lower weight, the thinking is that the 30-year-old Chambers should do even better and also add some longevity to his career.
2012 was the best of times and the worst of times for Lopez. First, he got the call to face Victor Ortiz in what was supposed to be a warm-up fight for Ortiz before a shot at Saul Alvarez's WBC junior middleweight title. Lopez rose to the occasion and forced Ortiz to retire from the bout with a fractured jaw. After that, though, things went straight to hell as he took Ortiz's place against Alvarez and was badly beaten in a TKO 5 loss against the naturally bigger defending champ. 2013 should give Lopez a chance at building off his mixed success the year prior and, provided he's in size-appropriate match-ups, he could very well establish himself as a legitimate main stage presence at welterweight or junior welterweight.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
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