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Challenging Boxing's Myths Part Two - Undefeated - how much does it matter?
By Jim Cawkwell (June 25, 2004) 
Once again, I would like to thank all of the fans out there who not only read the first part of this series but also contributed their opinions to the follow-up piece.
As everyone saw, there were some excellent comments and arguments put forth and I hope that this installment of the series inspires as much quality feedback.

The topic for discussion is…

Undefeated - how much does it matter?

In recent times, the fascination with unbeaten fighters seems to have grown considerably. It seems that the management of certain fighters is fashioned to protect their unbeaten status and such practices often neglect to nourish the underdeveloped facets of the fighter’s experience. The worse case scenario is that a fighter receives a stern test at a latter stage, when his reputation supersedes his ability and he is both overwhelmed and humiliated in the process.

The myth of the undefeated fighter seems to centre on the need for fans and experts alike to believe in the concept of a fighter as an invincible force. Of course, this mentality is hugely idealistic and quite ridiculous in reality. We are so quick to bestow the unbeaten fighter with the title of greatness after one memorable win, and even quicker to dismiss him should he lose.

'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler is but one of many fighters to suffer a loss at the outset of his career, only to forge ahead regardless into becoming a household name. Too often, the loss of a fighter is seen to be the ruin of his reputation and a stain on his career. However, some of the finest fighters plying their trade in today’s fight scene have suffered multiple losses, but have gained from the experience.

Of course, loss is unavoidable for most fighters who do not have the gift of being supremely talented from the very beginning of their journey. Nor do they have the privilege of being hand-selected by a wealthy promotional outfit and steadily guided through their careers. Of course, most descend into the mediocrity of underachievement, but some truly learn from defeat and return tougher and better equipped for the road ahead.

Therefore, I put to you the following questions:

What are your expectations of a fighter?

Can you honestly say that your expectations are realistic?

Is it fair to disregard the qualities and achievements of a fighter simply because he is no longer undefeated?

Why are we still so attentive to some fighters who are obviously being protected?

Please address your responses to me at
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