Worst boxing predictions, picks: Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley make the list after losses to Manny Pacquiao


Becoming an expert in your given trade doesn’t happen because of perfection, as one will quickly find out in handicapping the sport of boxing. Given the unpredictability of the sweet science, where a fight can end at any time with one punch, upsets can spoil anyone’s best-laid plans (or picks, for that matter). 

The CBS Sports boxing crew has had a few of their own predictions over the years that they would like to take back or, preferably, have removed from the permanent record. Unfortunately in these modern times, the Internet never forgets so let’s take a closer look at our worst boxing picks in recent years.

Brian Campbell — Guillermo Rigondeaux SD Vasiliy Lomachenko (December 2017): Yikes. That’s about all I can say looking back. The unbeaten Rigondeaux was one of the sport’s great mysteries given his incredible technical skill yet chronic ability to shoot himself in his own foot with poor business decisions and boring performances. You either believed in artistic wizardry of the Cuban master or you didn’t. I did. I was ringside when he masterfully disarmed Nonito Donaire in 2013. If anyone could play chess with Lomachenko, it was Rigondeaux. The problem was, the Donaire fight was contested at 122 pounds. By the time “El Chacal” faced the pound-for-pound king Lomachenko after years of poor matchmaking and inactivity, Rigondeaux was 37 and forced to move up two weight classics in boxing’s first meeting between two-time Olympic gold medalists. As soon as Rigondeaux got a taste of Lomachenko’s size, incredible speed and unique style of his own, he was already out of the fight. To make matters worse for his own reputation, Rigondeaux decided not to give his detractors the benefit of seeing him absorb punishment while overmatched and instead quit the fight after six rounds. 

Campbell — Tavoris Cloud KO Bernard Hopkins (March 2013): If you have been around boxing long enough, everyone has that time they expected the ageless B-Hop to show up old and pay the price for it. Fresh off a decided loss to Chad Dawson in their light heavyweight title bout one year earlier, this felt like the perfect time to expect the 48-year-old Hopkins to find some trouble against an unbeaten IBF champion in Cloud who had power and a streak of impressive wins versus elite foes. Yet despite an 11-month layoff, Hopkins defied the odds again by reclaiming a piece of the 175-pound title and breaking his own record for oldest fighter in boxing history to capture a belt. Hopkins was too quick and savvy on this night and never faced any trouble in a one-sided win. 

Campbell — Oscar De La Hoya KO Manny Pacquiao (December 2008): Billed as the “Dream Match” because of how unlikely it was to see two superstars so far apart in weight come together for a major pay-per-view bout, this proved way more of a nightmare for the 36-year-old De La Hoya than anyone could’ve expected. Not only did I think Pacquiao was a bit crazy to rise up one more weight class after turning pro at 106 pounds to now fight at 147, I thought De La Hoya had more than enough to finish him even after a sluggish showcase win over Steve Forbes. Instead, cutting down to welterweight for the first time in seven years proved too much for the “Golden Boy,” who showed up a shell of himself. Yes, Pacquiao was so great back then, there’s a chance it never would’ve mattered even had De La Hoya properly rehydrated to a more comfortable weight. It turned out to be the worst beating of De La Hoya’s career as he retired on his stool after eight rounds and never fought again. 

Brent Brookhouse — Shane Mosley KO Manny Pacquiao (May 2011): Pacquiao entered the fight on a 13-fight winning streak and as high as a -1000 favorite. Mosley, on the other hand, was 2-2-1 in his five previous fights and was clearly on the back side of his career. There was something enticing about Mosley’s history as a larger, battle-tested fighter who could crack the jaw of Pacquiao. Mosley would technically score a knockdown in the fight, though it was largely a product of a trip. But from start to finish, Pacquiao dominated the fight, including scoring a brutal knockdown in the third round. The idea that Manny was there to be hit and Mosley could hit hard enough to finish him was an intriguing one, but in reality, it was simply 12 rounds of Pacquiao doing anything and everything he wanted to win every round along the way — even taking the round where he suffered the controversial knockdown on two of the official scorecards.





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