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Top 5 fighters who desperately need a big 2014: Adrien Broner, Austin Trout & more

Credit: Tom Casino / Showtime

In most sports, one or two losses can be easily overcome, but in the world of boxing one or two losses can put a great fighter’s career, and his spot on the big stage, in serious jeopardy. Here is a list of fighters who are in must-win situations for their upcoming fights in 2014.

Adrien Broner

The future once looked bright for the young unbeaten star, but Marcos Maidana had other plans for Adrien Broner. He was on his way to superstardom with a couple more wins, but after this setback, his prospects are ambiguous. Great champions such as Ali, Leonard, Pacquiao and more, have all been able to bounce back after shocking losses.

But Broner was so adamant about being an unbeaten champion that the loss might be too devastating to overcome psychologically. Not only that, but his immature, absurd behavior turned him from polarizing to classless, so he was work to do to not only repair his win-loss record and momentum in the ring, but also his status as a commodity outside of it.

Perhaps it would serve the 24-year-old best to move down the 140-pound division. While that division has a lot of tough quality fighters, Broner will have more power and a better overall chance in a lighter weight class. Whoever the brash talking star takes on next, a win is imperative for Broner to remain in the conversation of the big names in boxing. “AB” who was once “about billions”, now looks more like he’s worth thousands. Another loss means he might look more like “hundreds”.

If Broner does happen to lose again, you can bet that Mayweather will be deleting his number from his phone, and so will the rest of the boxing community.

Austin Trout

Trout was a relatively unknown fighter until his upset win over the Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto. That win was supposed to take Trout to the next level, but since then, he has fallen short of expectations. He lost a closely contested contest to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, and was thrashed by Erislandy Lara.

The two men Trout squared off against were two of the best in the 154-pound division, but in order to stay in the limelight, Trout needed to perform better than he did. Trout will now have to decide where he will go from here. A tune up bout will likely be in line for the 28-year-old from New Mexico.

If Trout is able to string together a couple wins, he may get a chance to salvage his future in boxing. Most feel he has the skill to do so, but he certainly didn’t show much of it against Lara.

Lucas Matthysse

“The Machine” was on a tear until he ran into the buzzsaw that was Danny Garcia. Matthysse was annihilating everyone who stepped into the ring with him, and even his two previous losses, to Devon Alexander and Zab Judah, were both close and controversial. And in those two fights he had knocked down both men, something he failed to do for the first time in his career versus Garcia.

Matthysse was winning the early portions of the bout, but his right eyed swelled shut in the middle of the match, and that changed the direction of the fight. He was a big favorite coming into the match because of his superior punching power, but Garcia fought a smart fight, and pulled out the win. Now, Matthysse must go back to the drawing board to see what awaits him next.

A potential fight between him and countryman Marcos Maidana would still be a hellacious war that fans would love to see, and there are plenty of intriguing options in and around the junior welterweight division.

Victor Ortiz

Victor Ortiz was once a young promising prospect, whose career took a drastic turn after the Marcos Maidana loss. Sound familiar, Adrien?

Yes, Ortiz was still able to collect a big win over Andre Berto, which earned him a shot at Floyd Mayweather, but his career hasn’t played out the way many thought it would thus far. After the loss to Mayweather, Ortiz went on to lose again after breaking his jaw in the 9th round against Josesito Lopez. That fight ultimately led him to take a long hiatus from boxing, as Ortiz landed on Dancing with the Stars and had a small role in the Expendables 3.

Ortiz will get back into action when he squares off against proven veteran Luis Collazo. Ortiz is still young, but the question is if he is still hungry, and whether or not he can keep it together in the ring for a full fight against a top-tier opponent.

Brandon Rios

Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios was on top of the boxing world after his monstrous TKO victory over Mike Alvarado. However, the two would go up against each once more several months later, and Alvarado was able to box more than brawl this time around. The decision paid off, as Alvarado claimed redemption.

Many thought Rios wouldn’t earn another big bout in his next fight, but Bob Arum had other plans. Arum and Top Rank liked the style Rios brought to the table for their comebacking star, Manny Pacquiao, and therefore the matchup was made. Rios was clearly outmatched in his first fight at 147 pounds, as he was besieged with big punches all night. While the fight brought more name-recognition to Rios, the previously undefeated fighter now has back-to-back losses, and is in need of a win in his next fight.

There are a lot of potential opponents out there and a rubber match with Alvarado would be something fans would find immensely appealing, but his team would be smart to avoid throwing him right back in there.