Which could be more humiliating - suffering a loss in the ring or being proclaimed winner but being doubted by sports fans that the athlete deserves the title?
That is possibly the situation the once-undefeated American boxer Timothy Bradley would be dealing with the coming days following his loss on Saturday, April 12, to eight-division titleholder Manny Pacquiao in a unanimous decision.
On the eve of his rematch with Pacquiao, Bradley had admitted contemplating suicide because of the verbal abuse he got from boxing fans who drop snide remarks that he didn't deserve the WBO welterweight title and he must consequently return the belt.
Although he had battled the accompanying depression caused by doubts over his win in the controversial June 2012 first bout, until Friday night, Bradley was confident he would win the rematch and perhaps, if he gets lucky, end the bout early enough via a knockout.
Not only did the KO not happen, but the judges' decision favoured Pacquiao, dealing the 30-year-old boxer his first loss in the hands of a boxer 5 years his senior and whom he dismissed as having lost his killer instinct.
If boxing fans were to listen to Bradley's statement after his loss, it would appear that he is handling his loss well as he said, "I lost one fight. The war is not over. I gotta go back to the gym and get better."
He even added, "I tried. I really tried. I just lost to the best fighter in the world."
So far, based on Bradley's response, there are appears to be no need to place him on a suicide watch. Suffering defeat and eating humble pie appears to have done the once trash-talking pugilist more good than harm compared to upper cuts on his ego caused by doubts from boxing fans if he really deserved the championship belt he won in June 2012.
He was even quoted as saying in a post-fight press conference, "I don't want to take anything from Pacquiao. He fought a courageous fight and he did his best. I have to accept defeat like a man."
Indeed, Bradley seems to have become a changed man like Pacquiao who have been transformed from an alleged womaniser to a faithful husband, or could it have been the effect of the alleged hex that Manny's mum, Dionesia Pacquiao, is suspected of having cast on Bradley at the height of the rematch?