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Wed Jan 1, 2014, 02:26 PM

Boxing: 2013 in Review

I have watched boxing -- amateur and professional, on television and from ringside -- for fifty years now. In fact, I had my first amateur bout 50 years ago this past summer. In my opinion, 2013 was boxing's best year in my lifetime. And that is in spite of the fact that the heavyweight division has continued to be largely non-competitive, and that amatuer boxing continued to be subjected to international scoring rules that were developed to hamper USA boxers.

"Boxing is dead (or dying)" has been a constant theme of those who dislike the Great Sport. It seems hard to believe in a year where one fighter earned more than $90 million for a single bout. That fighter is Floyd Mayweather, Jr., of course. At the beginning of the year, I had noted that Floyd's going from HBO to Showtime would have a huge impact upon the sport. It changed the HBO promotion of mismatches, in which the HBO-contracted fighter faced lesser opposition, to showcase their talent. More, it did something else equally important: it added depth to the undercards of mega-main events.

In picking my choices for "fighter of the year," etc., I'm going to go with others in the sport. Floyd is the "Greatest of the Era." In May, he easily decisioned tough Robert Guererro (and earned $40 million); in September, he decisioned Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, who entered the ring with a 20 pound weight advantage. Several of my friends who have longed to see Floyd defeated came away with a new-found respect for him after that fight.

Here are some of my choices:

[1] Fighter of the Year: I'm gooing with Philly's Danny Garcia. He defended his title against Zab Judah in April, in a bout where the aging ex-champion put on his best performance in many years. Garcia showed that he was more talented than most fans (and "experts" had realized. Next, on the undercard of Mayweather vs Canelo, Danny decisioned Lucas Matthysse in a 12 round, action-packed, war. The odds had heavily favored Lucas to knock Danny out, but this tough young champion showed both a skill set and chin that surprised everyone, except Garcia and his father.

[2] Fight of the Year: This is a tie between Tim Bradleys's split-decision victory over Ruslan Provodnikov in March, and Marcos Maidana's upset victory over the highly obnoxious Adrien Broner in December. Bradley, who was almost knocked out in both the first and last rounds, fought the wrong fight, and suffered serious damage in doing so. (Ten months later, he fought a near-perfect fight in defeating Juan Manuel Marquez.)

Maidana had been picked to showcase Broner's skills. But he hurt the champion in the first 30 seconds of round one; decked him in rounds two and eight; and forced Broner to fight toe-to-toe in an action-packed bout. Despite the referee's blatant favoring of Broner, Maidana won a lop-sided decision.

[3] Knockout of the Year: The most significant was Adonis Stevenson's first round destruction of Chad Dawson, to win the light heavyweight title. The scariest was Deontay Wilder's devastation of Siarhei Liakhovich in one round; the victim of Wilder's 29th straight knockout appeared to go into convulsions as he lay unconscious on the mat
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[4] Prospect of the Year: Deontay Wilder, at 6' 7" tall, with an 84" reach, won four impressive knockouts in 2013. He appears to be the best American heavyweight in a long time. He reminds many of a heavyweight Thomas "the Hit Man" Hearns. He has won all 30 of his fights by knockout.

[5] Elder Statesman of the Year: Bernard Hopkins decisioned previouslu undefeated Tavoris Cloud in March, and tough Karo Murat (25-1) in October.

[6] Under-appreciated Champion: Guillermo Rigondeaux easily outpointed Nonito Donare and Joseph Agbeko this year. He is this era's Willie Pep ("You couldn't hit me with a handful of pebbles!". However, his "hit and not-be-hit" style does not excite the casual boxing fans.

[7] Comeback of the Year: Manny Pacquiao lost both of his 2012 bouts -- a controversial decision to Timothy Bradley, and a devastating 6-round knockout to Marquez. In November, Pac Man returned to the ring with a one-sided decision over Brandon Rios.

Note: Because Pacquiao is in debt, both in the Phillapines and in the US, he is likely to agree to fight Mayweather for $40 million. Floyd remains undefeated, holds the title, and far outsells Manny on pay-per-view numbers. It could happen in May, although there is a better chance this long anticipated bout will happen in September.

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H2O Man Jan 2014 OP
H2O Man Jan 2014 #1
JonLP24 Jan 2014 #2

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 01:35 PM

1. Good news!

I had a phone call this morning from a man who I consider a very reliable source. He said that Floyd & Manny have reached an agreement to fight in September. It is not supposed to be "officially" announced -- apparently there is some belief that it could hurt PPV sales for either/both of their spring bouts. I think it might actually increase interest, hence sales.

My source says Floyd by decision. I think he will KO Pac Man in five rounds.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 05:01 PM

2. Rigondeaux did excite me

I do hope to see him again at-least one more time.

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