It’s that time of the year once again, hardcore boxing fans and casuals alike, we are just a few days away from closing out what has been one of the greatest years that the sport of boxing has produced in recent decades. So we are going to take a look back, and recapture some of the most memorable performances, fights, fighters and moments, of the calendar year. Consider it a small belated holiday gift from me, to all of you.
I am not going sit here and tell you, what I think the fight of the year was, or who deserves to be named the fighter of the year. I won’t speculate as to what should be considered, the upset of the year, or declare which trainer did the most, to earn the coveted trainer of the year designation. Well on second thought; I will tell you who I think the trainer of the year should be because that’s a no brainer.
Robert Garcia! I just love him and his team out in Oxnard, those guys are really good people. His body of work with Mikey Garcia; looking better and better each time out smoothly sailing toward pound for pound recognition. The “Mexican Russian” Evgeny Gradovich captured a title and defended it twice. Of course last but definitely not least, the amazing improvement and break out victory of Marcos “El Chino” Maidana. The guy locked up the award for his trainer, in my opinion. He physically destroyed Adrien Broner, in an instant classic, just a few weeks back.
Most of you guys saw the fights, just like me. I believe you should be able to decide for your self. I will just tell you, what I think the most amazing moments were. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of boxing in 2013 has to be Tim Bradley vs. Ruslan Provodnikov. This fight was nothing short of amazing. It saw Bradley hurt on various occasions, only to regain his senses and box Ruslan, just enough to win a clear decision, despite having to take a knee and being out on his feet with a concussion, at least three times during that bout.
I thought that Denis Lebedev vs. Guillermo Jones was one of the most brutal prize fights, I have ever seen. This was special. I am surprised that Denis Lebedev will actually fight again. Apparently the rematch is coming soon. There were quite a few more excellent, brutal fights. I won’t go into to much detail, but they are must see TV, trust me. Please check out Rios vs. Alvarado 2, Thurman vs. Chaves, Berto vs. Soto Karass, and Figueroa vs. Arakawa. Last but not least, there was Perez vs. Abdusalamov. This was hands down, the best heavy weight fight, I have seen, since Brewster vs. Liakhovich. My prayers go out to Mago and his family. There was also Froch vs. Groves, yet another instant classic, set out in the UK.
There were five guys that stood out this year, winning fight after fight, in impressive fashion, making a great impact on us and our minds, and we will surely keep and eye on them because bigger and richer fights are certainly in their future. These guys are Mikey Garcia, Sergey Kovalev, Gennady Golovkin, Adonis Stevenson and last but not least Keith Thurman. Honorable mention as well, to Guillermo Rigondeaux who, shot to the pinnacle of the sport with less than 15 professional fights. Incredible!
There are so many other topics that I want to touch on, so I will write a follow up story. I will cover Floyd’s virtuoso performance over Saul Canelo Alvarez. Danny Garcia’s grinding beat down over Lucas Matthysse and the successful return of the one and only Manny Pacquiao. There was also Miguel Cotto’s resurgence under new trainer Freddy Roach. The also saw the continued decline of the Argentine star Sergio Martinez. Then we had the highly anticipated return of Andre Ward, who showed his class by dominating Edwin Rodriguez. In addition we had highly unexpected upsets, like Gonzalez vs. Mares, Stevenson vs. Cloud and Maidana over Broner. To be continued……..