In my last column, I covered some of the best fights and fighters of 2013. I gave you my entry for trainer of year. I also touched on some of the most shocking upsets that took place. However the year was so eventful, that I did not have an opportunity to write about a few other very important events that took place in the fabulous 2013.
I told you guys that I would cover Floyd’s virtuoso performance over Canelo, Danny Garcia beating down Lucas Matthysse, the successful return of Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto’s resurgence, under new trainer Freddy Roach, the continued decline of Sergio Martinez, and the highly anticipated return of Andre Ward, who showed his class by dominating Edwin Rodriguez.
Let’s start with what was a block buster fight and also the biggest boxing event of the last few years. The highly promoted “The One” main event turned out to be, more hype than substance, mainly because Canelo Alvarez frankly fought a very dumb fight. Also, because Floyd Mayweather was that much better than him. He dominated the green Canelo, virtually every round.
He picked his spots to fight in front of the young lion, really punishing Alvarez multiple times during the fight. Floyd did a great job all around and looked unbelievable in this performance. The important thing here is that many people thought that perhaps Canelo could challenge Floyd, me included, boy were we wrong. Floyd Mayweather is the greatest boxer in the world today, no question.
The co main event of “The One” was sold as Danny Garcia, the sacrificial lamb, being thrown to the wolves, yet again, this time it was against Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse. In this great fight, the hunted became the hunter. Garcia controlled the fight with his stiff jab and solid footwork. He made Matthysse pay for all of his mistakes. He found a home for that powerful left hook early, touching Lucas often. Danny puffed up his eye, with a slicing shot in round four, which bothered Lucas from that point forward.
Danny’s ability to roll with the punches and that seamless transition from defense to offense and from boxing to fighting was in full display. Once he figured out that Lucas had no answers for his combinations and could not handle his power, the fight was basically over. However, he had to display his unreal chin in the eleventh. When Lucas opened up fast and punched Danny in the mouth so hard, he sent his mouthpiece flying, into the proverbial 8th row. Danny is masterful, but his great abilities are not easily recognized, by the general boxing spectator. “Boxing is like jazz, the better it is, the less people appreciate it” – George Foreman. Danny won a clear decision knocking down a battered Lucas in the process.
Manny Pacquiao made his highly anticipated return in Macao, China. I always enjoy watching Manny perform. But many people were disappointed with the “predictable” way the fight unfolded. Brandon Rios was thoroughly beaten and if he did not have such a sturdy chin, he would have been knocked out. He looked fairly good if you ask me, he kept Brandon honest, which is no easy task. Rios was too worried about the speed and the comeback, to let his hands go. Not bad for a guy who was, put to sleep in his prior fight.
I will have to do a part three everyone, just too much to cover. I will recap Cotto, Ward and Sergio’s years briefly and we will touch on Erislandy Lara, who also had a fantastic year. Kirkland and Tapia will get some ink as well; damn 2013 was an incredible year.