Year-End Awards: Junior Middleweight, 2012

This is the first time I’ve done this, and I hope you like it.  It’s been a lot of effort.  First, a list of awards for the division.  Then, a look at the 20 fighters that did the best work in 2012 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Junior Middleweight Fighter of the Year: Carlos Molina
He probably got less press overall than the otherwise anonymous lightweight prospect of the same name who got dragged up in weight to fight a ridiculoulsy doomed mismatch against Amir Khan late in the year.  He also only fought one significant fight on the year, but he made it count.  By all rights, he soundly defeated a #3 contender in James Kirkland (fresh off the Angulo win), which is the best single result of anybody in the division, and outpaces runner-up Austin Trout, who decisioned #6 Miguel Cotto and #13 Delvin Rodriguez.

 

Prospect of the Year: Sergey Rabchenko
My prospect of the year will always be the fighter that had the best year, that has fewer than 3 losses, and who has never been in the top 10.  The clear-cut pick is Sergey Rabchenko, who despite struggling in his November fight with fellow prospect Cedric Vitu, stopped and ultimately retired #11 Ryan Rhodes in June.  The runner-up would be Keith Thurman, who destroyed #16 Carlos Quintana despite really being a welterweight.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: #3 Cornelius Bundrage TKO7 #11 Cory Spinks
I choose this winner mechanically- basically the fight among the fighters with the highest ranking that ends in a stoppage.  That’s how we get this fight honored, despite the fact that it was a rematch confirming a prior result, and despite the fact that it really didn’t affect either fighter’s ranking.  The runner-up (and really the better choice under different criteria) is Sergey Rabchenko vs. Ryan Rhodes, with Thurman vs. Quintana being significant, as well.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: #10 Gabriel Rosado TKO9 #19 Sechew Powell
This category was tailor-made for Gabe Rosado this year.  Rosado had three respectable entries into sweepstakes, having gone 3-0 with 3 impressive stoppages on the campaign.  The most exciting came at the end of his good, competitive fight with Sechew Powell, and after he had begun to take over and wear his man out.  I’ll let it speak for itself, for the most part.  If you click on “TKO9” above, it will take you to a video of the full fight.  Seek to about 29:30 and you’ll see the set up and the stoppage.

 

Match-Up of the Year: #4 Miguel Cotto vs. #1 Welterweight Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
It’s a bit of a close call between Cotto-Mayweather and Molina-Kirkland, since Mayweather’s only ranking at the time was at 147.  But surely he has instant credibility at 154 to the extent that, in combination with the magnitude of the event the fight was, his fight with Cotto was indeed the most important match-up of 2012.  To put this magnitude into perspective, Mayweather-Cotto headlined a major HBO Pay-per-View, while Kirkland-Molina was a mere co-feature on a World Championship Boxing Broadcast.

 

Fight of the Year: #1 Welterweight Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. #4 Miguel Cotto
Inherent importance, action, and competitiveness.  Those are my criteria for this award, and this fight had it all.  So much competitiveness, in fact, that I managed to see it narrowly for Cotto (I know not many people did, and I’m not all that confident in that, either).  Cotto did what all of Mayweather’s larger opponents should do.  He committed himself to staying close and working, and it paid off to the tune of what even Floyd acknowledged was his toughest fight, and a much more crowd-pleasing outing than we usually see from the pound-for-pound king.

 

Upset of the Year: Carlos Quintana TKO6 Deandre Latimore
Several decent but not overwhelming options were on the table.  Sergey Rabchenko was less-proven than Ryan Rhodes, but Rabchenko was undefeated, while Rhodes appeared to be on the way down.  Jimmy Colas was a mere journeyman when he destroyed gatekeeper Frank Haroche Horta, but Horta was an inconsistent operator at the European level anyway, and was probably rated significantly above Colas only due to timing and recent opposition.  Willie Nelson shocked Yudel Jhonson in what has to be at least the runner-up, but Jhonson was still only 12-0, and was at least fighting the best opponent of his career.  Quintana, on the other hand, appeared to be a fading memory.  He seemed like a journeyman, and was brought in as a designated opponent on a PPV opener against house fighter and former top-5 contender Deandre Latimore.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Willie Nelson
There wasn’t a really obvious comeback fighter at 154 this year.  The only two that really struck me as possibilities were Roberto Garcia and Willie Nelson.  That begs two questions: what are they coming back from, and what did they do this year to make that comeback happen?  For Garcia, he’s coming back from a 2010 loss to Antonio Margarito and a rebuilding year in 2011 in which he just fought 2 journeymen.  For Nelson, he’s coming back from a close 2011 loss in which he was nevertheless dropped 3 times against fellow prospect Vincent Arroyo at welterweight- the type of fight that would bust lesser prospects- and rebounded by handing highly-touted undefeated Cuban Yudel Jhonson his first loss in a masterful May performance.  To me, that gives a narrow edge to Nelson.  He is coming back from a taxing loss early in his career, while Garcia is merely coming back from a decision loss in a fight he was supposed to lose by knockout.

 

Robbery of the Year: Zaurbek Baysangurov UD12 #15 Lukas Konecny
Konecny pushed the pace, bullied Baysangurov around the ring for virtually the entire fight, and had a huge advantage in clean effective punching, as Baysangurov flailed away with ridiculous-looking arm punches even at his best.  Granted, this wasn’t a huge fight for the English-speaking media, but it’s still odd to me that I haven’t really come across any outrage over what, to me, was one of the worst robberies since Campillo-Shumenov II.  Konecny won no less than 9 of the 12 rounds, and yet the awful judges had it 119-109 (Mickey Vann), 118-110 (Lahcen Oumghar), and 117-111 (Matteo Montella), proving that they either don’t understand boxing, or else were co-employed by someone other than the Ukrainian commission.

 

Now, for anyone that cares, I will rank the division based solely on the fighters’ 2012 accomplishments.  I will use the same criteria that I use to rank them overall (with victories, draws, or should-be victories and draws over top 50 opposition making one eligible), but will completely ignore all fights prior to 2012.

 

1) Carlos Molina
Significant Results: Mar 24- L (DQ10) (should be TD10 W) vs. #3 James Kirkland.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Mar 25: #6.  Mar 26- May 6: #1.  May 7- Dec 31: #2.
2) Austin Trout
Significant Results: Jun 2- UD12 #13 Delvin Rodriguez.  Dec 1- UD12 #6 Miguel Cotto.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-22: #9.  Jan 23-29: #10.  Jan 30- Feb 19: #11.  Feb 20- May 6: #12.  May 7-27: #13.  May 28- Jun 3: #12.  Jun 4- Dec 2: #8.  Dec 3-31: #4.
3) Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Significant Results: May 5- UD12 (should be L) vs. #4 Miguel Cotto.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 6: Ranked only at WW.  May 7- Nov 11: #4.  Nov 12- Dec 2: #5.  Dec 3-31: #6.
4) Miguel Cotto
Significant Results: May 5- L (UD12) (should be W) vs. #1 welterweight Floyd Mayweather, Jr..  Dec 1- L (UD12) vs. #8 Austin Trout.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 6: #4.  May 7- Nov 11: #5.  Nov 12- Dec 2: #6.  Dec 3-31: #7.
5) Saul Alvarez
Significant Results: May 5- UD12 fringe contender Shane Mosley.  Sep 15- TKO5 welterweight contender Josesito Lopez.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Mar 25: #1.  Mar 26- May 6: #2.  May 7- Dec 31: #1.
6) Sergey Rabchenko
Significant Results: Jun 16- TKO7 #11 Ryan Rhodes.  Nov 24- W(SD12) vs. prospect Cedric Vitu.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 17: Unranked.  Jun 18- Dec 31: #12.
7) Cornelius Bundrage
Significant Results: Jun 30- TKO7 #11 Cory Spinks. 
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Mar 25: #2.  Mar 26- Dec 31: #3.
8) Cory Spinks
Significant Results: Jan 28- UD12 #11 Sechew Powell.  Jun 30- L (TKO7) vs. #3 Cornelius Bundrage.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-29: Unranked.  Jan 30- Feb 19: #10.  Feb 20- May 6: #11.  May 7-27: #12.  May 28- Jun 3: #11.  Jun 4-17: #12.  Jun 18- Dec 31: #11.
9) Erislandy Lara
Significant Results: Jun 30- UD10 gatekeeper Freddy Hernandez.  Nov 10- Robbery Draw (TD9) (should be W) vs. #15 Vanes Martirosyan.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 6: #5.  May 7- Nov 11: #6.  Nov 12- Dec 2: #4.  Dec 3-31: #5.
10) Gabriel Rosado
Significant Results: Jan 21- TKO5 fringe contender Jesus Soto Karass.  Jun 1- TKO9 #19 Sechew Powell.  Sep 21- TKO10 gatekeeper Charles Whittaker.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1-22: #11.  Jan 23- Feb 19: #9.  Feb 20- May 6: #10.  May 7-27: #11.  May 28- Dec 31: #10.
11) Keith Thurman
Significant Results: Nov 24- TKO4 #16 Carlos Quintana.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 25: Unranked.  Nov 26- Dec 31: #15.
12) Lukas Konecny
Significant Results: Oct 6- Robbery L (UD12) (should be W) vs. gatekeeper Zaurbek Baysangurov.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Mar 18: #17.  Mar 19- May 6: #16.  May 7-27: #18.  May 28- Jun 3: #17.  Jun 4-10: #16.  Jun 11- Oct 7: #15.  Oct 8- Dec 31: #14.
13) Roberto Garcia
Significant Results: Mar 23- UD10 fringe contender Antwone Smith.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 10: Unranked.  Jun 11-17: #19.  Jun 18- Sep 9: #20.  Sep 10- Dec 16: #19.  Dec 17-31: #18.
14) Guido Pitto
Significant Results: Robbery L (MD10) (should be W) vs. gatekeeper Mateo Veron.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
15) Willie Nelson

Significant Results: May 11- UD10 undefeated prospect Yudel Jhonson.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Akio Shibata
Significant Results: Jun 2- UD10 gatekeeper Daisuke Nakagawa.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
17) Javier Maciel
Significant Results: Jul 20- UD10 gatekeeper Mateo Veron. 
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
18) Kris Carslaw
Significant Results: Jun 2- L (UD12) (should be win) vs. #14 Brian Rose.  Nov 3- L (UD3) vs. undefeated prospect Larry Ekundayo.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
19) Matthew Hall
Significant Results: Apr 28- Robbery L(SD12) (should be W) vs. gatekeeper Sam Webb.  Jul 14- L (UD12) vs. undefeated prospect Gary O’Sullivan (at MW).
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
20) Zaurbek Baysangurov
Significant Results: May 12- UD12 (should be L) undefeated prospect Michel Soro.  Oct 6- Robbery UD12 (should be L) vs. #15 Lukas Konecny.
2012 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

The following fighters could be found in the top 20 at various parts of the year, but either retired, were catastrophically injured, or did nothing at this weight to help their ranking:

 

James Kirkland: Jan 1- Mar 25: #3.  Mar 26- May 6: #6.  May 7- Dec 2: #7.  Dec 3-31: #8.
Alfredo Angulo: Jan 1- Feb 19: #7.  Feb 20- May 6: #8.  May 7-27: #9.  May 28- Jun 3: #8.  Jun 4- Dec 31: #9.
Ryan Rhodes: Jan 1- Feb 19: #8.  Feb 20- May 6: #9.  May 7-27: #10.  May 28- Jun 3: #9.  Jun 4-17: #11.  Jun 18- Sep 9: #17.  Sep 10- Dec 31: Unranked (Retired).
Sechew Powell: Jan 1-22: #10.  Jan 23-29: #11.  Jan 30- Mar 18: #18.  Mar 19- May 6: #17.  May 7- 27: #20.  May 28- Jun 10: #19.  Jun 11-17: #17.  Jun 18- Sep 9: #18.  Sep 10- Dec 31: #17.
Delvin Rodriguez: Jan 1- Feb 19: #12.  Feb 20- May 6: #13.  May 7-27: #14.  May 28- Dec 31: #13.
Paul Williams: Jan 1- Feb 19: #13.  Feb 20- May 6: #7.  May 7-27: #8.  May 28- Dec 31: Unranked (Paralyzed).
Brian Rose: Jan 1- May 6: #14.  May 7-27: #15.  May 28- Jun 3: #14.  Jun 4-10: #20.  Jun 11-17: #18.  Jun 18- Sep 9: #19.  Sep 10- Dec 16: #18.  Dec 17-31: #20.
Vanes Martirosyan: Jan 1- May 6: #15.  May 7-27: #17.  May 28- Jun 3: #16.  Jun 4-10: #15.  Jun 11- Oct 7: #14.  Oct 8- Nov 25: #15.  Nov 26- Dec 31: #16.
Yuri Foreman: Jan 1- Mar 18: #16.  Mar 19- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).
Deandre Latimore: Jan 1-29: #18.  Jan 30- Feb 26: #19.  Feb 27- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved up).
Antonio Margarito: Jan 1-29: #19.  Jan 30- Feb 26: #20.  Feb 27- Mar 18: #19.  Mar 19- May 6: #18.  May 7-27: Unranked.  May 28- Jun 3: #20.  Jun 4-10: #18.  Jun 11- Dec 31: Unranked (Retired).
Prince Arron: Jan 1-29: #20.  Jan 30- Feb 26: Unranked.  Feb 27- Mar 18: #20.  Mar 19- May 6: #19.  May 7- Dec 31: Unranked.
Anthony Mundine: Jan 1- Mar 18: Unranked.  Mar 19- May 6: #20.  May 7- Jun 10: Unranked.  Jun 11-17: #20.  Jun 18- Sep 9: Unranked.  Sep 10- Dec 16: #20.  Dec 17-31: #19.
Shane Mosley: Jan 1- May 6: Unranked.  May 7-27: #16.  May 28- Jun 3: #15.  Jun 4-10: #14.  Jun 11- Dec 31: Unranked (Retired).
Carlos Quintana: Jan 1- May 6: Unranked.  May 7-27: #19.  May 28- Jun 3: #18.  Jun 4-10: #17.  Jun 11- Nov 25: #16.  Nov 26- Dec 31: Unranked (Retired).
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: