Year-End Awards: Light Heavyweight, 2013

Welcome to my 2nd Annual Light Heavyweight Year-End Awards and Wrap-Up.  First, a list of awards for the division.  Then, a look at the 20 fighters that did the best work in 2013 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Light Heavyweight Fighter of the Year: Adonis Stevenson
Stevenson burst on the scene at 175 in a big way this year.  Last year he was the hard-hitting #6 contender at 168, frustrated in his efforts to land a fight with Carl Froch.  This year he’s considered the lineal light heavyweight champion by many (I do not share this opinion), and certainly the #1 contender if not.  He beat #1, #6, and #8 contenders on the year (Dawson, Bellew, and Cloud), which clearly beats out runner-up Sergey Kovalev’s impressive year.

 

Prospect of the Year: Hadillah Mohoumadi
I originally was giving the honor to Cedric Agnew before I realized that he had lost his “prospect” status by my definition for these purposes, by briefly cracking the top 10 for just under a month.  The next possible candidate was Edwin Rodriguez, but I’ve had him losing to Aaron Pryor, Jr., Will Rosinsky, and Ezequiel Maderna, so to me he’s more like a veteran fringe contender than a prospect.  That leaves it to Hadillah Mohoumadi, who is maybe more of a super middleweight at present, but went into hostile territory to stop the highly-regarded Pawel Glazewski to earn the honor at this weight.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: Adonis Stevenson TKO1 #1 Chad Dawson
In addition to meeting the straightforward criteria I use to decide this category- that being the fight in which the highest-ranked fighter was stopped, this one is a pretty common-sense choice.  Dawson wasn’t exactly at the peak of his powers- having been stopped by Andre Ward in 2012- but he was still the top ranked contender at 175, and his quick knockout came as a shock to many.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: Yunieski Gonzalez KO8 Rowland Bryant
You know the competition was steep in this category when you stop to consider that Adonis Stevenson’s two sensational destructions of Dawson and Bellew and Kovalev’s massacre of Sillakh were all runners-up.  I know that only about 100 people have seen the actual winner, but check it out by clicking “KO8” above.  The big right hand lands at the 1:56 mark of the video, and it’s well worth a look.  For style points in the landed punches, check out Mateo Veron’s TKO of Ricardo Ramallo, as well.

 

Match-Up of the Year: #1 Adonis Stevenson vs. #6 Tony Bellew
Even with a solid average ranking of 3.5, this matchup had plenty of competition.  Stevenson was ranked #6 a division to the south when he fought #1 Chad Dawson, but 1-6 at 175 beats 1-6 at 168/175. #2 Hopkins vs. #6 Cloud is another really good runner-up.

 

Fight of the Year: Enzo Maccarinelli TKO11 Ovill McKenzie
A lot of big-ticket fights this year, but a lot of them turned out to be beat-downs or dominations.  Maccarinelli and McKenzie put forth a mutually gruelling effort in their rematch, and it was a very competitive battle in general.  That’s covers the action and competitiveness categories that I judge this on…and the result was exciting as well, with Maccarinelli knocking McKenzie clean out on his feet, hunched over.  If you haven’t seen it, you should.  The only other candidate that jumped out at me was Fonfara-Campillo.
 
Upset of the Year: Doudou Ngumbu UD12 #14 Vyacheslav Uzelkoff
This category is a tough call this year, with a relative lack of standout options.  Ultimately I went with Ngumbu over Uzelkoff.  Uzelkoff was a ranked contender, and Ngumbu a fairly low-level gatekeeper.  The runner-up for the honor was probably Mikhalkin over Ngumbu, interestingly enough.  The difference in status at the time of the fight was even more pronounced, but it was less of an upset intellectually, since Mikhalkin had already beaten Ngumbu in a previous fight.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Enzo Maccarinelli
Maccarinelli came back in 2013 from a rather discrediting campaign in 2012.  That year, he was stopped by Ovill McKenzie and most likely needed a timekeeper’s error to avoid suffering the same fate against journeyman Shane McPhilbin.  I’m not saying he’s a top contender now, as he once was, but his revenge knockout of McKenzie goes a long way toward making him relevant again, when it appeared that his trajectory was entirely in the direction of obscurity and/or retirement.

 

Robbery of the Year: Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. UD10 Bryan Vera
I originally had the first Bellew-Chilemba fight as the winner, but only because I forgot that this fight was actually contested at light heavyweight due to Chavez’s laziness.  This was, if not a true robbery in the sense of being completely unreasonable, about as close as you can get.  I had it 97-93 Vera.  There were a lot of close rounds, and I personally could imagine someone scoring it for Chavez, though I could also have seen Chavez winning as little as one round.  Maybe I was being too kind.  I’ve seldom seen such unanimity in the press and fan reaction.  There were apparently only three people in the world that actually scored it for Chavez.  Still, in the interests of consistency, I have to say that by the standards I use in print here, I don’t consider this a true robbery- merely a bad decision.  Still, it narrowly beats out Bellew-Chilemba as the worst decision of the year in the division.

 

Now, for anyone that cares, I will rank the division based solely on the fighters’ 2013 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 2013.

 

1) Adonis Stevenson
Significant Results: Jun 8- TKO1 #1 Chad Dawson. Sep 28- RTD7 #8 Tavoris Cloud. Nov 30- TKO6 #6 Tony Bellew.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 9: Ranked only at SMW. Jun 10- Dec 31: #1.
2) Sergey Kovalev
Significant Results: Jan 19- TKO3 #4 Gabriel Campillo. Jun 14- TKO3 #10 Cornelius White. Aug 17- TKO4 #8 Nathan Cleverly. Nov 30- TKO2 Gatekeeper Ismayl Sillakh.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: Unranked. Jan 21- May 12: #4. May 13-26: #3. May 27-Jun 9: #4. Jun 10-16: #5. Jun 17- Dec 31: #3.
3) Bernard Hopkins
Significant Results: Mar 9- UD12 #6 Tavoris Cloud.  Oct 26- UD12 Inactive Fringe Contender Karo Murat.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: #2.
4) Andrzej Fonfara
Significant Results: Aug 16- KO9 #6 Gabriel Campillo.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #13. Jan 21- Feb 3: #14. Feb 4- Mar 17: #15. Mar 18- Apr 7: #14. Apr 8-14: #13. Apr 15- May 12: #14. May 13- Jun 2: #13. Jun 3-9: #12. Jun 10- Jul 14: #13. Jul 15- Aug 18: #14. Aug 19- Dec 31: #5.
5) Tony Bellew
Significant Results: Mar 30- Draw (should be loss) vs. #13 Isaac Chilemba. May 25- UD12 #7 Isaac Chilemba. Nov 30- L (TKO6) vs. #1 Adonis Stevenson.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #8. Jan 21- Mar 31: #9. Apr 1- May 12: #10. May 13-26: #9. May 27- Jun 9: #3. Jun 10-16: #4. Jun 17- Aug 18: #5. Aug 19- Dec 31: #6.
6) Isaac Chilemba
Significant Results: Mar 30- Draw (should be win) vs. #9 Tony Bellew. May 25- L (UD12) vs. #9 Tony Bellew.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #11. Jan 21- Feb 3: #12. Feb 4- Mar 31: #13. Apr 1-21: #7. Apr 22- May 12: #8. May 13-26: #7. May 27- Jun 9: #8. Jun 10- Aug 18: #9. Aug 19- Dec 31: #10.
7) Cedric Agnew
Significant Results: Apr 12- UD12 #14 Yusaf Mack.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Apr 14: Unranked. Apr 15- May 12: #11. May 13- Jun 9: #10. Jun 10- Aug 18: #11. Aug 19-25: #12. Aug 26- Oct 27: #13. Oct 28- Dec 31: #14.
8) Andre Ward
Significant Results: Nov 16- UD12 #15 Edwin Rodriguez.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Champion.
9) Edwin Rodriguez
Significant Results: Mar 30- UD10 W (should have been loss) vs. #15 Ezequiel Maderna (at SMW). Jul 13- TKO1 #16 Denis Grachev. Nov 16- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jul 14: Ranked only at SMW. Jul 15- Aug 18: #13. Aug 19- Oct 27: #14. Oct 28- Dec 31: #15.
10) Juergen Braehmer
Significant Results: Feb 2- UD12 Fringe Contender Eduard Gutknecht. Aug 24- UD12 Gatekeeper Stefano Abatangelo. Dec 14- UD12 Undefeated Prospect Marcus Oliveira.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #15. Jan 21- Feb 3: #16. Feb 4- Mar 31: #10. Apr 1-14: #11. Apr 15- May 12: #12. May 13- Jun 9: #11. Jun 10- Aug 18: #12. Aug 19-25: #13. Aug 26- Dec 15: #12. Dec 16-31: #11.
11) Hadillah Mohoumadi
Significant Results: Jun 29- TKO7 Fringe Contender Pawel Glazewski.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 30: Ranked only at SMW. Jul 1-14: #15. Jul 15- Oct 27: #16. Oct 28- Dec 31: #17.
12) Enzo Maccarinelli
Significant Results: Aug 17: TKO11 Fringe Contender Ovill McKenzie.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Aug 18: Unranked. Aug 19- Sep 29: #17. Sep 30- Oct 27: #18. Oct 28- Nov 24: #19. Nov 25- Dec 31: #20.
13) Igor Mikhalkin
Significant Results: Jul 5- UD12 #20 Doudou Ngumbu.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
14) Yunieski Gonzalez
Significant Results: Mar 15- KO8 Fringe Contender Rowland Bryant.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Mar 17: Unranked. Mar 18- Apr 7: #20. Apr 8- May 12: #19. May 13- Jun 2: #18. Jun 3-9: #17. Jun 10-30: #18. Jul 1-14: #19. Jul 15- Aug 18: #20. Aug 19- Dec 31: Unranked.
15) Blake Caparello
Significant Results: Jul 25- W (MD12) vs. Gatekeeper Daniel MacKinnon. Oct 17- UD12 Gatekeeper Allan Green.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Robert Berridge

Significant Results: Apr 18- TKO8 Gatekeeper Serge Yannick.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
17) Anatoliy Dudchenko
Significant Results: Oct 26- UD12 Undefeated Prospect Robert Woge.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
18) Thomas Williams
Significant Results: Nov 26- UD10 Gatekeeper Yusaf Mack.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
19) Umberto Savigne

Significant Results: Mar 29- TKO4 Undefeated Prospect Jackson Junior.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
20) Nathan Cleverly

Significant Results: Apr 20- UD12 Gatekeeper Robin Krasniqi. Aug 17- L (TKO4) vs. #3 Sergey Kovalev.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #7. Jan 21- Mar 31: #8. Apr 1-21: #9. Apr 22- May 12: #7. May 13-26: #6. May 27- Jun 9: #7. Jun 10- Aug 18: #8. Aug 19- Dec 31: #9.

 

The following fighters could be found in the top 20 at various parts of the year, but did nothing at this weight to help their ranking.  Most are no longer around:

 

Chad Dawson– Jan 1- Jun 9: #1. Jun 10-16: #3. Jun 17- Dec 31: #4.

 

Jean Pascal– Jan 1- May 12: #3. May 13- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Gabriel Campillo– Jan 1-20: #4. Jan 21- May 12: #5. May 13-26: #4. May 27- Jun 9: #5. Jun 10- Aug 18: #6. Aug 19- Dec 31: #7.

 

Tavoris Cloud– Jan 1-20: #5. Jan 21- May 12: #6. May 13-26: #5. May 27- Jun 9: #6. Jun 10- Aug 18: #7. Aug 19- Dec 31: #8.

 

Cornelius White– Jan 1-20: #6. Jan 21- Mar 31: #7. Apr 1-21: #8. Apr 22- May 12: #9. May 13-26: #8. May 27- Jun 9: #9. Jun 10- Aug 18: #10. Aug 19- Dec 15: #11. Dec 16-31: #12.

 

Karo Murat– Jan 1-20: #9. Jan 21- Feb 3: #10. Feb 4- Mar 31: #11. Apr 1-7: #12. Apr 8- Oct 27: Unranked (Inactive). Oct 28- Dec 31: #13.

 

Beibut Shumenov– Jan 1-20: #10. Jan 21- Feb 3: #11. Feb 4- Mar 31: #12. Apr 1-7: #13. Apr 8-14: #12. Apr 15- May 12: #13. May 13- Jun 2: #12. Jun 3- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Vyacheslav Uzelkoff– Jan 1-20: #12. Jan 21- Feb 3: #13. Feb 4- Mar 17: #14. Mar 18- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Yusaf Mack– Jan 1-20: #14. Jan 21- Feb 3: #15. Feb 4- Mar 17: #16. Mar 18- Apr 7: #15. Apr 8-14: #14. Apr 15- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Lucian Bute– Jan 1-20: #16. Jan 21- Mar 17: #17. Mar 18- Apr 7: #16. Apr 8- May 12: #15. May 13- Jun 2: #14. Jun 3-9: #13. Jun 10- Jul 14: #14. Jul 15- Oct 27: #15. Oct 28- Dec 31: #16.

 

Denis Grachev– Jan 1-20: #17. Jan 21- Mar 17: #18. Mar 18- Apr 7: #17. Apr 8- May 12: #16. May 13- Jun 2: #15. Jun 3-9: #14. Jun 10-30: #15. Jul 1-14: #16. Jul 15- Aug 18: #17. Aug 19- Sep 29: #18. Sep 30- Oct 27: #19. Oct 28- Nov 24: #20. Nov 25- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Dmitry Sukhotsky– Jan 1-20: #18. Jan 21- Mar 17: #19. Mar 18- Apr 7: #18. Apr 8- May 12: #17. May 13- Jun 2: #16. Jun 3-9: #15. Jun 10-30: #16. Jul 1-14: #17. Jul 15- Aug 18: #18. Aug 19- Sep 29: #19. Sep 30- Oct 27: #20. Oct 28- Nov 24: Unranked. Nov 25- Dec 31: #19.

 

Mikkel Kessler– Jan 1-20: #19. Jan 21-27: #20. Jan 28- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Down).

 

Tony Averlant– Jan 1-13: #20. Jan 14- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Eleider Alvarez– Jan 1-13: Unranked. Jan 14-20: #20. Jan 21-27: Unranked. Jan 28- Mar 17: #20. Mar 18- Apr 7: #19. Apr 8- May 12: #18. May 13- Jun 2: #17. Jun 3-9: #16. Jun 10-30: #17. Jul 1-14: #18. Jul 15- Aug 18: #19. Aug 19- Sep 29: #20. Sep 30- Oct 27: #17. Oct 28- Dec 31: #18.

 

Doudou Ngumbu– Jan 1-Apr 7: Unranked. Apr 8- May 12: #20. May 13- Jun 2: #19. Jun 3-9: #18. Jun 10-30: #19. Jul 1-7: #20. Jul 8- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Glen Johnson– Jan 1- May 12: Unranked. May 13- Jun 2: #20. Jun 3-9: #19. Jun 10-30: #20. Jul 1-7: Unranked. Jul 8-14: #20. Jul 15- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Ovill McKenzie– Jan 1- Jun 2: Unranked. Jun 3-9: #20. Jun 10- Dec 31: Unranked.
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