Archive for the Yearly Awards and Wrap Up Category

Year-End Awards: Heavyweight, 2014

Posted in Heavyweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on January 24, 2016 by danboxing
Welcome to my 3rd Annual 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 2012 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Heavyweight Fighter of the Year: Wladimir Klitschko
Technically Glazkov beat a higher-ranked fighter (and Mansour should have), but #5 Pulev was probably more of a live body subjectively than were #4 Adamek and #4 Cunningham. Klitschko not only defended his Championship, but also his Heavyweight Fighter of the Year title, by being the only fighter to go undefeated on the year while beating two top 20 fighters- adding #16 Alex Leapai to clinch.

 

Prospect of the Year: Deontay Wilder
The winner of this award is the fighter to do the most during the year who has never been ranked in the top 10 and has fewer than 3 losses in his career.  Wilder was the narrow runner up to Mike Perez for the award last year, but Perez didn’t manage to keep his momentum going, while Wilder has yet to find the ceiling of his talent.  He earned the nod this year with his embarrassingly easy 1st-round KO of #19 Malik Scott, who is probably the runner-up despite the loss.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: Wladimir Klitschko KO5 Kubrat Pulev
This award goes to the fighter who knocks out the highest-ranked opponent to get stopped during the year.  The best unfortunate contender blasted out of the ring this year was #5 Pulev, who fought more aggressively than most Klitschko challengers, but paid a heavy price, though it was actually during a brief lull in his own activity that he caught a mean left hook from the Champ that he seemed completely unprepared for.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: Alexander Povetkin KO10 Carlos Takam
This is one award where the video is going to say a lot more than I can.  Takam had been doing well in the fight, to the point that I had it even going into the 10th, though Povetkin’s conditioning had led him back from well behind.  Povetkin caught his tired opponent with a short left hook in an exchange that left his man sprawling and glassy-eyed on his back.  The runner-up would probably be Klitschko-Pulev.  And for those of you who are crying out for Mansour-Kassi, please note that to be considered for this award, the victim has to be a top 50 fighter.  Kassi was nowhere near that.

 

Match-Up of the Year: Champ Wladimir Klitschko vs. #5 Kubrat Pulev
This is a simple recognition of the fight between the two fighters whose combined rank totaled the lowest number.  Klitschko didn’t quite match the level he reached last year with #3 Povetkin, but he had a solid year with solid defenses, as opposed to the abysmal competition he fought in 2013.  With an average rank of 2.5 (Champ’s rank is figured at 0), this was the clear winner.  Runner-up was Fury-Chisora II, with an average of 3.5.

 

Fight of the Year: #4 Steve Cunningham Robbery UD10 W vs. Amir Mansour
This is perhaps my most subjective award.  In choosing the winner, I attempt to balance importance, exciting action, and competitiveness.  There were a lot of good candidates this year, but none could match the high drama of Cunningham-Mansour.  Cunningham’s ridiculous display of guts after being twice dropped and nearly stopped in the 5th overshadowed the vicious display of power Mansour showed to put him in that position, and (unfortunately) won over the judges and TV commentators, whose cards not only indefensibly gave the fight to Cunningham, but did so by comfortable margins.  He came back well and even capped it off with a knockdown in the 10th, but Mansour by all rights had built up too big a lead and deserved the nod.  But that doesn’t change the fact that it was a great fight.  Runner-up was probably Stiverne-Arreola II.

 

Upset of the Year: Sergei Liakhovich vs. #17 Andy Ruiz
You might think this is a stretch, since the ranked fighter actually technically won.  But as always, I go by my own scores.  Liakhovich earned a draw on my card, or more accurately, Ruiz allowed the draw.  He had every bit the case for victory as did Ruiz, and the machinations of biased judges don’t change the fact that the ranked Ruiz embarrassed himself with exceptionally poor conditioning and effort, and lost his top 20 spot as a result.  All to a guy who not only hadn’t been remotely relevant or good in years, but who also didn’t exactly dazzle in the fight himself.  If you disagree with my call, I offer an even clearer scoring debacle in Musafarov-Boytsov as another contender, as well as both of Adamek’s losses as backup options.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Antonio Tarver
This was a pretty easy call.  After drawing with the apparently mediocre Lateef Kayode at cruiserweight in the middle of 2012 and the disgrace and suspension that resulted from his apparent need for steroids to even manage that result, you couldn’t help but assume the then-43 year-old Tarver was done as a player in any division.  But out of nowhere, and having fought just one inconsequential opponent in 2.5 years, Tarver dominated and stopped a guy at top 20 level in a heavyweight division he’d barely visited before.  The resurgence is remarkable, especially considering he appears to be a better heavyweight at 46 than he was a cruiserweight at 43.  Maybe not even the worse for wear as compared to where he was at as a 175-pounder in 2009, though obviously a prime Chad Dawson was a much stiffer challenge pound-for-pound than today’s Johnathon Banks.

 

Robbery of the Year: Denis Boytsov W (UD10) vs. Timur Musafarov
Sadly, there were several solid candidates this year, including the aforementioned Cunningham-Mansour, Perez-Takam, and Ruiz-Liakhovich, to name a few.  This one takes the cake, though.  Musafarov was a clear winner, having earned a 97-92 nod on my card.  I could see it as close at 95-94 if I really wanted to, but that was even after the equally awful referee Joerg Milke blatantly stole an undeserved point from Musafarov in the 7th for having his head a little too low for Milke’s liking.  Or for being a good bet to win a decision at that point.  Take your pick.  Boytsov didn’t even come close to winning a round after the 6th of 10.  Yet the famous German robbery machine had it thusly: 95-94 (Ingo Barrabas), 97-93 (Norbert Duernberger), and a truly despicable 98-91 (Alexander Plumanns), all for the clear loser.  Not that Duernberger’s wasn’t truly despicable, but Plumanns put in that extra effort, and deserves recognition for it.

 

Now, for anyone that cares, I will rank the division based solely on the fighters’ 2014 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 2014. 

 

1) Wladimir Klitschko
Significant Results: Apr 26- TKO5 #16 Alex Leapai.  Nov 15- KO5 #5 Kubrat Pulev.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Champion
2) Vyacheslav Glazkov
Significant Results: Mar 15- UD12 #4 Tomasz Adamek.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #18. Feb 17- Mar 9: #19. Mar 10-16: #18. Mar 17- Jun 1: #2. Jun 2- Dec 31: #3.
3) Amir Mansour
Significant Results: Apr 4- Robbery L (UD10) vs. #4 Steve Cunningham
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Apr 6: Unranked. Apr 7- Dec 31: #4.
4) Alexander Povetkin
Significant Results: May 30- KO7 Prospect Manuel Charr.  Oct 24- KO10 #7 Carlos Takam.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #1. Feb 17- Mar 16: #2. Mar 17- Jun 1: #3. Jun 2- Dec 31: #2.
5) Tyson Fury
Significant Results: Nov 29- RTD 10 #6 Dereck Chisora.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: Unranked (Retired). Feb 17- Dec 31: #1.
6) Carlos Takam
Significant Results: Jan 18- Robbery Draw (W) vs. #11 Mike Perez. Jun 6- UD12 #9 Tony Thompson. Oct 24- L (KO10) vs. #2 Alexander Povetkin.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1-19: Unranked. Jan 20- Feb 16: #7. Feb 17- Mar 16: #8. Mar 17-23: #9. Mar 24- Apr 6: #10. Apr 7- May 11: #11.  May 12- Jun 8: #12. Jun 9- Nov 30: #7. Dec 1-31: #6.
7) Bermane Stiverne
Significant Results: May 10- TKO 6 #13 Chris Arreola.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1-19: #7. Jan 20- Feb 16: #8. Feb 17- Mar 16: #9. Mar 17-23: #10. Mar 24- Apr 6: #11. Apr 7- May 11: #12. May 12- Jun 8: #7. Jun 9- Dec 31: #8.
8) Tony Thompson
Significant Results: Mar 22- Wrong W (SD12) vs. #8 Odlanier Solis. Jun 6- L (UD12) vs. #12 Carlos Takam.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1-19: #9.  Jan 20- Feb 16: #10.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #11.  Mar 17-23: #13.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #7.  Apr 7- May 11: #8.  May 12- Jun 8: #9.  Jun 9- Dec 31: #10.
9) Deontay Wilder
Significant Results: Mar 15- KO1 #19 Malik Scott.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #12.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #13.  Mar 17-23: #12.  Mar 24- Apr 6 #13.  Apr 7- May 11: #14.  May 12- Nov 9: #13.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #12.
10) Odlanier Solis
Significant Results: Mar 22- Wrong L (SD12) vs. #13 Tony Thompson.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #6.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #7.  Mar 17-23: #8.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #9.  Apr 7- May 11: #10.  May 12- Jun 8: #11.  Jun 9- Nov 9: #12.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #11.
11) Antonio Tarver
Significant Results: Dec 11- TKO7 Inactive Fringe Contender Johnathon Banks.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 14: Unranked.  Dec 15-31: #16.
12) Malik Scott
Significant Results: Mar 15- L (KO1) vs. #13 Deontay Wilder.  Oct 31- UD10 #16 Alex Leapai.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 16: #19.  Feb 17- Mar 9: #20.  Mar 10-16: #19.  Mar 17-23: Unranked.  Mar 24-30: #20.  Mar 31- Jun 22: Unranked.  Jun 23- Jul 27: #20.  Jul 28- Sep 7: Unranked.  Sep 8- Nov 2: #20.  Nov 3-9: #15.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #14.
13) Bryant Jennings
Significant Results: Jan 25- TKO10 Undefeated Prospect Artur Szpilka.  Jul 26- Wrong W (SD12) vs. Fringe Contender/Prospect Mike Perez.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jul 27: Unranked.  Jul 28- Sep 7: #19.  Sep 8- Nov 9: #18.  Nov 10- Dec 14: #17.  Dec 15-21: #18.  Dec 22-31: #17.
14) Artur Szpilka
Significant Results: Jan 25- L (TKO10) vs. Undefeated Prospect Bryant Jennings.  Nov 8- UD10 #11 Tomasz Adamek.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 9: Unranked.  Nov 10-Dec 14: #18.  Dec 15-21: #19.  Dec 22-31: #18.
15) Sergei Liakhovich
Significant Results: Dec 20- Wrong L (UD10) vs. #17 Andy Ruiz.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Mike Perez
Significant Results: Jan 18- Robbery Draw (Loss) vs. Prospect Carlos Takam.  Jul 26- Wrong L (SD12) vs. Undefeated Prospect Bryant Jennings.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1-19: #11.  Jan 20- Jul 27: Unranked.  Jul 28- Sep 7: #20.  Sep 8- Dec 14: #19.  Dec 15-21: #20.  Dec 22-31: #19.
17) Ruslan Chagaev
Significant Results: Jul 6- Wrong MD12 W (Draw) vs. Gatekeeper Fres Oquendo.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
18) Fres Oquendo
Significant Results: Jul 6- Wrong MD12 L (Draw) vs. Fringe Contender Ruslan Chagaev.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
19) Anthony Joshua
Significant Results: Oct 11- TKO2 Gatekeeper Denis Bakhtov.  Nov 22- TKO1 Gatekeeper Michael Sprott.
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
20) Kali Meehan
Significant Results: Jun 4- KO1 Fringe Contender Michael Sprott
2014 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Other fighters ranked during the year are detailed below.  These guys, while members of the top 20 at some point, didn’t exactly have a top-20 quality 2014 for varying reasons.

 

Steve Cunningham: Jan 1- Feb 16: #2.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #3.  Mar 17- Apr 6: #4.  Apr 7- May 11: #7.  May 12- Jun 8: #8.  Jun 9- Dec 31: #9.

 

Tomasz Adamek: Jan 1- Feb 16: #3.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #4.  Mar 17-23: #7.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #8.  Apr 7- May 11: #9.  May 12- Jun 8: #10.  Jun 9- Nov 9: #11.  Nov 10- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Kubrat Pulev– Jan 1- Feb 16: #4.  Feb 17- Dec 31: #5.

 

Dereck Chisora: Jan 1- Feb 16: #5.  Feb 17- Nov 30: #6.  Dec 1-31: #7.

 

Chris Arreola: Jan 1-19: #8.  Jan 20- Feb 16: #9.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #10.  Mar 17-23: #11.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #12.  Apr 7- May 11: #13.  May 12- Nov 9: #14.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #13.

 

Erkan Teper: Jan 1-19: #10.  Jan 20- Feb 16: #11.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #12.  Mar 17- Apr 6: #14.  Apr 7- Nov 2: #15.  Nov 3-9: #16.  Nov 10- Dec 31: #15.

 

Alex Leapai: Jan 1- Feb 16: #13.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #14.  Mar 17- Apr 6: #15.  Apr 7- Nov 2: #16.  Nov 3- Dec 14: #20.  Dec 15-21: Unranked.  Dec 22-31: #20.

 

Robert Helenius– Jan 1- Feb 16: #14.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #15.  Mar 17-23: #16.  Mar 24- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Andy Ruiz– Jan 1- Feb 16: #15.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #16.  Mar 17-23: #17.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #16.  Apr 7- Nov 9: #17.  Nov 10- Dec 14: #16.  Dec 15-21: #17.  Dec 22-31: Unranked.

 

Seth Mitchell– Jan 1- Feb 16: #16.  Feb 17- Mar 16: #17.  Mar 17-23: #18.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #17.  Apr 7- Sep 7: #18.  Sep 8- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Alexander Dimitrenko: Jan 1- Feb 16: #17.  Feb 17- Mar 9: #18.  Mar 10- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive). 

 

Johnathon Banks: Jan 1- Feb 16: #20.  Feb 17- Mar 9: Unranked.  Mar 10-16: #20.  Mar 17-23: #19.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #18.  Apr 7- Jun 22: #19.  Jun 23- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Francesco Pianeta: Jan 1- Mar 16: Unranked.  Mar 17-23: #20.  Mar 24- Apr 6: #19.  Apr 7- Jun 22: #20.  Jun 23- Jul 27: #19.  Jul 28- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Eddie Chambers– Jan 1- Mar 30: Unranked.  Mar 31- Apr 6: #20.  Apr 7- Dec 31: Unranked.
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Year-End Awards: Welterweight, 2013

Posted in Welterweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2014 by danboxing
Welcome to my first Year-End Awards and Wrap-Up for the Welterweight Division.  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!

 

Welterweight Fighter of the Year: Timothy Bradley
Bradley certainly didn’t look destined for fighter of the year honors early in the year when he struggled to what should have been a draw in a slugfest with gatekeeper-level one-loss prospect Ruslan Provodnikov, but he managed to survive that encounter and went on to nick a decision over the clear #1 fighter in the division in Marquez.  Maidana is the runner-up.

 

Prospect of the Year: Kevin Bizier
Bizier technically took a loss on the year- not a typical credential for prospect of the year.  But the loss probably should have been a win, and it came against a top 20-caliber fighter in Jo Jo Dan.  He also threw in a stoppage of a post-prime Nate Campbell for good measure.  The runner up is Leonard Bundu, who would have been a rather old winner, had he won the honor.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: #14? Marcos Maidana TKO6 #4 Josesito Lopez
This is the fight among the highest-ranked contenders that ended in a stoppage. It made Maidana into a real player at welterweight, returning him to a status he had not enjoyed since moving up from 140, and setting up his epic conquest of Adrien Broner later in the year.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: #13 Keith Thurman TKO9 #6 Jesus Soto Karass
I generally like to pick one-punch knockouts that leave a guy helpless on the canvas as knockout of the year, but Thurman’s brilliant combination at center ring may very well have accomplished the same result had the ref not caught Soto Karass on his way to the canvas.  For a video of the fight, click on “TKO9” above.  I believe I’d pick Maidana over Lopez as the runner-up.

 

Match-Up of the Year: Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. #4 Robert Guerrero
Ultimately it wasn’t nearly the most memorable fight of the year, but based on where the two fighters were ranked at the outset, it was far and away the highest-ranked fight of the year.  No other fight in the division was even close.

 

Fight of the Year: #17 Timothy Bradley UD12* Ruslan Provodnikov
This was an easy choice, as it was very likely the Fight of the Year in all of boxing.  Provodnikov brutalized Bradley early and late, but was solidly outboxed by the gutsy Bradley in between.  The only thing that could mar the fight just a bit was referee Pat Russell’s mistaken call of a slip on one of Provodnikov’s knockdowns- a call which prevented the correct call of a draw from being reached by the judges.

 

Upset of the Year: Shawn Porter UD12 #5 Devon Alexander
There were several upsets of note this year: Provodnikov’s performance against Bradley, Bradley’s defeat of Marquez…some even consider Maidana’s whipping of Broner an upset, though I certainly don’t.  But this one I really couldn’t see coming.  Porter had clearly lost to Alfonso Gomez in a previous fight, and needed two fights to overcome Julio Diaz.  The idea that he could compete with inconsistent but undeniably skilled Alexander had never occurred to me.  And yet he very nearly dominated the fight.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Timothy Bradley
To pick the same guy for so many categories is probably not the most entertaining method, but I calls ’em like I sees ’em.  Bradley was laid low by the public reaction to his undeserved victory over Pacquiao, nearly got knocked out multiple times in a victory he was lucky to get against an opponent of far inferior rank in Provodnikov, and responded by doing no less than defeating Pacquiao’s conqueror, himself.  Now he sits at the top of the division, subject only to Mayweather.

 

Robbery of the Year: #17 Timothy Bradley UD12 Ruslan Provodnikov
There were four decisions this year that I disagreed with, mostly to a moderate degree.  Amir Khan’s decision victory over Julio Diaz was highly questionable.  I had it 114-112 for Diaz, but I think there’s a case to be made that Khan won an additional round which would make it even, and he was close to salvaging a 10-9 round in the 4th, in which he was knocked down, and while I gave Diaz a 10-8 without a knockdown in the 11th, it was a borderline call.  Therefore, if you were friendly to Khan, he may have edged it out by as much as 115-113.  Another such fight was Adrian Granados’ 10-round draw with Kermit Cintron.  I had it 96-94, and thought it possible that a judge could give Cintron as few as 1 round.  The draw was about the best possible result for Cintron, while judge John McCarthy shamefully scored it 97-93 Cintron.  Another close fight that went the wrong way was Jo Jo Dan vs. Kevin Bizier.  I had it 115-112 for Bizier, but with a lot of close rounds, I thought anything between 117-110 Bizier and 115-112 Dan would be reasonable.  The judges tilted, reasonably, in the direction of Dan to award him the split decision.  This leaves Bradley-Provodnikov.  I actually had it 114-113 for Bradley, as did two of the judges.  How is this a robbery, then?  Well, I only had that score because I restrained myself from going beyond what a real judge would be able to do to set things right.  I had already given Bradley both of the two arguable rounds in the fight, and he should have lost a point due to a knockdown in the 1st that Pat Russell ruled a slip.  Russell must have known he was wrong when Bradley could barely stand afterward, but by then he didn’t see fit to reverse himself.  But it was clearly a knockdown, and should have rendered a draw the closest possible score for Bradley, with reasonable judging.  Judges Marty Denkin and Jerry Cantu admirably provided said reasonable judging, while Raul Caiz, Sr. missed a round and had it 115-112 for Bradley.  Bradley-Provodnikov wins the award for one simple reason- it’s the only result of the year that I not only don’t agree with, but also don’t see as yielding an outcome that is defensible within the realm of reason, and for once the judges, by and large, are not to blame.

 

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) Timothy Bradley
Significant Results: Mar 16- UD12 W (should be Draw) vs. Prospect Ruslan Provodnikov.  Oct 12- W (SD12) vs. #1 Juan Manuel Marquez.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Jun 23: #19. Jun 24- Jul 28: #18. Jul 29- Oct 13: #17. Oct 14- Dec 31: #1.
2) Marcos Maidana
Significant Results: Jun 8- TKO6 #4 Josesito Lopez.  Dec 14- UD12 LW Champion Adrien Broner.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 9: Uncertain. Jun 10- Oct 13: #5. Oct 14- Dec 8: #6. Dec 9-31: #4.
3) Keith Thurman
Significant Results: Mar 9- UD12 Fringe Contender Jan Zaveck.  Jul 27- KO10 Undefeated Prospect Diego Chaves.  Dec 14- TKO9 #6 Jesus Soto Karass.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Jun 23: #16. Jun 24- Jul 28: #15. Jul 29- Oct 13: #12. Oct 14-20: #13. Oct 21- Nov 24: #12. Nov 25- Dec 15: #13. Dec 16-31: #5.
4) Shawn Porter
Significant Results: Sep 12- UD10 Gatekeeper Julio Diaz.  Dec 7- UD12 #5 Devon Alexander.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 8: Unranked. Dec 9-15: #5. Dec 16-31: #6.
5) Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Significant Results: May 4- UD12 #4 Robert Guerrero.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Champion.
6) Jesus Soto Karass
Significant Results: Jan 26- W (MD10) vs. #5 Selcuk Aydin (at 149).  Jul 27- TKO12 #7 Andre Berto.  Dec 14- L (TKO9) vs. #13 Keith Thurman.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Jun 23: #12. Jun 24- Jul 28: #11. Jul 29- Oct 13: #6. Oct 14- Dec 8: #7. Dec 9-15: #6. Dec 16-31: #12.
7) Ruslan Provodnikov
Significant Results: Mar 16- UD12 L (should be draw) vs. Contender Timothy Bradley.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Jun 23: #20. Jun 24- Jul 28: #19. Jul 29- Oct 20: #18. Oct 21- Nov 24: #17. Nov 25- Dec 1: #18. Dec 2-8: #17. Dec 9-31: #18.
8) Manny Pacquiao
Significant Results: Nov 24- UD12 #4 JWW Brandon Rios.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Oct 13: #2. Oct 14- Dec 31: #3.
9) Adrien Broner
Significant Results: Jun 22- W (SD12) vs. Gatekeeper Paulie Malignaggi.  Dec 14- L (UD12) vs. #4 Marcos Maidana. 
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Ranked only at Lightweight.
10) Paulie Malignaggi
Significant Results: Jun 22- L (SD12) vs. LW Champion Adrien Broner.  Dec 7- UD12 JWW Contender Zab Judah.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 8: Unranked. Dec 9-31: #14.
11) Shane Mosley
Significant Results: May 18- UD12 Fringe Contender Pablo Cesar Cano.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: Unranked. May 20- Oct 13: #3. Oct 14- Dec 8: #4. Dec 9-31: Unranked (Retired).
12) Kevin Bizier
Significant Results: Feb 8- RTD8 Gatekeeper Nate Campbell.  Nov 30- SD12 L (should be win) vs. #18* Jo Jo Dan.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 1: Unranked. Dec 2-8: #20. Dec 9-31: Unranked.
13) Leonard Bundu
Significant Results: Apr 6- KO11 Gatekeeper Rafal Jackiewicz.  Dec 14- TKO12 Gatekeeper Lee Purdy.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Jun 23: Unranked. Jun 24- Jul 28: #20. Jul 29- Sep 15: #19. Sep 16- Oct 20: #20. Oct 21- Nov 24: #19. Nov 25- Dec 1: #20. Dec 2-15: Unranked. Dec 16-31: #20.
14) Luis Carlos Abregu
Significant Results: Apr 27- UD10 Fringe Contender Antonin Decarie.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Jun 23: #14. Jun 24- Jul 28: #13. Jul 29- Oct 13: #14. Oct 14-20: #15. Oct 21- Nov 24: #14. Nov 25- Dec 8: #15. Dec 9-31: #16.
15) Jessie Vargas

Significant Results: Mar 16- UD10 Gatekeeper Wale Omotoso.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Jul 28: Unranked. Jul 29- Sep 15: #20. Sep 16- Oct 20: Unranked. Oct 21- Nov 24: #20. Nov 25- Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Kell Brook
Significant Results: Oct 26- TKO4 Gatekeeper Vyacheslav Senchenko.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Oct 13: #8. Oct 14- Dec 8: #9. Dec 9-31: #8.
17) Devon Alexander
Significant Results: May 18- RTD7 Gatekeeper Lee Purdy.  Dec 7- L (UD12) vs. Prospect Shawn Porter.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 9: Uncertain. Jun 10- Oct 13: #4. Oct 14- Dec 8: #5. Dec 9-31: #9.
18) Jo Jo Dan
Significant Results: Nov 30- SD12 W (should be loss) vs. Undefeated Prospect Kevin Bizier.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Dec 1: Unranked. Dec 2-8: #19. Dec 9-15: #20. Dec 16-31: Unranked.
19) Adrian Granados
Significant Results: Mar 22- Robbery Draw (should be win) vs. Gatekeeper Kermit Cintron.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
20) Bethuel Ushona
Significant Results: Oct 5- UD12 Gatekeeper Kaizer Mabuza.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

The following fighters could be found in the top 20 at various parts of the year, but were not among the top 20 performers at the weight this year.  Naturally, most of them did not improve their standing as a result:

 

Juan Manuel Marquez– Jan 1- Oct 13: #1. Oct 14- Dec 31: #2.

 

Robert Guerrero– Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Jul 28: #6. Jul 29- Oct 13: #7. Oct 14- Dec 8: #8. Dec 9-31: #7.

 

Andre Bert0– Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Jul 28: #7. Jul 29- Oct 13: #11. Oct 14-20: #12. Oct 21- Nov 24: #11. Nov 25- Dec 15: #12. Dec 16-31: #13.

 

Randall Bailey– Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20-Oct 13: #9. Oct 14-20: #10. Oct 21- Nov 24: Unranked (Inactive). Nov 25- Dec 31: #10.

 

Josesito Lopez– Jan 1- Jun 9: Uncertain. Jun 10- Oct 13: #10. Oct 14-20: #11. Oct 21- Nov 24: #10. Nov 25- Dec 31: #11.

 

Victor Ortiz– Jan 1- Jun 9: Uncertain. Jun 10-23: #11. Jun 24- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Chris van Heerden– Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Jun 23: #13. Jun 24- Jul 28: #12. Jul 29- Oct 13: #13. Oct 14-20: #14. Oct 21- Nov 24: #13. Nov 25- Dec 8: #14. Dec 9-31: #15.

 

Alfonso Gomez– Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Jun 23: #15. Jun 24- Jul 28: #14. Jul 29- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Jan Zaveck– Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Jun 23: #17. Jun 24- Jul 28: #16. Jul 29- Oct 13: #15. Oct 14-20: #16. Oct 21- Nov 24: #15. Nov 25- Dec 8: #16. Dec 9-31: #17.

 

Selcuk Aydin– Jan 1- May 19: Uncertain. May 20- Jun 23: #18. Jun 24- Jul 28: #17. Jul 29- Oct 13: #16. Oct 14-20: #17. Oct 21- Nov 24: #16. Nov 25- Dec 1: #17. Dec 2-31: Unranked.

 

Pablo Cesar Cano– Jan 1- Sep 15: Unranked. Sep 16- Oct 20: #19. Oct 21- Nov 24: #18. Nov 25- Dec 1: #19. Dec 2-8: #18. Dec 9-31: #19.

Year-End Awards: Junior Middleweight, 2013

Posted in Junior Middleweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on April 6, 2014 by danboxing
Welcome to my 2nd Annual Yearly Awards and Wrap-Up for the Junior Middleweight Division.  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: Erislandy Lara
Lara beat two top 10 contenders on the year in #8 Angulo and #4 Trout, and unlike the competing wins of guys like Mayweather and Canelo, these wins were clear and unambiguous.  The Cuban is dynamic and exciting in almost the same measure as he is skilled, and he may very well be both the present and future of the division.  Floyd is the runner-up based on his close decision win over Canelo.

 

Prospect of the Year: Demetrius Andrade
Andrade dominated gatekeeper Freddy Hernandez and won a very close decision over established fringe contender Vanes Martirosyan.  The latter fight won him an alphabet belt, but that’s pretty silly considering neither competitor was legitimately in the top 10.  In truth, he’s still a prospect, and an excellent one, at that. Javier Maciel is the runner-up.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: #4 Erislandy Lara TKO10 #8 Alfredo Angulo
This is the fight among the highest-ranked contenders that ended in a stoppage.  It confirmed Lara’s status in the top 5, showed his guts, and set up his best win to date in his next fight with Trout.  The runner-up would probably be Mundine-Mosley, though it’s hard to quantify since both guys were ranked in other divisions, with Cotto-Rodriguez being another possibility.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: Jermell Charlo TKO8 Harry Joe Yorgey
To be completely honest, this knockout was pretty standard.  Nothing too flashy.  It’s just that, among the several knockouts be inflicted on top 50 fighters this year, most were stopped on their feet, and a few were quick.  For knockouts that resulted directly from a knockdown, we’re really only left with this one, Jermall Charlo over Antwone Smith, and Willie Nelson over Michael Medina.  I discount Jermall’s on account of his opponent clearly not wanting to be there.  It’s really a toss-up between Jermell and Willie Nelson, then, but I give it to Jermell just based on the fact that Yorgey looked a little more hurt (aside from a leg injury suffered by Medina).  Cotto over Rodriguez was probably the best of the type where the ref jumps in.

 

Match-Up of the Year: WW Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. #2 Saul Alvarez
This fight prompted many over-anxious observers to declare Floyd the Champion at 154, despite Alvarez having gotten extremely lucky in his prior win against Trout.  It was a huge Pay-Per-View event, and the match-up was mostly worth the hype.  Unfortunately, it seems destined to be remembered as a dominating victory for Mayweather, when I saw it as a fight that clearly could have gone either way.  #2 Canelo vs. #3 Trout would have made a great winner in just about any other division or year, and even #4 Trout vs. #5 Lara is worthy of an honorable mention.  This division makes big fights right now, that’s all there is to it.

 

Fight of the Year: #4 Erislandy Lara TKO10 #8 Alfredo Angulo
Inherent importance, action, and competitiveness are the criteria for this award, and this one didn’t disappoint in any one of them.  With an average ranking of #6, this was one of the top few high-level match-ups of the year, and the momentum swung wildly throughout the bout, which was extremely competitive.  I had it 85-84 for Lara- but with Angulo coming on after an 8th round knockdown, when Lara grabbed the initiative back and triggered apparently blinding pain and definitely blinding swelling on Angulo’s eye with a vicious 9th-round assault that left the normally courageous Angulo saying no mas to end the night in dramatic- if relatively awkward- fashion.

 

Upset of the Year: Ishe Smith W (MD12) vs. #3 Cornelius Bundrage
Don’t let the MD12 decision fool you (originally reported as a SD until Dave Hess’ card was corrected to a still-atrocious 114-114 a week after the fight).  Smith was closer to completely dominating Bundrage than he was to losing.  It’s not that Smith had ever proven totally unworthy of this level.  He had only ever lost to high-level or undefeated opponents, and his only losses in the last 5 years prior to the Bundrage fight were a fairly close decision to undefeated Danny Jacobs and a decision against Fernando Guerrero that was so close I had it a draw.  Still, he had 5 losses overall, and Bundrage had built himself a bit of a fearsome reputation by twice mauling Cory Spinks.  Smith’s profile was that of a gatekeeper- not a guy you’d instinctively see as a threat to a top-5 contender.  But Bundrage looked slow, disinterested, and appeared to lack any kind of gameplan.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Ishe Smith
Despite ending his year on a low note with a close and forgivable loss to #1 Carlos Molina, Smith brought himself back from- as mentioned above- gatekeeper status, and in doing so was able to capture an alphabet belt.  Though he no longer has that belt, he’s still made himself a clear top 10 contender, and that’s something we could not have possibly seen coming at this time last year.

 

Robbery of the Year: #14 Brian Rose W (SD12) vs. Javier Maciel
It’s not that it wasn’t a close fight.  My own card had it 115-113, and there was even one extra close round that you could have given to Rose.  A draw would have been borderline reasonable.  The problem was that beyond the point of a draw, all of the remaining benefit of the doubt belonged to Rose, who may have lost as few as one round.  As for the judges, Robin Taylor’s card agreed with mine, while Fernando Laguna (save me from Spanish judges!) had it an unbelievable 117-111 for Rose, and homer Dave Parris- who seems to be trying to get a Spanish license by consistently botching his cards- had it 116-113.  Laguna gave Rose a minimum of 3 rounds that were clearly won by Maciel, while Parris gave Rose one extra, and another even round that he clearly lost.  Bah!  The runner-up would be Canelo-Trout, but at least in that one there were enough close rounds for the biased judges to hide behind.

 

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) Erislandy Lara
Significant Results: Jun 8- TKO10 #8 Alfredo Angulo.  Dec 7- UD12 #4 Austin Trout.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 24: #5. Feb 25- Sep 15: #4. Sep 16- Dec 8: #5. Dec 9-31: #2.
2) Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Significant Results: Sep 14- W* (MD12) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 5: #6. May 6- Sep 15: Unranked (Moved Down). Sep 16- Dec 8: #2. Dec 9-31: #3.
3) Saul Alvarez
Significant Results: Apr 20- UD12 Win (should be loss) vs. #3 Austin Trout. Sep 14- L* (MD12) vs. WW Champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #1. Feb 4- Sep 15: #2. Sep 16- Dec 8: #3. Dec 9-31: #4.
4) Carlos Molina
Significant Results: Feb 1- UD12 #11 Cory Spinks.  Sep 14- W (SD12) vs. #5 Ishe Smith.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #2. Feb 4- Dec 31: #1.
5) Ishe Smith
Significant Results: Feb 23- W (MD12) vs. #3 Cornelius Bundrage.  Sep 14- L (SD12) vs. #1 Carlos Molina.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 24: Unranked. Feb 25- Sep 15: #5. Sep 16- Dec 31: #6.
6) Anthony Mundine
Significant Results: Nov 27- TKO7 #4 WW Shane Mosley.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- 27: #19. Jan 28- Feb 10: #20. Feb 11-24: #19. Feb 25- Mar 3: #20. Mar 4-24: Unranked. Mar 25- Apr 21: #19. Apr 22- Dec 1: Unranked (Moved Up). Dec 2-31: #7.
7) Austin Trout
Significant Results: Apr 20- UD12 L (should be win) vs. #2 Saul Alvarez.  Dec 7- L (UD12) vs. #5 Erislandy Lara.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 24: #4. Feb 25- Sep 15: #3. Sep 16- Dec 8: #4. Dec 9-31: #5.
8) Miguel Cotto
Significant Results: Oct 5- TKO3 #11 Delvin Rodriguez.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 5: #7. May 6- Sep 15: #6. Sep 16- Dec 1: #7. Dec 2-31: #8.
9) Demetrius Andrade
Significant Results: Jan 25- UD10 Gatekeeper Freddy Hernandez.  Nov 9- SD12 W (should be Draw) vs. #13 Vanes Martirosyan.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 10: Ranked only at MW. Nov 11- Dec 1: #12. Dec 2-31: #13.
10) Javier Maciel
Significant Results: Oct 26- Robbery SD12 L (should be win) vs. #14 Brian Rose.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Oct 27: Unranked. Oct 28- Dec 1: #11. Dec 2-31: #12.
11) Jermell Charlo
Significant Results: Jan 26- KO8 Gatekeeper Harry Joe Yorgey.  Jun 8- UD12 Fringe Contender Demetrius Hopkins. 
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 9: Unranked. Jun 10- Oct 6: #18. Oct 7-27: #15. Oct 28- Nov 10: #16. Nov 11- Dec 1: #17. Dec 2-31: #18.
12) Vanes Martirosyan
Significant Results: Nov 9- SD12 L (should be Draw) vs. Undefeated Prospect Demetrius Andrade.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 10: #16. Feb 11-24: #15. Feb 25- Mar 24: #16. Mar 25- May 5: #15. May 6- Oct 6: #14. Oct 7-27: #12. Oct 28- Nov 10: #13. Nov 11- Dec 1: #14. Dec 2-31: #15.
13) Kell Brook
Significant Results: Jul 13- TKO8 Gatekeeper Carson Jones.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jul 14: Ranked only at WW. Jul 15- Oct 6: #20. Oct 7-27: #18. Oct 28- Nov 10: #20. Nov 11- Dec 29: Ranked only at WW. Dec 30-31: #20.
14) Brian Rose
Significant Results: Apr 20- TKO12 Fringe Contender Joachim Alcine.  Oct 26- Robbery SD12 Win (Draw at best) vs. Prospect Javier Maciel.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-27: #20. Jan 28- Feb 10: Unranked. Feb 11-24: #20. Feb 25- Mar 24: Unranked. Mar 25- Apr 21: #20. Apr 22- May 5: #19. May 6- Jun 2: #18. Jun 3- Oct 6: #17. Oct 7-27: #14. Oct 28- Nov 10: #15. Nov 11- Dec 1: #16. Dec 2-31: #17.
15) Willie Nelson

Significant Results: Mar 1- TKO1 Fringe Contender Michael Medina.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Mar 3: Unranked. Mar 4-24: #19. Mar 25- May 5: #18. May 6- Jun 2: #17. Jun 3- Oct 6: #16. Oct 7-27: #13.  Oct 28- Nov 10: #14. Nov 11- Dec 1: #15. Dec 2-31: #16.
16) Jermall Charlo
Significant Results: Aug 9- KO2 Gatekeeper Antwone Smith.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Oct 6: Unranked. Oct 7-27: #19. Oct 28- Dec 31: Unranked.
17) Sasha Yengoyan
Significant Results: Oct 4- TKO4 Gatekeeper Frank Haroche Horta.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
18) Guido Pitto
Significant Results: Apr 27- SD12 W (should be Draw) vs. Undefeated Prospect Jack Culcay.  Oct 26- UD10 L (should be Draw) vs. #20 Jack Culcay.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Apr 28: Unranked. Apr 29- May 5: #20. May 6- Jun 2: #19. Jun 3-9: #18. Jun 10- Oct 6: #19. Oct 7-27: #17. Oct 28- Nov 10: #19. Nov 11- Dec 1: #20. Dec 2-15: Unranked. Dec 16-29: #20. Dec 30-31: #19.
19) Omar Chavez
Significant Results: Oct 13- UD10 Gatekeeper Joachim Alcine.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
20) Mateo Veron
Significant Results: Jun 28- W (MD10) vs. Gatekeeper Jorge Heiland.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

The following fighters could be found in the top 20 at various parts of the year, but were not among the top 20 performers at the weight this year.  Naturally, most of them did not improve their standing as a result:

 

Cornelius Bundrage– Jan 1- Feb 24: #3. Feb 25- Mar 24: #9. Mar 25- May 5: #8. May 6- Sep 15: #7. Sep 16- Dec 1: #8. Dec 2-31: #9.

 

James Kirkland Jan 1- Mar 24: #8. Mar 25- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Alfredo Angulo Jan 1- Feb 24: #9. Feb 25- Mar 24: #10. Mar 25- May 5: #9. May 6- Sep 15: #8. Sep 16- Dec 1: #9. Dec 2-31: #10.

 

Gabriel Rosado– Jan 1- Feb 24: #10. Feb 25- Mar 24: #11. Mar 25- May 5: #10. May 6- Sep 15: #9. Sep 16- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Cory Spinks– Jan 1- Feb 3: #11. Feb 4-10: #12. Feb 11- Dec 31: Unranked (Retired).

 

Sergey Rabchenko– Jan 1- Feb 3: #12. Feb 4-24: #11. Feb 25- Mar 24: #12. Mar 25- May 5: #11. May 6- Dec 1: #10. Dec 2-31: #11.

 

Delvin Rodriguez: Jan 1- Feb 10: #13. Feb 11-24: #12. Feb 25- Mar 24: #13. Mar 25- May 5: #12. May 6- Oct 27: #11. Oct 28- Nov 10: #12. Nov 11- Dec 1: #13. Dec 2-31: #14.

 

Lukas Konecny– Jan 1- Feb 10: #14. Feb 11-24: #13. Feb 25- Mar 24: #14. Mar 25- May 5: #13. May 6- Oct 6: #12. Oct 7- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Keith Thurman– Jan 1- Feb 10: #15. Feb 11-24: #14. Feb 25- Mar 24: #15. Mar 25- May 5: #14. May 6- Oct 6: #13. Oct 7- Dec 31: Ranked only at WW (Moved Down).

 

Sechew Powell: Jan 1-27: #17. Jan 28- Feb 10: #18. Feb 11-24: #17. Feb 25- Mar 24: #18. Mar 25- May 5: #17. May 6- Jun 2: #16. Jun 3- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Roberto Garcia– Jan 1- 27: #18. Jan 28- Feb 10: #19. Feb 11-24: #18. Feb 25- Mar 3: #19. Mar 4- 24: #20. Mar 25- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Yuri Foreman: Jan 1- 27: Unranked. Jan 28- Feb 10: #17. Feb 11-24: #16. Feb 25- Mar 24: #17. Mar 25- May 5: #16. May 6- Oct 6: #15. Oct 7-27: #16. Oct 28- Nov 10: #17. Nov 11- Dec 1: #18. Dec 2- Dec 29: #19. Dec 30-31: Unranked.

 

Charlie Ota– Jan 1- Apr 21: Unranked. Apr 22-28: #20. Apr 29- Jun 2: Unranked. Jun 3-9: #20. Jun 10- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Jack Culcay– Jan 1- May 5: Unranked. May 6- Jun 2: #20. Jun 3-9: #19. Jun 10- Jul 14: #20. Jul 15- Oct 6: Unranked. Oct 7- 27: #20. Oct 28- Nov 10: #18. Nov 11- Dec 1: #19. Dec 2-15: #20. Dec 16-31: Unranked.

Year-End Awards: Middleweight, 2013

Posted in Middleweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on April 5, 2014 by danboxing
Welcome to my 2nd Annual Yearly 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!

 

Middleweight Fighter of the Year: Gennady Golovkin
After finishing as the runner-up to the award last year, Golovkin is the fighter of the year this year, having busted through 4 quality opponents in punishing fashion on the year- with the best being a 5th-ranked Matthew Macklin, and the rest being light middleweight contender Gabe Rosado, #15 Curtis Stevens, and #19 Nobuhiro Ishida.  The runner-up is Felix Sturm, whose wins were of a higher quality apples-to-apples, but who only managed two, including #3 Darren Barker .  I say two because he was robbed against #12 Sam Soliman, who then compounded that injustice by testing positive for PEDs.  I count it as an insignificant event on Soliman’s resume and a win on Sturm’s.  Martin Murray could have potentially stolen the award from Golovkin in a single night’s work, as he almost certainly earned the win against the Champion Martinez, except that he needed a bit of help to defeat a journeyman at the end of the year.

 

Prospect of the Year: Caleb Truax
Truax’s win over middling prospect Fort alone would not have earned him this award, but when combined with his destruction of Super Middleweight Fringe Contender Don George just a couple pounds over the limit, he is an easy choice.  Truax still qualifies as a prospect, having lost only once, and in rather close fashion to Jermain Taylor, and having yet to crack the top 10.  The runner-up is Russian unbeaten Andrey Merysasev, who would narrowly edge out countryman Dmitry Chudinov.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: #4 Felix Sturm TKO2 #3 Darren Barker
It wasn’t the cleanest stoppage of the year, and certainly comes with a significant caveat that Barker was injured at the time of the stoppage.  That being said, it did appear that his him injury was re-aggravated in the fall from a very legitimate first knockdown.  In any event, Barker was the highest-ranked contender to get stopped this year, and Sturm was the beneficiary.  The runner up was #4 Gennady Golovkin’s destruction of #5 Matthew Macklin.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: Curtis Stevens KO1 Saul Roman
Lots of great options this year.  The highest-profile of the great knockouts was Golovkin’s one-punch demolition of Nobuhiro Ishida.  Ishida backed to the ropes and was caught with a lead right and fell, semi-conscious at best, through the ropes.  But that one was almost too easy, and aside from Golovkin’s superhuman power, the punch itself wasn’t visually stunning in any way.  Golden Boy and FS1 made their entry with Danny Jacobs’ combination along the ropes that left gatekeeper Giovanni Lorenzo crawling aimlessly on the canvas.  But the most exciting of all these was Curtis Stevens’ clean one-punch shot that turned the lights out on gatekeeper Saul Roman.  This was from a perfectly landed left hand, and it folded Roman’s legs under him as he fell backwards, out cold.  It was made, I think, all the more sensational by the fact that it landed in an exchange, rather than as the inevitable end result of a one-sided hunting expedition, as were the other nominees.  For video, click “KO1” and seek to the 1:40 mark.

 

Match-Up of the Year: Champ #4 Felix Sturm vs. #3 Darren Barker
With an average ranking of 3.5, this is a clear winner.  Runners-up were Champ Martinez vs. #9 Murray and #4 Golovkin vs. #5 Macklin, at 4.5 apeice.  Unfortunately, Barker’s body betrayed him early in the fight and rendered it somewhat anti-climactic.

 

Fight of the Year: #2 Gennady Golovkin RTD8 #15 Curtis Stevens
I use importance, competitiveness, action, and result as my criteria for this, and it’s probably the least exact of any award I give.  Martinez-Murray, Kirkland-Tapia, and Godoy-Heiland were all great choices.  This one was a natural winner, though.  Golovkin and Stevens are two of the most celebrated punchers in the division, so this one promised fireworks for as long as it lasted, and it didn’t disappoint.  Besides featuring a 2nd-round knockdown for Golovkin, the fight was surprisingly competitive.  I gave Stevens 3 rounds, though in fairness each of them could reasonably have gone the other way.  The one thing I’d say was disappointing was that Stevens called the fight off in his corner, but he’d already showed plenty of guts by then.  

 

Upset of the Year: Dashon Johnson KO7 Adam Trupish
Unless you’re from Canada or as into the worldwide scene as I am, you may not have known who Adam Trupish was in March.  Nevertheless, he was a very promising prospect, and he’d beaten multiple pretty credible journeymen at the level just below the top 50, usually in spectacular fashion.  His outing on March 15 with Dashon Johnson was to be a stay busy fight, and nothing more.  Johnson came in with a lackluster record of 13-10-3, and I must say that while many of his losses were against undefeated prospects in match-ups that he was brought in as a no-hope opponent, he’d also lost a shutout to 7-3-1 Angel Osuna, drew with a 12-15-1 fighter, and dropped 4 round decisions to guys with records of 0-0-1 and 2-6-2.  He had only been stopped once, so he could have reasonably been expected to serve as a bit of a measuring stick for Trupish’s stopping power, but that’s about it.  Instead, Johnson shockingly knocked out the favorite in round 7 which, by the way, was only the 5th stoppage of Johnson’s career.  Mind-boggling.  Unfortunately the fight seems not to have been committed to video, so I can’t give any more detail than that.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Sergio Mora
There was a time, albeit briefly, that Martinez was “the other Sergio” at 154/160.  As of mid-September 2008, Mora was an undefeated fighter, and was coming off an alphabet belt-capturing effort against Vernon Forrest.  Since then, however, he had gone just 2-3-1 coming into the year, and his only wins were easy stoppages of easy marks.  You know the wheels have come off when your proponents would point to a hotly disputed draw against an old Shane Mosley as the best means to defend your record.  So it was against a backdrop of obscurity- gatekeeper status- that Mora was brought in to help Grzegorz Proksa rebound from a rather fruitless 2012.  Instead, Mora showed his old form- or maybe even better- by baffling and dominating the young contender.  This performance from June has had him in or around the top 10 ever since- somewhere I, for one, never thought he’d be again.

 

Robbery of the Year: Champ Sergio Martinez UD12 #9 Martin Murray
This was the undisputed Championship, and at least in some sense, it’s now disputed.  Sergio, when you consider the round-by-round scoring in conjunction with a ridiculously blown slip call on a clear knockdown, did not deserve to win.  If you give him all the close rounds, he might salvage a draw.  For my part, I had it 114-113 for Murray (114-112 with good refereeing), and already gave Sergio everything he might have won, with the exception of a close 9th.  If we were to do Murray that same favor as a draw would include for Sergio- that is, give him all close rounds- it would be 116-110 Murray.  I don’t want to go into a detailed rant on the judges- Danseco, Rochin, and Hidalgo- since I did that months ago.  Please click here for a detailed discussion.

 

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) Gennady Golovkin
Significant Results: Jan 19- TKO7 JMW #10 Gabriel Rosado. Mar 30- KO3 #19 Nobuhiro Ishida. Jun 29- KO3 #5 Matthew Macklin. Nov 2- RTD8 #15 Curtis Stevens.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #3. Feb 4- Mar 3: #2. Mar 4- Apr 28: #3. Apr 29- Jun 30: #4. Jul 1- Dec 15: #2. Dec 16-31: #1.
2) Felix Sturm
Significant Results: Feb 1- Wrong UD12 Loss (should be win) vs. #12 Sam Soliman (opponent on PEDs). Dec 7- TKO2 #3 Darren Barker.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #2. Feb 4- Mar 3: #7. Mar 4- Apr 28: #2. Apr 29- Jun 30: #3. Jul 1- Dec 8: #4. Dec 9-15: #3. Dec 16-31: #2.
3) Martin Murray
Significant Results: Apr 27- Robbery UD12 Loss (draw at worst) vs. Champion Sergio Martinez. Dec 14- W (PTS8) (should be loss) vs. Journeyman Sergey Khomitsky.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #9. Feb 4- Mar 3: #10. Mar 4- Apr 28: #9. Apr 29- Dec 15: #1. Dec 16-31: #3.
4) Darren Barker
Significant Results: Mar 9- RTD4 Gatekeeper Simone Rotolo. Aug 17- W (SD12) vs. #3 Daniel Geale. Dec 7- L (TKO2) vs. #4 Felix Sturm.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Mar 3: #17. Mar 4-10: #16. Mar 11- May 5: #14. May 6- Aug 18: #15. Aug 19- Dec 8: #3. Dec 9-31: #4.
5) Sergio Mora
Significant Results: Jun 28- UD10 #9 Grzegorz Proksa.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 30: Unranked. Jul 1- Oct 6: #10. Oct 7-20: #9. Oct 21- Dec 15: #8. Dec 16-31: #10.
6) Sergio Martinez
Significant Results: Apr 27- Robbery Win (draw at best) vs. #9 Martin Murray.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Champion.
7) Daniel Geale
Significant Results: Jan 30- UD12 #11 Anthony Mundine. Aug 17- L (SD12) vs. #15 Darren Barker.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Apr 28: #1. Apr 29- Jun 30: #2. Jul 1- Aug 18: #3. Aug 19- Dec 31: #5.
8) Peter Quillin
Significant Results: Apr 27- TKO7 Gatekeeper Fernando Guerrero. Oct 26- TKO10 Fringe Contender Gabriel Rosado.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #6. Feb 4- Mar 3: #5. Mar 4- Apr 28: #6. Apr 29- Dec 31: #7.
9) Caleb Truax
Significant Results: Jun 21- KO6 #15 SMW Don George (at 162). Sep 21- TKO4 Prospect Ceresso Fort.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Sep 22: Ranked only at SMW. Sep 23- Oct 6: #14. Oct 7-20: #13. Oct 21- Dec 15: #12. Dec 16-31: #14.
10) Sam Soliman
Significant Results: Feb 1- Wrong UD12 Win (should be loss, and on PEDs) vs. #2 Felix Sturm. Dec 11- TKO9 Gatekeeper Les Sherrington.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 3: #12. Feb 4- Mar 3: #6. Mar 4- Dec 15: Unranked (PEDs). Dec 16-31: #9.
11) James Kirkland
Significant Results: Dec 7- TKO6 Undefeated Prospect Glen Tapia.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 8: Unranked. Dec 9-15: #19. Dec 16-31: Unranked.
12) Andrey Meryasev
Significant Results: Nov 4- UD10 Gatekeeper Sergio Sanders.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 10: Unranked. Nov 11- Dec 15: #16. Dec 16-31: #18.
13) Dmitry Chudinov
Significant Results: May 17- RTD3 Gatekeeper Grady Brewer.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: Unranked. May 20- Jun 30: #20. Jul 1- Aug 25: Unranked. Aug 26- Sep 8: #20. Sep 9-22: #19. Sep 23- Oct 6: #20. Oct 7-20: #19. Oct 21- Nov 10: #18. Nov 11- Dec 1: #19. Dec 2-15: #18. Dec 16-31: #20.
14) Marcos Nader
Significant Results: Apr 13- Wrong UD12 Win (should be loss) vs. Gatekeeper Roberto Santos.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
15) Roberto Santos
Significant Results: Apr 13- Wrong UD12 Loss (should be win) vs. Undefeated Prospect Marcos Nader.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Daisuke Nakagawa

Significant Results: Aug 3- TKO7 Gatekeeper Tomohiro Ebisu.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
17) Jorge Heiland
Significant Results: Jun 28- L (MD10) vs. Gatekeeper Mateo Veron (at JMW). Nov 29- TKO12 #17 Billi Godoy.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 1: Unranked. Dec 2-8: #19. Dec 9-15: #20. Dec 16-31: Unranked.
18) Bryan Vera

Significant Results: Jan 25- TKO10 Gatekeeper Sergei Dzinziruk. 
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #19. Jan 21-27: #20. Jan 28- Mar 3: #18. Mar 4- May 5: #17. May 6- Aug 18: #18. Aug 19-25: #17. Aug 26- Sep 8: #15. Sep 9-22: #14. Sep 23- Oct 6: #15. Oct 7-20: #14. Oct 21- Dec 15: #13. Dec 16-31: #15.
19) Danny Jacobs
Significant Results: Aug 19- TKO3 Gatekeeper Giovanni Lorenzo.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Aug 25: Unranked. Aug 26- Sep 8: #19. Sep 9-22: #18. Sep 23- Oct 6: #19. Oct 7-20: #18. Oct 21- Nov 10: #17. Nov 11- Dec 1: #18. Dec 2-15: #17. Dec 16-31: #19.
20) Marco Antonio Rubio
Significant Results: Mar 23- UD12 Gatekeeper Marcus Upshaw.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Mar 3: #13. Mar 4-17: #12. Mar 18- Oct 6: #11. Oct 7-20: #10. Oct 21- Dec 15: #9. Dec 16-31: #11.

 

The following fighters could be found in the top 20 at various parts of the year, but either failed to do anything to inprove their rankings, or had results too mixed to make the top 20 on the year:

 

Matthew Macklin: Jan 1- Feb 3: #4. Feb 4- Mar 3: #3. Mar 4- Apr 28: #4. Apr 29- Aug 18: #5. Aug 19- Dec 31: #6.

 

Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.: Jan 1- Feb 3: #5. Feb 4- Apr 28: #4. Apr 29- Aug 18: #6. Aug 19- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Dmitry Pirog: Jan 1- Feb 3: #7. Feb 4- Mar 3: #8. Mar 4- Apr 28: #7. Apr 29- Oct 6: #8. Oct 7- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Grzegorz Proksa: Jan 1- Feb 3: #8. Feb 4- Mar 3: #9. Mar 4- Apr 28: #8. Apr 29- Jun 30 :#9. Jul 1- Aug 18: #19. Aug 19-25: #18. Aug 26- Sep 8: #16. Sep 9-22: #15. Sep 23- Oct 6: #16. Oct 7-20: #15. Oct 21- Dec 15: #14. Dec 16-31: #16.

 

Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam: Jan 1- Feb 3: #10. Feb 4- Mar 3: #11. Mar 4- Jun 30: #10. Jul 1- Oct 6: #9. Oct 7-20: #8. Oct 21- Dec 15: Unranked (Inactive). Dec 16-31: #8.

 

Anthony Mundine: Jan 1- Feb 3: #11. Feb 4- Mar 3: #14. Mar 4-17: #13. Mar 18- Oct 6: #12. Oct 7-20: #11. Oct 21- Dec 15: #10. Dec 16-31: #12.

 

Osumanu Adama: Jan 1- Feb 3: #14. Feb 4- Mar 3: #12. Mar 4-17: #11. Mar 18- Sep 8: #13. Sep 9- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Max Bursak: Jan 1- Mar 3: #15. Mar 4-10: #14. Mar 11- May 5: #15. May 6- Aug 18: #16. Aug 19-25: #15. Aug 26- Sep 8: #14. Sep 9- Oct 6: #13. Oct 7-20: #12. Oct 21- Dec 15: #11. Dec 16-31: #13.

 

Demetrius Andrade: Jan 1- Mar 3: #16. Mar 4-10: #15. Mar 11- May 5: #16. May 6- Aug 18: #17. Aug 19-25: #16. Aug 26- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Down).

 

Nobuhiro Ishida: Jan 1-20: #18. Jan 21-27: #19. Jan 28- Mar 3: #20. Mar 4-31: #19. Apr 1-21: #20. Apr 22- Jun 30: #19. Jul 1-21: #20. Jul 22- Oct 20: Unranked. Oct 21- Nov 10: #20. Nov 11- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Makoto Fuchigami: Jan 1-20: #20. Jan 21- Mar 3: Unranked. Mar 4-31: #20. Apr 1-21: #19. Apr 22- May 5: #18. May 6- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Curtis Stevens– Jan 1- 20: Unranked. Jan 21-27: #18. Jan 28- Mar 3: #19. Mar 4- Apr 21: #18. Apr 22- Aug 4: Unranked. Aug 5-18: #20. Aug 19-25: #19. Aug 26- Sep 8: #17. Sep 9- 22: #16. Sep 23- Oct 6: #17. Oct 7-20: #16. Oct 21- Dec 15: #15. Dec 16-31: #17.

 

Jose Miguel Torres– Jan 1- Apr 21: Unranked. Apr 22- May 19: #20. May 20- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Akio Shibata– Jan 1- May 5: Unranked. May 6- Aug 25: #14. Aug 26- Sep 8: Unranked. Sep 9-22: #20. Sep 23- Oct 6: Unranked. Oct 7-20: #20. Oct 21- Nov 10: #19. Nov 11- Dec 8: #20. Dec 9-31: Unranked.

 

Billi Godoy: Jan 1- Jul 21: Unranked. Jul 22- Aug 4: #20. Aug 5-18: Unranked. Aug 19-25: #20. Aug 26- Sep 8: #18. Sep 9-22: #17. Sep 23- Oct 6: #18. Oct 7-20: #17. Oct 21- Nov 10: #16. Nov 11- Dec 1: #17. Dec 2-31: Unranked.

Year-End Awards: Super Middleweight, 2013

Posted in Super Middleweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on April 2, 2014 by danboxing
Welcome to my 2nd Annual Super Middleweight 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!

 

It is a year dominated by Carl Froch.  He is the fighter of the year and won both the fight and match-up of the year against Kessler.

 

Super Middleweight Fighter of the Year: Carl Froch
Froch owns this category for a second year in a row.  The only other guy even close is Robert Stieglitz, who grabbed arguably the best single win of the year over #2 Arthur Abraham.  Now was Abraham really better than Froch’s win over #3 Kessler?  Nah, probably not…just a result of timing.  Still, whatever doubt there is as to the relative quality of Froch and Stieglitz’s best wins is rendered irrelevant by Froch’s additional win over #8 George Groves.  Even if you are among the many that question the timing of the stoppage, I think it’s hard to argue that the stoppage wasn’t likely to come at some point, considering Groves’ condition at the time.

 

Prospect of the Year: Ryota Murata
I know, I know.  He’s really a middleweight.  But he didn’t make middleweight for his huge win over Akio Shibata, and thus is ineligible for consideration at that weight, technically-speaking.  He’s certainly the prospect of the year at SOME weight, having proven himself the best fighter in Asia at or near his weight class, and having done so in his pro debut, no less.  Don’t like his winning this at 168 still?  Fine.  Feel free to substitute Caleb Truax, with his upset win over credible super middleweight Don George.  But that was at a catchweight.  Still too much of a middleweight for your tastes?  Fine.  Take Fedor Chudinov, the unbeaten Russian who destroyed a light heavyweight version of Francis Cheka while making 168, himself.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: #5 Robert Stieglitz TKO3 #2 Arthur Abraham
This would also probably qualify as most surprising knockout if I had such a category.  Stieglitz was known for his boxing and considered a fairly light hitter, especially by comparison to Abraham, whose power was- at least as a middleweight- considered rather legendary.  Abraham had won a 2012 meeting by competitive but clear decision, so while I don’t think a Stieglitz decision win would have been too much of an upset, the idea that the 2nd-ranked Abraham could be stopped by Stieglitz was unfathomable.  None of that really bears on the decision to recognize it as the most important of the year, however, since Abraham’s ranking alone makes this a no-brainer.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: #7 George Groves TKO5 Noe Gonzalez
This was a close call between Groves-Gonzalez and Caleb Truax’s destruction of Don George.  On one hand, Groves’ victim was able to get to his feet after a few seconds before the referee correctly deemed him unable to continue, which takes away from the sensational knockout credibility quite a bit, while George could only get to his hands and knees before the count of 10 was reached.  On the other hand, Truax put George down with a series of punches while George was trapped on the ropes.  There was no readily-apparent single punch that dropped him, as George appears to have succumbed to the overall onslaught.  As for Groves, he landed a beautiful shot in an exchange that dropped the Uruguayan fringe contender, making it quite picturesque.  

 

Match-Up of the Year: #1 Carl Froch vs. #3 Mikkel Kessler
By far the top rankings match-up of the year, with an average ranking of #2.  It wasn’t a half-bad fight, either.  The runner-up was #2 Arthur Abraham vs. #5 Robert Stieglitz, followed by #1 Froch vs. #8 Groves.

 

Fight of the Year: #1 Carl Froch UD12 #3 Mikkel Kessler
The rematch of the best super middleweight fight of 2010 didn’t truly live up to the great action of its predecessor, but although it was also less competitive than the first meeting, it was still the probably the best action fight and certainly the best match-up of the year.  There were no knockdowns and no stoppage, with Froch taking either 8 or 9 of the 12 rounds beyond much doubt, but even when not lighting the world on fire to the extent they’re capable of, Froch and Kessler still can hardly disappoint.  Froch-Groves very well may have been the runner-up.  If you don’t mind your action a little sloppy, the razor-thin all-out war between Sakio Bika and Marco Antonio Periban would be a worthy choice, as well.

 

Upset of the Year: Don Mouton Robbery Loss vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell
Technically, the #10 contender here got the win over a journeyman, which makes this an unlikely upset, indeed.  Yet as my long-time readers know, I pay no attention to clear robbery decisions except two categories below.  This was such a robbery.  Dirrell, first of all, showed up as a full-sized light heavyweight at the weigh-in, dwarfing his super middleweight opponent.  This could be seen in one of two ways: either Dirrell had an even greater advantage than his rank and apparent skill alone, or else he was woefully under-prepared.  The course of the fight would suggest the latter.  Dirrell looked lackadaisical throughout much of the fight, and seemed to believe that he could win the fight by hanging out on the ropes and absorbing thudding body shots from an aggressive Mouton.  The fact that he was technically right is of no consequence to any but those that would take the word of a corrupt or incompetent judge, as Dirrell won at most 3 of the 8 rounds.  I gave him only the 2nd, for a score of 79-73 in Mouton’s favor.  It’s not as if Mouton hadn’t done anything of consequence before.  His overall record features a 2009 win over prospect Jerson Ravelo that was of some consequence, for example.  But he had been treated as an opponent of late, losing fights as an underdog, often on short notice.  He had the boxrec rating of a mid-level journeyman coming into this fight, and had no business clearly beating the #10 contender as he did.  Brandon Gonzales’ should-be win over #5 Thomas Oosthuizen would be the runner up, while Christopher Rebrasse’s shocking domination of #10 Mohammed Ali Ndiaye would be the first and second runners-up.  All, sadly, were robbed from the rightful winner.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Don Mouton
I alluded to some of this in the last category.  Mouton had shown himself a more than capable gatekeeper during 2009.  After a close 2008 loss to top prospect Maxim Vlasov, Mouton outpointed gatkeeper Walid Smichet, stopped Ravelo, and went life and death in a debatable losing effort against Curtis Stevens.  But then he went to prison for possession of stolen mail, and didn’t fight at all for well over 3 years.  Upon coming back, he beat 3 unproven guys (one an undefeated prospect) before dropping close decisions to Badou Jack and Brandon Gonzales, leaving him at an apparently low level before his great performance against Dirrell.  Unfortunately, the boxing world largely will not recognize this comeback, because he got saddled with the official loss and wasn’t televised all that widely due to local FSN blackouts all over the place.

 

Robbery of the Year: #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye Draw (SD12) vs. Christopher Rebrasse
As a boxing fan, this is the one category in which you certainly don’t want a lot of options to choose from.  Unfortunately, we’ve got ’em.  Gonzales beat Oosthuizen alllmost beyond all doubt, but received only a draw, which was reasonably possible only if you happen to have given Oosthuizen all of the toss-up rounds.  Ezequiel Maderna was the victim of a loss against Oosthuizen that probably should have been a draw, and a loss to Edwin Rodriguez that, while close, I had as a win.  Don George was saddled with a loss against David Lopez despite being in his hometown and winning anywhere between 5 and 10 of the 10 rounds.  And as mentioned before, Anthony Dirrell clearly lost to Don Mouton by at least a one-round margin, and probably more, but got the win anyway.  The sad fact is, however, that none of these bad to atrocious decisions were even close to eclipsing the winner.  Ndiaye won no rounds on my card…an absolute shutout…and there were only two rounds that were even arguable- the 4th and 11th.  There was only one additional round- the 3rd- that was even kinda close.  The rest were clear-cut Rebrasse rounds, and beyond even an unreasonable doubt.  Now to the clown show known as the judging.  First of all, kudos to Finland’s Anssi Perajoki for his 119-111 scorecard.  He’s a bit enamored with even rounds, it would seem, but otherwise escapes serious criticism by recognizing Ndiaye as the winner of only 1 round.  The others are not so fortunate.  Manuel Oliver Palomo of Spain, it seems, does have the ability to judge competently.  He had a perfect scorecard in a very difficult fight to score between Braehmer and Gutknecht early this year.  But he’s also responsible for the 2011 outrage that was Helenius-Chisora.  This scorecard was maybe even worse.  Even.  114-114.  Yep.  Even worse, if you can believe it, was the other Spanish judge, Francisco Vazquez Marcos, who had it 115-114 FOR NDIAYE (!!!!).  I can’t say I’ve ever scored a fight along with Vazquez, so I have no book on him before this.  What this does seem to suggest is that Spanish judges are a little cheaper to buy than Finnish ones.  Or maybe it was a buy one, get one situation.  I don’t like to jump to conclusions, but this scoring- when combined with Palomo’s prior record- is just too out of bounds to be chalked up to simple incompetence or a bad night.  I would bet a fair amount of money that these guys were paid off, or something of that nature.

 

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 2013.

 

1) Carl Froch
Significant Results: May 25- UD12 #3 Mikkel Kessler.  Nov 23- TKO9 #8 George Groves.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: #1.
2) Robert Stieglitz
Significant Results: Mar 23- TKO3 #2 Arthur Abraham
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Mar 24: #5. Mar 25- Dec 31: #2.
3) Brandon Gonzales
Significant Results: Jun 29- Draw (should be win) vs. #5 Thomas Oosthuizen.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jun 30: Unranked. Jul 1- Dec 31: #5.
4) Ezequiel Maderna
Significant Results: Mar 30- UD10 L (should be win) vs. #17 Edwin Rodriguez. Nov 9- MD12 L (should be draw) vs. #6 Thomas Oosthuizen.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #18. Jan 21- Mar 3: #17. Mar 4-10: #16. Mar 11-31: #15. Apr 1- May 5: #17. May 6-19: #16. May 20- Jun 30: #14. Jul 1-7: #15. Jul 8- Sep 29: #14. Sep 30- Nov 10: #13. Nov 11- Dec 31: #7.
5) Christopher Rebrasse
Significant Results: Jun 8- Robbery SD12 Draw (should be win) vs. #10 Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 9: Unranked. Jun 10-30: #10. Jul 1- Sep 29: #11. Sep 30- Nov 10: #10. Nov 11-17: #11. Nov 18- Dec 31: #10.
6) Andre Ward
Significant Results: Nov 16- UD12 #13 Edwin Rodriguez.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Champion.
 7) Thomas Oosthuizen
Significant Results: Jun 29- SD10 Draw (should be loss) vs. Prospect Brandon Gonzales. Nov 9- MD12 W (should be draw) vs. #13 Ezequiel Maderna.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: #6. May 20- Jun 30: #5. Jul 1- Sep 29: #7. Sep 30- Dec 31: #6.
8) James DeGale
Significant Results: Jun 8- RTD4 Gatekeeper Stjepan Bozic. Nov 16- UD12 Fringe Contender Dyah Davis.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #17. Jan 21- Mar 3: #16. Mar 4-10: #15. Mar 11- May 5: #14. May 6-19: #13. May 20- Jun 9: #11. Jun 10-30: #9. Jul 1- Sep 29: #10. Sep 30- Nov 10: #9. Nov 11-17: #10. Nov 18- Dec 30: #9.
9) Sakio Bika
Significant Results: Feb 16- UD12 Gatekeeper Nikola Sjekloca.  Jun 22- W (MD12) vs. Undefeated Prospect Marco Antonio Periban.  Dec 7- Draw (SD12) vs. Prospect Anthony Dirrell.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #12. Jan 21- Feb 17: #11. Feb 18- Mar 3: #10. Mar 4- May 19: #9. May 20- Jun 30: #8. Jul 1- Sep 29: #9. Sep 30- Nov 10: #8. Nov 11-17: #9. Nov 18- Dec 31: #11.
10) Ryota Murata
Significant Results: Aug 25- TKO2 #14 Middleweight Akio Shibata.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Aug 25: Unranked (Amateur). Aug 26- Sep 29: #16. Sep 30- Dec 31: #15.
11) Edwin Rodriguez
Significant Results: Mar 30- UD10 W (should be L) vs. #15 Ezequiel Maderna.  Jul 13- TKO1 #16 LHW Denis Grachev (at LHW). Nov 16- L (UD12) vs. Champ Andre Ward.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: Unranked. Jan 21- Feb 24: #20. Feb 25-Mar 3: #19. Mar 4-10: #18. Mar 11-31: #17. Apr 1- May 5: #16. May 6-19: #15. May 20-Jun 30: #13. Jul 1-7: #14. Jul 8- Sep 29: #13. Sep 30- Nov 10: #12. Nov 11- Dec 31: #13.
12) Caleb Truax
Significant Results: Jun 21- TKO6 #15 Don George. Sep 21- TKO4 Prospect Ceresso Fort (at 160).
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jun 23: Unranked.  Jun 24-30: #16. Jul 1-7: #17. Jul 8- Aug 25: #16. Aug 26- Sep 29: #17. Sep 30- Dec 31: #16.
13) George Groves
Significant Results: May 25- TKO5 Prospect/Gatekeeper Noe Gonzalez. Nov 23- L (TKO9) vs. #1 Carl Froch.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #9.  Jan 21- May 19: #8. May 20- Jun 30: #7. Jul 1- Sep 29: #8. Sep 30- Nov 10: #7. Nov 11- Dec 31: #8.
14) Fedor Chudinov
Significant Results: Dec 21: RTD3 Gatekeeper Francis Cheka.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
15) Callum Smith
Significant Results: Oct 26- KO6 Gatekeeper Ruben Acosta.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Badou Jack

Significant Results: Feb 23- UD8 Quality Journeyman Don Mouton. Jul 19- UD10 Prospect Farah Ennis. Sep 12- MD10 Draw (should be loss) vs. Prospect Marco Antonio Periban.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Jul 21: Unranked. Jul 22- Aug 25: #19. Aug 26- Sep 29: #20. Sep 30- Dec 8: #19. Dec 9-31: #18.
17) Don Mouton
Significant Results: Jan 11- L (UD8) vs. Prospect Brandon Gonzales. Feb 23- L (UD8) vs. Undefeated Prospect Badou Jack. May 3- Robbery L (should be win) vs. #10 Anthony Dirrell.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- May 19: Unranked. May 20- Jun 2: #20. Jun 3-30: #19. Jul 1-7: #20. Jul 8-21: #19. Jul 22- Aug 25: #20. Aug 26- Sep 29: Unranked. Sep 30- Dec 8: #20. Dec 9-31: #19.
18) Anthony Dirrell
Significant Results: May 3- Robbery W (should be loss) vs. Journeyman Don Mouton. Dec 7- Draw (SD12) vs. #11 Sakio Bika.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-20: #13. Jan 21- Mar 3: #12. Mar 4-10: #11. Mar 11- May 5: #10. May 6- Dec 8: Unranked. Dec 9-31: #20.
19) Marco Antonio Periban

Significant Results: Jun 22- L (MD12) vs. #8 Sakio Bika. Sep 12- MD10 Draw (should be win) vs. #20 Badou Jack.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
20) Gilberto Ramirez

Significant Results: Aug 24- UD10 Gatekeeper Derrick Findley.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.

 

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.  Nearly half are no longer around:

 

Arthur Abraham– Jan 1- Mar 24: #2. Mar 25- May 19: #5. May 20- Dec 31: #4.

 

Mikkel Kessler– Jan 1- Dec 31: #3.

 

Lucian Bute– Jan 1-May 19: #4. May 20- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Adonis Stevenson– Jan 1- May 19: #7. May 20- Sep 29: #6. Sep 30- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Kelly Pavlik– Jan 1-20: #8. Jan 21- Dec 31: Unranked (Retired).

 

Karoly Balzsay– Jan 1-20: #10. Jan 21- Mar 3: #9. Mar 4- Dec 31: Unranked (Retired).

 

Andy Lee– Jan 1-20: #11. Jan 21- Feb 17: #10. Feb 18- Mar 3: #11. Mar 4-10: #10. Mar 11- May 19: Unranked (Moved Down). May 20- Jun 2: #17. Jun 3-23: #16. Jun 24-30: #15. Jul 1-7: #16. Jul 8- Sep 29: #15. Sep 30- Dec 31: #14.

 

Will Rosinsky– Jan 1-20: #14. Jan 21- Mar 3: #13. Mar 4-10: #12. Mar 11- May 5: #11. May 6-19: #10. May 20- Jun 9: #9. Jun 10-30: #11. Jul 1-7: #12. Jul 8- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye– Jan 1-20: #15. Jan 21- Mar 3: #14. Mar 4-10: #13. Mar 11- May 5: #12. May 6-19: #11. May 20- Jun 9: #10. Jun 10- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Dimitri Sartison– Jan 1-20: #16. Jan 21- Mar 3: #15. Mar 4-10: #14. Mar 11- May 5: #13. May 6-19: #12. May 20- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Jesus Gonzales– Jan 1-20: #19. Jan 21- Feb 24: #18. Feb 25- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Maxim Vlasov– Jan 1-20: #20. Jan 21- Feb 24: #19. Feb 25- Mar 3: #18. Mar 4-10: #17. Mar 11-31: #16. Apr 1- May 5: #15. May 6-19: #14. May 20- Jun 30: #12. Jul 1-7: #13. Jul 8- Sep 29: #12. Sep 30- Nov 10: #11. Nov 11- Dec 31: #12.

 

Dyah Davis– Jan 1- Feb 24: Unranked. Feb 25- Mar 3: #20. Mar 4-10: #19. Mar 11- May 5: #18. May 6-19: #17. May 20- Jun 2: #15. Jun 3- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Hadillah Mohoumadi– Jan 1- Mar 3: Unranked. Mar 4-10: #20. Mar 11-24: #19. Mar 25- May 5: #20. May 6-19: #19. May 20- Jun 2: #18. Jun 3-30: #17. Jul 1-7: #18. Jul 8- Aug 25: #17. Aug 26- Sep 29: #18. Sep 30- Dec 31: #17.

 

Glen Johnson– Jan 1- Mar 10: Unranked.  Mar 11-24: #20. Mar 25- May 5: Unranked. May 6-19: #20. May 20- Jun 2: #19. Jun 3-30: #18. Jul 1-7: #19. Jul 8- Aug 25: #18. Aug 26- Sep 29: #19. Sep 30- Dec 8: #18. Dec 9-31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Don George– Jan 1- Mar 24: Unranked. Mar 25- May 5: #19. May 6-19: #18. May 20- Jun 2: #16. Jun 3-23: #15. Jun 24-30: #20. Jul 1-7: Unranked. Jul 8-21: #20. Jul 22- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Brian Magee– Jan 1- Jun 2: Unranked. Jun 3-23: #20. Jun 24- Dec 31: Unranked

Year-End Awards: Light Heavyweight, 2013

Posted in Light Heavyweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on March 28, 2014 by danboxing
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.

Year-End Awards: Cruiserweight, 2013

Posted in Cruiserweight, Yearly Awards and Wrap Up with tags , , , , , , , on March 27, 2014 by danboxing
Welcome to my 2nd Annual Cruiserweight 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 2012 specifically, followed by a rundown of the year’s rankings history.  Dig in!

 

Cruiserweight Fighter of the Year: Thabiso Mchunu
Last year’s Prospect of the Year made good on his potential, dominating highly credible heavyweight Eddie Chambers in what was supposed to be just the beginning of a productive cruiserweight run for Fast Eddie.  It was Mchunu’s only significant win of the year, though, and it’s really a toss-up between him and Marco Huck, who beat #5 Ola Afolabi- the highest ranked actual cruiserwight to fall.  If nothing else, I give it to the South African beast just based on the comprehensive nature of his victory.  

 

Prospect of the Year: Lukasz Janik
This award goes to the fighter with fewer than 3 wins that has never been in the top 10 and had the best year in 2013.  Janik gets it on the strength of a performance that, frankly, should have made him ineligible by getting him well within the top 10.  I’m referring to his “loss” to 7th-ranked Ola Afolabi from November.  Janik pretty clearly won the fight, but it wasn’t a blatant enough robbery to treat him as the unequivocal winner, which means he’s currently sitting in the teens.  His only other prior loss was against Mateusz Masternak.

 

Most Important Knockout of the Year: #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni
This is a simple recognition of the guy who stopped the highest-ranked contender to be stopped during the year.  This one might have been a foregone conclusion, since the 44 year-old Fragomeni had begun to show his age in recent fights, and since Wlodarczyk stopped him in their second meeting in 2010, when Fragomeni was closer to his prime.  Nevertheless, Fragomeni is the highest-ranked guy to suffer a stoppage on the year, and Wlodarczyk is the guy that made it happen.  Yoan Pablo Hernandez’s TKO of #12 Alexander Alekseev is the runner-up.

 

Most Sensational Knockout of the Year: #16 Ilunga Makabu KO5 Eric Fields
Makabu’s picture-perfect left-hand was such a devastating shot that he was already posing for the cameras before Fields hit the canvas.  Click “KO5” to see a brief video of the shot on Youtube.  The only other KO anywhere near the aesthetic value of this one was Dmitry Kudryashov’s shot on Zack Mwekassa, but in the latter case, Mwekassa was able to recover from the shot well enough to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the ref’s stoppage.  Fields was completely done.

 

Match-Up of the Year: #5 Ola Afolabi vs. #8 Marco Huck
Lots of options here, and no clear winner.  Afolabi-Huck featured an average ranking of 6.5.  Ditto on #4 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk vs. #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni.  Falling just short of that is #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez vs. #12 Alexander Alekseev.  You could also make a strong case for #1 Denis Lebedev vs. Guillermo Jones, who had been #10 when he was removed for inactivity.  I think the inactivity would have to lower his standing a bit- just enough to lose out to the winner here.  With Afolabi-Huck and Wlodarczyk-Fragomeni being essentially a tie, I will go with the more closely-matched fight, and the one that was more competitive.

 

Fight of the Year: #6 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk TKO8 Rakhim Chakhkiev
 Jones-Lebedev would be a tough candidate to beat given the extremely competitive nature, the gruesome swelling, and the dramatic stoppage, but that fight is unfortunately tainted by Jones’ PED use and the ensuing no contest verdict.  But even if not for that drawback, that contest would get very stiff competition from Wlodarczyk-Chakhkiev.  Chakhkiev was brutally dominating the Polish contender early, and looked on the verge of stopping him, having scored a knockdown in the third and most likely sweeping the opening 5 rounds.  That was before the 6th, when “el Diablo” began a streak of 4 knockdown in three rounds that ultimately led to referee Lindsey Page waving the fight off in the 8th.  I must say that I didn’t care for that decision, hich was made without a count.  Chakhkiev had shown a very weak chin against the knockdown at that point, but he didn’t seem so hurt that he conclusively needed to be saved in that fashion.  Nevetheless, it was an all-action affair full of guys hitting the floor, perseverance, competitive action, and a great comeback.

 

Upset of the Year: #7 Ola Afolabi W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik
This is a bit of a problematic pick, I realize.  Technically, the heavy favorite won, but it was only due to a heavy dose of assistance from the judges.  While you could make a case for a legitimate Afolabi win, you’d have to bend over backwards to do so, I think.  While the fight was rather close, the only reasonable conclusion is that Janik deserved at least a draw, and a draw in itself would constitute a major upset.  Janik was a one-loss prospect, but was really only proven at a mid-range journeyman sort of level, while Afolabi had fought on essentially even terms with Marco Huck for 3 fights.  If you don’t like this pick from me, then feel free to go with the runner up, Ilunga Makabu’s fairly convincing decision win over then-17th-ranked Dmytro Kucher.  Both guys entered as undefeated prospects, but Kucher had been tested on a far higher level, and had looked like a destroyer to that point.  I have trouble giving that fight the nod over Janik-Afolabi, though, since Makabu had not ruled him out of the likelihood of competitiveness by his prior results- we just didn’t know what he was capable of yet.  Janik’s prior loss to Masternak seemed to be a good reason to believe he was outclassed by Afolabi.

 

Comeback Fighter of the Year: Marco Huck
If you just looked at the official record, you’d be puzzled as to just what Huck had to come back from.  But for those that actually watched his last two fights of 2012, you’d know that he took a serious hit to his credibility last year by maybe getting a small benefit of the doubt to earn a draw with Afolabi and especially by needing a blatant robbery to leave with a victory against the ancient Firat Arslan.  He fought only once in 2013- a very low number for the busy contender- but managed to put any Afolabi-related angst to rest with a competitive but clear win over his old nemesis in their trilogy bout.  He’ll get a chance in January to come all the way back with a rematch against Arslan.

 

Robbery of the Year: #7 Ola Afolabi W* (MD12) vs. Lukasz Janik
The judges mostly behaved themselves in the cruiserweight division this year, after an especially scandalous 2012.  The only clearly wrong decision of the year in serious action was in November, when #7 Afolabi squeaked by with a majority decision over one-loss Polish prospect Lukasz Janik at Madison Square Garden.  It really was a close fight.  I had it 115-113 for Janik.  Fair scores could range from about 115-113 Afolabi to 117-111 Janik.  It’s hard to gripe too much at Jerry Roth’s draw card, or even to any great extent at Joseph Pasquale’s 115-113 pro-Afolabi card, but Waleska Roldan’s 117-111 for the Brit was absolutely shameful, having given Afolabi all the debatable rounds and at least 2 clear Janik frames.  Technically-speaking, I wouldn’t quite go so far as to call this a robbery, but it was definitely the worst decision of the year.  The only other one I really disagreed with at all was Alekseev vs. Garrett Wilson, won by Alekseev, which I had a draw.  That one wasn’t a big deal.

 

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 2012. 

 

1) Thabiso Mchunu
Significant Results: Aug 3- UD12 Heavyweight Contender Eddie Chambers.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 10: #17.  Feb 11- May 19: #16.  May 20- Jun 2: #17. Jun 3- Jul 14: #16. Jul 15-28: #17. Jul 29- Aug 4: #16. Aug 5- Sep 15: #7. Sep 16- Dec 31: #6.
2) Marco Huck
Significant Results: Jun 8- W (MD12) vs. #5 Ola Afolabi.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 10: #8. Feb 11- May 19: #7. May 20- Jun 9: #8. Jun 10- Jul 28: #5. Jul 29- Sep 15: #4. Sep 16- Dec 31: #3.
3) Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Significant Results: Jun 21- TKO8 Undefeated Prospect Rakhim Chakhkiev. Dec 6- TKO6 #9 Giacobbe Fragomeni.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 10: #6. Feb 11- May 19: #5. May 20- Jul 28: #6. Jul 29- Sep 15: #5. Sep 16- Dec 31: #4.
4) Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Significant Results: Nov 23- TKO10 #12 Alexander Alekseev.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: #2.
5) Grigory Drozd
Significant Results: Oct 5- TKO11 #13 Mateusz Masternak.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Feb 10: #20. Feb 11- May 19: #19. May 20- Jun 2: #20. Jun 3- Jul 28: #19. Jul 29- Sep 15: #18. Sep 16-22: #17. Sep 23- Oct 6: #16. Oct 7- Nov 3: #9. Nov 4-24: #8. Nov 25- Dec 31: #7..
6) Lukasz Janik
Significant Results: Nov 2- L (should be W) vs. #7 Ola Afolabi.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 3: Unranked. Nov 4-24: #16. Nov 25- Dec 8: #15. Dec 9-31: #14.
7) Ilunga Makabu
Significant Results: Jul 13- W (MD12) vs. #17 Dmytro Kucher. Aug 31- TKO5 Prospect Eric Fields.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Jul 14: Unranked. Jul 15-28: #16. Jul 29- Aug 4: #15. Aug 5- Sep 1: #16. Sep 2-15: #15. Sep 16- Oct 6: #14. Oct 7- Nov 24: #13. Nov 25- Dec 31: #11.
8) Santander Silgado
Significant Results: Nov 1- TKO2 #20 Steve Herelius.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Nov 3: Unranked. Nov 4-24: #14. Nov 25- Dec 8: #13. Dec 9-31: #12.
9) Alexander Alekseev
Significant Results: Feb 22- UD12 W (should be Draw) vs. Fringe Contender Garrett Wilson. Nov 23- L (TKO10) vs. #2 Yoan Pablo Hernandez.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 10: #16. Feb 11-24: #15. Feb 25- May 19: #13. May 20- Jun 2: #14. Jun 3- Jul 28: #13. Jul 29- Aug 4: #12. Aug 5- Sep 15: #13. Sep 16- Dec 8: #12. Dec 9-31: Unranked (Retired).
10) Garrett Wilson
Significant Results: Feb 22- UD12 L (should be Draw) vs. #15 Alexander Alekseev. Nov 16- L (UD10) vs. Vyacheslav Glazkov (at HW).
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 8: Unranked.  Dec 9-22: #20. Dec 23-31: Unranked.
11) Nuri Seferi
Significant Results: Dec 20- W (DQ7) vs. Fringe Contender Steve Herelius.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 22: Unranked. Dec 23-31: #15.
12) Marcos Ahumada
Significant Results: May 25- KO4 Gatekeeper Alejandro Valori (at 179).
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
13) Silvio Branco
Significant Results: Jul 6- W (TD10) vs. Gatekeeper Juho Haapoja.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 10: #13. Feb 11- May 19: #12. May 20- Jun 2: #13. Jun 3- Jul 28: #12. Jul 29- Aug 4: #11. Aug 5- Sep 15: #12. Sep 16- Nov 24: #11. Nov 25- Dec 31: #10.
14) Danie Venter
Significant Results: Sep 21- KO1 Gatekeeper Shawn Cox.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Sep 15: Unranked. Sep 16-22: #20. Sep 23- Oct 6: #17. Oct 7- Nov 3: #16. Nov 4-24: #18. Nov 25- Dec 8: #17. Dec 9-22: #16. Dec 23-31: #17.
15) Eleider Alvarez
Significant Results: Sep 28- UD10 Gatekeeper Edison Miranda (at 180).
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1-Dec 31: Unranked.
16) Tony Conquest
Significant Results: Oct 5- UD10 Prospect Wadi Camacho.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Dec 31: Unranked.
17) Ola Afolabi
Significant Results: Jun 8- L (MD12) vs. #8 Marco Huck.  Nov 2- W* (MD12- should have been L) vs. Prospect Lukasz Janik.
2013 Rankings History: Jan 1- Feb 10: #5. Feb 11- May 19: #4. May 20- Jun 9: #5. Jun 10- Jul 28: #8. Jul 29- Aug 4: #7. Aug 5- Sep 15: #8. Sep 16- Nov 3: #7. Nov 4-24: #9. Nov 25- Dec 31: #8.

 

The following fights could be found in the top 20 at various parts of the year, but did nothing at this weight to help their ranking.  Or in the case of Guillermo Jones, self-sabotaged.  Most are no longer around:

 

Denis Lebedev– Jan 1- May 19: #1. May 20- Jul 28: #4. Jul 29- Dec 31: #1.

 

Troy Ross– Jan 1- Sep 15: #3. Sep 16- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Steve Cunningham– Jan 1- Feb 10: #4. Feb 11- Dec 31: Unranked (Moved Up).

 

Firat Arslan– Jan 1- Feb 10: #7. Feb 11- May 19: #6. May 20- Jul 28: #7. Jul 29- Sep 15: #6. Sep 16- Dec 31: #5.

 

Lateef Kayode– Jan 1- Feb 10: #9. Feb 11- May 19: #8. May 20- Jun 2: #9. Jun 3- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Danny Green– Jan 1- Feb 10: #10. Feb 11- May 19: #9. May 20- Jun 2: #10. Jun 3- Jul 28: #9. Jul 29- Aug 4: #8. Aug 5- Sep 15: #9. Sep 16- Nov 3: #8. Nov 4-24: #7. Nov 25- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

B.J. Flores– Jan 1- Feb 10: #11. Feb 11- May 19: #10. May 20- Jun 2: #11. Jun 3- Jul 28: #10. Jul 29- Aug 4: #9. Aug 5- Sep 15: #10. Sep 16- Oct 6: #9. Oct 7- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Giacobbe Fragomeni– Jan 1- Feb 10: #12. Feb 11- May 19: #11. May 20- Jun 2: #12. Jun 3- Jul 28: #11. Jul 29- Aug 4: #10. Aug 5- Sep 15: #11. Sep 16- Nov 24: #10. Nov 25- Dec 31: #9.

 

Mateusz Masternak– Jan 1- Feb 10: #14. Feb 1-24: #13. Feb 25- May 19: #14. May 20- Jun 2: #15. Jun 3- Jul 28: #14. Jul 29- Aug 4: #13. Aug 5- Sep 15: #14. Sep 16- Oct 6: #13. Oct 7- Nov 3: #14. Nov 4-24: #15. Nov 25- Dec 8: #14. Dec 9-31: #13.

 

Francisco Palacios– Jan 1- Feb 10: #15. Feb 11- 24: #14. Feb 25- May 19: #15. May 20- Jun 2: #16. Jun 3- Jul 28: #15. Jul 29- Aug 4: #14. Aug 5- Sep 1: #15. Sep 2-15: #16. Sep 16-22: #15. Sep 23- Dec 31: Unranked (Inactive).

 

Dmytro Kucher– Jan 1- Feb 10: #18. Feb 11- May 19: #17. May 20- Jun 2: #18. Jun 3- Jul 14: #17. Jul 15-28: #20. Jul 29- Sep 15: #19. Sep 16- Oct 6: #18. Oct 7- Nov 3: #17. Nov 4-24: #19. Nov 25- Dec 8: #18. Dec 9-22: #17. Dec 23-31: #18.

 

Enad Licina– Jan 1- Feb 10: #19. Feb 11- May 19: #18. May 20- Jun 2: #19. Jun 3- Jul 28: #18. Jul 29- Sep 15: #17. Sep 16-22: #16. Sep 23- Nov 3: #15. Nov 4-24: #17. Nov 25- Dec 8: #16. Dec 9- 22: #15. Dec 23-31: #16.

 

Pawel Glazewski– Jan 1- Feb 10: Unranked.  Feb 11- May 19: #20. May 20- Jun 2: Unranked. Jun 3-30: #20. Jul 1- Dec 31: Unranked.

 

Guillermo Jones– Jan 1- May 19: Unranked. May 20- Jul 28: #1. Jul 29- Dec 31: Unranked (PEDs).

 

Krzysztof Glowacki– Jan 1- Jun 30: Unranked. Jul 1-14: #20. Jul 15-28: Unranked. Jul 29- Sep 15: #20. Sep 16- Oct 6: #19. Oct 7- Nov 3: #18. Nov 4-24: #20. Nov 25- Dec 8: #19. Dec 9-22: #18. Dec 23-31: #19.

 

Rakhim Chakhkiev– Jan 1- Sep 22: Unranked.  Sep 23- Oct 6: #20. Oct 7- Nov 3: #19. Nov 4-24: Unranked. Nov 25- Dec 8: #20. Dec 9-22: #19. Dec 23-31: #20.

 

Steve Herelius– Jan 1- Oct 6: Unranked. Oct 7- Nov 3: #20. Nov 4- Dec 31: Unranked.