In a year that had many highlights and breakout performances, there are only a few fighters and moments from 2013 that received honors during the 5th annual “On The Ropes” boxing awards. The categories this year were; Trainer of the year, Prospect of the year, Comeback fighter of the year, Round of the year, Upset of the year, Fight of the year, KO of the year, and Fighter of the year. During the 205th edition of “On The Ropes” I announced all of the winners and went over the reasons why each won and also discussed some of the other candidates from this past year.
TRAINER OF THE YEAR With trainers like Sugar Hill and Robert Garcia having their fighters win on the big stage, it made this years race very interesting, but there was one trainer that brought their fighter to success on the biggest stage. Floyd Mayweather Sr, the trainer of Floyd Mayweather Jr took his son to two impressive wins in 2013.
First guiding his son to a victory over Robert Guerrero in May, and then helping him win a belt at junior middleweight in September against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, a fight that became the all time highest grossing fight in boxing history. When you can take the best fighter in the world and make him even better, you get our pick to be trainer of the year.
PROSPECT OF THE YEAR Olympic gold medalist Anthony Joshua has made headlines as a potential future heavyweight champion. Joshua is an Olympic gold medalist who debuted earlier in 2013 and scored 3 quick and impressive knockout wins, but besides just boxing skills, Anthony has the physical attributes to compete with any heavyweight he is matched with.
The 24 year old stands at 6’6 and has shown to be fairly quick for the weight class. Look for Anthony Joshua to develop even further in 2014. Runner up for prospect of the year was Vasyl Lomachenko, a two time Olympic gold medalist who made his official pro debut this past October.
COMEBACK FIGHTER OF THE YEAR When it comes to this award there was one name that stood far above the rest. Coming off a 6th round KO defeat at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez, many wondered if Manny Pacquiao would ever be the same fighter again. Once his return was announced, and that he would be facing Brandon Rios, some thought the match up could be dangerous and the wrong type of fight for Pacquiao’s return.
On November 26th, Manny Pacquiao stepped back into the ring and put on a show for the fans in Macau, China. Pacquiao dominated the fight from the opening bell to the finish, winning almost every second of every round. He proved that he was not only back, but also still a force to be reckoned with in the welterweight division. Manny Pacquiao wins our comeback fighter of the year award, and we are looking for more great things from him in 2014.
ROUND OF THE YEAR Our pick for round of the year was the 10th round of the fight between Mickey Bey and John Molina. There were strong challengers for round of the year, like round 6 of Bradley-Provodnikov, and round 3 of Kirkland-Tapia, but these fights did not have the build up that our pick had. John Molina was getting outclassed from the opening bell of the fight, he had no answer for the quicker and more skilled Bey.
Bey was just seconds away from walking away with an easy decision win, but things took an unexpected turn as Molina connected with a flush left hook that badly hurt Bey and gave Molina the chance to stop the then unbeaten fighter. After a barrage of heavy blows, the referee was forced to stop the fight as Bey appeared to be out on his feet. The unexpectedness of that 10th round is what made it our pick for round of the year.
FIGHT OF THE YEAR 2013 was an action packed year, there were many fights that exceeded their expectations, fights like the rematch between Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler, Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado II, and Denis Lebedev vs. Guillermo Jones. All these fights were great candidates to win fight of the year, but the one fight that stood out the most was the showdown between WBO champ Timothy Bradley and hard hitting Ruslan Provodnikov.
A fight which appeared to be a big mismatch on paper turned out to deliver nothing but action, as Ruslan nearly stopped the champ on several occasions. This fight brought the best out of both fighters, but it was Timothy Bradley who was able to emerge victorious by way of 12 round unanimous decision. Bradley vs. Provodnikov was an instant classic where both fighters showed their guts and determination to make it to the final bell.
KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR There was stiff competition for 2013’s knockout of the year, there were many spectacular KO’s such as Gennady Golovkin’s KO3 win over Nobuhiro Ishida and Lucas Matthysse’s KO1 victory over Mike Dallas Jr, but our official pick for KO of the year comes from a fighter who emerged as one of the top light heavyweights in the world, Sergey Kovalev.
Kovalev had an impressive win earlier in the year when he demolished Britain’s Nathan Cleverly, but his most spectacular win came over Ismayl Sillakh. Sillakh was unable to offer any resistance to the quick attack of Kovalev and was ruthlessly KO’d in the second round. With this win, Kovalev now finds himself as a top contender at light heavyweight, and has made a name for himself as one of the most exciting fighters in the sport today.
UPSET OF THE YEAR The strongest candidate for us was Jhonny Gonzalez KO1 over the previously undefeated Abner Mares, but just a few weeks ago that pick shifted as we saw Showtime’s year end event that had Adrien Broner face off with Argentinean fighter, Marcos Maidana. Broner was touted as being the future of boxing, having similar style to that of Floyd Mayweather, and possessing impressive skills and natural talent. Many experts already had Broner high on their pound for pound list.
Broner went into the fight with Maidana as a significant favorite and everybody expected him to use his boxing abilities to keep the slower Maidana off. When the fight started, Maidana instantly put pressure on Broner and managed to knock him down in the second round. “The Problem” got floored for the first time in his career, not once but twice, on route to losing a unanimous decision to Marcos Maidana.
Broner was an unbeaten champ who had a lot of buzz surrounding him, maybe too much, as this fight exposed a few of his weaknesses in the ring, as well as showing that he does not really belong with the top fighters at 147 lbs. Marcos Maidana did what few thought he could do, win a decision against Broner, and that wins him the upset of the year award from “On The Ropes”
FIGHTER OF THE YEAR There were a few candidates for fighter of the year, with fighters such as Gennady Golovkin, Danny Garcia and Bernard Hopkins having impressive moments in 2013. But for us at “On The Ropes” there was one fighter that had a bigger year then the rest, and he is our 2013 fighter of the year, he is none other than Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Floyd not only fought two times this past year, a feat he has not accomplished in 6 years, but also had the two biggest PPV boxing events of the year. He returned to the ring after a 1 year absence in May, to defend his WBC welterweight title against his mandatory challenger Robert Guerrero. Mayweather won a 12 round unanimous decision, looking as good as ever in his first fight with his father as head trainer in over 10 years.
Floyd stepped back into the ring in September to face the undefeated WBC light middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The fight became the biggest event in boxing history, and Mayweather ended up winning a 12 round majority decision, in a fight that most saw him winning wide. Floyd Mayweather Jr proved again why he is the best pound for pound fighter in the world, and even at age 37 he is showing he is as good as he has ever been