It’s the time of the year where boxing usually takes a pause as we venture into a new year. With big fights still being made, and no significant fights lined up till January, it’s the 2013 yearly awards that make most of the headlines in the boxing industry. Fightnights.com has compiled its own list of awards for the fans to enjoy and debate. There have been spectacular fights, stunning upsets, great comebacks, and dramatic knockouts. So who do we think had the best of all these? Take a look:
Fighter of the Year: Adonis Stevenson (23-1, 20 KO’s)
To me, it’s not even a question. Stevenson fought four times in 2013 which is a rarity in itself for a top contender and now champion. Every single fight produced a knockout. While GGG and Kovalev also produced 4 fights and 4 KO’s each in 2013, the level of competition favored Stevenson. Starting off the year, Stevenson avenged the only loss of his career by knockout out Darnell Boone. The victory earned him a shot at WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. Coming in as an underdog to Dawson, Stevenson wasn’t expected by many to win the fight. Stevenson would not only shock the world by defeating the light heavyweight champion, but he did it with a one punch knockout in the very first round. For most fighters, fighting twice in one year and winning the WBC championship against a world class champion would have been enough to rest. But not Stevenson. He would defend his title in a quick three months against another top contender Tavoris Cloud. Cloud, who had never been stopped in his career and only had one loss to the great Bernard Hopkins, was forced to retire in his corner in the 7th round due to the amount of punishment Stevenson was dishing out. Stevenson would surprise again, taking yet another fight just two months later against a very highly recognized opponent on Tony Bellew. Once again, Stevenson was victorious with a 6th round TKO against yet another fighter who had never been stopped before. Four fights, four knockouts, and three against world class opposition gets Stevenson the nod over everyone else as Fighter of the Year.
Honorable Mentions: Sergey Kovalev, Floyd Mayweather, Gennady Golovkin, Timothy Bradley, Danny Garcia
Fight of the Year: Timothy Bradley vs Ruslan Provodnikov
The fight was expected to be a snoozer. Only 3,000 people showed up to the fight live and it was supposed to be an easy fight for Tim Bradley to box his way back into the rankings. The only issue was that no one told Ruslan Provodikov that. Not even one minute into the opening bell and the fists were flying in an unexpected brawl. Twitter exploded at the end of the first round when Bradley got rocked hard by the hard hitting Russian. The second round only got better as the war continued with both fighters firing as though they were fighting to the death. Bradley appeared to be out on his feet in the second however he continued to fight. Every round after had people at the edge of their seats. Power punches continued to land on both sides through the brutal 12 round battle. Once again, the final two rounds would prove to be as good as the first two, especially when Bradley would go down in the final minute of the last round. At the time people thought he may have come back to win the fight and the knockdown in the last round provided the dramatics of an unknown decision. Bradley would win the fight with a very close unanimous decision, and while it would not be as controversial as the Pacquiao win, most people wouldn’t have argued a win by Provodikov. Regardless, ten months later it is still one of the most talked about fights of the year, and the clear winner to the 2013 Fight of the Year.
Honorable Mentions: Omar Figueroa vs Nihito Arawaka, Mike Alvarado vs Brandon Rios II, Adrien Broner vs Marcos Maidana
Knockout of the Year: Stevenson KO’s Dawson in round one
Once again the shocking nature added to the one punch KO in the very first round gets the Stevenson KO over Dawson the Knockout of the Year. While Dawson was able to get up, he was unable to continue and the surprise left hand sent him straight to the canvas. It was hard to pick this over the Matthysse KO of Dallas Jr but either one of them could have been the knockout of the year. I think the unexpected nature of Stevenson KO’ing Dawson made it more shocking and dramatic, and therefore giving it the slight edge over Matthysse’s.
Honorable Mention: Matthysse KO Dallas Jr,
Upset of the Year: Gonzalez KO’s Mares in round one.
This fight wasn’t even televised in most houses because of the feud between CBS and Time Warner. Mares was expected to easily defeat an old, what many thought to be washed up Gonzalez. Guess again. Not only did Gonzalez shock with the upset, but he did it in the very first round of the fight. Mares appeared to be just warming up when Gonzalez crushed him with a left hook that sent him straight to the canvas. Gonzalez was relentless as he went fight after Mares, dropping him again with a series of punches. Mares wouldn’t be able to continue, and the upset of the year was already in the books. Mares was a 7-1 favorite to win the fight.
Honorable Mention: Marcos Maidana over Adrien Broner
Other Yearly Awards:
Prospect of the Year: Errol Spence Jr.
Round of the Year: Timothy Bradley vs Ruslan Provodnikov Round 12
Comeback Fighter of the Year: Marcos Maidana
Trainer of the Year: Robert Garcia