2013 in review

By Steve Bateson on January 4, 2014
2013 in review
2013 was a fantastic year for boxing, what awaits us in 2014?

2013 has come and gone and with it has passed an overall triumphant year for the sport of boxing. Fight fans around the globe were treated to some of the best bouts in recent memory as well as highlight reel knockouts, miraculous upsets, technical master classes and controversies that will be talked about for years to come.

From Brandon Rios’ titanic sequel with Mike Alvarado to Omar Figueroa’s unbelievable war with Nihito Arakawa we witnessed copious contenders for the Fight of the Year accolade. Tim Bradley’s miraculous survival against Ruslan Provodnikov was another twelve round barnstormer as was the return between Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler back in May. Then there is the image of Denis Lebedev’s face after his awe-inspiring war against Guillermo Jones, it truly was a memorable twelve months of the noble sport and below I will compile a list of fights you should check out before turning your attention to what awaits in 2014.

Who can forget the ease with which Guillermo Rigondeaux dealt with P4P leader Nonito Donaire, or the supreme confidence with which the incomparable Floyd Mayweather once again demonstrated his ability, first against Robert Guerrero and then Canelo Alvarez. Manny Pacquiao also returned to completely outclass Brandon Rios and once again drum up interest in a super-fight that should have taken place back in 2009. Danny Garcia also earned himself serious plaudits when he defied many boxing experts to clearly outpoint the dangerous Lucas Matthysse on the Mayweather-Alvarez undercard. We should also reserve a moment to commend the unbelievable achievement of “The Alien” Bernard Hopkins, who continues to defy Old Father Time by holding the IBF Light Heavyweight Championship at the youthful age of 48.

Contenders for knockout of the year have to be Adonis Stevenson, his 1st round KO of Chad Dawson not only stunned the world but it sent “Superman” to the top of the Light Heavyweight kingdom, and then there was Lucas Matthysse’s first round destruction of Mike Dallas Jnr. Jesus Soto Karass’ last round knockout of Andre Berto advanced him into an interim title shot with Keith Thurman, Gennady Golovkin tried his best to punch Nobuhiro Ishida out of the ring as did Sergey Kovalev when he fought Ismayl Silakh and then there was Jhonny Gonzalez’s first round stunner against Abner Mares that shelved any talk of a superfight between Mares and the rest of the divisional leaders.

Hammer-fisted Marcos Maidana leads the way for Shock of the Year by ripping the WBA Welterweight Championship away from previously unbeaten Adrien Broner. Broner talked big but after two heavy knockdowns and twelve rounds of brutality he will need to re-evaluate before he returns to action. Special mentions also to Kiko Martinez, who realised an unexpected dream by stopping Jhonatan Romero to win the IBF Super Bantamweight Championship, to Britain’s Stuart Hall, who survived a ferocious twelve round tussle to take the vacant IBF Bantamweight title against Vusi Malinga and to Shawn Porter who dethroned Devon Alexander as the IBF Welterweight Champ in December. Or even take a moment to remember John Molina Jnr’s unexpected knockout of previously unbeaten, and Floyd Mayweather managed, Mickey Bey. George Groves would have been top of the pile had he been able to wrestle the IBF and WBA Super Middleweight Championships away from Carl Froch but instead they top the list for Controversy of the year.

After dropping the usually iron-jawed Froch in the first round, Groves then went on to dominate proceedings. He hurt Froch frequently and looked to be boxing to a perfect gameplan before Froch eventually caught up with him in round eight. Groves shipped some punishment and looked shaken in round nine but nowhere near enough for the referee, Howard Foster, to jump in a call a halt to proceedings. The decision robbed boxing fans and both fighters of an exciting and deserved finish, a re-match is a definite in the coming year. Scotland’s Ricky Burns continued the trend of controversies in Britain when he somehow wrangled a draw against Mexico’s Raymundo Beltran. Burns had his jaw broken in the second round, was dropped in the eighth and quite clearly outpointed but the judges disagreed and gave the Coatbridge fighter a reprieve that his performance did not warrant. The less said about Julio Chavez Jnr’s blatant gift-wrapped decision against Brian Vera the better, the re-match in March will do nothing to alter the disgraceful judging that has gone before.

2013 saw the end of three hall of fame careers. Zab Judah, Shane Mosely and Vitali Klitschko all deciding to hang up their gloves for the final time. Mosely’s decision unfortunately came after another defeat to an opponent who wouldn’t have lived with him in his heyday, Anthony Mundine, whilst Vitali’s decision to step away from boxing means that the Heavyweight decision just got a whole lot more interesting. 2014 certainly could be the year when the blue ribbon division is sparked back into life as Bermaine Stiverne, Chris Arreola, Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, Kubrat Pulev among many others battle to stake their claim at the mountain top.

Andre Ward returned to action and picked up where he left of as he dominated Edwin Rodriguez over twelve rounds whilst Wladimir Klitschko continued to dominate the Heavyweight scene with a one sided decision over Alexander Povetkin, a man who was classed as Wlad’s biggest test in the current division. Whilst Miguel Cotto fought under Freddie Roach for the first time and demolished Delvin Rodriguez in three to potentially set up fights against Sergio Martinez and Saul Alvarez in 2014.

I could stay here all day and reminisce of what last year brought us but instead I have compiled a list and now turn my attention to the annum ahead. 2013 was indeed a splendid year for the sport of boxing but here is to hoping that 2014 can go one better.

Part 2 will look at what is in store for fight fans in the new year.

End of Year Awards (Completely Opinionated)

Fight of the Year:

1. Tim Bradley vs Ruslan Provodkinov
2. Brandon Rios vs Mike Alvarado II
3. Omar Figueroa vs Nihito Arakawa
4. Giovani Segura vs Hernan Marquez
5. Marcos Maidana vs Josesito Lopez

Fighter of the Year:

1. Floyd Mayweather
2. Adonis Stevenson
3. Guillermo Rigondeaux
4. Timothy Bradley
5. Marcos Maidana

Upset of the year:

1. Marcos Maidana defeats Adrien Broner
2. Kiko Martinez defeats Jhonatan Romero
3. Jhonny Gonzalez knocks out Abner Mares in the first round
4. Tony Thompson defeats David Price twice in a row
5. Darren Barker defeating Daniel Geale

Controversy of the year:

1. George Groves being stopped prematurely against Carl Froch
2. Ricky Burns’ getting a draw against Ray Beltran
3. Brian Vera robbed of victory against Chavez Jnr
4. Martin Murrary controversial scoring against Sergio Martinez
5. CJ Ross scoring Mayweather-Alvarez a draw

Knockout of the year:

1. Lucas Matthysse vs Mike Dallas Jnr
2. Adonis Stevenson vs Chad Dawson
3. Gennady Golovkin vs Nobuhiro Ishida
4. Deontay Wilder vs Siarhei Liakhovich
5. Sergei Kovalev vs Ismayl Silakh

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Boxing - 2013 in review

Top 20 Boxing Knockouts of 2013 HD

Froch vs Kessler 2 - HD

Carl Froch vs George Groves Full Fight HD

Giovanni Segura vs. Hernan Marquez- HD

Omar Figueroa vs Nihito Arakawa Full Fight

Showtime Sports Presents: Maidana vs. Lopez - Full Fight

Problem solved vs Maidana full fight 14 12 2013

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez Full Fight

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