Welcome to The Queensberry Rules’ annual year-end awards, starting today and continuing throughout the week. Here’s how we do it around these parts:
The major categories are Round of the Year, Knockout of the Year, Fight of the Year and Fighter of the Year. The final day is a pu-pu platter of awards ranging from Trainer of the Year to more frivolous topics.
On the first day of each category, I give five finalists, with video and/or relevant info. You tell me if my finalists and honorable mentions are lacking, and give your vote on who you think should win. Maybe you sway me to adjust the list, and maybe you sway me on the eventual winner. On the second day after a category is introduced, I give that winner and explain why. (There are no major fights left in 2010, but we reserve the right to change our category winners if something crazy happens.)
So, today: Round of the Year and Knockout of the Year winners, plus Fight of the Year and Fighter of the Year candidates. Tomorrow: Fight of the Year and Fighter of the Year winners.
Your five finalists, in chronological order — with clips that will get you started when possible, highlight clips when not:
Giovani Segura – Ivan Calderon
Segura, we knew was exciting; raise your hand if you ever thought then-junior flyweight lineal champion Calderon would be in a Fight of the Year candidate. Whether Segura forced Calderon to trade or Calderon decided he wanted to, the fight was better for it — if not better for Calderon’s chances.
Ricky Burns – Rocky Martinez
Burns had never before showed us anything like this kind of ability or warrior spirit, and Martinez was a stern test of both. The crowd in Scotland went mad as Burns battled back from an early knockdown in a huge upset.
Humberto Soto – Urbano Antillon
Soto and Antillon provided 12 rounds of two-way action, with Antillon the stalker and Soto the boxer-puncher who was slightly better in the end. Plain and simple, it was a bruising brawl.
Juan Manuel Marquez – Michael Katsidis
Marquez was the lineal lightweight champ, and Katsidis was the #1 challenger who went through with the fight despite the recent death of his brother. It was high level stuff from two of boxing’s pure warriors, with a dramatic knockdown for Katsidis and a big finish for Marquez.
Amir Khan – Marcos Maidana
Early on, it looked like it could be the wipeout some predicted it could be for Khan. But Maidana showed why he’s a dangerous, willful man, and Khan survived a huge gut check.
Your honorable mentions, in no particular order:
Antonio Escalante – Miguel Roman
Mikkel Kessler – Carl Froch
Abner Mares – Vic Darchinyan
Juan Manuel Lopez – Rafael Marquez
Abner Mares – Yonnhy Perez
Ramsey Luna – Rene Luna
Carlos Tamara – Brian Viloria
Beibut Shumenov – Gabriel Campillo II
Marcos Maidana – DeMarcus Corley
Ramon Garcia Hilares – Manuel Vargas
Josesito Lopez – Marvin Cordova Jr.
Vanes Martirosyan – Kassim Ouma (no clip)
Ivan Popoca – Jose Soto Karass (no clip)
(Videos stay up as long as YouTube permits them to stay there.)