Welcome to The Queensberry Rules' annual year-end awards. Here's how we do it around these parts:
The major categories are Knockout of the Year, Round of the Year, Fight of the Year and Fighter of the Year. The final leg, which will finish early next week, is a pu-pu platter of awards ranging from Trainer of the Year to more frivolous topics.
For each category, we give five finalists, with video and/or relevant info. You tell us if our finalists and honorable mentions are lacking, and give your vote on who you think should win. Maybe you sway us to adjust the list, and maybe you sway us on the eventual winner. On the second day after a category is introduced, we'll give that winner and explain why. (There are virtually no major fights left in 2013, but we reserve the right to change our category winners if something crazy happens.)
So, up now: Round of the Year candidates. Previously: Knockout of the Year candidates. On deck: Knockout of the Year and Fight of the Year candidates.
THE FINALISTS (IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER)
Timothy Bradley – Ruslan Provodnikov Round 6
Any number of rounds from Bradley-Provodnikov could've qualified as a finalist. The final 30 seconds of Round 6 were the best 30 seconds of the fight, though, in part because just when it appeared Bradley had regained both control and his senses…
John Molina – Mickey Bey Round 10
Molina needed an out-of-nowhere miracle knockout in the final round. Guess what he got?
Omar Figueroa – Nihito Arakawa Round 3
In any given moment of the 3rd round of their fight, Figueroa or Arakawa were drawing gasps from the crowd for the kind of punches they landed and the kind they took.
Darren Barker – Daniel Geale Round 6 (highlight)
Barely beating a count on a body shot that all but ended the fight was one thing. But Barker storming back like he did late in the round was another thing entirely.
James Kirkland – Glenn Tapia Round 2 (no video available)
Kirkland was slowly beginning to beat up Tapia by the end of the 1st, but Tapia, after getting wobbled in the 2nd, dug deep.
HONORABLE MENTIONS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
Guillermo Jones – Denis Lebedev Round 7
Nick Brinson – Jorge Melendez Round 4
Ricky Burns – Jose Gonzalez Round 7
Kubrat Pulev – Joey Abell Round 4
Mike Alvarado – Brandon Rios II Round 2 (highlights)
Sakio Bika – Marco Antonio Periban Round 12 (highlights)