Boxing's 2012 Fight of the Year
Lou Eisen / December 30, 2012 - 5:56pm
Over the past 12 months, boxing fans around the world have seen many exciting fights and surprising upsets. As we do every year at this time, The Fight Network will take a look back at the year that was in order to find the best fight of the year 2022 in professional boxing.
To be honest, it was difficult to come up with a definitive answer this year because there were so many great fights to choose from. What exactly makes a great fight? Well, plot twists certainly help keep fans interested in the proceedings. When two fighters engage in a match that far exceeds it's expectations, then you have a special fight, and a candidate for Fight of the Year honors. You may agree with some of our picks for Fight of the Year and disagree with others. Whatever your feelings are, we would love to hear your feedback! Let's start our look at potential candidates for the Fight of the Year for 2012.
There were many possible bouts that met our criteria for Fight of the Year contention. We looked at many different fights in various weight divisions and the competition was so stiff that we narrowed it down to one winner and five runners-up. Here are the five runners-up plus the winner for the Fight of the Year:
Top Five Honorable Mentions:
5.) Sergio Martinez vs. JC Chavez Jr.
Date: September 15, 2012
Location: Thomas & Mack Center, Las
Vegas, Nevada, USA
Outcome: Martinez by UD
Martinez outboxed Chavez Jr. for the first eleven rounds, utilizing his superior skills and ring generalship to completely outclass his Mexican rival; and then, he almost blew it all by suffering a knockdown in the twelfth and final round. Chavez Jr. finally let his hands go and dropped Martinez to the canvas with a thud. Martinez recovered like a true champion and erased any doubt that he is the ONLY middleweight champion of the world.
4.) Amir Khan vs. Danny Garcia
Date: July 14,, 2012
Location: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino,
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Division: Junior Welterweight
Outcome: Garcia by TKO4.
The Garcia-Khan bout looked like the game Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots come to life. This fight was exciting, brief and full of knockdowns and career-changing action. It was a great fight. Khan won the first three rounds by dominating Garcia with a mixture of hand speed, accurate punching and superior ring technique. In the fourth round, Garcia made history by landing a looping left hook that dropped Khan heavily to the mat. He never recovered from that knockdown, and referee Kenny Bayless wisely stopped the fight later on in the fourth round, awarding the fight and the WBC/WBA junior-welterweight titles to Danny Garcia.
3.) Roberto Guerrero vs. Andre Berto
Date: November 24, 2012.
Location: Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California, USA
Outcome: Guerrero by UD12
Guerrero surprised Berto from the outset by jumping on him immediately and busting him up along the ropes. Guerrero dropped Berto in both the first and second rounds. Berto's left eye was swollen shut before the end of the first round. Berto never recovered from the two early knockdowns. Guerrero overpowered and out punched Berto for the rest of the fight to win a well-deserved wide unanimous decision. He is now in line to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. sometime in 2013.
2.) Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado
Date: October 13, 2012
Location: Home Depot Center, Carson, California, USA
Division: Junior Welterweight
Outcome: Rios by TKO7
Rios and Alvarado staged a war for the ages. Alvarado started off boxing cautiously and then reverted to form and stood toe-to-toe with Rios, trading hellacious shots as each man used his opponent's head for batting practice. Rios proved to have too much in reserve and eventually imposed his will on his gutsy foe by stopping Alvarado in round seven. It was great while it lasted.
1.) Orlando Salido vs. Juan Manuel Lopez,
Date: March 10, 2012
Location: Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San
Juan, Puerto Rico
Outcome: Salido by TKO 10
The number one runner-up to the Fight of the Year is the ferocious rematch between WBO world featherweight champion Orlando Salido and the man he took the title from, the seemingly invincible Juan Manuel Lopez, aka Juanma. Salido won their first encounter by knockout after enduring a bruising, vicious battle. Could he do it again? Juanma decided to box rather Salido from a distance rather than wade in right away at the beginning of the fight.
It didn't take long for Salido to cut off the ring on Juanma, thereby forcing him to fight toe to toe in close quarters. Juanma did not look confident or even sure of himself from the very first round on and it showed, as his both his timing and balance were off.
Juanma did have his moments and even managed to drop Salido in round five. Juanma staggered Salido several times during the bout but each time Salido shook it off while managing to slowly break down Juanma's will to fight with a punishing body attack punctuated by vicious hooks and uppercuts which snapped back Juanma's head all through the fight.
Salido finished off Juanma in the tenth round to emphatically prove that his initial victory over Juanma was no fluke. This fight was tremendously exciting with both men fighting their hearts out. Juanma gave it everything he had but came up just short once again. Salido showed the heart of a champion by winning both fights in Puerto Rico, which is Juanma's home turf.
This brings us to the Fight Network's Fight of the Year for 2012:
Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez
Date: December 8, 2012
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Outcome: J M Marquez by KO6
The Fight Network has chosen Pacquiao-Marquez 4 as the Fight of the Year for 2012. The five runners-up were all great fights but the fourth meeting between Pacquiao and Marquez managed to give us a little bit extra.
It was clear from the outset that this fight was not going to be decided by the scorecards of the three judges. This fight was going to end early as both men threw all of their punches with bad intentions. There was a malevolent air about these two warriors as they made their way to the ring. The tension was palpable as both men entered the ring along with their respective entourages. The solemnity with which they approached their fourth and perhaps final battle foretold a level of violence heretofore not witnessed between these two gallant gladiators. This fight gave us something the previous three Pacquiao-Marquez fights did not have – a definitive winner. This was also THE most exciting of the year. It featured two of the most respected and in demand prizefighters of this or any era.
Each man entered the ring in Las Vegas with something to prove. Pacquiao strongly felt that he was not given his proper due for defeating Marquez in two of their first three fights. Their first three fights were close with Pacquiao coming out ahead with two wins and one draw. Marquez was zero for three in their first three matches. Marquez felt in his heart that the only way he could emerge victorious from their fourth and possibly final encounter was by taking matters into his own hands and scoring a decisive knockout. Since Pacquiao had not been knocked out in thirteen years, it seemed highly unlikely that Marquez would be able to turn the trick in their fourth bout together.
This fourth bout had some surprises right from the outset. Unlike their first three match-ups, Marquez sported a very noticeable muscle build-up in his shoulders and neck area. The two warriors didn't waste time feeling each other out as they went at each other full blast from the opening bell with each man shaking each other up with thunderous head and body blows. Pacquiao had a decided advantage in speed while Marquez showed a previously unseen willingness to stand in the pocket and trade with the Pacman.
The first major shock came when Marquez dropped Pacquiao flat on his back in the third round with a powerful, thudding over hand right. This was not a flash knockdown. Pacquiao hit the canvas hard and he was shaken up by the sheer power of Marquez's overhand right. Pacquiao quickly rose to his feet and immediately went on the attack, landing a furious flurry of heavy hooks, uppercuts and left hooks to the liver. The body blows thrown by Pacman seemed to be having their desired effect on Marquez.
Midway through the fifth round, after breaking from a clinch, Pacquiao dropped Marquez with a snake-like left hand that embarrassed more than hurt his Mexican rival. Marquez probably should have taken his time and allowed referee Kenny Bayless to start counting which would have given him ample time to recover. Instead, he rushed headlong back into the bout, wading into Pacquiao with both hands blazing. Pacquiao as getting the better of the flurries and broke Marquez's nose with a quick counter left hook, causing torrents of blood to flow from Marquez's busted beak. The fifth round ended with both men looking to end the fight with one lethal punch.
It looked to be all over for Marquez in the sixth round. He absorbed an inhumane amount of punishment from Pacquiao all through the round. Marquez was hurt several times in the round with some lethal power shots. It appeared to be just a matte rof time before Pacquiao finished off Marquez once and for all. With about five seconds left in the round, Marquez staggered backwards, almost waiting for Pacquiao to finally put him out of his misery once and for all. Then it happened.
Marquez subtly stopped backing up. He planted his feet and, as Manny came rushing in to apply the coup de grace, he caught him with a deep dish beauty of a counter right hand right on the button. And then it was over. Shock. Silence. Stunned incredulity. It was over. Fpr the first time in 13 years, Manny Pacquiao, the number one pound four pound boxer in all of professional boxing, was knocked unconscious. So precarious is the head that wears the almighty throne. Fight fans worldwide are still talking about it. Suffice to say, fans will be talking about this fight for a very long time and that is why it is the Fight Network's Fight of the Year.