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THE YEAR IN REVIEW! A look back at 2015’s best fights, fighters and other notable mentions.


Like most years in boxing, 2015 had no shortage of drama. Over hyped fights, disappointing performances, huge upsets, newly crowned champions, questionable scores and ‘retirements.’ From an 11 year Heavyweight reign coming to an end, to one of the best defensive fighters in history ‘retiring’ before walking away with a clean 50 and 0 record. 2015 saw great knockouts, along with some serious come from behind wins. Body Shot Boxing’s year in review will breakdown the fight of the year, fighter of the year, prospect of the year and several other categories for the fans to discuss and debate on. As a true boxing fan I enjoyed 2015 with all its surprises, boxing seems to always write its own narrative and this year was no exception. Enjoy my list and feel free to debate.

FIGHT OF THE YEAR: Leo Santa Cruz v. Abner Mares. This one was a bit tough for me as there were a few to choose from. I landed on Abner Mares v. Leo Santa Cruz, because from the opening bell to the end of the 12th round, both fighters let it all hang out. No ‘getting to know you’ in the first few rounds, but rather an all-out offensive output by both fighters. Over 800 punches were thrown by each opponent by the time the 8th round ended and the offensive assaults continued throughout. I had Mares pegged to win, but Santa Cruz showed some skill that we had not been seen from him in the past. The energy of the crowd also helped to make this event number one on my book.

KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR: Canelo Alvarez v. James Kirkland. Boxing fans knew that there was no way that this fight could possibly go the distance and they were correct. Both fighters came out swinging for the fences and all 3 rounds were action packed, until Canelo landed a flush right hand to Kirkland’s jaw. The Houston fans truly got their monies worth as Kirkland was floored for nearly an entire minute.

Honorable Mention: Krzysztof Glowacki v. Marco Huck

FIGHTER OF THE YEAR:  Canelo Alvarez. This was another tough call as there were several fighters that had outstanding years. While GGG is somewhat of an obvious choice, I have decided to go with Canelo Alvarez simply because of the level of opposition that he faced this year compared to Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin. Canelo edged him out by facing and beating Miguel Cotto and the vicious K.O. of James Kirkland. Saul performed much better than I expected against Cotto and I now give Canelo complete elite status, something that I was hesitant to give him prior to the Cotto fight.

Honorable Mention: Gennady Golovkin

COME FROM BEHIND WIN OF THE YEAR: Krzysztof Glowacki v. Marco Huck. By far and away, this type of fight is my favorite type of match to watch and is the primary reason why I follow the sport. There is nothing more poetic than watching a fighter face extreme adversity early in a fight and then rallying from behind to secure a victory, i.e. Crawford v.  Gamboa. Marco Huck was a huge favorite going into this contest, with the then relatively unknown Glowacki. Glowacki having been knocked down early on, it looked like Huck was well on his way to retaining his reign in the Cruiserweight division. Like Crawford last year, Glowacki maintained his composer and was able to score a K.O. in the 11th round. Very easily could have been fight of the year.

UPSET OF THE YEAR: Krzysztof Glowacki v. Marco Huck. I am sure that in many people’s mind Klitschko v. Fury should get this award, but please allow me to defend my stance. For one, Glowacki was a much bigger underdog than Fury was and just as importantly, Huck’s kingship in his division was almost  as dominant as Klitschko’s in the HW division. Furthermore, Fury had a name and a more solid record than Glowacki. I know that Huck, the fans and myself thought this was a sure bet…we were all very wrong.

STINKER OF THE YEAR:  Tyson Fury v. Wladimir Klitschko. Absolutely terrible performances by both participants, with a punch output of a 3 round matchup. Klitschko’s hesitancy to pull the trigger and frustration of Fury’s height allowed Fury to secure a win of Wladimir, who was enjoying an 11 year long campaign in his division. No one gave Fury a chance, but the charismatic fighter found a way to immobilize the Ukrainian. The next time I have trouble falling asleep, I now know what to put on.

TRAINER OF THE YEAR: Abel Sanchez. There is not really too much explaining to do here, Abel always has GGG physically and mentally prepared. His fighter never has trouble making weight and has barely lost a round in his last four fights. In addition, two of his three opponents basically quit during their fights, a true testament to Gennady’s now legendary power.

PROSPECT OF THE YEAR: Errol Spence Jr. I don’t think that I have seen a kid as composed as this in the ring in a very long time. Spence is extremely patient, does not get distracted and his punches are quite accurate with a lot of pop. I truly see him being a big part of boxing’s future. Errol fought four times in 2015 and stopped every single opponent before the 8th round. A truly bright future this kid has.

Certainly all of these choices are up for a nice healthy debate. I struggled myself with many of them. I am just thankful that this year gave us plenty to choose from. While our sport continues to suffer from a cold war and thus the best fights are not being put together, we still get treated to the occasional clinic and performance that reminds us all why we still follow the sport.

Long Live Boxing

Brian J. Murphy

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Four Reasons Why Floyd Mayweather Is Not Better than Muhammad Ali And Is Not TBE!


My very first article on this very blog was about the man pictured above and how he is the current king of the ring and how his defensive mastery is second to none. I still feel that way, I mean after all, it is hard to argue with a 48-0 record against the level of opposition that this man has faced. Is Floyd Mayweather a good boxer…no, he’s a great boxer. Is he the best ever or better than Muhammad Ali…no. I will give an historical account why this is not the case, as much as Mr. Mayweather would like to argue against it.

In this piece I will be using the careers of Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson as well as Muhammad Ali as a point of comparison for why Floyd is not TBE.

1. During the hoopla that was supposed to be the fight of the century, but more closely resembled and episode of dancing with the stars, Floyd Mayweather grossly miscalculated the fact that he is better than Muhammad Ali. Here is why this is simply not the case and why he is so horribly mistaken.

Muhammad Ali ended his career with a record of 56-5. What is key and fundamental to his record is that he avenged three of his losses against three of the best heavyweights there were during that era. These fighters were Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and Leon Spinks. His last two losses were are the age of 39 years of age. Which for a heavy weight is a lot older than a welter.

2. None of his wins have had any cultural significance, example: When Joe Louis fought Max Schmeling for the second time on June 22nd, 1938, (Schmeling won the first bout ending with a 12th round KO) the world took notice and for good reason. The fight represented much more than two men entering the ring to do battle, but rather was a true metaphor for good versus bad, America versus the Nazi Germans, and Capitalism versus fascism. Louis won the second bout with a first round knockout and went on to continue to be a cultural icon for the Negro community.

3.Contrary to popular belief, an undefeated record has never been a barometer for being the best ever. That is just something Floyd has made up in his own mind…as he has done with many other things, but this does not make it so.

4. Although Floyd has the belts he never has felt like the people’s champion, something that Ali, Louis and Robinson certainly were. There is no need to go into a history lesson here on what Ali meant to the Black community at the time, as you are already aware it. Although Joe Louis predates a ways back from Ali, he also meant a great deal to what was then referred to as Colored people. In all fairness, to Mayweather there were far less Blacks to look up to during this era, but at the same time, it is not a coincidence that Floyd does not have one single major corporate endorsement. He simply does not resonate with the people and the average man, unlike Robinson, Louis or Ali, the people are not able to relate to him. A true champ can walk down the street and be hugged, not mugged. The latter is the case for Money May.

Long Live Boxing

Brian J. Murphy

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2014 provided many boxing treats for us this year. New boxers emerged as legit stars, crazy upsets took place and all out wars were had.

Here’s my end of the year pick for multiple categories. I hope you enjoy my picks and agree, if not, feedback is always welcomed.

1. Fighter of Year – Terrence Crawford. Three big fights, one of which he was a huge underdog in (Gamboa) and all were technical clinics. Not to mention he is great guy. He will be on most people’s this year and most likely for sometime to come.

2. Fight of the Year – Terrence Crawford v. Yuriorkis Gamboa. Crawford was not favored to win this fight by just about everyone. He was down the first four rounds and staged one beautiful and poised comeback to get the KO in the 9th round. Not quite a war, but it was sure fun to watch.

3. Trainer of the Year – Freddy Roach. It is really hard to give this award to anyone else. I am a huge Virgil Hunter fan, but after watching Cotto’s performance against Martinez, the award must go to Roach. Cotto looked so clean, crisp and sharp in that fight and it was all a direct result of Roach. Yes Martinez body had failed him, but I can’t take anything away from Roach and Cotto that night.

4. Comeback of the Year – Abner Mares. After getting KO’d in the 1st round by Johnny Gonzalez last year, Mr. Mares had a lot of making up to do and that he did with two sharp victories in 2014. One resulting in a TKO in the 5th round. We will see him most likely avenge his loss to Gonzalez in 2015.

5. War of the Year. This is one is a tie between the fights of Gabriel Rosado v. David Lemieux and Juan Manuel Marquez v. Mike Alvarado. I chose the first because both Rosado and Lemieux were throwing each and every punch with some very bad intentions. These two were banging away each round, all round. The second fight was chosen because any fight that Avarado is in is basically going to be a war and his fight with Marquez was no exception. Although Alvarado lost, he did knock Marquez down once and was always coming forward.

6. KO of the Year – Nicholas Walters TKO of Nonito Donaire. This one was tough because it was not really a straight KO, but rather a TKO, none the less Walters managed to take out one of the most respected and long reigning fighters in Featherweight division.

7. Upset of the Year – Ruslan Provodnikov loss to Chris Algieri. Chris Algieri was a huge underdog in this fight and was given no chance to win and as a matter of fact, almost did not win. His ability to stay poised and use some pretty good boxing skills allowed Algieri to upset the Siberian Rocky. Unfortunately he did not fair to well against his next fight against Pacquiao.

8. Robbery of the Year – Danny Garcia v. Mauricio Herrera. This is really simple because Danny Garcia simply lost the fight. He skated by this one in his hometown.

Honorable mentions:
Fighter of the year – Gennady Glovokin
Fight of the year – Matthysse v. Molina (Which I attended)
KO of the year – Carl Froch over George Groves

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Timothy Bradley v. Manny Pacquiao 2 Commentary

Thoughts and opinions on the second bout between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley. What we already knew and what we learned.

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Bradley v. Pacquiao

My Thoughts on Manny Pacqiauo v. Timothy Bradley for their April 12th, 2014.

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May 3rd Commentary

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Julion Cesar Brian Vera

Three suspected judges are not in custody, but are being held in contempt of the public court.

Part of the reason people watch boxing is because there is much more of a “You never know what is going to happen” aspect than in other sports. The surprise element of boxing is what makes it so fun to watch. Often things do play out as anticipated, but those few times year when it doesn’t is what keeps the fans coming back for more.


This weekend exemplified exactly what I am talking about. The fans were treated to another night of two fights, as Adonis Stevenson took on Tavoris Cloud and Julio Cesor Chavez battled Brian Vera. Per usual, both matches were comprised of surprises and controversy.

First off, let’s talk about the Stevenson/Cloud fight, both men entered the ring with only one loss and an over 85 percent K.O. percentage. That alone would make for a highly anticipated match up, but it was more so Adonis coming off of a first round knockout of Chad Dawson that really upped the anticipation anti.

Can Adonis really box? Was the K.O. of Dawson a fluke? How would he look going the distance with someone with as much power as Cloud? All of these questions and then some, were answered in 7 one sided rounds. Adonis established dominance early on and never really allowed Cloud to find his rhythm. He made Cloud look like the fighter he is NOT during the entire match, which is quite impressive considering his record.

Adonis showed what we like to see in a true boxing champion, the ability to do whatever it takes to win and winning Saturday night meant he actually had to box. Adonis hit Cloud with many punches that would have put other opponents on the canvas, but Cloud proved to have quite the chin. So Adonis did what champs do, found another way. There is really no such thing as a one trick pony at this level of the game, so having an arsenal full of alternate weapons is a must. Adonis speed, foot work and jabs proved to be a bit too much for Cloud and his corner finally decided to bring a stop to the fight after the 7th round.

I like Stevenson and the boxing world will certainly have its eye on him in the future. A matchup against Hopkins is a nice scenario the community would like to see next, but only time and the never ending politics of boxing will tell.

Now let’s head south of the Canadian border and into Carson, California where a bout between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Brian Vera took place. This fight, as with many high profile matches had the usual prefight buildup of controversy. This time the issue was Chavez Jr. keeping the fork out of his mouth, which has been an issue in the past.

Chavez Jr. was coming off of a one year suspension for marijuana, and struggled to make the 173 pound weight limit. These two factors became very apparent later in the rounds, as Chavez Jr. was obviously more tired than Vera. Not only was Vera in better condition for the bout, but he was considerably more active.

Although Chavez Jr. rocked Vera on three separate occasions, Vera, never seemed that hurt and was able to continue his offensive assault. Vera never hurt Chavez Jr. but his productivity and the amount of times he connected was enough to give him the victory in most people’s eyes. There is only one problem, three ringside judges saw it differently, giving the ten round fight to Chavez Jr. to the dismay of what was initially a pro Chavez Jr. crowd.

Jim Lampley, made his feelings pretty dang clear immediately, as well as the Twitter universe. Unfortunately this type of scoring has been and looks like will stay par for the boxing course. We all know that nothing is perfect and other sports have their issues as well, but there is something about seeing a young man train for six to eight weeks become a victim of the bureaucracy that boxing has become.  – Long Live Boxing

Brian J. Murphy

Body Shot Boxing Blog

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Sitting on top of the throne.

Sitting on top of the throne.

The Near Perfect Display of Boxing, by Master Mayweather.

When I first started this blog, I wanted my first piece to be about boxing reaching its Renaissance era, which I do believe that it has. I wanted to elaborate on how Floyd Mayweather is the da Vinci of our sport. I had every intention of composing this long drawn out, artsy fartsy piece with metaphors weaving in and out between the real Renaissance era and modern day boxing. With analogies like…will September 14th be Floyd Mayweather’s Sistine Chapel? I wanted to establish this blog as one written by a true fan. I still may write that piece one day, but for now I will have to focus on the outstanding performance that Floyd Mayweather displayed this past Saturday night that was simply near perfect. Not that Canelo did not show and prove that he has a true future in this sport, but Floyd on the other hand, well Mr. Mayweather did something really, really special that night.

Since boxing is the only sport that I actually follow, September 14th was my Super Bowl. I don’t even get excited for the real Super Bowl, but this date had me feeling like a kid on Christmas Eve. Like most boxing experts (I do not consider myself an expert…yet) I anticipated the undercard, which featured Danny Garcia and Luca Matthysse, to be a much better and exciting matchup. While it was certainly an exciting fight and delivered on some levels of the anticipation, it was the Mayweather v. Alvarez fight that really had the true fans in a total frenzy.

With quotes from the boxing world like “This will be a good boxing match for boxing fans, but may be a bit boring to the casual observer,” by trainer Freddy Roach, we all expected to see a defensive gem. But no my friends, that was simply not the case. In life you rarely get to witness perfection, and it is debatable if what Floyd put on was perfection, but it was damn close to it, and it is rare that we even get to see that as well.

Floyd has been criticized for quite some time for being too much of a defensive fighter and running too much. Hit and not be hit, is what they say his motto is and in the past he has earned every bit of that reputation, but to the surprise of many, Floyd decided to flip the script Saturday night. For starters, he came out fighting in an offensive posture. Generally Floyd starts off with his weight on his back foot for several reasons. 1. It gives him a few rounds to test and feel his opponent out and see what he is working with. 2. With his weight on his back foot he is able to create more distance between him and his opponent, thus making him harder to hit. In this fight against Canelo, Floyd immediately came out fighting forward and being the aggressor. Part of this strategy was due to the fact that Floyds trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr. probably knew that Canelo would come out in a defensive frame of mind. I found this strategy, while somewhat an obvious thing to do, also brilliant.

Sr. knew that his son’s hand speed was greater than that of his opponent, which became evident about two minutes into the first round, so why not start racking up points early, especially since points is what was going to lead him to victory anyway. Once I saw that Floyd was offensive minded early on, I knew we were in for a real treat. The Force had told me early on in the week that we have yet to see all of Floyd’s tools. At the end of the first round, my premonition had been confirmed.

Floyd was better suited for this offensive style even more so than what I thought. He showed that he has a better chin than what most people thought and keep in mind we thought that he did have a good one to begin with. Canelo hit Floyd with many shots that I thought would have an effect on Floyd, but nope, the guy just kept on coming. It seemed like he was never hurt once and if he was hurt, then he should think about playing poker for a living after he retires, because his face and body language did not show that to be the case.

Many of the commentators and analysts mentioned how Floyd’s legs were just not the same and that in his previous fight against Roberto Guerrero, his legs did not seem that fresh. Well that may have been the case, but late into the rounds, Floyd was bouncing around the ring like he was younger than Canelo. His footwork from rounds 1 – 12 was excellent and the man simply did not look 36 in the ring. To the casual observer this may not look like anything special, but believe me, there is an art to “running” in the ring. Not that I think that Floyd runs, but if you would like to make an argument for him doing so, then that in itself is quite difficult the way he does it. I think it says a lot when a man that has beaten 42 other professional fighters says that he “simply could not find him, he is elusive.” I mean it would stand to reason that Canelo has faced other fighters with pretty good defensive skills right?

Let’s go back to hand speed for a moment. We all know the saying, “speed kills,” and “there is no substitute for speed.” In boxing this is true and not true at same time. One can have superior speed over his opponent, but if that is the only attribute that he has, any halfway skilled, seasoned fighter will adjust and find a way around a one trick pony. But since Floyd is a multi-trick pony, speed was his icing on the cake, to which Canelo simply had no answer. Multiple combinations reached Canelo’s face, by the time he realized what was going on, which began to frustrate the young fighter in the later rounds.

So often you hear a losing fighter state in his post-fight interview that they did not listen to their corner and it was a direct reason for them losing the fight. I noticed that Floyd took directions from his father and directly applied it, the result…another W. All of these things are the little aspects and variables that contribute to a boxer being victorious.

In closing, one thing that should be obvious to all fighters, but does not seem to be, is the fact that Floyd is always in your head. He climbs in your head the moment the contract is signed and stays there until he is given the decision. If I was a trainer preparing a fighter to go in against Floyd, I would require him not to watch All Access or 24/7. This man starts playing his opponents from the start and many just don’t see it coming. This is really too bad, because if so, Floyd possibly many not have an 0 at the end of his record, i.e. Oscar De La Hoya and Victor Ortiz.

I saw the fact that Canelo was frustrated and he even said so during his interview at the end of the match. This is the kiss of death when fighting Mayweather. You must be in your right mind and have full control of your faculties at all times when you’re his opposition, because you can bet for damn sure that he is. I learned this lesson when he fought Victor Ortiz. It was then that my level of respect for this man’s head game went up several notches. I always  knew that he was sharp, but that fight taught me that he really uses his brain a lot more than what people even realize that he does. The odd thing about that statement is that he is already given a considerable amount of credit for the mental aspect of his game.

The Twitter feeds were on fire during and after the fight, so much so that I could barely keep up. The one general consensus was that he is simply the best in this era and that he will most likely retire undefeated. Most likely at 49 and 0 when his Showtime contract is up, or Floyd being Floyd, making it an even 50 and 0.

Boxing loves to have the ultimate debate of who is the best of all time? Most experts give that to Joe Luis. There is also the ever looming question of who is pound for pound greatest of the time and ever? These debates will never have a concrete answer, but associations are always a nice substitute. Basketball has Jordan, Hockey has Gretsky, Acting has Denzel, Soccer has Pele, Tennis has the Williams Sisters, Painting has Picasso and now Boxing has Floyd Mayweather – Long Live Boxing!

Brian J. Murphy

Body Shot Boxing Blog