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

Canelo

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!

Floyd

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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MY 2014 END OF YEAR BOXING AWARDS!

Terence-Crawford
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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A ROBBERY IN CARSON CALIFORNIA!

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