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May 14th
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Home Boxing 2012 BOXING AWARDS
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boxing-awards-2012Fight of the year

Juan Manuel Marquez KO 6 Manny Pacquiao - This fight had everything.  2 top pound for pounders, a fourth meeting after 3 controversial endings, and countless comebacks within the fight.  Pacquiao, who is never hurt to the head, was on two occasions.  He responded very well to the first, rising to win the rest of the round, and even dropping Marquez in the 5th.  Only the first round was less than scintlillating, but it was made up for with a definitive 'shot heard round the world' type ending.  Boxing needed this, in every way.  It killed Mayweather-Pacquiao, but that was dead anyway.
Honorable mention, Brandon Rios TKO 7 Mike Alvarado.  Better back and forth action than any other fight this year, but lacking definitive ending, and the drama of Marquez-Pacquiao.  Also, not fought at quite as high a level.

Round of the year

Ji Hoon Kim - Ray Beltran, round 1 - A first round knockdown is not bizarre in a Ji-Hoon Kim fight.  He is a fast starter, big puncher, and has been stopped in the first round himself.  Beltran does not typically hit the deck, however, and that's exactly what happened midway through the opening stanza.  Kim swarmed in afterward with his usual attack, but usung the counterpunching skills that make Beltran one of the most underrated fighters in boxing, the Mexican retook control, and dropped Kim harder by the end of the first round.  This round also featured tremendous action in between, as Beltran slowly regained his wits and took over.  The rest of the fight was still good action, as Beltran's class edge showed, but nothing could top that first round.
Honorable mention: Marquez-Pacquiao, round 5.  It began with Pacquiao still clearing cobwebs, and by rounds end, Marquez had been dropped, and was bleeding badly from the nose.  A bit overshadowed by what happened in the round before and after it, but still the second best.

Fighter of the year

This is not so easy.  Sergio Martinez, Andre Ward, and Juan Manuel Marquez all notched big enough wins to put them here, but it was the only impressive thing they did this year.  Ward and Mayweather fought only once and Mayweather was not dominant.  Pacquiao technically had two losses.  Consistency is key, so I believe that after he dispatches Jorge Arce, the 3 wins of Nonito Donaire's year will put him there.  He scarcely lost a round this year, and even stopped longtime belt holder, Toshiaki Nishioka.  After a measure of Filipino revenge, Donaire stands alone.
Honorable mention; Adrien Broner.  People need to slow down until Broner can get better competition.. but it seems as the opponents get better, so does he.

Disappointment of the year

The entire 175lb division - This division was home to postponements from injury, the worst decision of the year, and a dominating loss suffered by it's true king.  Shumenov and Cloud are now paper champions who mean nothing since both lost to Campillo.  Shumenov doesn't even fight more than once a year anymore, and Cloud is following suit.  Campillo hasn't even fought since, and Dawson had as big an up and down year as one can have in two fights.  Zsolt Erdei is actually less active and exciting here than he was in Germany.  Now Pascal is hurt again, likely postponing or cancelling his return with Dawson.  Can you hear the entire boxing world snoring?  All levels of ugliness are at their peak in the Light Heavyweight division.

Other awards
Comeback of the year: Kelly Pavlik (honorable mention = Juan Manuel Marquez)
Prospect of the year: Mikey Garcia (honorable mention = Gary Russell Jr.)
Worst decision of the year: Rios over Abril (on even par with Bradley - Pacquiao and Cloud - Campillo)
Consistency award: The Brothers Klitschko.  No changes there.
Country that is falling: Puerto Rico.  2 losses for Juanma Lopez and Miguel Cotto, each.  Ivan Calderon has lost multiple times now, and is gone as well.  Prospect Thomas Dulorme suffered an upset loss as well. (honorable mention = Germany)

Chris Strait

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