FIGHT OF THE YEAR
Mikkel Kessler W12 Carl Froch – Contested at the highest level, with consistent action, ebbs and flows, and a questionable verdict. Neither man was able to have the control he is typically used to… and that tension made for an exciting 12 rounds. Both men also appeared to be getting hit by the hardest puncher he had faced, yet chin and toughness kept them from showing any real weakness. I had Kessler winning 115-113. Only one of the judges had it that close, which makes you wonder if Froch had really deserved the verdict, would he have been screwed? It seemed the straighter punches, and better jab of Kessler made the difference, if not the hometown crowd. Top it off by both combatants showing class at the bouts end, and you have my fight of the year. By the end of 2010, Froch had dominated Arthur Abraham to right his own ship, while Kessler had dropped out of the Super Six altogether, due to injury.
UPSET OF THE YEAR
Jason Litzau W10 Celestino Caballero – Litzau was a live underdog, as Caballero was moving eight pounds above his most successful weight, and Litzau had always been a good offensive fighter. However, Caballero’s recent destruction of Steve Molitor, followed by the stampede of challengers avoiding him, gave ‘Pelenchin’ an aura of invincibility. Litzau’s suspect chin didn’t help predictions either, but once the fight started, it was clear that both men were equally capable of hurting one another. Caballero actually found himself on the receiving end of awkward angles for the first time in his career. While his own offense was rather successful, Caballero never defensively solved his foe, nor was he able to deter Litzau. A close, appropriate decision win for Litzau has ‘The American Boy” positioned for a title shot at 130lbs, while Caballero wisely drops to 126.
KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR
Sergio Martinez KO2 Paul Williams – A bout between two evenly matched fighters does not typically end this way. Not to mention, between these two, it would likely never end that way again. Williams was actually doing better in the rematch, as his aggression had Martinez (usually a slickster) throwing awkward bombs to keep the 6’2” attacker off of him. ‘The Punisher’ probably thought he had nothing to fear, as he had never been seriously hurt in the ring, yet one big left from ‘Maravilla’ early in round two had him unconscious before he hit the floor. Martinez now has a wealth of opponent choices, while Williams struggles to rebuild. He probably still is one of the best fighters in the world, but it makes us wonder if he will ever be able to fight with that kind of abandon again.
Video Boxing Predictions