Convicted Artist Magazine

May 25th
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2011-boxing-awardsNow, I know this category is no longer the exclusive property of ‘Ring’ Magazine.  Nearly every writer puts in a list, and I am no different.  It has not been a stellar year for boxing.  The big matchup eluded us, while belt situations only got muddier.  Martinez is still middleweight champion, but landed no big fights.  Khan and Bradley may now never happen, and the Klitschkos scarcely lost a round.  Maybe I can at least create a new catgory or two, but familiar names are involved.  2011 did offer some surprises and some thrills.

Fighter of the Year
Andre Ward.  With two dominating (despite what two judges scored) wins over championship level opposition, in Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham, Andre Ward gets the nod with consistency.  He hasn’t had a KO in quite a while, and will not likely have many more.  However, he seems to effortlessly beat top-tier opposition again and again.  Ever since his gold-medal run in 2004, Ward seems to accomplish things that most American fighters have difficulty with.  He gets foreign judges to score for him.  He sells boxing tickets in the Bay Area.  He beats European fighters.  He is also a multi-styled fighter who does not appear confused when implementing that.  No matter how young he is, he always looks like the boss in there.

Fight of the Year
Delvin Rodriguez D10 Pawel Wolak.  Rodriguez has had a hard time with judges, and does not trust fights going to the cards.  Wolak is an all action fighter, no matter the circumstances.  This was one of those great fights that everyone knew would be great going in.  Something out of the ordinary would have to happen for this to not be a barn burner.  While the up and down drama of Berto vs. Ortiz was not present, the non-stop action puts this above and beyond anything else that happened in 2011.  It was also the last year we will likely see Wolak.  Rodriguez, who won the rematch, will likely experience a much-deserved resurgence.

Knockout of the Year
Nonito Donaire KO2 Fernando Montiel.  This one is a no-brainer.  There may have been other brutal KO’s.  but this was for the Bantamweight championship (essentially), and was supposed to be the first stern test for Donaire since Darchinyan.  It managed to be even easier.  After a feeling out first round, Montiel had no chance to feel Donaire’s power and adjust.  The first big shot of the night was a left hook that separated Montiel from his senses.  He managed (somehow) to get up, and referee Russell Mora (surprise) allowed the fight to continue, but quickly recanted that decision after Montiel wobbled more.  Sadly, because of his move up to 122, Donaire may wait 3 or 4 more years for any real opponents, unless Rigondeaux can start a reign of dominance.

Upset of the Year
Brian Viloria KO8 Giovanni Segura.
Not since Douglas over Tyson or Pacquiao over Ledwaba has a big upset taken place on every level.  Outboxed, outslugged, and then KO’d.  Viloria does better as a challenger, and Segura was moving up in weight, but other than that, nothing in either man’s recent starts would have set up this result.  This is the kind of loss that will likely knock done Segura a few permanent pegs.  There isn’t really anyone there for Viloria now, except Donaire’s brother Glenn in a fight that would be huge in the Phillipines.  Viloria needs more exposure, either way.


Chris Strait

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