Wayne's 2012 picks
Wayne McCullough looks at the last 12 months and picks his best fighter and worst decision of 2012.
Last Updated: 03/01/13 9:26am
Overall, 2012 was a good year for boxing. Maybe not so good for Floyd Mayweather Jr who spent time in jail or for several former champions who failed drug tests subsequently cancelling big fights but there were also some great fights that kept the attention of the fans.
Boxing's numbers one and number two pound-for-pound best, Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, still couldn't come to terms for a mega fight which now could be out the window with Pacquiao getting knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez. However there were some fantastic fights that kept boxing fans highly entertained. Here are my picks for 2012:
Fight of the Year
Brandon Rios fought Mike Alvarado in a non-stop fight. Neither gave the other any room. Alvarado had better boxing skills making Rios look ordinary at times but Rios plugged away and forced a stoppage in the seventh round. The referee may have stepped in a little early to stop the fight. A rematch has to happen as the fight was even on the cards at the time of the stoppage.
Roman Martinez and Miguel Beltran Jr fought for the vacant WBO super featherweight title. Martinez won a split decision in a fight that was full of action for 12 rounds.
Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez were both down during their rematch. Salido was behind on the cards when he got a stoppage win in the 10th. A third fight could definitely happen.
Robert Guerrero and Andre Berto fought at welterweight with most people thinking that Berto would be too big and strong for Guerrero but he put Berto down in the first and second rounds and went on to win on a wide points margin over 12 full rounds.
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez fought a fourth fight. Manny had won two of the first three with the first fight being a draw but Manny's two wins were controversial. Each fighter went down in this fight and it was close with Pacquiao just ahead on the cards going into the sixth round but got knocked out by one punch.
Round of the Year
Rounds five and nine of the Orlando Salido v Juan Manuel Lopez two fight were both contenders for round of the year. In the fifth, Salido hit the canvas after he wobbled Lopez with a punch. The ninth round is my pick for Round of the Year with both fighters throwing over 200 punches between them in an all-out battle.
Round seven of the Robert Guerrero v Andre Berto fight was a contender for round of the year. Both guys had swollen eyes but they stood and traded, not giving up any room in a non-stop round.
Round five of the Brando Rios v Mike Alvarado fight was also a contender. Both landed big shots hurting the other and it looked as though Alvarado was edging ahead but Rios stood with him in an action-packed round.
Timothy Bradley had his moments when he fought Manny Pacquiao but it was Pacquiao who was landing more often and it looked as though he had won by at least eight rounds to four. However Bradley got the win by split decision seven rounds to five on two cards while the other judge saw it seven rounds to five for Pacquiao.
Even though Tavoris Cloud had Gabriel Campillo down twice in the first round, Campillo went on to control the rest of the fight. He landed punches on Cloud throughout the 12 round fight and looked like, after a bad start, he had pulled out the win. But Cloud was the winner by split decision.
Upset of the Year
Amir Khan was coming off his split decision loss to Lamont Peterson who had tested positive for steroids. He was favourite going into the fight with Danny Garcia but it was Garcia who won by KO in the fouth round.
Willie Nelson beat Yudel Jhonson
Sergio Thompson TKO Jorge Linares
Carl Froch KO Lucian Bute
Demarcus Corley TKO Paul McClockey
Josesito Lopez TKO Victor Ortiz
Knockout of the Year
Marquez got justice in his fourth fight with Pacquiao. He didn't have to wait for the judges this time. A right hand to Pacquiao's chin knocked him out cold giving Marquez the decisive win.
Randall Bailey was behind on the cards and looked old. A right uppercut caught his opponent Mike Jones on the chin in the 11th round knocking him out.
Jorge Arce left himself open for a left hook by Nonito Donaire to get knocked out in the third round.
Alfred Angulo knocked out Raul Casarez in the first round after having spent seven months in the USI ICE Detention Center due to Visa problems.
Gary Russell Jr knocked Robert Castaneda out cold in the third round of their fight.
Carl Froch hurt Lucian Bute in the fifth round of their fight, swarming him as the fight was stopped with Bute slumped on the ropes.
A right to the head from Adrien Broner finished off Eloy Perez in the fourth round of their fight.
Trainer of the Year
I have to give Trainer of the Year to Robert McCracken who trains Carl Froch. The Brit had lost to Andre Ward in the Super Six Tournament but destroyed Lucian Bute stopping him in the fifth round of their fight. It was a shock win from the underdog who was served a great gameplan from his trainer.
Virgil Hunter - most notably the trainer for Andre Ward, Alfred Angulo and Amir Khan.
Nacho Beristain - most notably the trainer for Juan Manuel Marquez.
Fighter of the Year
This was a hard pick for me but Nonito Donaire has the slight edge in this category having fought four times in 2012, moving up from bantamweight and capturing two more title belts.
Juan Manuel Marquez
We cannot leave boxing in 2012 without mentioning the loss of Hector Camacho, Johnny Tapia, Corrie Sanders, Angelo Dundee, Emanuel Steward, Michael Dokes and Carmen Basilio.