4 - Gennady Golovkin: I know some are trumpeting “GGG” for this honor but really, while he had a great campaign, his strength of schedule just isn’t up to snuff. But you could perhaps call him is the “Breakout Fighter of the Year” as no boxer has made as many strides (in and out of the ring) like Golovkin.
3 - Adonis Stevenson: At age 36, “Superman” is seemingly coming into this own and his ‘13 consisted of a revenge victory over Darnell Boone and a first round blowout of Chad Dawson, followed by stoppages of Tavoris Cloud and Tony Bellew.
Tie 1 - Tim Bradley/Sergey Kovalev: Yeah, I’m waffling; sue me. But did anyone get as much out of 12 rounds (over four fights) as the “Krusher”? The Russian wrecking ball mowed through the quartet of Gabe Campillo, Cornelius White, Nathan Cleverly (for the WBO light heavyweight title on the road) and Ismayl Sillakh.
As for the “Desert Storm,” while others worked off volume, nobody made his fights count like he did. He was involved in a “Fight of the Year” candidate versus Ruslan Provodnikov and then outboxed Juan Manuel Marquez.
Honorable Mention: Provodnikov, Danny Garcia, Carl Froch, Juan Estrada, Guillermo Rigondeaux
KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR
10 - John Molina KO 4 Dannie Williams: Folks, this won’t be the last time you see Molina on this list. He began the year by sending Williams out of the ring with a huge overhand right.
9 - Ryan Kielczweski TKO 5 Miguel Soto: Left hook sends Soto, a southpaw, down in a heap on his face.
8 - Stephen Smith KO 5 Gary Buckland: Picture perfect uppercut sends Buckland down, face-first.
7 - Argenis Mendez KO 4 Juan Carlos Salgado: A left hook right on the button has Salgado looking up at the lights.
6 - Jhonny Gonzalez KO 1 Abner Mares: When does a “puncher’s chance” really mean anything? When you have the punching power of Gonzalez, who came into this fight as a heavy ‘dog.
5 - Lucas Matthysse KO1 Mike Dallas: “The Machine” did Dallas early on in the year, sending him face-first to the canvas in the opening round of their contest with a well-timed, well-placed right hand.
4 - Gennady Golovkin KO 3 Nobuhiro Ishida: The Japanese challenger had never been stopped before but when Golovkin hit him with an overhand right in Monte Carlo, Ishida was sent through the ropes and knocked out cold. It was as frightening as it was breathtaking.
3 – Gennady Golovkin KO 3 Matthew Macklin: The legend of Golovkin kept growing as a left hook to Macklin’s body had the normally durable Irishman writhing in pain on the canvas.
2- Adonis Stevenson KO 1 Chad Dawson: With a single, lightning bolt left hand, Stevenson not only won the light heavyweight championship but became the next attraction in Montreal.
1 - John Molina TKO 10 Mickey Bey: This was a Hollywood-style KO. Down big on the cards going into the 10th and final round, Bey looked to have things well in hand. He even shook Molina with a combination earlier in the frame and was saluting his promoter, Floyd Mayweather, who was in the front row. But one thing Molina can do is bang and with a left hook that broke through Bey’s guard, he shockingly turned things around. Soon, Bey was buzzed and unable to defend himself. With less than a minute to go, the fight was waved off by referee Vic Drakulich. Molina had hit the proverbial 10-run homer. Just as memorable was the reaction of “The Money Team” watching this unfold ringside.
Honorable mention: Artur Szpilka TKO 5 Mike Mollo, Ryo Miyazaki TKO 5 Carlos Velarde, Jorge Linares KO 1 Francisco Contreras, Danny Jacobs TKO 3 Giovanni Lorenzo, Amir Iman TKO 2 Jeremy Bryan, Christian Hammer TKO 7 Leif Larsen, Rustam Nugaev KO 8 Jonathan Maicelo, Edgar Sosa KO 2 Ulises Solis, George Groves TKO 5 Noe Gonzalez Alcoba
TRAINER OF THE YEAR
4 - Ronnie Shields: For some reason, this old pro is consistently overlooked but every year, he puts in solid work in the corner. Erislandy Lara is one of the best technicians in the sport and Shields has improved the rugged Bryan Vera while continuing to bring along the Charlo brothers.
3 - Joel Diaz: Diaz is a guy who had a very nice year with the likes of Tim Bradley and Omar Figueroa, who had a big 2013 themselves. Diaz’s brother, Julio is still proving to be a tough out even at this stage of his career.
2 - Freddie Roach: Had a bounce-back year after a tough 2012, getting back on the winning track with Manny Pacquiao. Roach also supervised Miguel Cotto’s return and continued the rapid development of Provodnikov. Yeah, it turns out he didn’t forget everything he knew about boxing.
1 - Robert Garcia: Garcia had a very strong run and had perhaps the best stable of any trainer in the sport, currently. Yeah, Brandon Rios was shut down versus Pacquiao but the likes of Mikey Garcia, Maidana and Evgeny Gradovich kept Garcia’s mojo going.
Honorable mention: Eric Brown, Ann Wolfe, Sam Colonna, Abel Sanchez
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
6 - GYM: They don’t do a lot of shows but Yvon Michel’s company has helped turn Montreal into one of the premiere boxing cities in the world and have consistently created big events in venues like the Bell Centre with the likes of Jean Pascal and now, Adonis Stevenson.
5 - K2 Promotions: Not a huge stable but this is quality over quantity. The Klitschkos are consistent draws in Europe and the work of Tom Loeffler has turned Golovkin into a viable commodity in the United States.
4 - Main Events: Kathy Duva’s company continues to make the most of what it has and with its NBC Sports Network series, has been able to cultivate the likes of Kovalev and Curtis Stevens into fighters who earn HBO slots.
3 - Top Rank Promotions: This is a company in a bit of a transition but when it comes to staging events and cultivating talent, Top Rank is still top-notch and they are still the primary content provider for HBO. Now they wait for the development of the likes of Oscar Valdez and Felix Verdejo.
2 - Matchroom Sport: With his vast stable of fighters and TV deals, Eddie Hearn has become the dominant promotional force in the U.K.
1 - Golden Boy Promotions: Not only does it have the strongest and deepest stable in boxing but in the past year, Golden Boy has promoted two of the biggest events in the business. First, nearly 40,000 fans showed up at the Alamodome in San Antonio to see Saul Alvarez face Austin Trout in April, then Floyd Mayweather-Alvarez was made for September, setting financial records. GBP consistently put together solid match-ups, put them in real venues and put on much better pay-per-view undercards than its rivals at Top Rank.
UPSET OF THE YEAR
Jhonny Gonzalez KO 1 Abner Mares: Gonzalez was thought to be just another recognizable name added to Mares résumé but Jhonny refused to follow the script. There was a lot of talk of Mares facing Leo Santa Cruz down the line but now, he and Gonzalez are scheduled for a return bout on February 15th.
Honorable Mention: Tony Thompson TKO 2 David Price, Marcos Maidana UD 12 Adrien Broner
RYAN BRAUN AWARD (for getting busted with P.E.D.s and having flimsy excuses)
Mickey Bey/Brandon Rios: It was bad enough they got caught; their alibis didn’t exactly help matters.
COLD WAR AWARD (for promotional rivalry)
Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren: What Golden Boy and Top Rank are in America, these guys are in England.
PURPLE HEART AWARD (for courage)
Nihito Arakawa: Many others would have folded under the constant barrage he faced against Omar Figueroa but this Japanese fighter kept soldiering on and pushed “Panterita” to the brink all night long.
KANYE WEST AWARD (for bum-rushing an interview)
Brandon Rios: You get the sense that “Bam Bam” doesn’t like HBO’s Max Kellerman for some reason and it was apparent as Kellerman was interviewing Mike Alvarado after their rematch in March. Rios wasn’t too happy with the decision as he interrupted Kellerman’s chat with Alvarado and told Max he needed to “check his eyeballs.” [Editor’s Note: Though not necessarily of the bum-rushing nature, Rios’ discontent with Kellerman could be further substantiated by Rios’ demeanor in their post-Pacquiao interview.]
AUBURN AWARD (for best ending)
John Molina: C’mon…tell me you didn’t watch the end of his fight with Bey at least 10 times!
NO MAS AWARD (for calling it a day)
Jose Gonzalez: For much of this fight, it looked like this Puerto Rican was on his way to winning the WBO lightweight title from Ricky Burns when he inexplicably quit on his stool after nine rounds. All three scorecards had him up 87-84 at the time of the stoppage.
CHARLOTTE BOBCAT AWARD (for worst organization)
Cotto Promotions: Miguel Cotto is finding out that fighting is perhaps easier than running a promotional company and that he doesn’t have any young Cottos (and I don’t mean Abner) on his roster.
C.J. ROSS AWARD (for worst judging)
C.J. Ross: “C.J.” must stand for “Can’t Judge” because just a year after being one of the very few who believed Bradley beat Pacquiao, she somehow called the fight between Mayweather and Alvarez a draw.
JOEY CRAWFORD AWARD (for an official taking charge of things)
Jack Reiss: Early on during the bout between Andre Ward and Edwin Rodriguez, he penalized both fighters because of their roughhousing, making it clear he was in charge. It was a tough fight to referee and Reiss did as good a job as you could expect in such a setting.
DEAR JOHN AWARD
Lou DiBella: After Tor Hamer decided to stop fighting after some early success against Andy Ruiz in Macao, the always volatile DiBella went to Twitter to tell his fighter, “Tor, you are released. WTF!!!”
ANGELO DUNDEE AWARD (most memorable corner advice)
Ann Wolfe: As only she can, Wolfe told James Kirkland during his fight against Glen Tapia, “F*ck this! This yo’ destiny, n*gga; you hear me?! Go kick this mother*cker’s ass!”
KRAMER VS. KRAMER AWARD (for divorce)
Andre Ward and Dan Goossen: Ward tried to leave Goossen Tutor - which had promoted him to prominence from the beginning of his career after the 2004 Olympics - twice. And it turns out Ward’s still trying to extricate himself from Goossen. So far, Goossen is 2-0 versus Ward in court.
WITH RUSSIA WITH LOVE AWARD
Roy Jones: R.J. is now up there with blue jeans and Coke regarding American things that fascinate Russians. They don’t seem to care just how far gone Jones is from his glorious past. They love Jones up there. As long as he is willing, Russia will always be a place for him to fight and earn a few bucks. There was even talk of Jones getting Russian citizenship.
FIRE DRILL AWARD (for emptying out a venue)
Guillermo Rigondeaux: There’s no doubting this man’s boxing ability but the problem is, it doesn’t translate into entertainment value. As he faced Joseph Agbeko in Atlantic City on December 7th, you could see how the building emptied out after Glen Tapia (who sold the lion’s share of tickets for this promotion) lost to James Kirkland. By the end of the night, there were swaths of unoccupied seats. It turns out this HBO main event was really the walk-out bout.
THE MAURY POVICH AWARD (for best reaction)
Adonis Stevenson: Tell me the way he reacted after stopping Chad Dawson didn’t remind you of that guy who was told he was not the father.
“SCANDAL” AWARD (for best night of television)
Showtime’s July 27th broadcast: No, it wasn’t the most high-profile card coming in but the tripleheader from the AT&T Center in San Antonio delivered an entertaining card from top-to-bottom from Keith Thurman’s 10th round stoppage against the game Diego Chaves to Figueroa’s bloodbath with Arakawa to Jesus Soto Karass’ exciting upset of Andre Berto.