3- Brian Viloria TKO10 Hernan Marquez: Viloria was masterful for much of the night and scored three knockdowns of the hard-punching Mexican who stunned Viloria more than once. Finally, a blistering counter left hook off the ropes in the 10th irrevocably changes the bout in Viloria’s favor.
4- Juan Manuel Marquez KO6 Manny Pacquiao: From beginning to end, this was probably the most action-packed fight of this rivalry. And that ending...oh, that ending.
5- Josesito Lopez TKO9 Victor Ortiz: Lopez was only smaller physically because at the end of the night, he had a bigger heart and simply would not go away. He broke Ortiz’s jaw at some juncture and, eventually, his will to continue in a fight that had great momentum swings.
6- Kell Brook MD12 Carson Jones: “Special K” was in control early but Jones stormed back late. Every young fighter needs an experience or two like this as he moves up the ranks.
7- Anthony Crolla UD10 Kieran Farrell: Things started off fast and these two never let up over 10 heated rounds.
8- Roman Gonzalez UD12 Juan Francisco Estrada: “Chocolatito” simply couldn’t get rid of this tough-as-nails Mexican.
9- Robert Guerrero UD12 Andre Berto: Not the most stylish fight you’ll ever see but there was tough, hard-nosed action throughout. When it was all said and done, “The Ghost” simply did more and fought harder.
10- Akinori Watanabe TKO11 Koshinmaru Saito: From the fourth frame on, the action kept escalating. This was a bloody battle where the southpaw Watanabe finally subdued Saito with a slashing left in the 11th that floored and then halted him just seconds later.
Honorable Mention: Marco Huck D12 Ola Afalobi, Rodrigo Guerrero TKO8 Sebastian Gauthier, Daniel Rosas SD8 Fernando Vargas, Richard Contreras MD6 Daniel Quevado, Adrian Granados UD8 Jaime Herrera, Joel Diaz Jr. TKO7 Guy Robb, Erick Ochieng TKO9 Nick Quigley
ROUND OF THE YEAR
1- Salido-Lopez, round nine: Breathtaking back-and-forthing between two men who didn’t want to give an inch.
2- Sergio Martinez- Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., round 12: Perhaps the most dramatic turn of events of any fight in 2012. Hopelessly behind, Chavez Jr. nearly pulled this fight off by dazing and flooring Martinez, who staggers to his feet and somehow sees the final bell.
3- Viloria-Marquez, round five: Both men were hurt and just as it seemed as though Marquez was going to take control of this fight, Viloria floors Marquez late in the stanza to regain control.
4- Marquez- Pacquiao IV, round five: The “Pac-Man” scores a knockdown late and as he tries to pour it on, he and Marquez trade leather for the rest of the round.
5- Salido-Lopez, round eight: It was the best round in the early part of 2012 till they came out for the next inning.
6- Lopez-Ortiz, round nine: Just as it seemed as though the size and strength of Ortiz was taking over the proceedings, Lopez ends the round with a flourish and he may have broken Ortiz’s jaw with a late left hook.
7- Gonzalez-Estrada, round 12: Both men don’t give an inch in a round that caps off a very good little fight.
8- Ma Yi Ming- Albert Alcoy, round four: I was there ringside in China calling the action. Trust me; it was a donnybrook.
9- Tomasz Adamek-Travis Walker, round two: Anything better than two big men trading trips to the canvas?
10- Jamie Kavanagh-Ramon Valadez, round four: Both fighters buzzed and dazed in this Telefutura classic.
Honorable Mention:Ray Beltran-Ji-Hoon Kim, round 1, Brook-Jones round 10, Daniel Rosas-Fernando Vargas, round 8, Adonis Stevenson-Don George, round 5, Ryuji Hara-Kenichi Horikawa, round 10
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
1- Main Events: Successfully launched a new series on the NBC Sports Network, where they provided consistently good programming and got boxing back to NBC.
2- Matchroom Sports: The Hearns consistently put on solid shows that do well at the gate and promote the likes of Carl Froch (who has become a bona fide draw in the U.K.).
Honorable Mention: Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions. OK, guys, can we please end the “Cold War”?
THE CHAVEZ-WHITAKER AWARD (for bad decision):
1- Tavoris Cloud SD12 Gabe Campillo: Take away the first stanza (where Campillo hit the deck twice) and Cloud was outboxed for the rest of the night.
2- Tim Bradley SD12 Pacquiao: Watch with or without the sound off; you won’t find many people who agreed with this decision.
3- Huck UD12 Firat Arslan: Yeah, Germany’s gonna Germany.
4- Tomasz Adamek SD12 Steve Cunningham: The consensus was that “USS” won at least eight rounds of the dozen.
5- Brian Vera MD12 Sergio Mora: And Texas is gonna Texas.
THE ANDY WARHOL AWARD (for 15 minutes of fame)
Rico Ramos: Poor guy, wins a title and is immediately forced to face the talented Guillermo Rigondeaux in his first defense. He never had a chance.
THE FONZIE AWARD (for jumping the shark)
ShoBox: Seriously, not all the cards were bad but really…Jermain Taylor as your headliner? I mean, I guess if it were still 2002 and not 2012. And the Al Haymon-influenced telecasts were particularly eye-brow raising.
DEATH ROW-BAD BOY AWARD (for most heated rivalry)
Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank: As of yet, no gunshots have been fired between their employees. But there is no love lost between these entities.
“WILL THE REAL EMINEM PLEASE STAND UP?” AWARD
Yeah, only in boxing.
THE ALANIS MORISSETTE AWARD (for irony)
Andre Berto made insinuations that Victor Ortiz was on “the stuff” when he beat him last year. Well, prior to their rematch, Berto tested positive for Nandrolone. Yeah, a million spoons when all you need is a knife.
THE CHRIS BROWN AWARD (for ungentlemanly behavior)
Dereck Chisora slapping Vitali Klitschko at their weigh-in. It was more accurate than any punch he threw in the first nine rounds of their fight the next evening.
THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER AWARD
August, which was filled with cards on HBO and Showtime, suddenly became this barren wasteland with fights being postponed and moved. Thankfully, there was at least NFL pre-season football to watch.
THE BOB ARUM AWARD (for best Arum quote)
“There’s no promoter in boxing who could pass the marijuana test, including myself,” he said, in reaction to Chavez Jr. turning up positive for the green stuff in the aftermath of his bout with Martinez in September. Uh, by the way, no other promoters refuted Arum’s statement.
50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather: Yeah, they’re not calling each other on their money phones anymore. But seriously, who gets to ride 50’s Segway at Floyd’s mansion now?
WIN ONE FOR THE GIPPER AWARD
Johnathon Banks had a lot on his plate as he faced Seth Mitchell in November, including the death of his mentor, Emanuel Steward. Banks did him proud by halting the undefeated Mitchell in two rounds.
THE ANDREW GO-LOW-TA AWARD (for numerous low blows)
Jose “Piston” Lopez regularly had Humberto Soto writhing in pain and discomfort from his punches that went south of the border in Mexico.
THE LL COOL J AWARD (for “Don’t call it a comeback…”)
As quickly as Ricky Hatton returned to the ring, he went back into retirement just as quickly after getting halted by Vyacheslav Senchenko.
THE RODDY PIPER AWARD (for stirring it up)
Angel Garcia: If there’s someone who should host a boxing version of “Pipers Pit”, it should be this guy.
THE FRANK “THE ANIMAL” FLETCHER’S MOTHER AWARD (for screaming at ringside)
Will Rosinsky’s wife: We can still hear her shrieks from the Home Depot Center as her husband faced Kelly Pavlik.
THE CHEECH AND CHONG AWARD (for obvious marijuana usage)
Chavez Jr.: C’mon, we all should’ve known. From waking up in the middle of the afternoon to eating cereal for dinner and general laziness, all the signs were there.