Welcome to your Queensberry Rules annual year-end awards, starting today and continuing throughout the week. Here's how we do it around these parts:
The major categories are Round of the Year, Knockout of the Year, Fight of the Year and Fighter of the Year. The final day is a pu-pu platter of awards ranging from Trainer of the Year to more frivolous topics like, say, Worst Haircut of the Year.
On the first day of each category, I give five finalists, with video and/or relevant info. You tell me if my finalists and honorable mentions are lacking, and give your vote on who you think should win. Maybe you sway me to adjust the list, and maybe you sway me on the eventual winner. On the second day after a category is introduced, I give that winner and explain why. (There are no major fights left in 2009, but we reserve the right to change our category winners if something crazy happens.)
So, today: Round of the Year candidates. Tomorrow: Round of the Year winner, plus Knockout of the Year candidates.
Your five finalists, in chronological order:
Carl Froch-Jermain Taylor, Round 12
Down on the scorecards in the 11th, Froch probably needed a knockout to win. Guess what happened.
Carlos Abregu-Irving Garcia, Round 4
It's not every day someone gets knocked down then scores a knockout in that same round.
Marcos Maidana-Victor Ortiz, Round 1
Swapped knockdowns -- in a matter of seconds, even -- sure make for a nice way to kick off a fight.
Ryan Rhodes-Jamie Moore, Round 7
How did Moore rally from that knockdown, even if it didn't last until the end of the fight?
Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto, Round 4
These two traded a lot of leather here, but then Pacquiao swung the momentum decisively his way. (Poor quality video)
Your honorable mentions, in no particular order:
Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz, Round 3
Paul Williams-Sergio Martinez, Round 1
Andre Berto-Luis Collazo, Round 3
James Kirkland-Joel Julio, Round 3
Bernard Dunne-Ricardo Cordoba, Round 10
Vic Darchinyan-Jorge Arce, Round 3
Chris John-Rocky Juarez I, Round 11
Chris Arreola-Brian Minto, Round 4
Tomasz Adamek-Johnathon Banks, Round 8
Juan Manuel Lopez-Rogers Mtagwa, Round 12 (video highlights)
Giovanni Segura-Cesar Canchila II, Round 4
Tony Grano-Travis Kauffman, Round 4 (poor quality video)
Paul Samuels-Cello Renda, Round 2 (partial round)
Vicente Escobedo-Carlos Hernandez, Round 10 (no video)
Miguel Cotto-Joshua Clottey, Round 4 (no video)
P.S. No promises these videos stay up forever. You never know with this stuff...