The major categories are Knockout of the Year, Round of the Year, Fight of the Year and Fighter of the Year. The final leg is a pu-pu platter of awards ranging from Trainer of the Year to more frivolous topics.
For 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 2011, but we reserve the right to change our category winners if something crazy happens.)
So, up first: Knockout of the Year and Round of the Year candidates. On deck: Knockout of the Year and Round of the Year winners, followed by Fight of the Year and Fighter of the Year candidates.
THE FINALISTS (IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER)
Nonito Donaire - Fernando Montiel
It's definitely the best punch of the year. But did referee Russell Mora spoil Donaire's picture-perfect KO by letting Montiel continue?
Kendall Holt - Julio Diaz
Both had power. Both were a little chinny. Holt's power got to Diaz' chin first.
Jessie Vargas - Walter Estrada
You don't see them like that very often: Vargas caught Estrada in mid-air, essentially.
Rico Ramos - Akifumi Shimoda
Ramos spoiled for six rounds while Shimoda stalked. The 7th was quite different.
Roman Gonzalez - Omar Soto
That Gonzalez uppercut is so quick you have to watch the replay to watch Soto get crunched with it.
THE HONORABLE MENTIONS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
Thomas Dulorme - Harrison Cuello
Oli Afolabi - Terry Dunstan
Robert Helenius - Sam Peter
Andy Lee - Craig McEwan
Lucian Bute - Jean Paul Mendy
Eloy Perez - Daniel Jiminez
Denis Lebedev - Roy Jones, Jr.
Alexander Dimitrenko - Albert Sosnowski
Zab Judah - Kaiser Mabuza
Art Hovhannesyan - Archie Ray Marquez
Gary Russell, Jr. - Heriberto Ruiz
Pier Olivier Cote - Jorge Luis Teron
Takashi Uchiyama - Jorge Solis