Welcome to The Queensberry Rules' annual year-end awards, continuing throughout the week. Here's how we do it around these parts:
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 virtually no major fights left in 2012, but we reserve the right to change our category winners if something crazy happens.)
Previously: Knockout of the Year candidates. On deck: Knockout of the Year; Round of the Year; Fight of the Year candidates.
THE FINALISTS (IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER)
Orlando Salido - Juan Manuel Lopez II Round 9
In the first of two candidates featuring a fighter's last stand before suffering a knockout shortly thereafter, JuanMa opted for testing his power and chin against Salido's, who was more than happy to indulge him.
Sergio Martinez - Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. Round 12
For 11-plus rounds, Martinez had been erecting a masterpiece. But in one of the most electric moments of 2012, Chavez nearly brought it all toppling down.
Brandon Rios - Mike Alvarado Round 5
Rios-Alvarado's 5th round ought to be familiar enough to anyone who's ever played a boxing video game. This was a boxing video game come to life.
Brian Viloria - Hernan Marquez Round 5
Was Viloria ever hurt? "Tyson" sure thought so, and turned into his namesake with a show of relentlessness for which Viloria rewarded him with a knockdown.
Juan Manuel Marquez - Manny Pacquiao IV Round 5
This one takes some context: Marquez had already dropped Pacquiao earlier, so this knockdown was a second shock. The final minute requires little explanation, though.
Lee Haskins - Stephane Jamoye Round 6
The second of two last stands among the nominees, Haskins and Jamoye turned in this back-and-forth beauty just before the end of 2012.
THE HONORABLE MENTIONS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
Marco Huck - Ola Afolabi II Round 12
Danny Garcia - Amir Khan Round 4
Robert Guerrero - Andre Berto Round 7
Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. - Jonathan Oquendo Round 5
Raymundo Beltran - Hank Lundy Round 3
Rocky Martinez - Miguel Beltran, Jr. Round 4
Kell Brook - Carson Jones Round 10
Chris Arreola - Eric Molina Round 1
Mike Alvarado - Mauricio Herrera Round 2
Marcos Maidana - Jesus Soto Karass Round 4 (no clip available)
(Alex McClintock contributed to this post.)
All those finalists are really worthy contenders - it's a really hard choice. Pac/Marquez and JCC/Sergio had me up from chair, screaming - that's the advantage that big fights have. But I don't think that either of them is the round of the year, at least in terms of objective action (for importance, Pac/Marquez certainly is).
But I'll vote for Marquez/Viloria, for a cracking round in an important fight.
@tqbr round 1 of @VICIOUSFARRELL v @ant_crolla touched gloves then 10 rounds of action, privlege to be there to see it live
Listening to Mexican commentators is so much fun. It makes me want to drink loads of Tecate and learn Spanish. In that order. Salido - Lopez II Round 9 for me. Tough call though.
if I ask myself which round on this list has the most "HOLY SHIT!!!" factor, I'd have to say it's round 12 of Martinez-Chavez Jr. is it round of the year though, given how mostly one-sided it is? I'm not sure.
the Viloria - Marquez round has the kind of back and forth drama that I like, but it lulls slightly at the end of the round, so I'm not sure about that one either.
the Haskins - Jamoye was cracking, but tapered off near the end too.
I'm also tempted by the Pacquiao-Marquez round, just 'cause of what an incredible fight it was.
I think I get the second-most holy shit factor from the Salido-Lopez II round. it also was brutal as hell for both fighters. I think it's my ROTY.
not an easy call this year. this is more a tie all-around.
@The Count of Monte Fisto (boom!) I agree. The field is more wide open for this one than for KO of the Year. Good run down, sir.