We might have a clubhouse leader for Fight of the Year -- Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado -- but we lack a frontrunner for a variety of other boxing awards nearing the end of 2012. Into the Knockout of the Year breach steps this contender from the past weekend, featuring bantamweight Shinsuke Yamanaka landing two punches that probably ought to have knocked out Rojas, and then a third that really, really did.
I usually hate to run Weekend Afterthoughts after the Week's Boxing Schedule, so we'll keep this short. We already caught up to the main event of the Wealth TV card this weekend, about which the views in the comments section were rather divergent. Check that out for the debate, and we'll use this space for other stuff.
--Pongsaklek Wonjongkam's long reign as an elite flyweight, marked by a recent span as lineal champion, appears over. He lost for the second time in 2012 this past weekend, this time not to a fringe contender like Sonny Boy Jaro but to a 17-20-3 fighter like the kind he's feasted on annually between bigger fights. Wonjongkam should consider retiring, and he and fellow faded little man Ivan Calderon can see about possibly entering the Hall of Fame in the same year.
--Another little man, Ulises Solis, made his return to the ring after injuries suffered in a street fight (allegedly, it was the [more] giant boxer Canelo Alvarez who did the deed), beating fringe contender Jesus Iribe by stoppage to show that he's got some fight left in his little junior flyweight frame that no redheaded bully could beat out of him. I'm still very interested in Solis fighting Roman Gonzalez; there's a possibility it could be for the lineal junior flyweight championship, depending on where Solis ranks when and if he makes a return to the Transnational Boxing Ranking Board's 108-pound rankings, an update of which is due out in the next week. On the same card, exciting featherweight Mexican ex-Olympian Oscar Valdez made his professional debut. It was about as fun as you'd expect, but the kid needs to work on his defense if he's gonna make a dent at a high level.
--The best fight on the Wealth TV card was bantamweight Rodrigo Guerrero's stoppage of Sebastien Gauthier. I'm not saying it's a must that you track it down, but it had a lotta action and it was fun. Also, light heavyweight Allan Green rebounded from his latest loss, stopping Renan St. Juste, which is about the kind of guy he can beat still, although he had to be over the weight limit to do it, apparently. This over-the-limit stuff is an epidemic.
--Marco Huck might have the record for "controversial decisions" right now among active fighters, or he's at least catching up to fellow German Felix Sturm. The cruiserweight beat Firat Arslan by unanimous decision in a solid back-and-forth fight that could've gone either way at the end. I had Arslan pulling out the win in the final round. Huck's style is like a "Rocky" film in one major way, namely that he and his opponents take turns hitting each other. Sample Huck internal monologue: "I'm gonna hit you for a while. OK, I'm done. Now you hit me for a while." Repeat.
(Some results via)