Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report

Talking all things boxing!

Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report 2014 Year End Awards

By. BrotherJR

January 4, 2015

I know I’m late with this. I also know that there are plenty of other blogs and websites that have already done their year-end recap for 2014. So, why did I wait until now to do my recap for 2014 (did a YouTube show/podcast recapping the year, but blog is different)? One, because I was admittedly a bit lazy. But second and most importantly, I wanted to wait until all of 2014 was completed until I wrote a recap of the year. Most did their recap early not waiting until after the big title filled cards that took place on Dec. 30th and 31st in Japan. Why was that card important? Well because those cards, on separate days featured rising star Naoya Inoue winning a Jr. Bantamweight title in sensational fashion on Dec. 30th in Tokyo, and Guillermo Rigondeaux’s exciting fight against Hisagi Amagasi the following day in Osaka, Japan, a fight in which Rigondeaux was knocked down twice. With those bouts out-of-the-way, here’s my recap and Pound 4 Pound Boxing Awards for 2014.

Fighter of the Year: Naoya Inoue – On December 29th, I was ready to give this award to Lightweight champion Terence Crawford based off of his win over Ricky Burns and especially his victories over Yuriorkis Gamboa and Ray Beltran. Well, things drastically changed on December 30th in Tokyo when Inoue blitzed long reigning WBO Jr. Bantamweight champion Omar Narvaez to win his title to cement him as FOTY for 2014. What made Inoue’s year so sensational is that fact he’s done so much damage so young and with only eight total fights as a professional!!! Only 21, Inoue defeated the tough and well-respected Adrian Hernandez in April to win the WBC Jr. Flyweight title, taking him apart and stopping him in five rounds. After one defense of that belt (an 11th round stoppage of Samartlek Kokietgym in September), Inoue made the bold move by moving up two weight divisions to take apart Narvaez. Yeah Narvaez is old and Inoue was the favorite heading in, but nobody, I mean nobody saw Inoue taking Narvaez apart in the fashion that he did. Inoue has the look of a future star.

Fight of the Year: Terence Crawford TKO9 Yuriorkis Gamboa – I know there were more brutal and savage bouts out there such as Orlando Salido’s 11th round TKO over Terdsak Kokietgym, and Francisco Rodriguez Jr’s win over Katsunari Takayama, but what put Crawford – Gamboa over the top for me was the combination of brutality and skill. The June 28th bout between Crawford and Gamboa, which took place in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska featured two fighters both in their relative primes bringing their A game fighting at a high level. Gamboa brought his best and gave Crawford early on. Crawford responded with fire and vigor, showed what potential he has as an elite fighter. The action was intense, the crowd in Omaha was wild, and social media was buzzing, and this fight put Crawford up as a mainstream fighter.

Knockout of the Year: Carl Froch KO8 George Groves (Rematch) – A rematch of what many deem a controversial 9th round stoppage by Froch in November 2014, Froch and George fought once again on May 31 in front of 80,000 boisterous fans in London at Wembley Stadium. There would be no controversy this time as Froch caught Groves with a thunderous right hand with 26 seconds to go in the 8th round. Decisive, emphatic, powerful, destructive. The right hand that closed the show was the best punch of the career of Carl Froch and the KO of the year.

Round of the Year:  Tommy Coyle vs. Daniel Brizuela (Round 11) – A candidate for Fight of the Year in which there were eight total knockdowns (Coyle and Brizuela going down each four times), the 11th round was as dramatic as it gets. Brizuela hurt Coyle early in the round Brizuela hurt Coyle badly with a viscous left hook to the body, and a follow-up left hook put Coyle down 33 seconds into the round. What happened next was damn near unbelievable. Coyle gets up, waves Brizuela on, then uncorked an overhand right hand that hurt Brizuela and put him down, WOW! Brizuela got up on shaky legs. A follow up right hand from Coyle put Bruzuela down again, and a follow up assault had Brizuela all but done by the end of the round. Coyle finished matters early in round 12, but it was round 11 that was something to behold, OMG!

Performance of the Year:  Wladimir Klitschko KO5 Kubrat Pulev – For those who constantly complain about Klitschko being boring and not being aggressive enough, please watch this fight. Klitschko’s stoppage of Pulev on October 15 in Hamburg was brilliant. The reigning Heavyweight champ came out aggressive early and put on his best performance in years. His left hook was outstanding and overall, “Dr. Steelhammer” was dominant. And the scary thing about his destruction over Pulev is that at age 37, it seems that Wladimir Klitschko is getting better. And awesome display by Klitscko.

Upset of the Year:  Chris Algieri W12 Ruslan Provodnikov – Heading into their June 14th battle at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, Provodnikov was on a roll. Fresh off winning the WBO Jr. Welterweight title over Mike Alvarado, Algieri was the hot name going in. With a possible big money fight with Manny Pacquiao over the horizon, all Providnikov had to do was dispose unknown Algieri. While Algieri (at least to those who had seen him) was thought to be a solid guy, he was thought to stand little chance against the strong and hard-hitting Russian. And after the first round, Algieri looked on the verge of being knocked out as he was put on the deck twice in the first round and by the end of the round, his right eye was swelling badly. However, Algieri dusted himself off, slowly got back into the fight and avoided the power punches throughout the rest of the contest, fighting through a right eye that eventually swelled shut. And along the way something strange happened, Algieri was out-boxing Provodnikov who was looking to look to land just power punches. By the end of the fight, Algieri ended up defeating Provodnikov by split decision to win the WBO Jr. Welterweight title. An inspiring performance and stunning win by Algieri.

Prospect of the Year: Errol Spence Jr. – This guy looks like a can’t miss prospect destined to win a world title in his future. The 24 year-old Welterweight prospect from Dallas, Texas seems to have a complete arsenal. A southpaw, Spence can box on the outside, is a more than adequate inside fighter with speed, footwork, power in both hands. Spence is also a young guy who fights with an edge. Already with street cred based on a sparring session with Adrien Broner (a session Spence was rumored to have beat Broner up), Errol Spence Jr. is a fighter on the come up and a kid that folks definitely need to keep their eyes on.

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January 5, 2015 - Posted by | Blog, Boxing |

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