I sometimes find myself on the opposite side of the mass opinion that is the BWAA. Who am I kidding… I’m almost ALWAYS on the reverse from that organization.
So, I have come up with my own version of the year end boxing awards. Let’s call it the C.S.R. Awards. As in Common Sense Rules….
FIGHTER OF THE YEAR.
Pretty easy. While fighters like Kovalev, GGG, Cotto and even Terence Crawford enjoyed the bask of HBO’s feature fighter club, and Floyd Mayweather was just being Floyd Mayweather, a young man from Montego Bay, Jamaica came in to 2014 the same way he left it…with a bang.
Nicholas “The Axe Man” Walters is my clear-cut winner of Fighter of the Year. He went from fighting in obscurity to the main stages of HBO, and now it looks like he is here to stay. Many wouldn’t even know Walters has been a World Champion since 2012, if not for a glance at a boxing registry. He knocked out a top contender in Vic Darchinyan in five rounds, then took out the former pound-for-pound king of the little guys, Nonito Donaire, by sixth round destruction. Word is Top Rank is pushing for a unification with IBF kingpin Evgeny Gradovich sometime in the spring. Walters has the stuff to unify and defend these crowns for a long, long, time to come. My fighter of the year is the Axe Man, Nicky Walters.
TRAINER OF THE YEAR.
Tough call. Freddie Roach will always be there as long as he has the top guys like Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquio around him. Abel Sanchez had the great Terry Norris to put him on the map, and now has GGG who is just as incredible. But my tip goes to John David Jackson. The guy received no respect for his work with Sergey Kovalev until November 8th. That’s when the Russian Bomber listened and stuck to the game plan JDJ laid out. Even his former charge, Bernard Hopkins, found a way to degrade JDJ by referring to him as a “professor who has failing grades”. On November 8th, the admissions department said “School’s out!” on that notion and put John David Jackson as my Trainer of the Year.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR.
Easiest pick of the bunch. Hands down, no doubt, no question, no hesitation, unequivocally, it is Mr. Egis Klimas. Klimas, unlike some reject who sits in his office and has a peon doing his work, has gathered an amazing stable of fighters in such a short time, then turned said fighters loose on American soil, and now has three world champions to show for it. Sergey Kovalev, Evgeny Gradovich and Viasyl Lomachenko are all world champions because of the hard work that Egis Klimas puts in for them, along with their skills, of course, And you’ll never find Klimas camera-bombing his charges during interviews or ring walks. Why? Because that is not what quality representation is. That’s feeding one’s ego. And ego and business never mix. That is why Egis Klimas is the Manager of the Year.
FIGHT OF THE YEAR.
Orlando “Siri” Salido KO11 Terdsak Kokietgym. Salido tasted canvas in rounds 1, 2 and 5, while Terdsak (pronounced as it looks as it should be) was down in rounds 1, 4, 7 and finally 11. Giving a description would be like telling you the end of a really great movie you’ve been dying to see. And I’m not cruel like that. So YouTube it and you’ll see it is the winner of my Fight of the Year.