It’s that time of year again! Everyone who is anyone (and even people who aren’t) reflect a little on what they saw, on put their judges hats, and present year end awards. Here are my picks for 2012.
(All winners will be notified via twitter. Official certificates can be printed by using the copy/paste function, placing the text into a word document and pressing ctrl+p to print. Please enjoy a Big Mac at McDonald’s as your reward at your expense.)
Fighter of the Year – My TSS pal David Avila believes Robert Guerrero deserves fighter of the year honors. As far as I can tell, he’s the only boxing writer of note to say this yet. Guerrero had a fine year. In Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto, he beat two naturally bigger men in fights most boxing scribes I know thought he’d lose to. Add into it that he jumped up two weight classes in the process after a year long hiatus, and it becomes quite clear who the 2012 Fighter of the Year is….Nonito Donaire.
Look, Guerrero had a fine year and should be commended for it, but the only person the Big Mac Fighter of the Year award can go to this year is the Filipino Flash. He’s done everything fight fans demand. He fought four times this year defeating four legit top ten opponents. He’s steadily moved up into almost everyone’s top five pound-for-pound list, led the charge against PED’s in boxing with his 24x7 testing schedule, and he’s earned a TBRB championship in the process. He’s absolutely the only choice.
Fight of the Year – In October, junior welterweights Brandon Rios (31-0-1) and Mike Alvarado (33-0) unleashed hell on each other with nary a clinch until the stronger, more brutish Rios ultimately wore down his opponent with overhand right after overhand right after overhand right to win by TKO in seven. Seldom does something that looks at the signing to be a shoe in for Fight of the Year actually deliver, and this one did so in spades.
Knockout of the Year – Juan Manuel Marquez’s shocking destruction of Manny Pacquiao, in which he crumpled the Filipino superstar up into tiny heap of nothingness, was one of the most shocking knockouts I’ve ever witnessed. It wasn’t that Juan Manuel Marquez isn’t a great fighter. He is. Rather, it was that the two men had fought three times before without even an inkling of something like this being possible. Add to it that it appeared Pacquiao was on his way to stopping Marquez himself, and you have the Big Mac KO of the Year.
Trainer of the Year – It’s easy to pick the big name fighters who went undefeated this year and award Trainer of the Year to that guy, but your pal, Big Mac, is a thinker. Ronnie Shields left everything he knew at Savannah to start a boxing gym at Plex fitness, and he’s been tremendously successful with it thus far. His stable includes two highly rated contenders in super middleweight Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez and light middleweight Erislandy Lara as well as notable up-and-coming junior middleweight prospects Jermell and Jermall Charlo. Big Mac’s Trainer of the Year is Ronnie Shields, who incidentally is one of boxing’s true good guys. You’ll never meet a nicer man than Ronnie.
Boxing Promoter of the Year – Is this an award given out by the powers that be? If not, it should be. The two candidates for this one are Top Rank’s Bob Arum and Main Events’ Kathy Duva. After deducting a substantial number of points for the Pacquiao-Mayweather debacle, Duva comes away as the runaway winner. Kathy Duva makes great fights and gets them on television. What more can you ask?
Event of the Year – This year’s boxing event of the year was the appearance of women’s boxing in the Olympics where Claressa Shields came home with the Unites States’ only gold medal for the sport, men or women. Sure, this wasn’t professional sports and so technically it may not eligible, but Big Mac does what he wants, even going so far as to end Big Mac’s Boxing Awards 2012 article by referring to himself in the third person.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV