You have to love the underdog story if you like boxing. Lopez was the top 'dog in 2012 and won a big bone, getting picked for Fight of the Year, with victim Ortiz.
So what was your fight of the year for 2012? Besides Floyd-50 Cent on Twitter, I mean.
I posed this question to our all-stars on the Forum, and asked them to offer up their tussle of '12. Here are their responses...
Our man Radam, with those characteristic quick hands, was first to tap out his take.
"My fight of the year is definitely Lopez-Ortiz," Radam said. "That Rocky-like performance of Joselito Lopez showed that any time that a man of any size stepped in dat squared jungle it can definitely swing to "The theatre of the unexpected." And even a pugilist, who thrown to a lion king, can surprise dat muthasucka, turn the roaring king in a pu$$ycat, declaw him, break his jaw, shut up his roar and make him QUIT without even a meow. "
The estimable Brown Sugar went for the fourth Marquez-Pacquiao tiff.
"The only other sports that come close to the solemn severity of a boxing match are chess, and poker," he wrote. "There's nothing funny about getting KO'd and there's nothing funny about leaving a poker game broke, dreading the moment you have to explain to your wife that you gambled away the rent and utility money playing a so-called "game." There's also are very few things in sports as serious as pouring your mind out onto a 8 by 8 black and white board to wage war, in the microcosm of violence called chess. That's why I'm naming the epic game-of-chess between Pacquiao vs Marquez my personal pick as the Fight of the Year. Watching Pacquiao and Marquez reminded me of good game of chess, it was a calculated war on par with the apocalypse. And similar to chess, their fourth confrontation was ripe with endless permutations of endless possibilities as the potential for a legendary ending escalated with each passing round. Marquez rightly received credit for being in the right place at the right time to deliver the historic punch that will forever reverberate through the annals of boxing lore. But he did more than that. What happened on fight night was already brewing, congealing, gestating, being formed and "willed" into existence by Marquez."
Lord, can we just insert these words into the mouth's of some of the gang at HBO and Showtime? Preach, B-Sug!
"How may times did Marquez say he was knocking Paq out this time? More times than a convicted murderer says he's innocent, which is why nobody heard him. According to Roy Jones, Marquez stated before the fight that he would win, because he's the smarter fighter (not the better boxer). In the second round Pacquiao was standing straight up when he got shotgunned into the corner by a vicious Marquez right hand, a right hand that Marquez has probably kept coiled up and ready to fire since their last fight. Sometimes the cobra gets the mongoose, more often than you think. Pac immediately woke up and started gaining success doing what he does best. This would be the day that he finally puts all controversy to rest, yes today, all the critics will eat gravel and crow. Pacquaio leaps in and out with the speed of a dragonfly, feinting twice to the right, once to the left, the straight left lands, the jab lands, right hook lands, then a body shot, then another left. All so fast the only way you can tell that Marquez is being hit is by the way his head keeps snapping back as his face literally starts disintegrating before our eyes. Marquez never grabs, he never puts up on the earmuffs, he barely tries to block the punches, he doesn't run or goes into defensive shell, Marquez is ready to fire. He never acknowledges how hurt and busted up he is. Closer, closer, just a little bit closer now, Kapow! Marquez wasn't fighting for a points win; he bet everything on himself in an increasingly escalating war of strategy, skill, and power, it was the ultimate gamble and he won the ultimate prize, Fight of the Year, hands down."
OK, after that, anyone picking another fight want to change their vote?
Not Radam...he stuck with his top choice. "Lopez-Ortiz edged out Marquez-Pacquiao in my humble opinion," he said. "But once again, "The theatre of the unexpected" was in full swing. Da Manny had busted Marquez up, broke his nose, caused a hairline fracture in one of his eyesockets and cut up his mug. And it appeared that the fight would be over in the next round or two. But Marquez was not havin' it. With one second left in the round, he kayoed Da Manny with what will go down in pugilistic history as one of the greatest sucka right hand ever thrown. Danggit! Marquez's punch also shook up a hundred-million Filipinos on nearly 8,000 islands, and millions of more in other countries. Hats off to Marquez. For one time, he was not a crybaby, and what he did was NICE! In 2013, we will see if he can do it TWICE. Or if he goes down himself in revenge of a Da Manny's punch known as "The Manila ICE." Holla!"
Amayseng tabbed another rumble as the top tangle of the year. "For sheer fireworks I have to go with Salido and Juanma," he wrote. "Salido was throwing bombs from the start."
South Paul punched a chad for Radam's pick. "So many good fights this year," he wrote. "Hard to narrow it down to one but Josesito vs Ortiz jumps out as one of my personal favorites. I hear Josesito may be Khan's next opponent or visa versa. Very winnable fight for the skinny kid from Riiivvvvvveerrsidddde (in the house!)."
Loved Sug's take so much, I think he deserves to get love on his semifinal.
"I think Chavez vs Sergio was a close second place," he wrote. "Martinez looked like a ballerina dancing around a clod-hopper, lit up on moonshine. The contrast in talent was that jarring. At the end of every round, an emphatic Chavez Sr would end his desperate huddle with his son's cornermen by literally shoving them back up the ladder at the end of the round, waving his hands frantically, yelling and cursing like a Mexican version of Boss Hogg after learning the Duke boys had gotten away again. I can understand why it's hard for family members to just sit back, relax and enjoy a fight like regular folks, but Chavez Sr looked like he was ready to strip out of his tuxedo and glove-up. Watching the camera constantly pan out to Julio's dad was almost as entertaining as the fight itself. When Chavez sat on the top rope at the end of the fight, knowing he had lost by a wide margin but beaming with pride that he won a moral victory in decking Martinez, that moment seemed to created a sense of redemption. Jr and his Dad basked defiantly in the aftermath of that moment for as long as they could, and even though the previous 11 rounds were filled with frustration, and misery as Martinez repeatedly humiliated Jr throughout the entire fight leading into the 12th round. Chavez and his dad left the arena like they were the winners that night... priceless. What would have Chavez accomplished if he hadn't been hitting the bong pipe and skipping training sessions with Freddie Roach is a question best left to the imagination."
Gosh, I think Brown Sugar snagged his second Reader of the Year award with that Boss Hogg reference.
Thanks again for your illuminations in the Forum, B and the boys.
(Editor Note: Brown Sugar has quipped that he could use an editor. Whatever...Young writers, take note. His copy works because you can feel his passion. You just know he's a far-gone addict, that boxing pops into his head throughout the day, when he's doing just about anything. He slices open his chest, and lets you see his heart, risking ridicule, infection by sarcastic jibe, when he shares the feeling of blowing house funds on a poker game, and having to tell the missus what you've done. Grammar and spellcheck be damned, this guy can write, because his heart and soul are in the words.)
Who's the best Mexican boxer today?