Ted the Bull’s 2007 Boxing Awards

17.12.07 - By Ted Sares: 1) Pound For Pound Fighter of the Year: Floyd Mayweather Jr.,

No big surprise here. Mayweather, 39-0, beat Oscar De La Hoya and then dismantled undefeated Ricky Hatton. In so doing, he continued to demonstrate an uncommon tool chest of skills that aficionados have not witnessed since the days of Sugar Ray Leonard. He is the complete package blessed with superior speed, great stamina, sharp punching, a solid chin, great defense, and the ability to knock out opponents with either hand. Blending old school subtleties with modern technique, he is THE MAN..

michael katsidis(Katsidis backs up the Czar)2) Fight of the Year: Darrell Woods vs. Samuel Miller

Some say an 8-round fight should not count, but I say, why not?” This one had all the ingredients; young vs. old, veteran vs. upstart, both fighting out of Florida, one with his career ahead of him; the other in the late stages of his. The uninformed liked Miller; the smart-money people liked Woods. However, the one thing no one expected was the kind of fight it would turn out to be.

After absorbing a monster onslaught of almost 100 punches in the first round, Woods stormed back to send the emerging prospect to the deck with a wide right in the second canter. He then put Miller down again early in the third with another and more stylish right hand. Miller was now on Queer Street and Woods stepped up the attack hoping to close matters. But all of a sudden, a savage shot to Darrell's head stopped him in his tracks. Miller quickly pressed the action and pummeled Woods viciously for the final two minutes of the round. Talk about a turnabout; talk about ebb and flow. This was breathless stuff and it was only the third round. If the fight had ended there, I would have been amply satisfied, but there was much more to come.

Woods regrouped and dictated the action by fighting “tall” in rounds 4 and 5, forcing the younger Columbian to hold on at times. In the sixth round, a point was deducted from the Colombian for holding. After that, and in the tradition of Maddalone and Minto, both fighters showed total disdain for defense and went headhunting with alternating shots. They took turns staggering each other in a give-and-take, ebb and flow battle down the stretch. Woods demonstrated an iron chin in the seventh as he absorbed vicious and continuous shots during the seconds of the round. How he weathered the storm remains a mystery to me--and I'm sure to Miller.

Samuel started out the eighth and last round of this middleweight bout as a stalker, closing off the rings and quickly getting Woods into trouble. A knock down would put the outcome up for grabs. Miller had to do it; Woods had to avoid it. This was last minute drama at its best.

Then, after having lost the first half of the round, it was Wood’s turn to take over and he launched a barrage of telling shots at Miller which likely evened things up in the round. Fittingly, the two exhausted warriors traded shots to the final bell as the crowd roared its approval. “Bam,” first one landed on Woods and “Pow” a counter struck Miller. These were the crushing blows of combatants who wanted victory.

The veteran refused to be the prospect’s foil and roll over. His two early knockdowns and his stalking and pursuit of Miller in the middle rounds was enough to give him a righteous majority decision victory by scores of 76-73, 76-72 and 75-75. Yes, Marquez vs Vasquez was hard to beat, but this is the one that did it for me, albeit barely.

3) Round of the Year: Round 3 of Vazquez-Marquez II.

Israel Vazquez hurt Rafael Marquez and was moving in for the kill, but suddenly was himself wobbled as Marquez fought back furiously. He opened up bad cuts over both of Vazquez’s eyes. Eventually, Vazquez landed the more damaging shots and would later take out Marquez, but it was this exciting micro-point in a great macro-event that caught the full fury of hat was transpiring.

4) Best breakthrough Fighter of the Year: Jorge Linares

This Venezuelan fighting out of Tokyo with his close friend Edwin Valero combines the moves of a classy stylist with thunderous power which comes at the end of his long and punishing shots. His brutal dismantling of Oscar Larios in July had the crowd screaming for the referee to stop the slaughter before something bad happened. Unfortunately, as it turned out, something bad did happen to Larios.

This past Saturday, the “Golden Boy” KOd tough Gamaliel Diaz with a crushing right hand to improve his record to 25-0. With three stoppage wins in 2007, Linares is my choice for breakthrough fighter. We will hear much more about the 22 year old as he steps up the level of competition.

5) Upset of the year: Donaire’s knockout over Darchinyan

In what well could be called “knockout of the year,” Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire did exactly what he had to do to dispatch previously undefeated defending titlist Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan. He caught him walking in with a perfect counter that iced the 7-1 favorite at 1:38 of the fifth round. Enough said.

6) KO of the Year: Darnell “Ding-A-Ling Man” Wilson vs. Emmanuel Nwodo (June 2007)

In the tenth round and with the suddenness of a lightening strike, Nwodo made the mistake of throwing a right from too far away and was countered by a short straight right and follow-up left which sent him to the canvas.

Still not fully recovered going into the eleventh round, the game Nwodo came out willing and winging, but once again was staggered by the heavy handed Wilson who hits like he has embalming fluid in each fist. The Nigerian champion quickly found himself the prey in a track and execute type of situation. The tracking ended on the ropes as the “Ding-A-Ling Man” trapped Nwodo and missed with a whistling right but followed up with as savage a left hook as you will ever see. The punch landed with full force, leverage and impact knocking Nwodo cold.

Emmanuel remained on the canvas for several scary minutes and there was a palpable sense of relief when he finally was able to stand. This was one Friday night fight I will not soon forget. These two guys came to rumble in the non-theatrical sense. It just doesn’t get any better.

7) Most exciting fighter of the year: Kelly Pavlik

Anyone who is more exciting (in my eyes) than Jesse "El Rayo" Feliciano or Michael Katsidis has to be truly remarkable. But that’s just what “The Ghost” is. His record of 32 (KO 29) - 0 tells you all you need to know about his propensity to knock out his opponents. However, his occasional defensive lapses introduce a level of excitement that is compelling. Yes, he can be decked, but when he gets up, look out! His ability to regroup, stalk, trap and then finish off his prey with one heavy shot after another is better than anything you will see on the Discovery Channel.

8) Comeback of the year. Jameel “Big Time” McCline

Even in defeat, Jameel “Big Time” McCline gained new respect and put himself back into the heavyweight mix with his solid performance against Samuel Peter. Jameel came this close to putting away the Nightmare, but faded down the stretch. Look for him to return and not make the same mistake.

9) Mismatch of the year: Singwancha vs. Bangbuathong

Cristian Nicolae, a Romanian featherweight, recently fought Italian Massimo Morra, 18-3, in Rome. Incredibly, Nicolae was 1-36 going into his fight with the Italian and had lost 35 in a row. This was a mismatch

A more dangerous one occurred when world class Thai fighter, Sirimongkol Singwancha, 57-2, took on Kaennakorn Bangbuathong in his very first professional fight in September 2007. In 2005, Singwancha beat Michael Clark in a WBC Lightweight Title Eliminator in Las Vegas. Prior to that, he lost to the very tough Jesus Chavez in Austin, Texas in a fight for the WBC super featherweight title. His only other defeat came at the hands of Joichiro Tatsuyoshi when he lost his WBC bantamweight title by seventh round KO.

Maybe Bangbuathong had an extensive amateur career or maybe he crossed over from Muay Thai boxing, but I could not corroborate either. And so a 57-2 ex-champion fights a guy in his first pro bout. Sometimes, this can have a tragic ending.

Ted Sares is the author of the recently published Boxing is my Sanctuary. Visit his site at for more information.

Article posted on 18.12.2007

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