Pound4poundireland’s 2013 Award for Fighter of the Year

Fighter of the Year

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

2. Adonis Stevenson

3. Guillermo Rigondeaux

* 2013 will be remembered by many as the year of the punchers, with significant successes for Gennady Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev, Ruslan Provodnikov, Lucas Matthysse (despite his defeat to Danny Garcia), Jhonny Gonzalez, Marcos Maidana, and Adonis Stevenson, and it is the latter who secures the 2nd spot on my Fighter of the Year list.

Beginning the year as a 36 year old 168lb. contender, and mandatory challenger to titlist Carl Froch, without much profile, he avenged the sole defeat of his career to journeyman Darnell Boone by 6th round knockout.

The came a surprise shot at lineal light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, and one of the year’s most stunning upsets, a 76 second destruction of the shellshocked American.

Stevenson showed he wasn’t just a one-dimensional flash in the pan by displaying slick southpaw skills en route to two further dominant kos of top ten opponents Tavoris Cloud and Tony Bellew to round out his year, truly one to be proud of.

Let’s hope 2014 bring that Stevenson vs. Sergey Kovalev shootout that has everyone salivating.

* Despite the prominence of punchers this year, the other two spots on my list are reserved for two of the finest exponents of pure boxing skill to grace the ring in recent decades.

Guillermo Rigondeaux had a breakout year, schooling many people’s pick for 2012 FOTY, Nonito Donaire, to catapult himself to the forefront of the sport in just his 12th pro fight.

He only had one further contest in the year, a shutout of the highly capable Joseph Agbeko, due to dissatisfaction on the part of his promoter Top Rank (Bob Arum no doubt disgruntled that Rigondeaux had ruined his star fighter Donaire), and the network HBO, with his perceived ‘boring’ style.

When considering his prospects next year, it is worrying to read quotes such as this one from HBO Sports boss Ken Hershman: “I’m very torn, I have to say. I was expecting more from him. This is one where you listen to the fans. The fans voted by turning off the channel. At the end of the day we’re a TV network, and we have to please our subscribers. If they’re not interested, we have to respect that. In the right match maybe there will be another opportunity, but it’s not something getting done in the near future. I have tremendous respect for what he does, but it’s not something our subscribers responded to.”

It is equally disappointing to read the disgraceful, persistent and sophomoric criticism of Rigondeaux’s sublime skills perpetuated in the media by prominent journalists such as Dan Rafael (who embarrassingly picked Donaire to easily knock out Rigondeaux) and Kevin “MMA” Iole.

* My top spot this year is reserved for the pound for pound king, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Fighting twice in the same year for the first time since 2007, he completely dominated top 147 contender Robert Guerrero, and the undefeated 154lb. number 1 Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

His win over Canelo (a man whom most thought Mayweather would avoid fighting at this stage) brought him a lineal championship in a 4th weight class, a feat only equalled by Manny Pacquiao.

He is more dominant than ever, beating top level opposition while barely breaking a sweat or taking a punch in return.

Though it factors little into my decision, it is also worth noting that Mayweather’s transcendence of the sport continues as strong as ever, his fight with Canelo being the most lucrative in boxing history, both at the gate and in terms of PPV revenue generated.

His 6-fight contract with Showtime, which will keep him active with 4 more fights over the next two years, is the most lucrative in the history of all sports.

It has never been more clear that Mayweather is the king of boxing, both in the ring and out.

He is the Fighter of the Year for 2013.

4 thoughts on “Pound4poundireland’s 2013 Award for Fighter of the Year

  1. Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

    Agree wholeheartedly with the fighters mentioned.

    Hopefully we can see Stevenson v Kovalev in 2014!

  2. Looking at the article with regards to Kovalev/Stevenson, couldn’t it be argued that Kovalev has fought very similar opposition to Stevenson this year? KOs of Cleverly, SIllakh, Campillo etc.?

    “It is equally disappointing to read the disgraceful, persistent and sophomoric criticism of Rigondeaux’s sublime skills perpetuated in the media by prominent journalists such as Dan Rafael ”

    Agreed: it really saddened me that people would insult a fighter. It is irrelevant if you do not like his style (I personally admire it) Your man Rigondeaux puts up a shutout by sublime boxing skills and is one of the fighters who can truly be defined by the mantra of boxing; “hit and not be hit”. Donaire & Agbeko are top quality opponents, do not go and hate and belittle a fighter if he does not fit your style.

    I respect Wladmir Klitschko greatly and his achievements etc. even if I did find his fight against Povetkin painful to watch.

    • Thanks for your comment

      I agree that Kovalev’s year was certainly comparable to Stevenson’s. I rate Stevenson marginally ahead due to capuring the lineal championship (although I think Kovalev will knock him out if they fight next year)

      Rafael and others will argue that he’s never denied Rigo’s skilfulness, and that he just lambasts him for being boring, but his persistent criticisms of him go beyond that and, due to his prominent position in the boxing media, harm Rigo’s career.

      He argued recently that GGG should be rated p4p higher than Rigo, as if ‘excitement’ should be a factor in objectively delineating the best fighters based on a combo of performances and resume. I love GGG but his resume is fairly mediocre: get back to me when he’s schooled a p4p elite like Donaire

      Also, I can bet that Rafael wont include Rigo in even his honourable mentions for Fighter of the Year, and that is an absolute joke.

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