By Jackie Kallen
As I think back on this year in boxing, my mind goes to the most interesting fights–not necessarily the best fights. All fans have their own ideas about what makes a fight great. I tend to remember the fights that were memorable. These are the fights that have me thinking about them or talking about them for days after the final bell has sounded.
One of those fights is definitely the recent Broner/Maidana fight. Few people predicted the outcome of that fight and we were all fairly shocked to see Adrien Broner being taken apart like that. A lot of it had to do with Broner’s mouth and attitude. He is constantly trying to position himself as the next Floyd Mayweather. That is hardly the case.
Maidana made Broner look foolish and getting knocked down was not an impressive way to earn new fans. Then there was his Academy Award-winning performance following a head butt. He must have been channeling his inner DeNiro.
I also enjoyed Broner’s fight against Paulie Malignaggi in June. Broner was his usual disrespectable self and he goaded Paulie continuously before the fight. It was an ugly rivalry and one that included a female who supposedly dated both men.
Broner won the fight, but Malignaggi had nothing to be ashamed of. It was a split decision and Broner did not win as emphatically as he had predicted.
Another fight that stayed in my head was Mayweather/Alvarez. I should have known before the fight that Canelo was probably not ready for the likes of Floyd. But my heart trumped my brains and I found myself believing that Canelo could win. The hype was contagious and the entire Spanish-speaking universe was pulling for the red-headed warrior.
The fight was practically a shut-out for Mayweather. As always, he dominated the fight, dictated the pace, and was a force that could not be conquered. He is undeniably the best P4P fighter in the world. It’s hard to imagine anyone beating him and destroying his undefeated record. Unless something unforeseen occurs, he will eventually retire with a perfect record–joining the ranks of Rocky Marciano and Joe Calzaghe.
No list of interesting 2013 fights could omit the Berto/Soto Karass battle. Soto Karass is a battle horse who came into the bout with eight losses on his record. Andre Berto is a tough Floridian who held his own throughout the fight. He even dropped Soto Karass in the 11th round. But when the going gets tough–the tough get going. Soto Karass came back in the final round and finished Berto off with a fierce left hand.
I also have to include the Timothy Bradley/Provodnikov fight. Bradley was still stinging from a much-debated win over Pacquiao and the fact that few people felt he deserved the W. He had a lot to prove in the fight with Provodnikov and he delivered. Barely.
This was a close fight and both men put their best shots out there. Bradley showed courage and determination and he prevailed in the end. But not without tasting the canvas in the final round and squeaking by with a close decision. He remains undefeated and I am sure he’ll give us more exciting moments in 2014.
The Danny Garcia/Zab Judah bout was another interesting match-up. Few gave the fading Judah much of a chance and it was predicted to be an easy and early night’s work for the dazzling Garcia. But it did not turn out that way. Although he had been dropped and was tired, Judah gave it his all, coming on strong in the late rounds.
Garcia got the win, deservedly so, but Judah showed that he was the true epitome of a warrior. His fortitude and drive was admirable and earned him a lot of respect.