2015 brought the unveiling of the Joe Frazier statue in Philadelphia
By Rudy Mondragon
And that’s a wrap! Another year of boxing in the history books. 2015 gave boxing heads what they demanded, a dream match between Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao. As with many fights, we need to manage our expectations. I get into conversations where people argue that Floyd runs like a chicken (you know who you are). I try to be respectful and validate people’s opinions. But like I always say, Floyd does not run. What Floyd does is stay in the pocket and draws opponents in to miss. Floyd is able to do this due to his superb defense and counter punching abilities. With the expected hype of Mayweather and Pacquiao, I knew (as well as my close boxing colleagues) to manage my expectations.
I entered the viewing of the fight anticipating a clinical defensive performance by Floyd. I was left satisfied as he left Pacquiao looking like an amateur. I was impressed with that. For the fans who expected WWIII or something out of Sparta, they were left feeling cheated and lied to. Some even sued saying the fight was a fraud. Don’t blame the fighters, blame the promoters, media, and the rest of the people responsible for selling you something that in all actuality was far fetched.
It is the end of the boxing year and with that, comes reflection of the good and bad. The only reflection I can offer is where are the boxers who take on the athlete activist position? Just a couple of days ago, we learned there would be no indictment for the death of Sandra Bland. We also learned that prosecutors said the police officer who killed 12 year old Tamir Rice would not face criminal charges.
What is happening in boxing that prevents the boxers themselves from taking on a political stand on issues they can make a difference in? I’m not saying athletes will solve all world problems. I am saying boxers take up a unique space where they draw a great deal of attention. In drawing this space, where are the messages that bring awareness to the mass killings that are happening to black and brown women and men, detention of undocumented people, and transgender populations? Where are the boxers who stand up and call for the ending of violence against women? Where are the boxers who are calling out Donald Trump’s Neo-Hitler politics?
There are boxers who have made attempts to raise awareness and use their platforms for good. Sergio Martinez did great things during his boxing career that focused on anti-bullying and spending time with hospitalized children. Andre Berto has started the conversation with other boxers to discuss #BlackLivesMatter as well as leading demonstrations to address the problem of police violence.
The critical-optimist in me believes that 2016 will bring more boxers coming out to take political stands. But it won’t be easy. How has the boxing industry organized themselves to prevent future boxing activist since Muhammad Ali? Part of the problem is the inner working of the industry as well as media that refuses to cover political issues that are affecting people all over this country and world.
I know what you are thinking. This isn’t your typical end of the year awards article. I think that is a good thing. After all, that’s not what Blood Money Boxing is all about. Blood Money Boxing is about critical boxing commentary, beyond the statistics and reporting of the winners and losers of boxing. This is our aim, goal, and vision for now and into the future. Thank you for your continued support. Now, lets get on with the awards. Enjoy! And if you disagree, tell us your thoughts.
Pound For Pound
- Floyd Mayweather
- Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez
- Sergey Kovalev
- Gennady Golovkin
Honorable Mention: Andrew Ward, Timothy Bradley, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Manny Pacquiao, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Terence Crawford.
Floyd Mayweather is still number 1 because I refuse to believe he is calling it quits. He will be back for his 50th victory.
Fighter of the Year
Floyd Mayweather Jr
How can he not? He made the biggest purse ($250 million) and generated the most revenue in one single night ($600 million). He broke records and broke hearts when he beat the man everyone said would destroy him, Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao has a lot to do with Floyd winning this honor. After all, it takes two to tango.
Knockout of the Year
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez KO of James Kirkland
Fight of the Year
Nonito Donaire vs Cesar Juarez and
Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura
Warrior of the Year
Was expected to win big this year and delivered 3 TKO victories
Upset of the Year
Tyson Fury’s win over Wladimir Klitschko and
Viktor Postol’s win over Lucas Matthysse
Bad Call of the Year
Danny Garcia vs Lamont Peterson
Garcia collected points early on as Peterson fought a conservative fight. The tide turned as Peterson was able to effectively counter Garcia and take advantage of his fatiguing opponent. It was a close call and could’ve gone either way. The way Peterson finished the fight by making Garcia miss and effectively land counter shots convinced me that Peterson won the fight by a single point.
Trainer of the Year
This is the man who is guiding GGG. He is not making a lot of noise, but he is doing something right. Abel Sanchez will have a big 2016 year, possibly adding names to his stable due to his expertise and connection to GGG.
Quickie of the Year
Daniel Jacobs first round TKO of Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin
I was excited about this fight because I thought these two would demonstrate both powerful exchanges as well as fine boxing skill and technique. This fight delivered a different kind of excitement as Jacobs hurt Quillin midway through the first round and was able to gain the first round stoppage.
Boxing Fails of the Year
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Brandon Rios
Chavez went up to the light heavyweight division to challenge Andrzej Fonfara and was dropped in the 9th and quit on his stool as he was unable to continue. Rios struggled to make weight against Timothy Bradley and looked drained the night of the fight. He went down in the 9th and was eventually stopped. He announced his retirement, but word on the boxing street is that he wants to make a comeback.
2016 Dream Fights
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin
Miguel Cotto vs. David Lemieux
Kell Brook vs. Amir Khan
Adrien Broner vs. Manny Pacquiao
Leo Santa Cruz vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux
Roman Gonzalez vs.
Adonis Stevens vs. Sergey Kovalev
Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward
Danny Garcia vs. Adrien Broner
Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury
Deontay Wilder vs. Wladimir Klitschko