Ex-"Fighter of The Year" Mike Tyson


San Francisco, CA– In our continuing series here at, one that follows Frances “The Fight Chick” Martel and her calling for WBA 154 lb. champ Austin Trout to get the nod as “2012 Boxer of The Year.” Today we take in my perspective as to who should get top honors as the boxing year is all but over. That being said, World 122 lb. champ Nonito Donaire, World 168 lb. king Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KOs), the slayer of Manny Pacquiao (54-5-1, 38 KOs) one Juan Manuel Marquez, World 140 lb. titleholder Danny Garcia, they all deserve a look.


Because of the lack of competition in the heavyweight division, the Klitschko bros. of Wlad and Vitali do not warrant consideration in my mind. Floyd Mayweather (43-0, 36 KOs) fought but once against Miguel Cotto, the same Puerto Rican (37-3, 31 KOs) that Austin Trout (26-0, 14 KOs) painted like a “Brown Picket Fence” a fortnight ago. Manny Pacquiao, now three years removed from his zenith, lost a decision in June to Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs), this before being removed from his senses last week by Juan M. Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs). As for “2011 Fighter Of The Year” Ward, the fight against Chad Dawson (31-2, 17 KOs) was impressive, but being his lone outing takes the San Francisco born Ward out of the top slot. Australia’s IBF middleweight belt bearer Daniel Geale (28-1, 15 KOs) soundly whipped longtime WBA guy Felix Sturm (37-3-2, 17 KOs) in Germany! That gets him a mention.


Surely his “lights out” knockout of Amir Khan (27-3, 19 KOs) was one of 2012’s top highlight reel moments. But seeing Danny Garcia (25-0, 16 KOs) fought older than dirt Erik Morales (52-9, 36 KOs) twice knocks him out of contention. As for the KO that rocked the Philippines, the “face planting” of Manny Pacquiao by Juan Marquez surely stands out as the most dramatic event of the 2012 boxing season. But when you realize that Manny has declined and the 12-round win Marquez had over (30-2, 14 KOs) Serhiy Fedchenko was purposely lackluster in order to get Pacquiao to fight him again, JMM did not do enough by slaying the Pacman. Middleweight king Sergio Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KOs) got the Julio Cesar Chavez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) fight in 2012, but the champion’s stock value may have plateaued.


Almost 400 words have transpired in order for me to set the table for you. All of the fighters named above had stellar years, but none

Nonito Donaire "Chills" Jorge Arce

eclipsed World 122 lb. champion Nonito “The Filipino” Flash (30-1, 20 KOs) of Newark, CA. A first generation Philippine-American, the man who has lived in the shadow of countryman Manny Pacquiao for far too long has now emerged as one of, if not the preeminent fighter in the world. Even though the Pacnuts are still hoping to get one more championship gasp as Pacquiao runs out of breath for boxing, Donaire keeps knocking guys stiff!


This past Saturday night, Jorge Arce (61-7-2, 46 KOs), a well-worn face first fighter who had won titles at 112, 115, 118 & 122, was knocked into another Houston, TX neighborhood by a single left hook in round three. Highlight reel knockouts are nothing new to Donaire who did the same thing to then unbeaten (28-0, 22 KOs) slugger Vic Darchinyan (now 38-5-1, 27 KOs) on 7/7/07 and Fernando Montiel (49-4-2, 37 KOs) in early 2011. All of these one-punch (left hook) knockouts were delivered in a devastating manner with chillng results.


All of the boxers that I’ve listed have had commendable years, but none come close in my opinion to Nonito Donaire. For the record, Nonito went to the post four times in 2012, winning all with two knockouts. Starting off the year with a Split Decision 12 over Wilfredo Vazquez (22-2-1, 19 KOs) in February in a WBO 122 lb. title tiff. Next time out, Donaire defended the WBO 122 lb. honors and picked up the IBF trinket with a Unanimous Decision 12 over Jeffrey Mathebula (26-4-2, 17 KOs).


In October in Carson, CA at the Home Depot Center, Donaire secured his third win of the year with a Technical Knockout of Japan’s Toshiaki Nishioka (39-5-3, 24 KOs). Adding icing to the cake is the KO Saturday of Arce. Four fights, a pair of KOs, one title unification, Donaire put a “punctuation” mark and cemented the “2012 Boxer of The Year” honors with the brutal manner in which he hammered Arce into retirement.


Although Donaire at 5’5 with a 68 inch reach is tall for 122, I’m not sure if he can put on enough body armor to pass the grade at 130, or even 126 lbs. But for now, the “Filipino Flash” in my mind has done more than enough to warrant being recognized as “2012 Boxer of The Year.” Congrats to Team Nonito and Top Rank on the great year


In our next installment on who deserves top honors in the world of boxing for 2012, Kevin “K.P.” Perry weighs in with his pick. Remember, there are our recent and previous radio shows, the entire 15 round Marvin Hagler-Roberto Duran fight, documentary films on fighters like Roberto Duran, polls, feature articles, MMA, boxing, UFC, check it all out at

Pedro Fernandez


  • @KP
    I think Donaire vs Rigo “is coming soon”. I also want to see Donaire vs Mares. Mares is a body puncher and i thought Arce was able to hurt Donaire with a body punch. I also want to see how Rigo will do against Vasquez. Vasquez, i think is still one of the top dog in 122.

  • The nitpicking over Donaire’s opponents goes to far. The quality of his victories holds up very well to most of the other guys being considered (except obviously Marquez). Other than that, nobody elses resume outclasses Donaire’s to the degree that their one or two wins outweigh Donaire’s four.

    Look, these were all legit Top 10 or 12 rankable fighters. You can argue to within a few places where they should rank, or wether they can be one of the 2-3 elites or are limited to the group of “next-best”.

    But they all deseved to be there. No embalmed corpses like Mayorga or Margarito … no softballs of Peter Manfredo, John Molina, Alfonso Gomez or Adrian Diaconu … no taking your turn Allen Green, Yusuf Mack or Jason Litzau for the “I stopped him sooner” derby…

    Vazquez Jr was a strong, technically good fighter in his physical prime who showed up a better and more experienced fighter from his upset loss to Arce. He just lacked the top end speed to fight Donaire in the open. I think he’d have beaten at least 16 of the 20 next best 122 lb’ers on that day.

    Mathebula turned Donaire’s usual height & reach adavntage upside down on him. He fights tall BETTER and is harder to hit than Austin Trout (let alone Antonio Demarco) while not being nearly as light-in-the-ass as Anselmo Moreno. Style & game plan were highly inconvenient. It was a close, difficult fight but ultimately a high value win for Donaire.

    The size match-up with Nishioka didn’t look as equal in the ring as it did on the weigh-in podium. But Nishioka’s still a proven 122 lb’er, couldn’t budge Donaire like he did to the bigger Johny Gonzalez. Nishioka may be the most fundamentally sound boxer to be clearly beaten in 2012 while maybe not having the best chin in the world, still hard to take those guys out clean when they’re working their style so well.

    Few fighers beat opponents of clearly better quality than Vazquez Jr, Mathebula & Nishioka, but none beat two, let alone three.

    Arce was a bit of slam dunk style matchup. But lots of people thought he was the sacrifical lamb to Vazquez Jr too. Say what you want about Arce’s limitations, age and ring wear, but he’s never been broken in a fight. Even on lopsided losses to Mijares & Darchinyan, he was never seen running or hugging like the older Mosley, Cotto or Hopkins – he fought with his usal agression & energy the whole time.

  • I changed my mind. I was trying to decide between Marquez, Broner and maybe Mares. But I’m going with Donaire instead. Precisely because of the FOUR fights against good, if not great opposition.

    I actually had to read the records just to realize that his fights with Vazquez Jr, Mathebula, Nishioka & Arce were all within a span of 10 months … with those first two going the distance and involving some punishment taken.

    If most elite fighters fought 4 times a year against world ranked (DESERVINGLY world ranked) opposition, we couldn’t spend nearly as much time focusing on boxings problems – we’d be too busy anticipating and following the fights! And by sheer mathematical probability, top fighters would end up in the ring with each other more often.

    Unfortunately this is so rare now, that Donaire-Vazquez Jr FEELS like it was way more than 10 months ago because Nonito’s calendar equals 2 or 2.5 years for many other stars.

  • Nov 1: “I would have thrown heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko (53-3, 50 KOs) in the mix if I was on the nominating committee. He hasn’t lost since 2004 vs. Lamon Brewster, which Wlad avenged in 2007.”

    Dec 18: “Because of the lack of competition in the heavyweight division, the Klitschko bros. of Wlad and Vitali do not warrant consideration in my mind.”


  • Marquez gets the triple crown …. Fighter, Fight , and KO of the Year!

  • Brian Viloria could get a mention,if not the nod… avenges decision loss against Omar Nino Romero with knockout, and then knocks out young buck Hernan “Tyson” Marquez…

  • Peter Quillin came into his own this year.

  • I like Broner because he really captured our imagination with flash and heavy hands, fought solid competition, and kept a busy schedule. Broner walked down a world champion Mexican slugger to snatch the title. Donaire knocked out guys past their primes. Donaire is long overdue in fighting the best in his division (Mares, Rigo).

  • Donaire hasn’t fought anyone all that great this year, and reallky struggled against Mathebula. He lost that fight in my eyes. I do not think he is the fighter of the year. It is, admittedly, a tough year to pick a “fighter of the year”. If I had to hand the award to anyone, I think I would give it to Broner. He was already a solid superfeatherweight champion, but managed to beat two solid changengers in Perez and Escobedo before annihilating the top lightweight in the world to win the WBC belt. Broner won in more impressive fashion than Donaire in my opinion. Yeah, beating Nishioka and Arce is fairly impressive, but both were at the end of their careers anyway.
    Getting outlanded by a huge underdog in Mathebula was not particularly impressive eaither. Nonito has potential, but he needs to prove it by fighting guys like Rigondeaux and Mares. I’d like to see him against Gary Russell Jr at some point once Jr gets some noteworthy wins under his belt.

  • Pac-nuts can now be DONUTS

    He would be my pick.

  • I like Doniare, but the fact that he failed to fight Mares or Rigo this year is what failed to impress me. He was highly favored in all fights, and none were considered elite fighters for the most part. Arce and Nishioka were well past their prime. Mathebula was his best opponent. The thing that did impress me was he fought four times.Thats rare for a champ and I will give credit for that, but when a guy continues to duck the #2 guy in the division”Rigo’ when they share a promoter and face 5 handpicked opponents in a row it’s hard to give him the award in my book. I guess because of his talent I hold him to a higher standard. maybe thats unfair, but thats how I see it.

  • That’s my pick.

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