December 18th, 2012 By Pedro Fernandez
WHO HAD THE BEST 2012 FOR A BOXER?
San Francisco, CA- In our continuing series here at RingTalk.com, 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.
MISSED ONE MAYBE & NO KLITSCHKO!
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.
DANNY GARCIA HAD HIS MOMENT
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.
AND THE “2012 BOXER OF THE YEAR” IS
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 noneeclipsed 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!
HBO MORE THAN MARQUEZ-PACQUIAO TAPE SATURDAY
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.
WHAT DONAIRE HAS DONE IN 2012 TO MERIT TOP HONOR
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).
DONAIRE ONLY HALF WAY DONE FOR 2012!
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.
THINK 122 MIGHT BE OPTIMUM FOR NONITO!
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
TOMORROW KEVIN PERRY PUTS FORTH HIS NOMINATION
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 RingTalk.com