Another decade has passed, and I definitely have my favorite set of fights.
Included with each fight is an award I have generously bestowed upon each:
Timothy Bradley was coming off of what should’ve been a career defining win over Manny Pacquiao. While seen as controversial, the close bout seemed to be able to go either way due to long stretches of inactivity from Pacquiao. Fans were furious, not only with the judges and the decision but with Bradley as well. The still undefeated Bradley recieved death threats and was harassed after the decision. What did he choose to do to try and change public opinion? He chose to try and blast out a tough opponent early in the fight. The opponent on the night in question was Ruslan Provodnikov. Soon to be known as the “Siberian Rocky”, HBO’s commentary team could not drop the fact that Provodnikov’s upbringing took place in the harsh conditions of Russia. Bradley finds out the hard way that it would not be a short night. Practically out on his feet already at the end of the first round, Bradley digs in his heels like the stubborn champion he is.
Award: Winner of the first Annual “Why is he trading?” Award Dedicated to the career of Amir Khan.
Mark Hunt has not had the easiest road in the last few years. Losses on the cards, losses by stoppage. He is now out of the UFC, but he leaves a trail of blood behind that would make any warrior blush. While this statement does describe Mark Hunt, Bigfoot Silva has had a near similar fate. This scrap may be remembered as their peaks and it took place on the evening of December 7th 2013. Hunt landed with so much force early that he broke both of his hands in this fight of the year winner. What would the “Super Samoan” proceed to do with 2 broken hands? He would go to war throwing both elbows while covered in blood. Bigfoot could knock multiple children out with a single punch, and Mark Hunt took shot after shot to the dome.
Award: Rocky Balboa Award for blocking with the face
Every few years a fight between two action stars comes by. Sometimes the fight delivers, but way too often, its like the Obi Wan, “This is not the war you were looking for” (I’m looking at you Lewis-Ngannou). This fight may be the greatest possible version of this kind of action fight. Rios was a virtual rock em sock em robot during his prime and Alvarado was the type of power puncher who did not care much for defence. Knock out power+ rock solid chins- defence= Rios vs Alvarado 1. Seriously go find this fight on youtube before you find out who won.
Award: Brain Surgeon Association of America Award for study in blunt force trauma
Lineker- Rivera Jr.
128 seconds of pure violence. To this day I have seen this fight at least 100 times. After my first viewing I showed it to my Dad. Then I showed my uncle. I watched it with friends, I watched it with family, and I watched it with anyone who was willing. This bout could only be better by being played again immediately after. Lineker and Rivera both decide that tucking their chins and swinging away was their best path towards victory. Both of them take the patch and run face first in to the perfect opponent. This fight honestly needs to be seen to be believed because if I told you they literally stood in front of each other and swung for their lives would it even sound believable?
Award: John Starks “Did Dis Dude Just Did Dis?” Destinction Grant
Adrien Broner was about to do it. He was nearly the King of the boxing world. If only he did not run in to Karma. Karma is a bitch. Karma personified is El Chino. Marcos “El Chino” Maidana was an Argentine power puncher who had been the b-side in every big fight of his career. Always taking the smaller share of the purse, always being second on the marquee, always on the wrong end. Adrien Broner was looking to win a belt at 147. It would have been his 5th division as champion, tying the total of Floyd Mayweather. He would still be undefeated and the next star to take over the game. He danced to the ring, toward his destiny. Destiny then came and knocked Broner down twice while serving him his first career loss. Broner is still looking for that 5th division title.