At the start of 2012, Boxing 101 referenced numerology to predict the type of year it would be for boxing. The sport certainly lived up to the meaning of the number 5 – transition, change and adventure is exactly what we got in 2012.
Young champion Canelo Alvarez transitioned into a star this year. The red-headed Mexican was slated for a pay-per-view event in September that collapsed due to no fault of his own. After dismantling Josesito Lopez in that fight, Alvarez declared himself fit only for such stars as Floyd Mayweather Jr., Sergio Martinez or Miguel Cotto. It appears he is destined to become the next pay-per-view star attraction as he challenges better opposition.
It was also a star transitioning year for Adrien Broner. The ratings from his fight this summer with Vicente Escobedo, in what was an utter mismatch but involved a great deal of drama stemming from the weigh-in, were the highest they had been for an HBO boxing event in years. With his subsequent domination of Antonio DeMarco after moving up to lightweight, the 23-year old Broner showed that he is the complete package and can easily compete with better talent in the higher weight classes.
Robert Guerrero's highly successful transition from lightweight to welterweight with hard fought victories against Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto has resulted in a potential future fight with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr.
We have seen boxing transition to both basic cable and network television this year with hopes that it signals a positive change in direction for the sport.
What may not be a positive change for the sport is the head-to-head programming we encountered in the second half of the year. While a case can be made that this encourages competition, the general sense is that this stems from promotional wars rather than what is in the best interest of the sport and its fans.
There were changes within the boxing community this year due to several passings, including trainers Angelo Dundee, Goody Petronelli and Emanuel Steward, beloved fighters Johnny Tapia, Carmen Basilio and Hector Camacho and the colorful boxing writer Bert Sugar.
Retirement signaled the change for other prominent boxing figures, including Larry Merchant from his HBO ringside commentary duties after 35 years. Veteran fighters such as Winky Wright, Shane Mosley, Glen Johnson, Antonio Margarito, Ivan Calderon, Toshiaki Nishioka and Jorge Arce all announced their retirement this year, with Mosley and Johnson evidently disliking this change and mounting comebacks.
Attitudes toward drug testing changed in 2012. The circumstances surrounding the failed tests of Lamont Peterson, Andre Berto, Antonio Tarver and Erik Morales heightened awareness of the need for more sophisticated and better controlled testing in the sport.
A change in trainers appears to have re-energized Kelly Pavlik, Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana, while it remains to be seen if such a change will help Victor Ortiz who parted ways with trainer Danny Garcia following his loss to Josesito Lopez in June.
It was quite the adventure for Lopez who found himself the unexpected winner of the "Canelo Sweepstakes" after breaking Ortiz's jaw in a major upset this summer.
The adventures of Dereck Chisora and David Haye ended in a rather entertaining grudge match in front of 30,000 fans at Upton Park in London despite wide sweeping threats by the BBBofC and protests by a large segment of fans.
The highly questionable officiating and scoring of the 2012 Summer Olympics made this year's boxing competition an adventure Team USA would like to forget, with Claressa Shields and Marlen Esparza being the lone Americans to medal (gold and bronze, respectively) and the men failing to medal for the first time in U.S. Olympic history.
Given the number of poorly judged matches this year, it was an adventure any time two fighters stepped into the ring, with anyone's guess who would emerge victorious. Just ask Gabriel Campillo, Richard Abril, Manny Pacquiao and Steve Cunningham to name a few.
The adventures of Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez ended in spectacular fashion with a one punch knockout that punctuated the Mexican's legendary career and has left the world wondering what will now become of the Filipino star.
Looking ahead to next year, the number 2013 totals a six which symbolizes the principles of nurturing, caring and harmony. If numerology is any indication of what lies ahead, we can expect peace, justice and truth in the coming year.
This leaves us with some optimism that promotional rivals Top Rank and Golden Boy can find a way to work together going forward, improvements can be made in the quality of judging and greater efforts will be made to enforce transparency and adherence to more sophisticated drug testing.
With a new year comes promise and hope.
Also:Adrien Broner, Boxing, Canelo Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather, Josesito Lopez, Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao, Robert Guerrero, Victor Ortiz