2012 was a very interesting year for the sport of Boxing. It had its great fights, (Brandon Rios VS Mike Alvarado, Brian Viloria VS Hernan Marquez), its robberies, (Tim Bradley VS Manny Pacquiao, Richard Abril VS Brandon Rios), its typicals, (Wladimir Klitshcko dominating non-descript random challengers), and its upsets, (Danny Garcia’s KO of Amir Khan, Randall Bailey destroying Mike Jones).
We had a Floyd Mayweather sighting, Miguel Cotto lost twice in a row, and Roy Jones Jr. did not get knocked out. We finally got Sergio Martinez VS Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Robert Guerrero made a name for himself with his wildly entertaining victory over Andre Berto, and Juan Manuel Marquez finally had a fight with Manny Pacquiao go his way in his fourth try by knocking him out with as perfect a right hand as we have seen in a long time.
But along with everything that was great and exciting about Boxing’s 2012, it was marred by unbelievable tragedy as well. Middleweight star Paul Williams was in a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down, and later in the year, Johnny Tapia, Emmanuel Steward, Carmen Basilio, and Hector Camacho all lost their lives. Their deaths blanketed Boxing with a somber cloud, and they will all be dearly missed.
But just like those men, Boxing is a fighter. No matter how hard Boxing falls, it always gets back up. No matter how despondent the sport may be after the tragedies of 2012, it always beats the ten count, and finds a way to fight on. 2013 hopes to be just as great in terms of Boxing, and we are all hoping we can be spared any of the bad news that so often seems to mirror the good.
With Manny Pacquiao falling from his lofty perch atop the mythical pound for pound rankings, and with Floyd Mayweather soon to be on the wrong side of 30, let’s look ahead to the up and comers who have the opportunity to fill the inevitable void that these current Superstars will eventually leave:
Saul Alvarez: Jr. Middleweight, 41-0-1 30 KO
The 22 year old Phenom is Mexico’s next big thing. He already has a ridiculous following, and is being pushed by Golden Boy Promotions as their next Superstar. His biggest victory came over a faded Shane Mosley, putting a beating on him that resulted in the future Hall of Famer announcing his retirement.
Gary Russell Jr: Featherweight, 21-0 13 KO
Russell Jr. exploded onto the Boxing scene after he was on an HBO undercard fight where his extremely fast hands and pinpoint combination punching made him a youtube sensation and household name in the online Boxing communities. He has fought mainly light competition but is looking to step up this year and has the ability and talent to make a huge splash in a somewhat stagnant Featherweight division.
Adrien Broner: Lightweight, 25-0 21 KO
This guy appears to be the second coming of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and looks to be a lock for future number 1 Pound for Pound consideration. He’s incredibly talented, and he knows it. A lot of fans are tuning in to his fights just to hopefully see him lose, (another Mayweather likeness) and everytime he’s been faced with his “toughest test to date” he has blown through each and every one of them. Get used to this kid’s name, he’s going to be around for a while.
Gennady Golovkin: Middleweight, 24-0 21 KO
This young fighter fighting out of Germany by way of Kazakhstan that appears cut from the same cloth as a prime Kostya Tszyu has a brilliant and unassuming smile that makes him appear as if he couldn’t harm a fly, until he removes his shirt and gets in the ring across from you and beats you down like you stole his wallet. He is young, but is already 1 of the most feared fighters on the planet, and with good reason. His aggressive, straight forward style, tremendous power, core strength, and granite chin all equal a nightmare for his opponents (Victims).
Deontay Wilder: Heavyweight, 26-0 26 KO
The last man to medal for the United States in the Olympics (Bronze, 2008 Games) and America’s latest Heavyweight hopeful, has compiled a fantastic record of 26 wins, no losses, with all wins by Knockout. At 6’7, he appears to be the new breed of Heavyweight; tall, strong, and possessing huge power. He seems to be the obvious successor to the titles firmly held by the Klitshcko Brothers, once their respective careers are over. Wilder has fought limited competition, but 2013 should be the year we see him step up and find out what he is truly made of.
Social Media's impact on the sport of Boxing for 2013
Social Media (Twitter in particularly), has become a huge cog in the Boxing machine over the last few years, and in 2012 it seemed to be even more involved than ever before. Fighters are some of the most popular athletes on Twitter, and if you’re part of the “Boxing Community” then you have more than likely seen the “TK” (Twitter King) Paulie Malignaggi all over your respective Timeline. He loves Twitter, and is very responsive to his fans, apologizing profusely to the ones he didn’t get a chance to reply to. For a loquacious guy like Paulie, Twitter is the perfect platform. We practically watched his fight with Amir Khan be agreed to over our Timelines, which is an aspect of the Fight game that we were privy to before.
You can see Fighters like Steve Cunningham and Andre Ward randomly “retweeting” tweets that they like, or spreading their Gospel with some of their favorite Bible verses. Most Fighters are overwhelmed with replies, and try to answer as much as they can. They have even been seen asking their followers on Twitter who we think they should fight, and that really makes us feel like our voices are actually being heard and that our opinions actually matter.
No longer are we forced to simply accept the old adage “whoever my Promoter puts in front of me” that has been regurgitated throughout the history of the sport when one Fighter is asked what his plans are next during his post-fight interview.
2013 is going to be a great year for Boxing, we can feel it in our bones. And with the help of outlets like Twitter, it could very well be the first year that we see a fight completely agreed to, in front of our eyes. And for the first time, fans can feel like they ACTUALLY had something to do with it, other than shelling out 75 bucks to watch. So who knows? We may just be able to play Promoter this year.
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