In a year that left much to be desired as far as fights made and in action, we still got some good scraps inside the ring. Maybe they weren’t on part with years past but for some fleeting moments these fights made us forget what a horrendous year this truly was for boxing. One common denominator all these nominees for fight of the year had was heart from both the winner and loser of the bout.
One thing boxing fans love is come from behind win and undefeated cruiserweight Krzysztof Glowacki did just that when he dethroned WBO long-reigning champion Marco Huck back in August of last year. Huck, who surprisingly was in his debut fight in the United States after eleven years as a professional, was winning the fight but in the eleventh he was met with a huge overhand right hand that sent Huck crashing down to the canvas. Another knockdown and that was all she wrote. Glowacki had been down in the sixth.
In early October one of the most popular fighters in the sport, the Argentinean Lucas “The Machine” Mattthysse, performed in his second fight of the year. Riding the wave from the majority decision win over Rusan Provodnikov, Matthysse had his second opportunity for a world title when he faced undefeated Viktor Postol for the vacant WBC 140-pound title. Matthysse was in-line to make a jump in popularity if only he could get that gold and green strap around his waist. It didn’t happen. The Freddie Roach Postol proved to be too much for Matthysse, too tall, too skillful, too smart, putting a wrench in “The Machine” in the tenth. Matthysse complained of an eye injury and refused to continue after being sent down putting a chink into what was believed indestructible armor.
Undoubtedly the winner of the category by a long shot was the war between newly crowned WBC super featherweight Francisco “Bandido” Vargas and Takashi Miura on the undercard of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Miguel Cotto last November. Miura, who is notorious for beating a long-line of Mexican challengers, looked like he was headed for another win after dropping Vargas in the fourth and controlling the action for the majority of the bout. In the second half of the fight Vargas looked worse for wear with a huge hematoma in his right eye. Miura just kept getting stronger and stronger as the bout got older. After a rather strong eighth round for the man from the land of the ring sun, Vargas’ corner told him if he didn’t do something in the next round they were stopping the fight. It also didn’t help the ringside physician was keeping a close eye on his rapidly swelling eye.
Vargas had one more shot and he took it in the ninth hurting Miura with a right hand followed by a combo that sent Miura down. Miura, displaying unmatchable heart, got up any way he could and tried to survive the incoming onslaught from Vargas. For thirty seconds the Mexican landed punches without stopping finally stopping the tough Kamikaze fighter earning them the fight of the year.