KO of the Year
Raymundo Beltran KO Mason Menard. Menard tried a hook to the body and then to the head. However, Beltran’s hook was quicker and textbook. Picture Jack Dempsey (the originator) or Mike Tyson with a hook to the body and a hook to the head. That would be Menard. Now picture Joe Frazier, taking the hook to the body, but crouching and timing someone with the big left hook. That was Beltran.
Mason Menard KO Eudy Bernardo. Menard landed a big overhand right over top of a jab by Bernardo. Bernardo was out before he hit canvas. Paramedics had to take him out of the ring. OUCH!
Ivan Baranchyk KO Nicholas Givhan. Ivan landed a leaping left hook from well outside of range and Givhan dropped hard and partially under the ropes. Givhan wanted to get up. Believe me, he tried to get up. He was trying to use his left arm to pull himself up on the ropes, but his brain was short-circuited. He was trying to lift himself up, but his left arm was on the bottom rope, not the middle rope. So he should’ve slipped his arm under rope and slid back inside in order to get up. Watch the video to see what I mean. #ShortCircuit
Joe Smith KO Bernard Hopkins. The old man played with fire one time too many, as Bazooka Joe hammered him down and (literally) out of the ring. He knocked Hopkins out of the ring and out of boxing! We think…
Justin DeLoach KO Dillon Cook. This was in my top three for the winner but got nudged out. Dillon Cook landed a left hook, but should’ve ducked after he threw it. A powerful right hand by DeLoach dropped Cook to his knees, and his head dropped as if in a praying position. His mouthpiece followed closely and dropped to the canvas. BRUTAL!
Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam KO Alfonso Blanco. The right hand landed by N’Dam was so quick, you have to watch the fourth replay to realize the devastation of the punch. However, you need only see Blanco’s reaction to the punch. Blanco fell face first. HARD!
It was a right hand counter over a lazy jab by Blanco. He landed like a tree being cut down in the forest. T-I-M-B-E-R! Once he hit the canvas, Blanco seemed to (excuse the term here folks) dry hump the canvas and the referee immediately waved it off. As the turned Blanco over on his back, they had to control his leg as he appeared to be having some kind of seizure. This knockout was sick!
Zachary OCHOA KO Luis Joel GONZALEZ. Lennox Lewis wide looping bolo right hand put Gonzalez to sleep! Skip to 36:30 in the video to be a few seconds away from the lethal shot. Go to 37:25 and realize that Gonzalez still wasn’t right. This was an ill KO for sure!
Others under consideration:
Oleksandr Gvozdyk KO Nadjib Mohammedi. Overhand right and the fight was over!
Rashidi Ellis KO Eddie Gomez. Lightning fast counter right dropped Gomez. He got up. Five (count ‘em, FIVE) follow-up right hands and down goes Gomez again! He stayed down.
Deontay Wilder KO Artur Szpilka. Szpilka was giving Wilder trouble and went in for the kill with Wilder near the ropes. Wilder kind of patted Artur on the head with his left, and as Artur wound up for a huge left hook, a short right counter by Wilder sent him to dream world.
Adonis Stevenson KO Thomas Williams. ‘Top Dog’ was going punch for punch with Stevenson and gaining confidence in the fight and then… (In my Jim Lampley voice) BANG! A counter left put Williams out.
Murat Gassiev KO Jordan Shimmel. The big men fought on Fox Sports and one of the first combinations you learn was employed. The right hand-left hook was thrown by Gassiev. Why do you do throw the hook after the right? Well, just in case the right hand misses, as it did in this fight, there may be an opening for the hook. Sometimes the opponent is focused on dodging one punch, they forget about the other. That was the case here as a left hook landed on the sweet spot of Shimmel’s chin and put him down. He was out cold and as soon as the referee kneeled to see it, he waved the fight. It was a difficult choice to make and I literally had to get help from a friend (thanks Rahmon) on this one. There were at least four that I went back and forth on and probably could’ve taken the easy way out and called a three-way tie. Nevertheless, this is our winner. I noticed many of the KOs on this list, which seems the case every year, came from ShoBox.
Worst Decision of the Year:
Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward. If you are a true boxing fan, you know that Andre Ward didn’t win this fight. Many who thought Kovalev won considered the fight close, as did Ward fans. I believe we know that Kovalev won at least four of the first five rounds, including a knockdown for at least a 40-35 lead. To say Ward won 114-113, you are in essence (equivalent) saying that he won eight rounds. EIGHT! In other words, if a fight is six rounds to six, it means the score is 114-114. If you think Ward won seven rounds, he would have 115 points. But remember, he was knocked down. So you must subtract a point there, which gives him 114, yet somehow take a point away from Kovalev who banked four rounds earlier and only needed two out of eight to get to 114. Really one when you consider the point loss by Ward from the knockdown. If you don’t like the word robbery, that’s fine. In my post-fight video I titled it a gift. Merry Christmas Andre Ward.
Michael Conlan vs. Vladimir Nikitin. This was an Olympic battle in which Conlan clearly outboxes the Russian in round one. All judges gave it to the Russian. So Conlan, realizing he was behind, pressed the action and decided to trade. He won using that style too. In the final round, Conlan mixed boxing as well as fighting and won that round too… or so it seemed. Conlan landed the cleaner shots against the Russian throughout the match. Nevertheless, the Russian was given the victory. Oddly, many thought the Russian lost his previous fight against a fighter from Thailand. The fix was in, ya think?
Maurice Hooker vs. Darleys Perez. The fight was scored a draw. However, Perez dominated this fight and judges Glenn Feldman and Robert Hoyle should be suspended. Especially Hoyle, with his 97-93 card for Hooker. Perez scored at will with crisp counters and gave Hooker a lesson in the sweet science. Andre Ward and Maurice Hooker are Roc Nation fighters. This was a Roc Nation card. I’m just saying…
Dusty Hernandez-Harrison vs. Mike Dallas, Jr. This fight was also scored a draw, but watching live I thought Dallas Jr won by at least four points. My card read something like 97-93 or 98-92 (lost my notes).
The seemingly faded Dallas Jr was chosen for Hernandez-Harrison just for that reason. He seemed to have seen better days.
Dallas Jr was in attack mode from the start. He was wheeling and dealing combinations to the head and body. He used angles and movement throughout and even dropped Hernandez-Harrison in the fifth. Dusty landed a low blow that dropped Dallas Jr in round eight, but Malik Waleed (known by some to cater to DMV fighters) ruled it a knockdown. Hernandez-Harrison had his moments in the fight, but was a prisoner to Dallas Jr’s hand speed, combos, and movement. He’s had chin issues in the past and I assume that’s what Barry Hunter (Dusty’s new trainer) were counting on. I was wondering to myself which round Dallas Jr would fade and be stopped in while watching. He not only didn’t fade, but he won this fight. Paul Wallace scored it 96-92 for Dallas Jr. Wayne Smith grossly scored it 95-95. Tammye Jenkins scored it 95-94 for Dusty.
I went to ask Tammye about her scorecard after the fight, but I tripped over her seeing-eye dog on my way over.
I notice that while the other two official’s names were typed in on the scorecards, Tammye’s name was written in. Tammye is a Washington, DC judge. Dusty is from Washington, DC. I’m just saying.
Dusty is a Roc Nation fighter. This was a Roc Nation card. I’m just saying.