By David Martinez / Boxing Historian
I have assembled my personal choices in boxing for THE BEST OF 2009 in the major categories, which are:
FIGHTER OF THE YEAR:
Manny Pacquiao, who won his two “super” fights in 2009, Ricky Hatton (May 2) and Miguel Cotto (Nov 14). Pacquiao was my pick last year and no different this year and by far boxings best “pound for pound” boxer.
FIGHT OF THE YEAR:
Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Juan Diaz (Feb 28) WBA / WBO Lightweight Championship. The fight was anybody’s heading into the ninth round, with one scorecard even and each fighter by two points on one of the others, before Marquez wins by knockout in that round.
ROUND OF THE YEAR:
Bernard Dunne vs. Ricardo Cordoba (March 21) WBA Super Bantamweight Championship. After being down twice earlier in bout and behind on all scorecards in a slugfest, Dunne knocks down Cardoba three times in the eleventh round to win by TKO.
KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR:
Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton (May 2). Paquiao wins by a “spectacular” knockout in second round, Hatton was literally out before his head hit the canvas.
FIGHTER COMBACK OF THE YEAR:
Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (Sept 19). After being retired for almost twenty two months, Mayweather wins every round, but one, to win a lopsided 12 round decision.
FIGHTER PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR:
Andre Ward vs. Mikkel Kessler (Nov 21) WBA Super Middleweight Championship. Ward is flawless against the more experienced and favored Kessler. The fight was stopped in round eleven due to cut on Kessler’s face caused by a unintentional head butt. Ward was far ahead on all scorecards at the time of stoppage … wins title on a technical decision, round eleven.
FIGHT OF THE DECADE:
Jose Luis Castillo vs. Diego Corrales (May 7, 2005) WBC / WBO Lightweight Championship. Non-stop action throughout, Corrales down twice in round ten and apparently out, comes back dramatically to win by knockout … in a fight that ranks as one of the greatest in the history of boxing.