2011 saw a number of absolutely terrific boxing matches. There was everything for the avid boxing fan- underdogs, oldies making a comeback, controversy and some regular decent brawls. As the end 2012 draws ever so closer here’s a recap of the fights which made 2011 great and a measuring stick for our list for 2012 coming soon:
One of the best matches last year was Maidana vs. Morales. Everyone had assumed that Morales had burnt out. No one believed that he even had a slight chance to win the match against Maidana. Honestly, if you had seen the first round, you would have agreed. But the thing about great boxers is this- they come to fight. The aging Morales did just that. It didn’t matter that he could only see properly through one eye. For the next eleven rounds, the Argentine slugger Maidana had a battle on his hands. Eventually, Morales did lose. In doing so, however, he proved to the world and his new found fans that he still has a few good fights left in him.
Another great match was that of Sturm vs. Macklin. Matthew Macklin and Felix Strum exceeded all exceptions when they put on a fight that will be remembered for years. Granted, this will always be a controversial match. Critics say that Felix Strum won the match because it was fought on German soil and so the judges were biased. The result is really irrelevant. Fans were treated to a great match where these two fighters went toe to toe delivering more uppercuts and right hooks than were possibly imagined! While Macklin started off stronger, Strum managed to dig down deep and throw some amazing punches.
Who can forget Donaire vs. Montiel. Nonito Donaire is a severely underrated fighter, with more praise being showered on fellow Filipono Pacquiao. Pound for pound though, Donaire is one of the best fighters in the world. He proved this in exquisite fashion against Montiel. Montiel and Donaire had been considered equals before the match. Critics had to revise their opinions when Montiel was knocked down to the ground in the beginning of the second round. And in one fell swoop, Donaire won by TKO.
Berto vs. Ortiz is one for the history books. According to most fans, Ortiz was a disappointment. In the past, he had been hailed as the heir of De La Hoya. Incidentally, this was his first fight as a welter-weight, a category he was more suited for anyway. Surprisingly, Ortiz went roaring from the opening bell itself, astounding the audience. He systematically dismantled the till then unbeaten Berto. In the process, he lived up to the hype for one night and became the WBC welterweight champion.
Wrapping up the lot is Pascal vs Hopkins II . The odds were stacked against Hopkins. At 46, he was a dinosaur, up against the best light heavyweight fighter in the world, Pascal. This match was more psychological warfare and less about brawn. Hopkins even started taunting Pascal by performing push ups during the changeover. And he did not disappoint. He became the oldest man to win the championship belt by defeating an opponent who was almost two decades younger than him. Truly a match for the history books!