Monday, January 5, 2009

Top Of The Heap

How often can you point to the best of anything?

The Best Movie. The Best Album. The Best Meal.

What criteria do you use?

Seeing how objective the concept of the best is, I was amazed at how clearly 2008 was the best year of boxing, I would argue, in the history of the sport. This isn't to say there haven't been bigger fighters or better fights but overall the amount of quality produced on every level is, for my money, unrivaled in any other year. Sports Illustrated loudly proclaimed 2008 as the best year for sports ever citing The Giants Super Bowl win and Phelps astounding Olympic achievement but failed to recognize the pugilist specialists who delivered one helluva show.

The standout fights:

18. Alfredo Angulo VS Richard Gutierrez
17. Bernard Hopkins VS Joe Calzaghe
16. Glen Johnson VS Chad Dawson
15. Juan Manuel Marquez VS Joel Casamayor
14. Brian Vera VS Andy Lee
13. Jorge Arce VS Rafael Concepcion
12. Carl Froch VS Jean Pascal
11. Amir Khan VS Michael Gomez
10. Chris Arreola VS Travis Walker
9. Martin Santiago VS Steve Luevano
8. Jose Reyes VS Ivan Valle (6 knockdowns in 4 rounds!)
7. Joel Casamayor VS Michael Katsidis
6. Miguel Cotto VS Antonio Margarito
5. Ricardo Torres VS Kendall Holt II
4. Steve Cunningham VS Tomasz Adamak
3. Rogers Mtagwa VS Tomas Villa
2. Manny Pacquiao VS Juan Manuel Marquez II
1. Israel Vasquez VS Rafael Marquez III

In addition to Hall of Fame showings in blowouts by Bernard Hopkins, Manny Pacquiao (in all likelihood retiring Oscar Delahoya) and Vic Darchinyan.

2009 is set to be a worthy followup but 2 years at that intensity would probably cause my heart to blow out of my chest...Here's hoping!

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