Boxing Awards for 2010

December 28, 2010

The World Boxing Council is tallying votes for the 2010 “Bests” in boxing, and your opinion is wanted. If you were unhappy with the outcome of the midterm elections, now is your chance to vote for the boxer, fight, and knockout of the year.

So, in the interests of transparency here are my quick picks for 2010:

Boxer of the Decade: Oscar De La Hoya

Manny Pacquiao ranks as a better fighter than Oscar De La Hoya, no question.  Not only does Pacquiao win nearly all of his big fights, but he does so against opponents typically larger than himself, and in a far more convincing fashion than De La Hoya.

But Oscar De La Hoya kept boxing alive after Mike Tyson drifted from stardom, as he essentially prevented a disinterested public from looking away from the ring.

Oscar sought and made the big fights happen, and sometimes won them. The guy not only brought in the casual male sports fan, but also legions of female admirers thanks to Hollywood looks that were a promoter's dream. Only De La Hoya could fight against Tito Trinidad and make it into a major event worthy of its “Fight of the Millenium” billing.

Manny will be remembered as the better fighter, but Oscar De La Hoya was the sport's brand.

Boxer of the Year: Manny Pacquiao

Massive Cowboys Stadium is quickly becoming the “The House that Manny Built,” as Pacquiao instantly has made Dallas the 2010 fight capital of the world with his two high profile wins against tough veterans Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito.

Pacquiao was so spectacular in those two lopsided victories that his fights have become "must see" affairs for the average sports fan, not just the typical boxing die-hard.  Manny Pacquiao isn’t just part of the main act, he is the event.

MOST DRAMATIC FIGHT : Christian Esquivel W12 Tshifhiwa Munyai, August 7, Mexico City

A strong case can be made for the Edwin Valero-Antonio Demarco fight, but after reviewing the tapes, the Esquivel-Munyai fight gets my vote. This classic war witnessed a seesaw 12th round with a great “go-for-broke” ending.

There is nothing worse than when a great fight concludes with the two fighters being more cautious in Round Twelve than they were in Round One. This bout, on the other hand, gave the fans all they wanted.

Knockout of the Year: Sergio Martinez KO2 Paul Williams, November 20, Atlantic City

There is no question on this one, Martinez’s hook was textbook against a big name opponent. This knockout made a statement, and only intensified the rivalry between the two men. Hopefully we will get a third installment.

Controversy of the Year: Abstain

Pugilism's real controversies often fall outside the ropes, rather than in them. The controversy of the year has to be the inability of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. to agree to fight each other for the mythical Pound for Pound title.

The fact that the two have not met damages the credibility of the sport more than any drama in the ring ever could. Boxing can survive bad decisions from its judges, but only when it also provides the quality fights fans want to see.

Our Fondest Memories of the Decade: Diego Corrales

Corrales was a class act whose two fights with Jose Luis Castillo were perhaps the best of the decade. I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing him before his death. Corrales was unique in his curious and inquisitive mind, similar to accounts of heavyweight great Gene Tunney.

If Corrales had not been a fighter, his intellect and personality would have made him a great ringside reporter. Boxing lost a true warrior with his untimely passing from a motorcycle crash on May 7, 2007.

By Joe Hammond
Contributing Writer for

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