We're deep in the summer months here, and for the world of combat sports, these months are a bit of a dry spell with little in the way of major events going down. That means it's the perfect time to look back on the first half of 2013 and think about the year so far. Tim Burke has already bestowed a number of 2013 Half-Year MMA Awards, but I wanted to turn the attention to another corner of the combat sports world: boxing.
At the start of 2013, there was some concern about the upcoming year in boxing. As the Golden Boy vs. Top Rank feud heated up, it seemed more and more likely that the sport's top stars would be kept apart. This feeling only intensified when Showtime and HBO each aligned with one of the promoters, deepening the split. However, the impact of this split has not at all been what was expected. As both stations and companies have tried to win the war, they have turned out a series of fantastic fights and events, making the first half of 2013 one of the best stretches in recent boxing history.
Here then, we hand out some awards for the boxing highlights of 2013 so far. And we start with one that should appeal to most boxing fans - best KO.
And the nominees are...
Chad Dawson vs. Adonis Stevenson - June 8
This one is a no-brainer to include on the list. People knew Stevenson had power, and that if he got his hands on Dawson early it could mean trouble. But very few suspected the one punch destruction that followed. It took Stevenson just over 1 minute to land a beautiful shot that put the former champion down and out. It was a huge shot that changed the landscape of the division and immediately made Stevenson. That's a great KO.
Lucas Matthysse vs. Lamont Peterson - May 18
There was a lot of excitement for this one as it looked like it would be a close, even match-up. Nope. Matthysse just rolled over Peterson, taking him out in three rounds. Immediately, Matthysse became a big player, with talk of an upcoming Matthysse vs. Danny Garcia showdown. The fact that Garcia was at ringside to witness the destruction firsthand only made it better. Let's see if this fight gets made, because it really needs to.
Mikey Garcia vs. Juan Manuel Lopez - June 15
Garcia has quietly developed into a serious KO fighter, though he takes a more technical approach in place of the raw power of some of the others on this list. Here, he uses boxing and footwork to get himself in the proper position, then land the perfect punch to take out Juanma.
Gennady Golovkin vs. Matthew Macklin - June 29
Similar to Matthysse vs. Peterson, this was meant to be the big test for the power puncher Golovkin, but if it was a test, it was far too remedial for GGG. This fight was all Golovkin, as he used his power to stifle Macklin, then ended his night with a gorgeous uppercut, body shot KO combo. With this win, Golovkin became the uncrowned king at Middleweight, with a victory over Sergio Martinez being all that is needed to make his coronation official.
Gennady Golovkin vs. Nobuhiro Ishida - March 30
More from GGG. This is his unseen non-HBO fight from March, as he used some down time to crush Japan's Ishida. This wasn't as dramatic a KO as some of the others, as Ishida was never going to win this, but it makes up for the drama with pure brutality.
What's your pick? Vote now.