I'll be the first to admit. I don't really follow boxing. I'm even hard-pressed to call myself a "casual fan", but really BadLeftHook is the ONLY boxing site I go to, and I love it.
yes I know my title lied, so what. you wanna fight about it
Everything from here until I say so is copy and pasted from BadLeftHook.com - HBO 1st, then Showtime
Five Best Fights
5. Mike Perez vs Magomed Abdusalamov (November 2)
I doubt anyone feels good about saying this was a good fight but to me that's worth remembering. I can understand not listing this in a best fights countdown, but I'd almost feel worse if I didn't credit them for their effort.
4. Brandon Rios vs Mike Alvarado (March 30)
Not as good as the first fight and not outstandingly special as a viewing experience, but a really good fight that saw Brandon Rios mostly neutralized by the more cautious and patient Alvarado.
3. James Kirkland vs Glen Tapia (December 7)
Kirkland's return quickly reminded us of the kind of fighter he can be. His latest comeback attempt could be his last, but he looked like good old James Kirkland in this one, overpowering a gritty young fighter.
2. Mike Alvarado vs Ruslan Provodnikov (October 19)
Maybe a spot or two higher than mots would have it, but I loved watching Provodnikov. He'd clearly scouted or his team had scouted the Rios rematch from March, as Alvarado promised to box more and stay outside, did so, and won. Then Ruslan didn't so much game plan against that as he did make up his mind to hurl himself, fists flying, toward Alvarado at all times, no matter what.
1. Timothy Bradley vs Ruslan Provodnikov (March 30)
Stiff competition from the other fights, but Bradley-Provodnikov was a thrilling and sometimes uncomfortable show of guts (mostly from Bradley) and determination (mostly Provodnikov). The fight was in doubt until the very end. Bradley did enough to nick it, and both men boosted their reputations.
Five Best Fights
5. Marcos Maidana vs Adrien Broner (December 14)
In the moment, the upset and atmosphere led to talk of this being a Fight of the Year contender, but it realistically fell short of that. On the one hand, much of the fight was ugly, chippy, and dirty. On the other hand, atmosphere should count when figuring the quality of a fight, and this fight had it in bulk.
4. Keith Thurman vs Diego Chaves (July 27)
It was an open question as to how legitimate an opponent Chaves would turn out to be once the bell actually rang and the paper records were out the window, but he performed to a pretty high level against Thurman, making the house prospect a little bit uncomfortable. We also learned that Thurman has a relaxed confidence in his game, as he made adjustments and took over, showing more boxing skills than he'd had to against guys like Jan Zaveck and Orlando Lora.
3. Marcos Maidana vs Josesito Lopez (June 8)
Not a lot to say about this one other than two guys came to fight their asses off, fought their asses off, and one of them was able to inflict more damage. That was Maidana.
2. Jesus Soto Karass vs Andre Berto (July 27)
A really fun fight, as is the recent Andre Berto tradition, which too often gets lost in continuing to bitch and moan and single him out as an example of boxing's broken system, as if it's Berto's fault that it's no longer 1957 and that for your sporting event to matter, it has to be televised, and considering boxing has basically no outlets other than HBO or Showtime for any fights that matter at all, Berto is on HBO and Showtime all the time, because, well, he just is. Yes, he was coddled and pushed too hard, but that complaint is now years old. He's a must-see fighter every time out because he fights hard and not terribly well. Soto Karass' mini-Cinderella story continued here before running into Thurman in December.
1. Omar Figueroa vs Nihito Arakawa (July 27)
I can't even get hung up on the fact that it was largely one-sided and a massacre. The way that Arakawa marched forward taking enormous amounts of punishment was nothing short of jaw-dropping.
End quote. I haven't seen all these fights, but I, and you, should definitely check them out.