For the boxing fan, 2013 will not be easily forgotten.
From Timothy Bradley's survival against Ruslan Provodnikov in March to Marcos Maidana's domination of Adrien Broner in December, the year was full of upsets, shocking results and a full list of potential Fighter and Fight of the Year candidates.
The upcoming year will have a lot to live up to, but before the New Year arrives, here is our look at some of the top awards:
FIGHTER OF THE YEAR
Timothy Bradley -- Bradley's 2012 ended in controversy after his highly disputed split decision victory over Manny Pacquiao.
How he got through 2013 with the WBO welterweight title is one of the year's greatest mysteries.
In March, he survived a back-and-forth, brutal clash with Provodnikov. Bradley was on the canvas twice, although only one counted for a knockdown, and in his words fought the majority of the fight with a concussion. He escaped with a narrow unanimous decision victory. In October, he squared off against Juan Manuel Marquez and managed a split-decision victory.
For his mettle shown in his two fights, Bradley gets the nod as Fighter of the Year.
Others worth mentioning: Floyd Mayweather Jr., Danny Garcia, Adonis Stevenson, Sergey Kovalev, Gennady Golovkin, Mikey Garcia and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
FIGHT OF THE YEAR
Bradley UD Provodnikov -- It wasn't long into this fight for Bradley to know about Provodnikov. In the first round, Provodnikov stunned Bradley, sending him to the canvas, but fortunately for Bradley, referee Pat Russell didn't rule it a knockdown. In the second round, Provodnikov again had Bradley in trouble, backing him against the ropes and pummeling him with shots. Bradley survived both rounds and started to find his footing. That was until the 12th, when Provodnikov again caught up to him and scored a knockdown. In the end, Bradley escaped with a 115-112, 114-113, 114-113 victory.
TRAINER OF THE YEAR
Robert Garcia -- With a stable as deep as Garcia's, there will be some losses along the way. Brandon Rios went 0-2 in 2013 and Nonito Donaire suffered his first professional defeat, a lopsided loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux. Garcia had some impressive moments. Evgeny Gradovich went from a virtual unknown to IBF featherweight champion. Mikey Garcia, the younger brother of Robert, opened the year defeating Orlando Salido for the WBO featherweight title and after defeating Juan Manuel Marquez, he won the WBO super-featherweight title, defeating Roman Martinez. Garcia capped his year, leading Marcos Maidana to the upset victory over Adrien Broner. Garcia's work with Maidana during their brief partnership has transformed the slugging Maidana into an improved, smart, balanced fighter.
UPSET OF THE YEAR
Maidana UD Broner -- Maidana went into the fight as the underdog against the young, brash Broner. Maidana, who had failed in his previous big fights, wasn't going to be denied this time. He knocked down Broner in the second and eighth rounds. Broner was never able to get on track as Maidana outworked him for the unanimous decision victory.
PROSPECT OF THE YEAR
Errol Spence -- 2013 saw an impressive group of rising prospects burst on the scene. Felix Verdejo, Oscar Molina, Jose Ramirez, Vasyl Lomachenko, Spence and Joseph Diaz Jr. all appear to have the makings of future world champions. This pick here goes to Spence. He might not be on the verge of fighting for a title, like Lomachenko is, but another year of seasoning could have him making a lot of noise toward the end of 2014.
(c)2013 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)
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