When I first saw the stories and blogs this morning suggesting Danny Garcia as a fighter of the year candidate, I scoffed. Really? He just beat a fighter who has been shot for years, and beat an Amir Khan that was coming off a loss. That was my initial reaction.
Morales has long been a shot fighter and was coming into the fight with a 4-5 record since September of 2005. His world title was the one stripped from Timothy Bradley, and his best fight since 2005 was a loss to Marcos Maidana. Khan was coming off a loss to Lamont Peterson and has two losses in a row. Yes, Khan is a legitimate star in the sport and a great champion. I just wish he didn’t back up the victory with another fight against Morales, but someone who is a little hotter. That’s not Garcia’s fault as there was a rematch clause.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think highly of Danny Garcia. No fighter has come as far as he has in 2012 and he is definitely the breakout star in boxing. And the knockout of Khan was very impressive and a strong candidate for upset of the year.
But then you have to look at the other candidates for fighter of the year. It’s not very deep, and no obvious leading candidate in my eyes.
Brandon Rios beat Mike Alvarado in the leading fight of the year candidate. But was unimpressive and booed in April in his win over Richard Abril, where he failed to make weight.
Sergio Martinez has a very dominant performance for 11 rounds against Julio Cesar Chavez in the best pay-per-view fight of the year. He also had a rugged victory over Matthew Macklin. But the last round against Chavez, you felt like Martinez was lucky to get through that round.
Nonito Donaire has continued to dominate with three big victories in his first year in the super bantamweight division, winning two world titles.
Andre Ward only had one fight this year, but he dominated light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. Still, he’s just not active enough for consideration.
Canelo Alvarez? Please. He needs to fight better competition.
There’s still two-and-a-half months to go to see if someone can win it. Garcia is not in the driver’s seat, but he is in the mix.
And hopefully Garcia will start his year off with a bang and take on the highly respected and dangerous Lucas Matthysse, which could be a fight of the year candidate.