In a year where he won the true middleweight championship and then brutally knocked out a top five pound for pound fighter, Sergio Martinez has been sweeping this year's fighter of the year awards. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
According to Zab Judah, his next bout will come against Kaizer Mabuza for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title. The location and date of the fight have yet to be determined, but the winner of the fight will probably get in line for an HBO fight against Amir Khan or the Bradley-Alexander winner.
Yesterday morning, Koki Kameda became Japan's first three weight class titlist, defeating Alexander Munoz by unanimous decision (115-111, 116-109 and 117-109). Koki's little brother Daiki also managed to retain his flyweight title, winning a seemingly controversial split decision against unknown Romanian Silvio Olteanu. The scores were 116-112 and 115-113 in favor of Kameda, with the third a whopping 118-110 in favor of Olteanu. Kameda was reportedly sluggish for the fight while Olteanu was the aggressor. Youngest brother Tomoki remained undefeated after beating an underqualified Thai opponent. While he's only 19 years old, he's already survived a tough test against EU titlist Stephane Jamoye, and may be ready for a title shot in the not too distant future if he decides to campaign at 122 rather than 118.
In what sounds like the last good fight of 2010, Hugo Cazares bolstered his reputation as a new action star in defeating Japanese fringe contender Hiroyuki Hisataka. While Hisataka was unaggressive and mostly counterpunching early, the fight turned into a brawl late, although at that point Cazares already had too many rounds in the bank. This makes for the third good fight by Cazares this year - his bout against Nobuo Nashiro was a great war and included my personal round of the year, while his fights against Albert Rossel and Hisataka were both fights he probably could have dominated on pure boxing skills, but chose to mix it up and keep true to his roots. 115 is already on the big side for him, but it would be interesting to see if Showtime might push a fight between Cazares and one of the bantamweights that the network has already been showcasing.
Only a day after it was reported that "La Heina" Jorge Barrios would not get charged in the hit-and-run death of a pregnant woman, Barrios is back in hot water again. Evidently, Barrios and his 17 year old son got into a fight which resulted in serious injuries to the son. At this point, charges remain pending.
The split decision victory by Marco Huck over Denis Lebedev has turned out to be even more controversial than we here at Bad Left Hook made it out to be. The WBO has already said that Lebedev will remain Huck's mandatory, and now has taken the somewhat unusual step of reviewing the decision. While it's almost impossible that the decision will be overturned, they could mandate an immediate rematch, rather than just keeping Lebedev the mandatory. Of particular note, Huck's stable mate and training partner Arthur Abraham has publicly railed against Huck, saying that Lebedev really won the fight.
Sports Illustrated included its list of the top boxing stories of the year, and Manny Pacquiao was listed at #1. Rounding out the top 5 were Floyd Mayweather's legal troubles, the return of stadium boxing, Sergio Martinez's breakout year and the dominance of the Klitschko brothers.
Down on his luck former IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (31-2, 25 Ko's) is reportedly kicking around the idea of fighting a tune-up before heading into his Super Six semifinal match against Andre Ward. Having lost twice in a row, it might not be a horrible idea to take an easy interim fight where he has very little risk of injury, but as with the author, I doubt any tune-up fight will help eliminate his glaring weaknesses that have been exposed in his last two fights.
Dan Rafael has started to come out with his year end awards, and like Bad Left Hook and Ring Magazine, Sergio Martinez was named the fighter of the year. Can't really disagree with most of Rafael's choices here, although Jean Pascal may have deserved a shout-out, despite his disappointing draw against Bernard Hopkins. Ring has been working on their awards too, although their Round of the Year was a bit befuddling. While the winner wasn't a huge surprise (Khan-Maidana round 10), the fact that Kessler-Froch round 12 and Cazares-Nashiro round 12 weren't even mentioned smacks of lazy journalism.