Ted the Bull’s Boxing Awards for 2011

Fighter of the Year: Andre "S.O.G." Ward

"He’s very good defensively…I couldn’t get my shots off. I never found myself in the range…"—Carl Froch

Andre Ward (25-0) dominated both Arthur Abraham and Carl "The Cobra" Froch to win the inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic cup and in so doing demonstrated great offensive and defensive skills, albeit without shock and awe. The win over Froch unified the WBA and WBC super middleweight titles and also earned Ward The Ring Magazine belt. A Gold Medalist at the 2004 Olympics, he has not lost a fight since 1998.

Tied for second place are Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios and Hernan "Tyson" Marquez.

Brandon Rios (29-0-1) walked down Miguel Acosta in a thriller, rumbled with Urbano Antillon until he put him away in the third stanza, and then hammered out a TKO win against John Murray, turning the game but outgunned Brit’s face into gore. Bam Bam’s opponents this year had an impressive combined record of 87-6-2.

Flyweight Hernan Marquez (32-2) lived up to his nickname as he dispatched highly ranked Luis "El Nica" Concepción (twice) and in between TKOd Edwin "The Sting" Dapudong. Each win was for the WBA World d flyweight title.

2) Fight of the Year: Akira Yaegashi vs. Pornsawan "Terminator" Porpramook

Akira Yaegashi (Japan) and Pornsawan Porpramook (Thailand) put on one of the greatest fights since the 2006 classic between Somsak Sithchatchawal and Mahyar Monshipour. It’s interesting how Thai fighters seem to have a knack for engaging in such fights. Yaegashi (15-2) vs. Porpramook (23-4-1) took place on Oct. 24 in Tokyo and those fortunate enough to view the footage are still in a daze over what they saw. These two warriors arguably fought the greatest strawweight (minumweight) fight ever. As the fury built into the late rounds, the display of fast punching, hooks, counters, overhand rights, durability, and incredible stamina on the part of both fighters had the crowd in a frenzy. It was hard to beat the Wolak vs. Rodriquez draw and the Berto vs. Ortiz brawl, but these two men did just that.

Second place: Makoto Fuchigami vs. Koji Sato

A razor thin second place involved the back and forth drama that unfolded in the blood spattering brawl between Japanese middleweights Makoto Fuchigami and Koji Sato in Dec. It was another fight that flew under the radar but fortunately I caught it on video and will not soon forget what I witnessed. It featured wave after wave of crunching haymakers in a battle of will and attrition, and one of the most dramatic comebacks I have ever seen. It was almost a mirror image of Yaegashi and Porpramook.

3) Trainer of the Year: Robert Garcia

While Ann Wolfe showed the difference a trainer can make, Robert Garcia did great work with Mikey Garcia, Nonito Donaire, and Brandon Rios, among others, to get this year’s nod. He also has Kelly Pavlik under his wing which attests to the fact fighters are now seeking him out. Robert’s boxing academy has put Oxnard, California on the boxing map.

4) Round of the Year: Round One—James Kirkland vs. Alfredo Angulo

After Alfred Angulo decked James Kirkland with a solid counterpunch, he moved in for the kill. However, he punched himself out and The Mandingo Warrior took over and finally decked El Perro and positioned him for a subsequent stoppage. What set this one apart was that most fans expected fireworks from the get-go and their expectations were not only met but exceeded.

Second place for Round of the Year goes to round 8 of Makoto Fuchigami vs. Koji Sato, as savage a round as I have witnessed in over 20 years. It almost seemed like the blood was splattering through the monitor. This one is not for the faint of heart.

5) KO of the Year: Michael Grant over Frans Botha

"I knew I had the strength to knock him out in the 12th round."—Michael Grant

With just 37 seconds left, American Michael Grant stopped South Africa’s Frans Botha in the 12th round with a withering right cross that left the "White Buffalo" down and out for several minutes. Grant claimed the vacant WBF title and got himself back into the mix with this dramatic come-from-behind win.

Nonito Donaie’s near decapitation of Fernando Montiel in Feb. was a close second.

Lost in the intrigue of "Eyegate" and the jubilation of "Cottorama," Holly Holm’s knockout loss to Anne Sophie Mathis of France in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Dec. 2 was every bit as scary as Vonda Ward’s KO loss to Ann Wolfe several years ago. Again, it is not for the faint of heart.

6)Prospect of the Year: Darley Perez

Darley Perez (24-0 is a rare Colombian boxer/puncher who fights OUTSIDE of Colombia. The fast-rising Colombian is already rated by three of the top four sanctioning bodies, number five by the WBA while both the IBF and WBO have him ranked at number 12.

7)Best breakthrough Fighter of the Year: Tie-Ismayl Sillakh and Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell

I had no idea who he was when I first saw him, but there was an aura about him, a presence to this kid that the others lacked…He threw some crazy combinations with a fluid style that blew me away."—Manager Ivaylo Gotzev

Born in the Ukraine, Sillakh (17-0) fights out of Southern California. He is almost 6-foot-4, and possesses both speed and power. Given the technique and poise he has from his decorated amateur career, Sillakh is fast becoming the complete package. A road warrior who has duked in 10 different locations, he won the NABF light heavyweight title by beating highly touted Cuban Yordanis Despaigne in Florida and then won two by TKO in Russia.

Mitchell (24-0, 18 KOs) savagely disposed of Timur Ibragimov (30-4, 16 KOs) at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on Deecember10 to establish himself as an American heavyweight hopeful. He has gone 4-0 in 2011 with each win coming by way of KO (he has 9 KOs in a row). He is a rare crossover from football that has the goods.

8) Upset of the Year: Ishida over Kirkland

Nobuhiro Ishida’s KO over James Kirkland occurred just months after the Mandingo Warrior dropped Ann Wolfe as a trainer. It was one of the most shocking upsets in recent years as Ishida was 22-6-2 (KO 7) coming in and was known to be feather-fisted, but blasted out The Mandingo Warrior in the first round.

In a shocker, ninth ranked pound-for-pound fighter Giovanni Segura (28-2-1, 24 KOs) suffered his second professional defeat at the hands of Brian Viloria (30-3, 17KOs) by eighth round TKO. Segura came in the fight as a huge favorite as he challenged for the WBO world flyweight title. <p>9) Comeback of the Year: James Kirkland

After his shocking upset defeat at the hands of Nobuhiro Ishida in April, Kirkland came back just seven months later to upset Alfredo Angulo in equally shocking fashion. It’s odd to pick a comeback in the same year but this turnaround, with its subplots, was one made for the movies.

Erik Morales finished a close second as the old warrior showed he still had the skills to compete at the top level.

10) Best Breakthrough Commentator of the Year: Antonio Tarver

He is fan-friendly, articulate and knowledgeable and blends well with the rest of the Showtime Team.

11) Worse Decision of the Year: Erislandy Lara vs. Paul Williams

Enough said.

12) Easiest Pick of the Year: Worse Decision of the Year

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