We have an absolutely stacked month here, quite possibly the best month of boxing since Bad Left Hook has started this feature. There are probably about five fights this month that don't even make it on the poll that would have been likely winners in some other months.
January - Timothy Bradley TD-10 Devon Alexander (30%)
February - Brandon Rios TKO-10 Miguel Acosta (59%)
March - (Tie) Roman Gonzalez UD-12 Chango Vargas / Andy Lee TKO-10 Craig McEwan (25%)
And the nominees for this month are...
Hernan "Tyson" Marquez TKO-11 Luis "El Nica" Concepcion - After a crazy first round in which both men were knocked down, this one turned into a war, with lots of ebb and flow in the early rounds. Whenever one fighter started to take control, the other would land a few powerful shots to get back in the fight. In the second half of the bout, Marquez started to wear down El Nica, eventually getting a controversial stoppage where the referee stepped in during the middle of a punch by Concepcion.
Marcos Maidana UD-12 Erik Morales - Since losing the third fight of his trilogy against Manny Pacquiao, common logic dictated that Morales was toast. For one night, the veteran warrior turned up the heat and pulled out one more great performance, albeit in a losing effory. Maidana was himself - unrelenting and powerful - but Morales used his craftiness to war back and make a nearly even fight, despite having a swollen eye for nearly the entire fight.
Victor Ortiz UD-12 Andre Berto - In his first fight at welterweight, Victor Ortiz proved that's probably where he should have been fighting all along. From the start, he came out aggressive, knocking down Berto in the first round and dominating the first two and a half. Berto showed some life by returning the favor in the third, and while he never fully recovered from getting hurt in the first, he continued to fight aggressively and exchange hard punches with Ortiz in the middle of the ring. While there were a few momentum shifts, Ortiz was mostly able to stay in control to become the new kid on the block at welterweight.
Orlando Salido TKO-8 Juan Manuel Lopez - Part of what makes Lopez so exciting to watch is his vulnerability, and unfortunately for him, that was on full display here, with the Puerto Rican earning his first career loss. Salido was able to draw Lopez into a brawl and consistently hurt him, eventually forcing a somewhat controversial stoppage that probably robbed Salido of a true knockout.
Francisco Leal SD-10 Robert Marroquin - This was supposed to be a major step up for prospect Marroquin, and it turned out to be an even sterner test than expected. While Marroquin was the better boxer, Leal wouldn't back down and fought hard and dirty, exchanging hard shots with his fists and causing some cuts and swelling with his head. Looking very beaten up, Marroquin didn't back down, and continued to brawl instead of box, which led to a very entertaining bout.
Stephen Smith MD-12 John Simpson - In 24 collective rounds, these two men have fought hard and nearly even, with Smith barely earning the victory both times. There was a lot of back and forth action, and both fighters stayed busy throughout. After appearing to run out of gas mid-fight, Smith was able to come back strong in the later rounds to nick the fight.
Adrian Hernandez TKO-11 Gilberto Keb Baas - I haven't caught this one yet, but it was another very strong fight, and I'll go with Scott's words here:
Baas held up with Hernandez in the early rounds, but eventually found himself on the receiving end of many hard right hands. Though Baas wouldn't go down or even so much as back off for more than a moment, the fight was stopped after 10 rounds, with an exhausted Baas conceding defeat to his stronger foe.
Honorable mentions: Darren Barker UD-12 Domenico Spada, Chris John UD-12 Daud Yordan, Luis Cruz UD-10 Martin Honorio, Lee Purdy TKO-5 Craig Watson, Vic Darchinyan TD-5 Yonnhy Perez, Omar Narvaez UD-12 Cesar Seda, Yota Sato UD-10 Kohei Kono, Nobuhiro Ishida TKO-1 James Kirkland, Jhonny Gonzalez TKO-4 Hozumi Hasegawa, Toshiaki Nishioka TKO-9 Mauricio Javier Munoz, Hank Lundy UD-10 Patrick Lopez.