The top ten knockouts from 2012

Randall Bailey vs Mike Jones - Kevork Djansezian

Although there's still well over a month to go in 2012, you'll be hard pressed to find knockouts any better than these for the rest of the year. The guy telling you this has probably already watched over 2000 fights from 2012 alone. From the ~2000 around ~50 highlight reel KOs were spotted. From the ~50 a video of the best 33 was made. From the 33 a top 10 was chosen. Check out all 33 below, with the top 10 rated in order.

Compilation video of 33 of the best knockouts from 2012

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If Bad Left Hook recaps already exist of the fights I list below they will be linked to and I probably won't write anything about them here. All the recaps were done by either Scott Christ or me. If a Bad Left Hook recap doesn't exist for a fight inside the top 15 I whip one right up on the spot. Fortunately I managed to find prior recaps of 9 of the 10 fights I have in the top 10...

What? Are you suggesting I manipulated my top 10 list just so I didn't have to write about the fights in it? Outlandish! I would never do such a thing...

...But in the event that I did, I assure you that I've spent hours debating back and forth which knockout should be rated where. When KOs are this good, picking and choosing is beyond subjective. Ultimately this is just one arbitrary man's opinion on the best knockouts he's seen from this year. I encourage you to disagree or even suggest additional knockouts not listed. I eventually plan to make a 2nd edition of my compilation video anyways. After all, with Takashi Uchiyama scheduled to fight again on the last day of the year, how can anything be set in stone?

For the fights not listed in the top 10 they will be ordered by date. Time locations in the above video and country locations of the fight will also be listed. Knockouts were chosen from a dozen countries.

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18 Great KOs that didn't make the list:

2012-01-12 Saul Rodriguez KO1 Henry Hernandez [0:00:00] (USA)

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2012-02-04 Alejandro Perez KO8 Derrick Wilson [0:03:19] (USA)

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2012-02-24 Rocky Jerkic KO1 Dinesh Kanth [0:07:50] (Australia)

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2012-03-02 Joan Guzman KO8 Jesus Pabon [0:09:27] (USA)

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2012-04-14 Terence Crawford KO5 Andre Gorges [0:13:39] (USA)

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2012-04-14 Anthony Flores KO1 Gabriel Medina [0:15:31] (USA)

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2012-04-14 Todd Unthank-May KO1 Ronnie Lawrence [0:18:38] (USA)

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2012-05-19 David Price KO4 Sam Sexton [0:24:27] (UK)

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2012-06-01 Cristian Morales KO4 Victor Segura [0:27:19] (Spain)

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2012-06-23 Trevor Bryan KO1 Hector Hodge [0:33:37] (USA)

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2012-07-07 Javier Torres KO1 Francisco Diaz [0:38:03] (USA)

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2012-07-28 Cletus Seldin vs Jonathan Garcia [0:39:54] (USA)

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2012-08-11 Antonio Escalante KO2 Leonilo Miranda [0:40:49] (USA)

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2012-10-06 Javier Nicolas Chacon KO1 Sebastian Eladio Ferreyra [0:44:59] (Argentina)

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2012-10-19 Oliver Tchinda KO2 Guzman Castillo [0:49:31] (Spain)

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2012-10-20 Eddie Gomez KO2 Saul Benitez [0:50:10] (USA)

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2012-10-20 Daniel Jacobs KO1 Josh Luteran [0:51:00] (USA)

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2012-10-20 Danny Garcia KO4 Erik Morales [0:56:40] (USA)

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via www4.pictures.zimbio.com

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5 KOs that nearly made the list:

2012-04-13 Armando Torres KO2 Ernesto Leon [0:12:55] (Mexico)

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Firstly I'd just like to say that there's absolutely no truth to the rumor that this list was initially titled "5 KOs that were conveniently removed from the top 10." Have a little faith, jeez. I substituted maybe 2 at best...

...Moving on, Torres dropped Leon in round 1 with an overhand right / right uppercut combination. In round 2, after feinting with his jab, Torres brought an overhand right behind it that Leon never saw coming. Leon's body fell limp into and then under the ropes. It sounds sadistic to say this but I wish LATV (the network that televised) showed replays from multiple angles and at slower speeds. Sometimes it's hard to tell how truly devastating a KO was from the original view. And the angle LATV gave certainly wasn't the best. Nonetheless, you could tell this was one of the very best KOs of the year regardless.

2012-05-05 Demetrius Andrade KO1 Rudy Cisneros [0:19:37] (USA)

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On a special Saturday edition of ESPN's Friday Night Fights 2008 Olympian and undefeated prospect Andrade easily increased his professional winning streak to 17, 12 by way of KO. Andrade had his way with the overmatched Cisneros through 2 minutes and 59 seconds of the first and only round. Then right before the bell Andrade took Cisneros out with a right and left hook that landed while Cisneros was off balance after reaching and falling short with his right hand. You can see that Cisneros was effectively knocked silly if you look at his face. The referee started to count but stopped midway through and waved it off. Cisneros wouldn't have been able to continue if he counted to 100.

2012-06-15 Felix Lora KO4 Massimiliano Ballisai [0:30:50] (Italy)

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Lora, born in the Dominican Republic and relocated to Spain, sported a modest record of 14-9-5 before challenging undefeated Italian prospect Ballisai for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental lightweight title. Lora was merely expected to be victory number 16 and early on it appeared to be going that way. But then things got really interesting and the crowd was left with a good fight and an unforgettable ending.

Lora was given a standing 8 count at the end of the 1st round after a right hook to the temple stole his equilibrium. Both fighters landed effective rights in the 2nd and buckled each other. In the 3rd both fighters continued to trade bombs but Lora was the clear aggressor and was doing the better body work. Those body shots continued to serve Lora well in the 4th as he landed one on each side and opened Ballisai up for the game changer to the head.

A crisp left hook caught Ballisai on the chin and rocked him upwards before collapsing and landing butt first. To his credit he actually managed to get back to his feet before the referee reached 10, but had no legs whatsoever. As soon as Ballisai was up he stumbled from one side of the ring to the other and had to grab on to the ropes to keep from falling again. The slow motion, multi-angle replays Sportitalia showed on this KO really enhanced the experience.

2012-09-14 Radivoje Kalajdzic KO1 Shannon Anderson [0:43:10] (USA)

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Telemundo showed highlights of this KO during their telecast of Omar Soto-Glenn Donaire. The punch itself (a straight right hand to be specific) didn't appear all that spectacular but the result was brutal. Anderson fell to his right side like a tree that was chopped down. There was even enough time to yell "timber" while we went down too...not that anyone could possibly be so insensitive. Nonetheless Anderson was laid out in a planked position, face down, motionless. Kalajdzic is light heavyweight prospect to watch.

2012-09-29 Alejandro Gonzalez Jr KO1 Alvaro Calderon [0:43:38] (Mexico)

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I don't have much to say about this other than you need to watch it. Gonzalez finished Calderon with a clean, highlight reel, knockout of the year candidate left hook just 30 seconds into the bout. The way Gonzalez's head snapped and body collapsed cannot appropriately be summed up in words. Perhaps what I found most interestingly however was the fact that the referee actually counted all the way to 10 as Gonzalez laid flat out on the canvas, motionless besides his breathing.

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Top 10 Countdown:

10. Randall Bailey KO11 Mike Jones [0:27:57] (USA)

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When the KO King himself barely makes the top 10 you know this has to be a sick list. This isn't just a brutal, bloody knockout. It's special because it was the last sensational KO the late, great Emanuel Steward ever called for HBO.

09. Jose Castro KO1 Carlos Acevedo [0:59:40] (Puerto Rico)

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Although only 1 round long I nominate this as the most fun fight of the card. Both fighters were dropped and Acevedo was finished off in highlight reel fashion. A thumping right hook followed by an even better left uppercut put Castro down first but he was soon up and nearly immediately dropped Acevedo with an overhand right. After Acevedo beat the count the two exchanged on fairly even terms until a wide left hook caught Acevedo above and outside of his right eye and took him out for good. Acevedo dropped like a sack of bricks and appeared cross eyed on the canvas. Fortunately he later recovered.

08. Shinsuke Yamanaka KO7 Tomas Rojas [1:03:12] (Japan)

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WBC open scoring reported 39-37, 39-37 (both for Yamanaka), and 38-38 after 4 rounds which I felt was a fairly accurate account of the fight. Through 4 rounds it was a chess match that was still in the feeling out stages. A few home runs were thrown, but they didn't land clean. This was no longer true for either fighter in round 5 although both still took the punches well. And that was no longer true for Rojas in the 6th when Yamanaka buckled his knees with a straight left. It took Yamanaka less than a minute to finish the job in round 7 as he stunned Rojas again with something between a straight and an overhand and terminated him with something between an overhand and a hook.

07. Adonis Stevenson KO1 Jesus Gonzales [0:05:16] (Canada)

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This KO is special in that Emanuel Steward worked Stevenson's corner. You may not be able to spot Steward in the short video clip above but you will surely find him in the longer video at the beginning of the article.

06. Anthony Prescott KO2 DeAndre Phillips [0:38:51] (USA)

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The opening round of the evening was contested between two prospects making their pro debuts. Action moved at slow pace and both fighters looked relatively dry. Phillips appeared very gun shy and was on the defensive for most of the round. Prescott pressed the action and found a home for his over hand right. The same punch would stagger Phillips against the ropes in round 2, where he was knocked out cold by a follow up right hand. Prescott might have needed the last right hand to get the KO, but Phillips was on his way down regardless before it landed.

05. David Lemieux KO1 Alvaro Gaona [0:46:58] (Canada)

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David Lemieux improved to 27-2 (26 KO) with a scary first round knockout of Alvaro Gaona (11-2, 7 KO). Gaona had some minor success for the first couple minutes, as Lemieux was squared up, sloppy on defense, and throwing nothing but bombs. But then a short, stiff right hand put Gaona on his backside, and when he came back up, Lemieux went for the finish, and got it on a thunderous left hook.

Gaona was out as soon as it landed, as his legs went out from under him and he fell limply to the canvas, where his head thudded off the mat. He was out bad for a little bit, but came around and left under his own power. It was a sickening KO.

04. Shane Cameron KO4 Monte Barrett [0:35:29] (New Zealand)

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Cameron (29-2, 22 KO) seemed to have the 41-year-old Barrett scouted pretty well, as he rather easily avoided Barrett's lone good punch -- an overhand right -- through most of the first three rounds, and took advantage of Barrett leaving his left hand at his side too often, scoring with a few decent right hands. But there wasn't a ton between them through those three rounds, and judges at that point had it 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28 for the New Zealand fighter.

Then just after the opening bell of the fourth round, both loaded up with right hands. Shane Cameron's got there first, smashing Barrett (35-10-2, 20 KO) right in the face and putting him on the canvas. It was clear right away that "2 Gunz" wouldn't be getting up from the blow, and Cameron began a celebration.

Barrett stayed down for a while, but was able to get up. It was briefly a fairly scary moment, but he was responding and the medics were right on top of things after the KO.

03. Mikkel Kessler KO4 Allan Green [0:21:31] (Denmark)

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Green (31-4, 21 KO) looked sharp early, but that may have been a mirage largely created by Kessler leaving his left hand perilously low in the first round, allowing Green a chance to nail him with good right hands. Once Kessler tightened up the defense in round two, it became a pretty one-sided affair, and Green looked constantly unsure of what to do with himself.

It was Kessler's left hook that became the weapon of choice, as he landed a few good ones before finally creaming Green with the knockout blow early in the fourth round. I'd say it must have been a bitter disappointment for Green, and I'm sure that it was, but for the rest of us who are not Allan Green, it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. He looks more and more like a fighter who was thought to have a chance, failed when crunch time came along, and now is just a rather ordinary fighter. He never did put it all together, and at this point, clearly never is going to do so.

02. Garrett Wilson KO12 Andres Taylor [0:17:39] (USA)

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In a 12 round bout that began and ended with knockdowns, Wilson dropped Taylor with a left hook for the first time in the opening round and put him away for good with another in the final round. The first hook caught Taylor behind the ear and threw off his equilibrium, causing him to touch the canvas with one glove in order to remain on his feet. Although Wilson's corner screamed at him to finish the job right away, he must have sensed Taylor had a lot left to offer and actually spent most of the next 40 seconds retreating. But that's often a part of Wilson's style, waiting for opponents to make a mistake rather than forcing them to make one. As soon as Wilson threw another hook he sent Taylor reeling even though it merely landed on his shoulder. But after that Taylor regained his coordination and easily survived the round.

But despite the great start, the fight was potentially slipping away going into round 11. Thus...

Wilson came out for the 11th refocused. He lulled Taylor into a false sense of security then struck just as the round was about to end with barrage of hooks that sent Taylor crashing to the canvas. Taylor was so out of it he fell again after his first attempt to get up. Luckily for Taylor the bell rang before he even got up, so once the referee found him fit to continue the round was over. Interestingly Wilson took most of the 12th and final round off. But sure enough with only 10 seconds to go in the fight Wilson's jab found Taylor's chin and the left hook followed to separate him from his senses.

01. Lucas German Priori KO3 Pehuen Roberto Correa [0:01:45] (Argentina)

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It didn't take long for 2012 to produce the knockout of the year when just 2 weeks into it, on January 13th, Priori annihilated Correa in the 3rd round. This was the pro debut for both fighters and it was Priori who first tasted the canvas in round 2. It was clear that both fighters were going for the KO from the opening round and neither showed a decisive advantage. Early in round 2 they traded hooks which culminated in Priori touching down with both gloves and 1 knee. Priori complained that it was a slip but a punch did land, sort of. Priori led with a right hook and followed with a left while Correa did the exact opposite and landed inside Correa's wide shots. Priori effectively swung himself off balance and Correa probably didn't even have to hit him that hard to drop him. Upon viewing the slow motion replay you can see that the punch that dropped Priori merely grazed him.

After the referee administered an 8 count for Priori, Correa jumped on him immediately in hopes that he was ready to go. Correa was not so lucky. The 2 young prospects waged war on each other and Correa took the worst of it, losing his mouthpiece in the process. Correa, out gunned, wisely resorted to holding and picking his shots to stay competitive in the remainder of the round (which he still clearly deserved to win).

And then there was round 3, well, all 21 seconds of it. Ultimately Priori missed with a hellacious uppercut then followed it up with a short left hook that Correa never saw coming. Not only did this shot put Correa to sleep, not only did it snap his head up and around, but it actually spun his entire body over 180 degrees before crashing to the canvas. He was knocked out cold and I loved it so much I've replayed it well over 50 times.

If loving to see a man get knocked out is wrong, I just don't want to be right. I knew back in January this would still be the knockout of the year when it was all said and done, and I haven't changed my mind yet. Thank you, Priori. You inspired me to keep track of all the wonderful knockouts this year. Your career hasn't been so impressive since but I wish you all the best and I'll keep watching you on TyC Sports regardless.

Ryan Bivins is a staff writer for BadLeftHook. You can contact him on twitter (@sweetboxing) or through email (rgbivins@gmail.com).

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