January: Carlos Tamara TKO12 Brian Viloria (25%)
February: Antonio Escalante UD10 Mickey Roman (48%)
By this time the last few years, we've already seen our fight of the year, or at least a couple of strong contenders for it. While major fight season has started, there still hasn't been that skilled back and forth war, or that great fight between two big name fighters. This month, we do have one fight fitting that latter category - if you live in Japan - but a month that promised to deliver some good bouts on paper mostly left fight fans waiting for the next two months.
Vic Darchinyan UD12 Rodrigo Guerrero - Don't get me wrong, this was a one-sided beatdown, but it was an entertaining one-sided beatdown, at least in a "how the hell is he still standing?" kind of way. Unlike his usual self, Darchinyan actually boxed backwards for most of the fight, and Guerrero rarely took a backwards step the entire fight. Even though he was hopelessly outgunned, Guerrero showed a great display of will, never giving up and always throwing punches, even if they didn't have the power behind them that Darchinyan's did.
Martin Lindsay UD12 Jamie Arthur - In another fight that was entertaining even though it wasn't particularly close, Arthur moved forward most of the night behind a rain of punches, while Lindsay used his superior defense and accuracy to land the more telling punches all fight. What was especially impressive was that Arthur was not deterred, and actually tried to win the whole fight, despite the fact that he was knocked down twice in the second round.
Pongsaklek Wonjongkam UD12 Koki Kameda - The Thai Wonjongkam likely sealed his ticket to the hall of fame by turning back the clock and soundly defeating the upstart Kameda. While the fight wasn't a blowout, Pong remained in control throughout and wore down his younger foe with consistent punching and superior conditioning.
Andre Dirrell DQ10 Arthur Abraham - The first few rounds of this fight were exactly what people should have expected, as Dirrell outworked and outboxed the notoriously slow starting Abraham. However, after that, something funny happened - Dirrell kept outboxing Abraham, and never really stopped. Nobody had been able to crack this nut before, and while Abraham pretended that his nuts were cracked eight times, Dirrell was able to put on a satisfying performance, one fight removed from stinking out the joint against Carl Froch. Abraham seemed like he may have been coming on late, and Dirrell seemed to be slowing down, but Abraham knocked out Dirrell after a slip, depriving fight fans of what could have been an intriguing ending.
Marcos Maidana KO6 Victor Cayo - Maidana doesn't seem to have any button other than "on". Cayo tried to do his best to outbox Maidana from the outside, but he just didn't have the discipline to get it done. By the fourth round, the two were mixing it up, and a round later, Cayo was mixing it up inside with dangerous regularity. In the sixth round, Maidana took advantage, knocking out Cayo with a solar plexus shot that knocked the wind out of Cayo.
Others for consideration: Devon Alexander TKO8 Juan Urango, Lenny Zappa UD12 Fernando Angulo, John Duddy SD10 Michael Medina, Sechew Powell UD12 Deandre Latimore, Paul Smith UD12 Tony Dodson, Matthew Hatton UD12 Gianluca Branco, Anselmo Moreno SD12 Nehomar Cermeno