LAS VEGAS, NEV. -- Boxing fans from around the world avoided falling off the Fistical Cliff by doing their civic duty.
Fans were invited to vote for their favorite nominees in the 2012 Top Rank Facebook poll ( www.facebook.com/trboxing ) and boy did they respond. The categories were Fighter of the Year, Fight of the Year and Round of the Year.
FIGHTER OF THE YEAR: NONITO DONAIRE
In a breakout year for the Filipino Flash, Donaire (31-1, 30 KOs) extended his 11-year winning streak to 30 bouts by winning all four of his junior featherweight world title fights. On February 4, Donaire captured the vacant WBO 122-pound title, winning a gritty split-decision battle over former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. He unified the title on July 7, winning a dominant unanimous decision over defending IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula. He followed that with another legacy-making victory, a ninth-round stoppage of WBC Diamond Belt super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka, on October 16, ending Nishioka’s eight-year, 16-bout winning streak. He finished the year with a spectacular third-round knockout victory of Méxican icon Jorge Arce on December 15. And he did it while voluntarily making himself available for random blood and urine testing everyday of the year.
FIGHT OF THE YEAR: PACQUIAO vs. MÁRQUEZ 4
This was the eagerly-anticipated Act 4 of their fistoric rivalry where both gladiators promised a definitive conclusion -- and they delivered. Going mano a mano and toe-to-toe, their fight produced non-stop fireworks and drama for as long as it lasted. The world held its breath as Pacquiao, the Fighter of the Decade, and Márquez, arguably the greatest Méxican fighter of his era, threw every weapon they possessed at each other. And while the fight did produce a definitive ending it also left its fans hungry for yet another encore.
ROUND OF THE YEAR: PACQUIAO vs. MÁRQUEZ 4 - ROUND 5
Pacquiao had been knocked down in the third round -- the first time he had ever hit the canvas in their series -- and he returned the favor knocking Márquez down in this round. After that it was all out war which each of them launching and landing bombs in the most action-packed round of the 42 they have fought.
Top Rank would like to thank everyone who participated and wish you a happy and healthy New Year. We cannot wait to see what 2013 brings us!