• Steve Bunce

The boxing year so far

Steve Bunce August 19, 2014
Carl Froch's win over George Groves was a 'breathtaking event', says Steve Bunce © Getty Images

There was a time when the boxing season closed down and hibernated during the summer, but now it just slows down.

This is, in my opinion, the twelve most memorable 'rounds' of the year so far. Here's a warning: there are no rounds in my most memorable 'rounds' of the year.


Round 1

Kellie Maloney is the untouchable pound-for-pound boxing story of 2014.

As Frank Maloney he fought with boxing's greats like Jose Sulaiman and Don King to get justice for Lennox Lewis.

He stood alone as a man that had been involved at every level of the game - now, as Kellie, he is threatening a comeback!

Round 2

Carl Froch put an end to the argument and dropped George Groves with a perfect right cross on May 31 at Wembley Stadium in front of 80,000 people.

The build-up to the rematch was ugly and the fight was gripping until the sudden end. It generated in excess of £22 million.

Breathtaking event.

Gennady Golovkin continues to impress © Getty Images

Round 3

The rise and rise of the Soviet destroyers Gennady Golovkin and Sergei Kovalev.

They hold world titles at middleweight and light-heavyweight and they knock out their opponents and enjoy doing it.

Kovalev now has a partial unification with Bernard Hopkins in November; Golovkin remains invisible.

Round 4

Former British, Commonwealth and European light-middleweight champion Jamie Moore was shot three times by an intruder at a house in Marbella in July.

Moore is arguably the best British champion in 25 years never to fight for a world title.

He is recovering and will soon be back working in the gym with Matt Macklin.

Round 5

Floyd Mayweather made more than $50 million and he had to earn every cent when he met Argentina's Marcos Maidana in May.

It was, at times, a terrific fight and Maidana's complete lack of respect was refreshing. Floyd deservedly got the vote but at 37 he is slowing down.

Is the pack catching up?

Round 6

The headguards came off at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and it was bloody!

Paddy Barnes, the Belfast light-flyweight, was calculated, Antony Fowler moved close to his golden dreams of Olympic glory in Rio and it was left to a Scottish postman called Charlie Flynn to steal our hearts when he belted out the anthem.

Terence Crawford return to the States a hero © AP

Round 7

Terence Crawford won the WBO lightweight title in Glasgow in March and returned to Omaha, Nebraska, a home-town hero.

In the US that is a rarity. The top American fighters seldom do their stuff or make their money and reputations in their hometown.

In June, Crawford ruined Cuba's Yuriorkis Gamboa in Omaha. A star was born.

Round 8

In Newcastle, Paul Butler beat Stuart Hall in the latest all-British world title fight.

It was a daring and risky raid by Butler on the bantamweight division and Hall pushed him close. Butler relinquished the IBF title, moved back to super-flyweight and now Hall will fight unbeaten Randy Caballero for the vacant title.

Round 9

In July 2004, Danny Williams survived a fearsome first round to knock out Mike Tyson in Louisville, Kentucky. It was the end of Tyson as a force in heavyweight boxing.

In early August, Williams, having his 70th fight at 41, lost to a man making his debut. Williams really could have been a contender, a champion.

Round 10

Shannon 'The Cannon' Briggs is, as they say, a friend of the show and during the last six months he has done more to raise Wladimir Klitschko's profile than the Ukrainian's fists have managed in 65 fights. Briggs has confronted Klitschko at a gym, a press conference and in a restaurant.

It's been fun and it will end in a fight.

Round 11

Bermane Stiverne stopped Chris Arreola in one of the best heavyweight title fights for a decade.

The pair went toe-to-toe, all heart and guts in LA and the American fight public got an adrenaline-fuelled reminder of just how exciting heavyweights are meant to be.

There will be more, trust me.

Round 12

The Cubans decided to take part in the World Series of Boxing and easily became the champions of the odd event, where amateur boxers fight over five rounds and without vests.

The Cubans won $500,000 and only one of their boxers, Marcos Forestal, defected, which is a good return for the government.

Next week I look at what will happen in the rest of 2014. Adios.

Shannon Briggs is always good value © Getty Images
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Steve Bunce Close
Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.