Quijano: 2021’s KO of the year

·3 min read

The year 2021 was quite a turbulent year, and all that chaos seemed to extend itself into the world of professional boxing.

You finally saw one of boxing’s greatest fighters ever get lured into a mockery of an exhibition fight. After all, it’s not too often you see Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight a YouTube sensation in Logan Paul.

As if that were not enough, Logan’s brother Jake was also able to secure a high profile professional match against a former MMA fighter in Ben Askren.

EXCITEMENT. But beyond the bizarre, the sport of boxing will always deliver when it comes to theatrics and excitement and 2021 was no exception when it came to knockouts.

Our award for Knockout of the Year has to go to Oscar Valdez’s 10th round KO of Miguel Berchelt.

Valdez was already leading on all scorecards having knocked down Berchelt twice, once in the fourth and once more in the ninth.

In the dying seconds of the tenth round, after suffering and soldiering through another terrible beating, the rapidly fading Berchelt waded in carelessly pawing at a backpedalling Valdez when the latter timed him perfectly by suddenly planting his feet and unleashing a counter left hook that landed flush on his mouth and nose.

The force of the punch was aided by Berchelt’s forward momentum and it landed with devastating impact. Berchelt was out before he hit the ground as he first knelt on one knee before crashing face first and bumping his head onto his right glove as he thereafter sprawled unconscious on the ring canvas with his left arm hanging limply on his side.

Thankfully, he recovered fully after a few minutes as the crowd cheered and applauded in relief.

A close second would be Gabe Rosado vs. Bektemir Mellikuziev. The younger Mellikuziev was heavily favored coming into the fight as he had built for himself a dangerous reputation of being a knockout artist despite having less than 10 fights to his name.

On the other hand, the 35-year-old Rosado with 14 losses on his resume was viewed as a journeyman who was supposed to provide nothing more than a good challenge.

True enough, in the first round, things went according to plan as Rosado suffered a knockdown after tasting Bektemir’s power. But in the third, the wily Rosado set up his opponent perfectly to register a Kayo of the year candidate.

As Rosado backed up into a corner he timed the bigger and stronger Bektemir coming in about to throw a left. Not unlike Manny Pacquiao’s knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez, Rosado uncorked a counter right hand which landed flush on Bektemir’s chin as the torque of the punch caused him to fall face down on the canvas.

Bektemir attempted to get up at the count of five but fell back down forcing the referee to call for the denouement of the fight.

Next week, we will feature our Fighter of the Year for 2021.

LAST ROUND. It’s on my Tio Boy, who recently celebrated his birthday. Here’s to many more. Cheers!

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