In a year where we saw less than what we are accustomed to, the sport of boxing still was able to churn out a lot of great fights.
Two run-away winners of the fighter-of- the-year honors appear to be Tyson Fury and Teofimo Lopez. The Last Round will hand out its verdict sometime next week.But this early, we can already announce our KO of the year winner.
POVETKIN VS WHYTE. While some boxing writers have always declared the left hook to be the most dangerous punch in boxing, I have always been partial to the uppercut.
Its danger lies in its being unseen as it is a blow that comes from down low and travels in an upward trajectory. And because it is not within the normal line of sight, a fighter is often caught unawares when it lands.
The punches that hurt in boxing are not necessarily those that are thrown with the most torque behind them — instead it’s the ones that you do not see because you are unable to brace for their impact.
Ergo when it lands, it often registers with devastating damage especially when it lands in that sweet spot on that vulnerable, exposed chin.
That was the case when Alexander Povetkin (36-2, 25 KOs) faced off against Dillian Whyte in August of this year.
Entering the fight, Whyte was the defending interim, WBC champion but he would soon be separated both from that designation and from his consciousness.
Both Povetkin and Whyte are not super large heavyweights, but they both have strong, hale physiques and for the first three rounds, they violently exchanged jabs, hooks and ripping body shots.
In the 4th, Whyte clipped his Russian foe with a short, sneaky left hook which knocked him down. Povetkin didn’t look particularly hurt, and was able to get back up and commence hostilities.
But with about 10 seconds left, Whyte lands a left uppercut that Povekin never saw as he tried to press the former along the ropes and down he went again.
He was up immediately and looked more surprised than stunned but he did take a huge gasp of air as he headed towards his corner after the round ended. Perhaps he was contemplating how to do Whyte better.
And sure enough he did 30 seconds into the next round. Just as they came together, Povetkin pivoted with his left foot while Whyte was advancing, which gave him the perfect angle to throw a short, left uppercut from hell that landed on the point of Whyte’s chin.
The punch was so devastating that Whyte crashed down with his head sticking out from the bottom ropes. The ref pushed Povetkin briefly away, took one look at Whyte and didn’t even bother to count.
And that is why I am always more fearful of the uppercut and for this year, this punch registers our knockout of the year.
VERBATIM. “I am thinking of letting Amanda Nunes knock his ass out.” (www.cinemablend.com)--Dana White on Jake Paul’s challenge to Conor McGregor.
LAST ROUND. It’s on my eldest daughter, Julia Emmanuelle, and my kumpare Ditdit Gorne, who both recently celebrated their birthdays. Cheers!