2007 Round of the Year

Three minutes. To the the vast majority of us three minutes is an insignificant length of time. To a fighter inside the squared circle three minutes is an eternity. Careers can be launched or lost within those 180 seconds. Boxing provides a level of drama that simply cannot be replicated in any form or fashion and often times dramatic peaks and valleys fall within the span of one round. Below we pay homage to those critical three minutes by naming 2007 Round of the Year: Sean: James Kirkland-Allen Conyers Round 1 This was a close one. The first round of the Sakio Bika-Jaidon Codrington battle was also in consideration but when I thought about it I liked the finality that resulted in the Kirkland-Conyers battle. It was the classic battle of puncher verses puncher. Conyers left Kirkland tasting canvas first with a straight shot that put the Austin, TX native on his seat. Kirkland bounced up with a look of disbelief mixed with rage. You could sense that Kirkland looked to extract revenge from Conyers and that is exactly what happened. Kirkland pounced on Conyers and assaulted him with such a barrage that once he crumpled to the canvas. Conyers rose to beat the count but his legs appeared to be working independently of his mind. Conyers tried to run but found it useless with the cooked noodles that had replaced his legs. Eventually Kirkland caught up with his fleeing pray, and this time there would be no reprieve as Conyers was bludgeoned some more before the referee had seen enough. It was classic back and fourth drama with both men wounded and in the end, it was the fighter with the greater will that emerged victorious. Runner-up – Bika-Codrington Round 1 Tim: Sakio Bika-Jaidon Codrington, First Round The candidates here are plentiful. Round three of Israel Vasquez-Rafael Marquez II. The first round of Kelly Pavlik-Edison Miranda. Rounds two and four of Michael Katsidis-Graham Earl. The first and only round of James Kirland-Allen Conyers. But I’ll take the opening round of “The Contender” reality TV show series’ championship fight between super middleweights (168 lbs.) Sakio Bika and Jaidon Codrington. This was the moment “The Contender” grew up. As I wrote at the time: “Wow, I totally don’t think ‘The Contender’ sucks anymore.” I didn’t expect Bika to ever be in a watchable fight, and I didn’t expect much from any “Contender” fight in general, given the tendency the show had to disappoint me. That it was so unexpected made it all the more exciting. 15 drama points. Bika and Codrington both started slugging. 25 drama points. Bika dropped Codrington, which would’ve been worth 50 drama points, except everyone remembers Codrington’s first round KO at the hands of Allan Green, so it was multiplied by two while I wondered whether Codrington was doomed to re-live his worst moment. Making matters worse, Bika hit Codrington while he was down, which was worth a few villainous drama points in and of itself in the whole “Why in the world did the ref let him get away with that?” and 10 more points because of the extra wondering it caused about whether Codrington could recover from a deeper hole. And he did. And then, miraculously, with Bika swarming, Codrington hurt Bika and knocked him down, racking up 100 drama points and putting the round into the decuple-bonus, because as far as I can tell, Bika’s head is made of cinder block. Then I wondered if Bika could survive. He did, somehow, finishing up the round and landing a couple big shots himself with it having won 1,054,713 drama points. ESPN’s commentators lost their minds by calling it the best fight they’d ever seen, but it was, indeed, a doozy, and the first round set the tone. Runner-up? Vasquez-Marquez II, round three. It had some of the same back-and-forth dynamic of Bika-Codrington, but with a higher skill level. Vivek: Sakio Bika-Jaidon Codrington, First Round With many great moments in the sport to choose from in this department, I think I’d have to jump on Tim’s bandwagon in circling this one as the best round of the year. As  the days go by it’s probably becoming more and more obvious that my picks categorically lean towards scenarios that do more for the sport, or perhaps more for the masses as a whole and this particular round I think accomplished so much in that department.  Being an avid boxing aficionado meant nothing at one point, as I can honestly state that I rarely got too hyped about any of the contender episodes but this fight for me – and perhaps many others – was no doubt a ‘watershed’ moment. I can clearly remember the evening of this fight, being on the treadmill in the gym listening to an ipod while in the midst of a heavy jog while browsing at the television when the fight started. To this day, it still humors me that the people around me that evening probably thought I was some wanna-be fitness guru who couldn’t handle his workout because I literally went from a moderate walk, to a near sprint, to completely stepping off the treadmill, all in about 60 seconds as the heavy action literally grabbed me and put an end to any workout I had planned that evening. My immediate destination upon leaving the treadmill area was to secure a location close enough to see and hear the fight. It didn’t only start out that way, but the action would continue throughout the event, culminating into a moment that would put the show on a totally different plateau. It was everything a fight fan could ask for, and perhaps all this fight fan could ever want. Basically the kind of moment that ring greatness is made of.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.