chavez-jr-maniac

2012 Boxing Awards Pu Pu Platter, Part II

Your Pu Pu Platter of boxing awards has arrived. So sorry it's late to your table. It's still 2012, so it remains warm to the touch. Please savor its many flavors.

In the first installment, that flavor was heavy and serious. In the second one, that flavor is mostly light and fluffy. Just add "of the year" to most every category below and devour 'em all. Feel free to send them back to the waiter, your blog host Tim Starks, if you'd prefer something else. (Due to time considerations, links to stories providing additional explanations for most of the winners will be inserted later.)

And don't forget to consume all the major category nominees and winners from the past weeks' awards blog entries, if you haven't yet.

Top Quote. The best quotes of 2012 come in a variety of forms: the catchphrase ("He glassed me!" — Dereck Chisora on David Haye after their news conference brawl when he was hit over the head by a bottle); the wise ("You ain't gotta prove your heart. You gotta prove you're smart." — trainer Naazim Richardson to Steve Cunningham during his fight with Tomasz Adamek); and the just plain odd ("It's ear-licking good!" — Mike Tyson on Evander Holyfield's barbecue sauce). But promoter Bob Arum gets the award for his inventive justification of Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. testing positive for marijuana: "There's no promoter in boxing who could pass the marijuana test, including myself."

Best Excuse. Usually this category is reserved for fighters who lost fights and are looking to explain it away, but this year we'll expand it to all excuses. One of the most popular categories of excuses was for failed drug tests. Erik Morales had contaminated meat; Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. had contaminated tea; Andre Berto had a contaminated supplement; Lamont Peterson had low testosterone. The winner comes down to a death match between Floyd Mayweather and Bob Arum. Arum said he wanted to make a fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, but simply couldn't figure out how to get in touch with Mayweather, hilarious in this connected age, let alone in an an age when phones exist and Arum is a Harvard graduate. Mayweather, meanwhile, tried to get sprung from jail by citing the "inhumane conditions" of only consuming 800 calories a day and being dehydrated, but was rejected because nobody was stopping him from drinking water or eating more than 800 calories. Mayweather FTW.

Worst Apology. Promoter Frank Maloney made some foolish remarks about Wladimir Klitschko being grateful for the death of his trainer Emanuel Steward because that meant he wouldn't have to give Steward 10 percent of his purse; Maloney apologized, apparently, in an online forum, but the forum remarks quickly disappeared and Maloney never apologized in any other forum. But even worse was Michael Koncz allegedly attacking a Getty Images photographer and apologizing for the "misunderstanding." Translated: "My attack on you was not my fault or yours and really just a kooky mix-up, heh heh."

Best Chuck Giampa Moment. There were so many great moments involving former boxing judge/Ring employee/ex-Showtime employee Chuck Giampa this year that he gets his own category. As wacky as it was for him to deem Adrien Broner the #5 fighter in the world at Ring, this video is the most inauspicious debut in sports broadcasting history. Giampa was a good boxing judge who could yet find a place in the boxing journalism world, but 2012 was a rocky year for him.

Most Damaging Post-Fight Interview. My oh my, did the post-fight interviews lead to boxers shooting themselves in the foot this year. The most damaging involved Juan Manuel Lopez accusing the referee who stopped his fight of having gambling interests in the outcome. The one-year suspension was unjust, especially after he apologized, but it made it the most damaging post-fight interview of the year. Also damaging: Lateef Kayode blaming his draw with Antonio Tarver on the fact that Tarver worked for Showtime (which produced a Top Quote of the Year contender, too: "I fuck he up!") and Prenice Brewer saying that NBC Sports commentator Freddie Roach was wrong to score a fight against him because Roach's fighter Manny Pacquiao was on steroids (according to Brewer, anyhow).

Least Racially-Aware Remark. Bob Arum (there he is again!) compared Floyd Mayweather to Joseph Goebbels, and said the University of Texas was racist for being skeptical about hosting a Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. fight, which continues his trend of playing the race card in every crazy direction available to him. Don King? He wins the award for referring to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks." He said he meant it as a compliment, so it's OK! Nah, it's not OK.

Worst Bid. At the price of $405,000, Top Rank outbid rival Golden Boy on a Vanes Martirosyan-Erislandy Lara fight that Top Rank's Bob Arum had earlier called "a joke," so, joke's on them, I guess. 50 Cent spent a reported $1.2 million to pry Yuriorkis Gamboa away from Top Rank, which was far too much, only to put Gamboa on a Top Rank undercard immediately afterward. But King is winning his second award in a row: He forked over $1.1 million for Chris Arreola-Bermane Stiverne, more than double the next highest bid.

Best Product. At the Adrien Broner-Antonio Demarco fight, Broner was selling "Broner brushes" at the merch stands for $20. They were otherwise ordinary brushes that you could buy for $4 on the Internet. For pure comedy of product name, though, the award has to go "VO Victor Ortiz By Face Lube."

Most Surreal Moment. Broner's brush had to win an award, still. If you can make it through this entire video, you have a better taste for surrealism than most.

Worst Drug Testing Snafu. Somehow, once-busted boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. escaped Texas after the Andy Lee fight without even a simple urine test. That's the winner, although Erik Morales being allowed to fight Danny Garcia in a New York rematch after multiple failed tests comes close.

Best Proof That Alphabet Gang Is Good For Boxing And Boxers. Was it one of the sanctioning outfits stripping Daniel Geale one month after he won a belt for not fighting Gennady Golovkin, who had been literally waiting for years to face the man who held it just before, Felix Sturm? Was it WBC boss Jose Sulaiman declaring that Juan Manuel Marquez-Manny Pacquiao IV was "without importance" because there was no belt on the line, or defending Floyd Mayweather during his domestic violence incident while suspending Dereck Chisora for brawling with David Haye at a news conference? Nah, it was one of the sanctioning outfits ordering Alexander Povetkin to face a shot Hasim Rahman, even though Rahman himself admitted he wasn't worthy of a title challenge. The alphabet gang helps some fighters some of the time, but overall they offset all their good with all their bad. P.S. This is a sarcastic award.

Boxer Who Made You Feel Most Like A Wimp. Professional boxers have a way of making ordinary people seem so much less brave, be it Michael Constantino entering a boxing ring despite being born with only one hand or Corrie Sanders dying while flinging himself in front of his daughter to defend her against a shooter. It almost feels cheap to give Sanders some little "boxing award" on the Internet for such an act, but it's just a small way of appreciating one man's sacrifice.

Worst Boxing-Related Music Video. Manuel Charr somehow had two music videos related to him. Both are somehow watchable. On the other hand, once you see Jared Shaw's music video, you can't unsee it. It's kinda funny, at least.

Worst Bait And Switch. It's clear that boxing has an excess of people who are, or who say they are, Genaro Garcia.

Most Fitting Tribute. Hector Camacho, while he lived, raised spectacle to new levels in the boxing ring. Naturally, there was a catfight at his wake. I honestly think Camacho would've approved of it.

Fussiest Fighter. Amir Khan tried to get Freddie Roach to drop Manny Pacquiao and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. as a condition for staying with the trainer. Mike Jones dropped promoter Russell Peltz despite all the good Peltz had done for his career, then wouldn't answer any phone calls. The winner, though, is James Kirkland, who has been an in-and-out-of-jail/turning-down-fights nightmare for his promoter Golden Boy and his trainer Ann Wolfe, and now is suing them.

Biggest Double Standard. Showtime will let boxers who test positive fight on their airwaves (Erik Morales), but won't let fighters who test positive commentate on their airwaves (Antonio Tarver). If it were up to me, they'd not allow either.

Most Crazed Look. To this day, I still have nightmares about this facial expression from Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., who's really hauling in the awards this year along with his promoter Bob Arum.

Best CSI/Boxing Moment. For as many inept investigations as there were of the Timothy Bradley-Manny Pacquiao fight, it's good to know that someone can conduct a productive boxing-related investigation. FBI agent Robert Schmitz solved a bank robbery case by grabbing a bloody cotton swab from a fight that had since-convincted Martin Tucker's DNA on it.

Unsigned Book Deal. When he's at his best, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated does terrific work. His piece on Bob Arum made me want to read a book by Arum sooner rather than later.

Most Delightfully Delusional Boxing Figures. There are certain mysteries that everyone watching a boxing match wonders about, and one of the biggest is, "Who are those three guys always standing behind most of the fighters we see on TV, and why are they there?" The answer is a truly fun read. And even though I'm making fun, I do appreciate the enthusiasm of the Watson fam.

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., where he is a staff writer for CQ Roll Call.

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