Sick of the drip-drip-drip of year end boxing awards yet? Hard to blame you, hard to blame you. So we’ll bring out two enormous platters to conclude our 2014 awards.
In the first installment, that flavor was heavy and serious. In the second one, that flavor is light and fluffy. Just add “award” at the end of 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. Also, please add in some of your own dishes.
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.
Least Champion-Like Champion. Your nominees: 1. Super middleweight champion Andre Ward, who didn’t fight at all in 2014. 2. Junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia, who fought one half-credible opponent, Mauricio Herrera, then when he struggled, fought a barely top-100 lightweight, Rod Salka, above 140 pounds. 3. Light heavyweight Adonis Stevenson, who pulled the same “let’s get me a semi-easy fight/that wasn’t easy enough, how much easier can we go this time?” trick with Andrzej Fonfara and Dmitry Sukhotsky. Winner: It’s hard to overlook a champ not even fighting at all, but it’s even harder to overlook Garcia fighting freaking Salka. Garcia narrowly takes it.
“Who’s That? I Don’t Know ‘Em.” 1. Floyd Mayweather quickly distanced himself from the “reality” of Showtime’s All Access program for its depictions of his household’s marijuana consumption and his boxing gym’s ugly sparring practices. 2. Karim Mayfield said, “Oh, what the hell?” when discovering his manager had been charged in a murder-for-hire plot. 3. All-star performance enhancing drug supplier Victor Conte, who has spun himself as a PED reformer in boxing these days, quickly denied working with Cung Le after the mixed martial artist failed a drug test. Winner: This one’s hard. The Le case got complicated and Conte went back to defending him after the initial bust, but for the comical predictability of the tried and true Conte maneuver, he takes the trophy.
Take Away Their Twitter. 1. Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza got pwned on Twitter by fans and writers over his failed attempt to explain away poor Stevenson ratings, and while it’s good that he gives access to people out there, he also is mainly just arrogant and insufferable in the medium. 2. Maybe Espinoza’s own Twitter absurdity is the reason Paulie Malignaggi hasn’t been fired by Showtime yet for wild Twitter accusations about Manny Pacquiao and PEDs while defending Mayweather over same as well as his domestic violence charges. 3. Ray Poplawski, the boxing video supplier, constantly creeps everyone out by tweeting at every teenage starlet in film and song, and even has his own hashtag, #raypopwatch, yet refuses to back down. Winner: That’s going to be Poplawski by a nose, because as goofy as the Showtime dudes are, at least they don’t give off that predatory vibe. Honorable mentions: Rick Glaser, Abner Mares, Riddick Bowe, Tyson Fury.
Ringside Cameo. 1. Manny Pacquiao’s mother, who appears to be performing some kind of Catholic voodoo on her son’s opponents every time they enter the ring. 2. Ron Stander, who fired off an endless combination of punches in Omaha during the Terence Crawford-Yuriorkis Gamboa fight, all while wearing kickass suspenders. 3. In the same damn town, we have a race! Crawford’s gathering of friends and family is a reliable source of raucous ringside support and clothing that covers all the colors of the rainbow. Winner: How can Dionesia Pacquiao’s animated God-channeling be topped? It can’t.
Most Hilariously Clothing-Less Boxer. 1. Malignaggi wore nothing but a stuffed elephant and the thong it was attached to at a spring weigh-in. 2. Roy Jones, Jr.? His penis was widely available for Internet viewing thanks to an affair with a spurned lover. 3. Jones’ old rival, Bernard Hopkins, posed nude for ESPN the Magazine’s body issue, and these three men combined forced out the defending champ, Artur Szpilka, and his tuxedo briefs. Winner: Malignaggi. He came up short in the Twitter award earlier, but he literally wins this one by a nose, or, I suppose, trunk.
Fatty. 1. Chad Dawson didn’t look like someone who had been taking boxing very seriously in his return to the ring in 2014, did he? 2. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. just doesn’t give a fuck — he’s pigging out unreservedly, and making sure you see it when he does on Instagram. 3. Andy Ruiz has never exactly been slender, but he clocked in at 272 3/4 pounds once in 2014. Winner. It’s kind of hard to beat how fat a heavyweight can get, no? And yes, this is a fairly cruel award considering most boxers are in better shape than almost everyone, but dang, most of our jobs don’t depend on it.
Fake Effort. Maybe some would call these dives. 1. Luis Carlos Abregu hardly seemed to try against Sadam Ali. 2. Johnathon Banks, meanwhile, has been accused of this kind of thing before, and was again against Antonio Tarver. 3. That Javier Fortuna punch didn’t even land on Abner Cotto, and his trainer is actually telling him to pretend to get hit. Winner: For the sheer audacity of it, Cotto!
Mayweather Jackassery. Some boxers (and ex-boxers) had so many “moments” that it would be hard to narrow them down to just one. Here we bring you a series, starting with the sport’s standard-bearer. 1. Mayweather’s beeves with rappers: 1A. vs. 50 Cent, who challenged Mayweather to read a children’s book publicly, and Mayweather, who hung out in public with 50’s son; and 1B., vs. T.I., who allegedly brawled with Mayweather’s crew at a Vegas burger joint, the aftermath of which was a quote that later served as the foundation of a popular song. 2. Posting health care data of his former fiancee, Shantel Jackson, including related to an abortion she had, just prior to the Marcos Maidana fight. 3. Various interviews, wherein Mayweather claimed the lack of publicly-released pictures of his domestic abuse meant there was no abuse, or claimed he actually wanted to fight Pacquiao, or claimed that Oscar De La Hoya was a traitor for working with HBO after forming an allegiance with Showtime (whereas Mayweather, by his own definition, would’ve betrayed HBO by leaving for Showtime). Winner: Man, even though it’s just one incident vs. multiples, that shit he pulled with Jackson was so, so gross. It “wins.”
Shannon Briggs Taunt. Briggs wouldn’t leave heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko alone in 2014, and perhaps it was all staged to set up a fight between the two, but at a certain point it didn’t matter — it was a train wreck that had to be seen. 1. Like, he threw a shoe at him. 2. Then, like, he sat down at a table with Wlad, starting eating his food (offering the immortal, “What you eat, I eat!”), and then fell and hurt himself after Wlad splashed him with water, essentially losing a fight because: water. 3. Returning to the source of his demise, Briggs found Wlad wakeboarding, then used his boat to, like, stir up some waves and knock him into the water. Winner: Torn. So torn. Let’s go with #3. It was bizarre.
Adrien Broner Jackassery. 1. Broner tried to do something good for once, giving a bunch of money to a homeless person, although it was kind of weird to film it — and then the dude got robbed. 2. He immediately went back on his “face” turn (as they say in wrestling), making a big show about how he refused to tip a waitress. 3. Oh and also he crashed on a scooter. Winner: Scooter crashing is weak. #2 is the winner, in part because it’s enhanced by #1. Not considered: Broner getting punished by the WBC over his “Mexi-Can” remark, which was just his usual patter about all nationalities and not at all a singling out of Mexicans.
Mike Tyson Moment. 1. On the Howard Stern Show, Tyson confused boxing writer Thomas Hauser with a similarly-named serial killer. But Mike: Tom is the one with the cape! 2. In Canada, Tyson bitched out a TV reporter who dared to ask about his past. 3. Somehow, a cartoon featuring Tyson made it on-air, and it was freaking weird. Winner: Tyson-Hauser, absolutely. Outstanding. Not considered: Tyson as boxing promoter, DBA Iron Mike Productions. However much he’s a figurehead vs. however much he’s involved in the daily operations, Iron Mike has brought us some good product. Nothing funny about that.
Post-Fight Interview. What is it that’s so badass about badass Soviet bloc fighters speaking in broken English? 1. Kovalev: “I don’t want to speak about Adonis Stevenson. Adonis Stevenson piece of shit. Sorry for my English.” 2. Golovkin: “This is my style, like Mexican style. This is fight. This is not game, this fight. I love fight.” Winner: Kovalev, for saying what we were all thinking at the time, namely, that Stevenson was ducking one of the best fights in the sport.
Acne. What does it mean? Does it mean PED abuse? You decide. Mainly, it’s because we must have an award for acne because. 1. Carlos Cuadras has us covered from the back. 2. Juan Manuel Marquez has us covered from the front. Winner: Cuadras. Because bacne is funnier.
Unintentionally Revealing Showtime Opponent Name. In 2014, Showtime was all about putting its A-side fighters in with opponents who had no chance. Sometimes, their names betrayed this. 1. Dmitry Sukhotsky. Suck. Hot. 2. Doudou Ngumbu. Doo-doo. Winner: It’s a bit of a cudgel, but sometimes the blunt instrument is better: Doudou Ngumbu it is.
Celebrity Brush With Boxing. 1. Golovkin + Peter Dinklage = a convergence of awesome dudes. 2. Over-60 Mickey Rourke + homeless, mentally ill man who admitted to taking a dive (in a fight organized by “legitimate” boxing people, including the manager of Ruslan Provodnikov) = dogshit. 3. George Zimmerman + DMX or some other celebrity boxing dude = society veering very dangerously toward the movie “Running Man.” 4. A variety of people in boxing suggesting that boxer-in-training Justin Bieber might = a real boxing champion one day… I’m sorry, I lost the math, that’s just dumb. Winner: Which to go with? Awful X awful in three cases, or the one that’s kind of cool? Let’s go with Zimmerman.
Shameful Moment (Non-Mayweather/Broner/Briggs). 1. The Nevada State Athletic Commission held a sham hearing into Mayweather’s various All Access misdeeds, but didn’t bother to swear him in, because we all know how much Mayweather can be taken on his word or something. (Yeah, Mayweather’s name is in there, but this is about the NSAC.) 2. Deontay Wilder had a boxing match on a hard surface with a non-professional person desperately in need of anti-psychotic drugs, Charlie Zelenoff, and tried to pretend he was doing it for Charlie Z’s own good, even when he tried to punch him while he was already on the ground. 3. Guillermo Rigondeaux, who needs no extra advantage in the ring, basically won on a legal sucker punch. 4. Pernell Whitaker threw his mom out of his house, and called it a “beautiful moment.” Winner: Jesus, Whitaker. You won the court case, and oh how you win this award.
Fight Involving At Least One Non-Sentient Thing. 1. Angry ram vs. heavy bag. 2. Koala vs. koala. 2. Kangaroo vs. kangaroo, on the street. 3. Kangaroo vs. kangaroo, with a vicious chokeout. 4. Kangaroo vs. drone. 5. Khan vs. candles. 6. Wilder vs. fan. 7. Chicken vs. chicken in “boxing.” Winner: Koalas are just too funny with their duck-like squeaks during fights, yo.
Outside The Ring Story. Boxing promoter Bob Arum told us about an orgy that involved Muhammad Ali and himself. Shiver.
Weigh-In Story. Mayfield claims he just sniffed at Thomas Dulorme and said, “I smell pussy.” Another version of the story has him licking Dulorme’s chest pre-weigh-in brawl. One version is better, and we’re entrusting it with the trophy.
Boxing Fans Desperate For A Laugh. Chris Algieri eats avocados and talked about it a lot before he fought Pacquiao. This was the subject of weeks worth of jokes. Boxing fans are hungry for yuks sometimes.
Boxing Writer Desperate For Conspiracies. One of them won’t just say that Omar Henry is dead. LULZ.
Glamorous Boxing Signing. Al Haymon is so powerful that he can sign a fighter in a McDonald’s and nobody blinks at whether he’s all that powerful.
Teddy Atlas Acting Like A Maniac. Atlas acts like a maniac on Friday Night Fights all the time, probably because he realizes it draws attention to the program. This was the weirdest time. By a long shot.
Things We All Wish We Could Do. Except we aren’t Lennox Lewis and Tyson, are we? Thanks for choking Jim Gray, fellas.
Comedic Timing. Algieri trainer Tim Lane, you didn’t do it on purpose. But your declaration of the moment you were going to let Algieri out of the cage overlapping with Algieri getting dropped by Pacquiao was classic.
Body Part Removal. Marquis Davis kicked his own fucking tooth out of the ring.
Jermain Taylor Moment. He came extremely close to having his own category above. But this face stands above all else he did in 2014.
(Note: Rafe Bartholew stole some of my thunder for our annual Pu Pu Platter Part II with this excellent Grantland piece. Do know that for the most part, we had written about many of these incidents, or tweeted about them, prior to now. Any duplication is coincidental, and yes, I’m annoyed that Rafe beat us to the punch!)