European boxing has been buzzing once again in 2009. In Germany, tens of millions are watching the sport on T.V. and fans are filling sport stadiums paying around 60 euros ($100) to watch certain prizefights. In Denmark, Danish T.V. is getting over 40% share of the viewing audience every time Mikkel Kessler fights and in Britain, once again the Brits have traveled the world over to watch their idols in action, no matter how far and at any price. As the ProBoxing-Fans.com year end awards begin, then it is only right that we recognize the best fight, fighter, prospect and knockout produced in Europe during the 2009 boxing year.
European Fight Of The Year 2009
Bernard Dunne TKO 11 Ricardo Cordoba
Bernard Dunne came into the bout the underdog as Cordoba was the WBA super-bantamweight champ and the last person to beat Celestino Caballero. The o2 arena in Dublin was filled to capacity and the noise coming from the Irish fans was electrifying. As soon as the bell rang, everyone in attendance knew they were about to witness something special.
Cordoba was starting to take control until the 3rd when from out of nowhere, Dunne landed a massive left hook that sent Cordoba to the floor and then back to his corner on wobbly legs. The Panamanian recovered well and put Dunne down twice in the 5th. Cordoba was right back in it and as the fight went on, was going further ahead on the scorecards. With just six minutes left, Dunne knew he needed a knockout and with the weight of the crowd on his shoulders, came out for the 11th and hit Cordoba with everything in the tank. Cordoba ended up on the canvas three times before the referee stepped in to rescue him, following a series of savage blows from Dunne.
The fight will go down in history as one of the greatest sporting occasions in the Republic of Ireland’s history. Bernard Dunne left the ring a hero. Cordoba left on a stretcher.
Worth a mention- Paul Samuels TKO3 Cello Renda- Don’t take my word for it, check it out on YouTube. The 2nd round is straight out of Rocky.
European Fighter Of The Year 2009
There could only be one winner for Europe’s fighter of the year award and that is Dr. Iron-fist himself, Vitali Klitschko. Say what you like about the big Ukrainian, but he has a unique style that he has mastered, and mastered so well that nobody in the heavyweight division has came even close to beating him. This has been the case once again in 2009. Three wins this year against credible contenders Juan Carlos Gomez, Chris Arreola and more recently Kevin Johnson, has made Vitali, and not his sibling Wladimir, the heavyweight division’s true kingpin. In 2009, Vitali has taken care of, quite easily, contenders with the combined record of 93-1-1, very impressive stats for a fighter of any era.
If Vitali were to have a successful 2010 and were to unify the division by beating David Haye, beat another couple of credible contenders like Alexander Povetkin and Eddie Chambers, then the boxing press will have to start to recognize Vitali as a great and mention him in the same breath as the likes of Larry Holmes and Joe Frazier.
Worth a mention– Arthur Abraham – King Arthur successfully defended his middleweight title twice, then moved up to super-middle to participate in Showtime’s Super-Six tournament. He now tops the tournament following a brutal 12th round K.O. of Jermain Taylor.
European Prospect Of The Year 2009
The prospect honor goes to the Commonwealth light-heavy champ Nathan Cleverly. The Welshman won the belt back in 2008 with a victory over decent pug Tony Oakey and has spent 2009 successfully defending the trinket four times and also adding the British title to his collection.
In early 2010 Cleverly will travel to Italy to face the tough Antonio Brancolion for the European crown in a coming of age bout, that if victorious, will catapult Cleverly up the world rankings. What makes Cleverly’s career even more extraordinary is that in between his four defenses, he has been at university studying for a degree in statistical mathematics. Maybe not quite yet the best super-middleweight in the world, although it’s fair to say that he definitely is the smartest.
Worth a mention- Kell Brook- The British welterweight champ won the 2009 young fighter of the year award from the Boxing Writers Club in Britain.
European Knockout Of The Year 2009
Arthur Abraham KO12 Jermain Taylor
One of the most sickening knockouts ever witnessed occurred in Berlin at the o2 arena this year, as Arthur Abraham sparked Jermain Taylor with a straight right that saw Taylor unconscious before his head even hit the canvass. The bout was the first installment of Showtime’s new innovative Super-Six tournament and maybe the last for Jermain Taylor. The K.O. was that severe that Taylor was omitted to hospital and diagnosed with a severe concussion and short term memory loss.
Worth a mention- Cello Renda KO2 Sam Horton- Renda is becoming a bit of a cult figure in British boxing circles for his big hitting style that seems to never involve him in a dull fight. The bout was a British middleweight title eliminator, with Renda beating the previously unbeaten Horton, with a huge left hook to the head that would have knocked out an elephant.
Make sure you check out the rest of the 2009 Boxing Awards from ProBoxing-Fans.com. It’s the best way to recap the entire up and down, crazy year in boxing. And if you agree or disagree with any of the recipients, let us know in the comments!