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2010 Fighter of the Year

Who was Boxing’s Fighter of the Year for 2010?

In many years you can make a case for a few different fighters who could be the Fighter of the Year, and you wouldn’t get too much argument one way or the other. However, 2010 was a bit different, and one fighter clearly stood above his boxing brethren as the man. That man is, of course, Sergio Martinez, who put on two fantastic displays in big time fights to claim the 2010 Fighter of the Year award from ProBoxing-Fans.com.

Photo credit: Craig Bennett/Goossen Tutor Promotions

The instant that an overhand left from Sergio Martinez cracked the jaw of Paul Williams in their rematch, sending him careening to the canvas unconscious, the 2010 Fighter of the Year award was signed, sealed and delivered. It was the Knockout of the Year, and it came against one of the top 5 pound for pound fighters on the planet.

The performance, a defense of the middleweight title that Martinez captured from Kelly Pavlik in April, boosted Martinez to the #3 slot in the pound for pound list, and firmly established his place in the game after a long and twisting journey to the upper echelons of the sport.

Let’s not merely breeze past Martinez’s win over Pavlik back in April either. Martinez stormed out to an early lead over the champion, whose only previous loss was at 170 lbs against Bernard Hopkins, controlling the action with his speed, precision and footwork. Pavlik came back in the middle rounds, but the tide was turned for good when Martinez opened up a nasty cut on Pavlik. With his opponent bloodied, Martinez had a field day, sweeping the final rounds to take home the championship. After losing a disputed decision to Williams in their first fight in December of 2009, and somehow ending up with a draw against Kermit Cintron earlier in that year, in one of the oddest outcomes in a boxing match ever, the middleweight title was all of the justification that Martinez could ask for.

But nobody could have predicted the way that his rematch with Williams ended. The match was seen as a pick-’em contest between two of the top 5 pound for pound boxers on the planet and the two best middleweights in the world, with either fighter capable of pulling out the W.

Martinez just wasn’t going to give Williams that chance though. The shorter punch lands first every time, and Martinez knew Williams would be wide open for it. So when Williams opened up with his own left, Martinez quickly ducked to the right and then launched that perfect, crushing left hook from over his head. Timber. Game over. Knockout of the Year, Fighter of the Year… it’s all yours, Sergio.

Martinez Over Pacquiao for 2010 Fighter of the Year?

Last year, Manny Pacquiao was the Fighter of the Year. His fans would argue that he deserves that recognition again in 2010, as the results of our latest poll show. 75% of people voted for Pacquiao, with 20% voting for Martinez and just 5% voting for other fighters. However, that perspective is at best flawed, and at worst, is blinded to what actually took place in boxing this year.

Either of Martinez’s wins are better than either of Pacquiao’s wins, and the competition in both of his fights was better than Pacquiao’s was in either of his. Yes, Pacquiao captured a title in the “junior middleweight” division, but the award isn’t for which fighter has advanced through the most weight classes during a career, it’s for which fighter performed the best, against the best. In 2010, hands down, it was Maravilla, Sergio Martinez.

Now that you’ve viewed the 2010 Fighter of the Year award from ProBoxing-Fans.com, be sure to take a look through the rest of the 2010 boxing awards, and see which ones you agree or disagree with there as well!