What was the biggest disappointment in boxing in 2013?
Boxing fans are used to disappointment. It comes with the territory when you’re a devoted fan of a sport which seems perpetually intent on self-destructing. That’s why each year as we celebrate the best of the sport, we also take the time to showcase the bottom of the barrel as well. Check out the biggest disappointments in boxing in2013.
2013 Biggest Boxing Disappointments: Injuries & layoffs keep pound-for-pounders Andre Ward & Sergio Martinez sidelined
Boxing thrives when its biggest stars and best fighters remain in the spotlight and maintain a busy schedule. Certainly, that was the case for our 2013 Fighter of the Year, Floyd Mayweather, but two of our other top 5 pound for pound fighters, Andre Ward and Sergio Martinez, were left on the sidelines for much of the year.
By and large, this was not their fault — but that doesn’t make it any more disappointing.
After a close decision victory over Martin Murray, Martinez had to undergo knee surgery for a second time. Meanwhile, Andre Ward was forced to undergo shoulder surgery, and also went through some negotiation and fight cancellation issues. Combined, it derailed any hopes for a match between the two, not to mention getting rematches against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Carl Froch out of the way, respectively.
Neither man was available to potentially take on one the sport’s rising commodities, 2013 Champion of the Year Gennady Golovkin, or capitalize on any of their momentum. This hurt Ward especially, who ended 2012 on the high note of an annihilation of Chad Dawson, but remains no more of a star than he was before.
At least Ward is a fighter in his prime who has plenty of time left, but for Martinez, the clock is ticking, and every injury, setback and trip to the shelf is likely one less fight he has in the future.
Of course, there were plenty of other big disappointments this year in boxing. Here are a few of the most noteworthy, or cringe worthy:
- Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.: The failed drug test and suspension. The terrible decision and performance against Brian Vera. The weight issues.
- Gary Russell’s Opposition: Wasn’t Gary Russell supposed to break out on the big stage in, what, 2011 or something? Fought twice in 2013 against Vyascheslav Gusev and Juan Riaz. Who? Exactly.
- Deontay Wilder’s Opposition: It’s easy to get to 30 knockouts in 30 fights when you face Nicolai Firtha, Audley Harrison and some guy named Matthew Greer. Only halfway decent fight of the year was against a badly tarnished Sergei Liakhovich.
- David Price: Began the year as the heavyweight division’s best prospect and undefeated fighter. Then got KTFO by Tony Thompson… twice. Sheesh.
- Klitschko vs. Povetkin: When you look up “uninspiring heavyweight title fights” or “lackluster performances by dominating champions” or even “unwatchable clinch fests which wouldn’t even belong in the UFC”, you’ll find a picture of Wlad and Povetkin hugging it out in the ring.
- Fury vs. Haye Cancelled: A big-time British heavyweight clash, set to produce a legitimate challenger to Mount Klitschko. Not so much.
- The Scale: Can anybody make weight anymore? Anybody?
- Alex Ariza: How about you just stay on the sidelines and let the fighters, and trainers, do their thing from here on out? OK? Great.