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2013 Knockout of the year award

Credit: Ed Mulholland - HBO

Who had the best knockout in boxing in 2013?

The annual Knockout of the Year is one of the most discussed of all of the big boxing honors for the year. A great knockout produces huge buzz and fan interest, and it usually offers a major result. As a minimum, the Knockout of the Year should come from a clear, telegenic blow; it should result in a knockout, not a TKO; and the results of that knockout should have substantial impact on the world of boxing.

2013 Knockout of the Year

The 2013 Knockout of the Year was such a clear and obvious choice that it was the only annual award that was arrived upon unanimously by us this year: Adonis Stevenson vs. Chad Dawson.

Stevenson’s kayo of Chad Dawson had all of that and more. Dawson was felled by a single, crisp straight left from Stevenson, a blow that made Stevenson not only the WBC champion, but also the top dog in the light heavyweight division.

Adding luster to the knockout was that it came in the 1st Round, producing electrifying shock in anyone who saw it live. Knockout blows like that one, coming from nowhere and completely unexpected, leave some in the audience as paralyzed as the intended victim. Frankly, this sort of thing is a big part of what boxing is all about.

—> Check out all of the 2013 Boxing Awards

2013 Knockout of the Year: Second Place

The close second for 2013’s Knockout of the Year, and the year’s biggest upset, was Jhonny Gonzalez vs. Abner Mares. The then-undefeated Mares was upset in a 1st Round knockout (one of a few in contention this year, as it turns out), producing as much of a shockwave in some boxing circles as Stevenson vs. Dawson.

If Gonzalez had put Mares down for the count with that first monster left hook, then the two fights would be drawn for the award in my book. What held Gonzalez vs. Mares back for the award is that Mares got up, and thus needed polishing off with a flurry of blows. Gonzalez’s kayo of Mares just wasn’t as picture perfect as Stevenson’s leveling of Dawson, and in the view of some was slight less significant to its division and the sport as a whole.

2013 KO of the Year Runners Up

Sergey Kovalev had a Knockout of the Year contender in his lovely demolition of Ismayl Silkah, but compared to Stevenson vs. Dawson it was a bout of little importance. Deontay Wilder destroyed Siarhei Liakhovich is a single round, but Liakhovich was merely a gatekeeper and the result (although perhaps not the timing of it) was foreordained. Likewise, that Gennady Golovkin would take out Nobuhiro Ishida was somewhat expected, although the brutal 3rd Round knockout GGG produced was impressive. Golovkin’s bodyshot kayo of Matthew Macklin was also noteworthy as well, as was Kovalev’s KO of Gabriel Campillo.

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Richard Thomas has been in and out of boxing gyms in Kentucky, Ohio, the District of Columbia and Thailand and for a quarter century, and writing about boxing since 1997. A passionate devotee of the sport, he is as keenly interested in boxing history as he is in the latest bout. He currently lives in Europe, and is also the owner and Managing Editor of The Whiskey Reviewer.