Home Columns 2014 Breakout Performance of the Year

2014 Breakout Performance of the Year

Credit: Lawrence Lustig

The choice for Breakout Performance of the Year should be obvious, seeing as how it served as the springboard for the performer in question going from being just another coming contender to World Champion in the space of a single year. Only one man and one fight match that description.

Breakout Performance of the Year: Terence Crawford vs. Ricky Burns

Crawford was the odds favorite when he climbed between the ropes to fight Briton Ricky Burns, but that in no way takes away from the gravity of his accomplishment. Crawford slowly and steadily pulled ahead of Burns on the cards, using high work rate and quick jabs to stop Burns from getting off. Burns had no answer, and by the time it was all over Crawford had won by a clear margin.

The win gave Crawford the WBO’s lightweight title. Later in the year, he turned his breakout into a strong surge by handing Yuriorkis Gamboa his first defeat, and by TKO at that, and then followed with a lopsided points win over Raymundo Beltran to become the World Lightweight Champion.

This is a sterling run for a single year, and it all started with beating Ricky Burns in front of a pro-British crowd in Glasgow.

Runners Up

Chris Algieri vs. Ruslan Provodnikov:

Without his close win over the tough and nails Provodnikov, it’s hard to see Algieri winning his ticket on the Manny Pacquiao sweepstakes.

Artur Beterbiev vs. Tavoris Cloud:

With his sterling amateur pedigree, much is expected of Russian light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev. Even so, giving Tavoris Cloud his first knockout defeat was a resounding statement.

Cloud has suffered some cuts in his career, but until Beterbiev he had never been down as the result of a punch, nevermind anywhere near out. Not even knockout artist Adonis Stevenson managed it, but Beterbiev did.

Nicolas Walters vs. Nonito Donaire:

While few still look at Nonito Donaire as the next Manny Pacquiao, he is still a world class fighter with a formidable following, and had only been defeated by the heavily avoided Guillermo Rigondeaux when he got in the ring with Nicholas Walters.

The undefeated Axe Man not only defeated Donaire, stealing some of his thunder, but knocked the crap out of him. The win put Walters on the