Doghouse Boxing's Best of 2008!
Compiled by Coyote Duran, (Jan 7, 2009) Photo © German Villasenor  
Happy New Year, Howlers! Allow me to share my Best of 2008 list compiled from votes and opinions from Doghouse Boxing staffers and our faithful message boarders, The Dog Pounders! Along with the best of the best, you'll find their percentages of victory, interesting tallying tidbits and all the best on and off-topic riffs from our funniest and most astute writers AND readers!

Fighter of the Year: Manny Pacquiao (78% of all votes, Second place: Joe Calzaghe. Other vote-getters: Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams)

John Novoselac, writer, Doghouse Boxing: "How can you not pick Manny Pacquiao? With wins in three weight classes, including an improbable stoppage over Oscar De la Hoya, it's difficult to choose another fighter with a better 2008."

Tdog987, Dog Pound message boarder: "I don't think it's even close."

Vikram Birring, writer, Doghouse Boxing: "No words can do this boxer justice. First, he defeated arch nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez in a scorching, Spring break thriller. Then he humiliated champion (WBC lightweight titlist) David Diaz in the summer. And then Pacquiao did what nobody saw coming: He mutilated legend Oscar De La Hoya at welterweight; nine divisions higher than what Pacquiao started his professional career at. Pacquiao is not just the best boxer right now; he is one of the best of any era."

Fight of the Year: Antonio Margarito TKO 11 Miguel Cotto (52% of all votes. Second place: Israel Vazquez SD 12 Rafael Marquez (rubbermatch). Other vote-getters: Tomasz Adamek SD 12 Steve Cunningham and Rogers Mtagwa KO 10 Tomas Villa)

John Novoselac, writer, Doghouse Boxing: "While many are picking the epic battle of Israel Vazquez vs. Rafael Marquez III as their Fight of the Year, my choice is Margarito-Cotto. Let me explain my reasoning: First of all, it established dominance in one of the most stacked divisions in the sport. It had a conclusive ending and saw an undefeated fighter lose for the first time in a come-from-behind win by 'The Tijuana Tornado.' This fight was a true pleasure to watch from ringside.”

Debbie Duran, writer, Doghouse Boxing: "It was really unbelievable watching Cotto take that much punishment and knowing that he needed so much luck to come back. The beating got worse and Margarito just kept getting stronger. It was proof that no matter how bulletproof you look, you can lose it all at any time."

Round of the Year: Kendall Holt vs. Ricardo Torres II, Round One (65% of all votes. Second place: Israel Vazquez SD 12 Rafael Marquez III, Round Four. Other vote-getters: Chris Arreola KO 3 Travis Walker, Round Three, Antonio Margarito TKO 11 Miguel Cotto, Round Two and Margarito-Cotto, Round 11)

Knockout of the Year: Edison Miranda vs. David Banks (21% of all votes. Second place: Kendall Holt KO 1 Ricardo Torres. Other vote-getters: Margarito TKO 11 Cotto, Darchinyan KO 9 Mijares, JuanMa Lopez TKO 1 Ponce De Leon, JuanMa Lopez KO 1 Figueroa, Mosley KO 12 Mayorga, Williams KO 1 Quintana, Prescott KO 1 Khan and Pacquiao TKO 9 David Diaz)

Fighter to Watch: Juan Manuel Lopez (26% of all votes. Second place: Victor Ortiz. Other vote-getters: Yuriorkis Gamboa, Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, Andre Berto, Devon Alexander, Beibut Shumenov, Paul Williams, Breidis Prescott, Amir Khan, Abner Mares, Daniel Jacobs, Andre Direll and Edwin Valero)

turbotime, Dog Pound message boarder: "'Juanma' is undoubtedly the fighter to watch; IMO. He'll enter the P4P ranks soon."

Trainer of the Year: Freddie Roach (85% of all votes. Tied for second place: Javier Capetillo and Enzo Calzaghe)

Vikram Birring, writer, Doghouse Boxing: "Roach said if Manny Pacquiao didn't beat Oscar De La Hoya, he would not take a penny of salary. He said De La Hoya was shot and could not let his hands go. He was right. And he transformed Amir Khan after a vicious knockout loss that stalled his glorious career."

John Novoselac, writer, Doghouse Boxing: "Freddie Roach's self-proclaimed best work in Manny Pacquiao keeps getting better and Freddie did well in building the hype for his charge's win over Oscar. Well done, Freddie."

Promoter of the Year: Top Rank (52% of all votes; winning by just ONE vote over Golden Boy Promotions; the sole other candidate chosen)

elterrible06, Dog Pound message boarder: "A slight edge over Golden Boy Promotions for bringing us Antonio Margarito vs. Miguel Cotto."

John Novoselac, writer, Doghouse Boxing: "No one else develops talent like Top Rank, and Bob Arum continues to put on great shows."

Manager of the Year: Enzo Calzaghe (53% of all votes. Second place: Freddie Roach. Other vote-getters: Cameron Dunkin, Terry Trekas, Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins.)

Comeback of the Year: Vitali Klitschko (71% of all votes. Second place: Bernard Hopkins. Other vote-getters: Vic Darchinyan, Nate Campbell, Paul Williams and Evander Holyfield.)

Eric Marks, writer, Doghouse Boxing: "After over a four-year layoff, (Klitschko) destroys one of the perceived decent heavyweights (Samuel Peter)."

Debbie Duran, writer, Doghouse Boxing: "I wouldn't believe it until I saw it and that was limited to Vitali just stepping into a ring without hurting himself. Beating Sam Peter into quitting on his stool never even came close to entering my mind!"

The Best of 2008: The Doghouse Bites Down Hard 'Awards'!

The following distinctions are not what one would consider 'official' but damned astute; nonetheless.

Anthony Cocks, Editor-in-Chief, Doghouse Boxing: Most Underrated: Vic Darchinyan "After a disappointing KO loss to Nonito Donaire in 2007, many boxing writers and fight fans were quick to write off Darchinyan and label him as 'exposed.' Perhaps this is why they were so reluctant to give him credit for a stellar 2008 that saw the Armenian-born Australian get duped out of a win over Z Gorres in the Philippines in a fight that was scored a draw; followed by a five round beatdown of reigning IBF 115-pound titlist Dimitri Kirilov and a stunningly one-sided dismantling of WBC/WBA kingpin (and 'The Ring' magazine's #7 fighter, pound-for-pound) Cristian Mijares that ended in the ninth. Now a titleholder in two weight classes who has unified the junior bantamweight division along the way, one has to wonder what more this 'pocket rocket' has to do to earn his well-deserved recognition."

Kid Kablaam, Dog Pound message boarder: Consistent Screw-up of the Year: Zab Judah "for tuning up against a glass shower door in preparation for Shane Mosley."

krisntims, Dog Pound message boarder: Shrek the Friendly Ogre Award: Nicolay Valuev "for his passiveness in the ring and his prominent ogre-ish physical features."

mikaztro, Dog Pound message boarder: Controversy of the year: Nicolay Valuev (against John Ruiz and Evander Holyfield)

TheDamned, Dog Pound message boarder: Best Ring Entrance of the Year: Monte Barrett (vs. David Haye), Best Sleeping Pill of the Year: Wladimir Klitschko vs. Sultan Ibragimov, Craziest Bastard of the Year: That Cuban guy (Jorge) Rubio who decided it was a good idea to put Khan in with (Breidis) Prescott

turbotime: Dog Pound message boarder: Ass Kicking of the Year: Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Daniel Ponce De Leon

elterrible06, Dog Pound message boarder: Upset of the Year: Vic Darchinyan KO Cristian Mijares, Stinker of the Year: Yuri Foreman/Dmitriy Salita/Nicolay Valuev (Three-Way Tie), Worst Fight and Worst Decision of the Year: Nicolay Valuev vs. Evander Holyfield

Mr.SweetScience, Dog Pound message boarder/vintage fight aficionado:
Worst Decision of the Year: James Toney vs. Fres Oquendo

Spike, Dog Pound message boarder: Biggest All-Around Screw-Up of the Year: Nicolay Valuev vs. Evander Holyfield "Fighter gets undeserved shot at title and actually outworks and outpoints the supposed champion; only to be screwed out of the victory by either blind or corrupt judges."

bobby bacala, Dog Pound message boarder: Breakthrough Fighter of the Year: Juan Manuel Lopez

Tdog987, Dog Pound message boarder: Worse Single Scorecard of the Year: Doug Tucker's scorecard of 120-108 for Jose Navarro against Cristian Mijares (winner SD 12) and Francisco Mouret's scorecard of 100-90 for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Chavez SD 10 Matt Vanda (Tie)

Rick Scharmberg, featured writer, Upset of the Year: Bernard Hopkins vs. Kelly Pavlik and Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya (tie).

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