Doghouse Decides: The Best of 2007
Compiled By Benny Henderson Jr (Jan 2, 2008) Doghouse Boxing 
Another year has come and gone in the boxing world, we had great fights heated nights and a whole lot of leather swapping. 2007 was a good year for the ‘sweet science’, we had some mega bouts, small town shows, rising stars, new champs and old dogs making another go at it. Boxing gained some new stars and lost a few along the way. Here’s to hoping that 2008 will be even bigger and brighter for the boxing world.

See what the scribes here at the Doghouse had to say about ’07, who was the fighter of the year, who had the greatest
smack down and who should just go home, Doghouse Decides, The Best of 2007!

Fighter of the Year: Kelly Pavlik

I think Floyd Mayweather's accomplishments this year have been great, but I think he is sort of falling in that 'the only place for him to go at this point is down' category. At the start of the year he was Mr. Pound 4 Pound, and at the end of the year, he remained Mr. P4P. For this he deserves kudos, but from an accomplishment standpoint, Kelly Pavlik has gone from nobody to somebody, leaving two big bodies in his wake. While something can and should be said about Mayweather's victories, I feel Pavlik's should be said with more volume – Kelly Pavlik...Fighter of the year! – Rob Scott

Kelly Pavlik went from prospect to champion in 2007. Along the way knocking out Jose Luis Zertuche, the at the time most dangerous middleweight in Edison Miranda and then capped it all off by knocking out Jermain Taylor in emphatic fashion in a FOTY candidate. – Gabriel Montoya

Runner Up: Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd Mayweather had the best year of his career since 2001 with his win against future Hall of Famer and box office draw card Oscar De La Hoya and his emphatic tenth round TKO of previously unbeaten Ricky Hatton. This level of opposition compares favorably to Juan Diaz’s stoppages of Acelino Freitas and Julio Diaz and also pips Joe Calzaghe’s wins over Peter Manfredo Jr and Mikkel Kessler. The dominance Mayweather showed over Hatton, combined with the dramatic stoppage of a man Kostya Tszyu couldn’t put a dent in, gets him the nod. – Anthony Cocks

Floyd Mayweather Jr. single-handedly got the American public interested in boxing again, first with a victory over superstar Oscar De La Hoya, followed by a crushing knockout of undefeated Mancunian Ricky Hatton. Thank you Mr. Mayweather for bringing the casual fan back to boxing. – Vikram Birring

Fight of the Year: Israel Vazquez vs. Rafael Marquez II

Two of the toughest Mexican fighters going toe to toe in an anticipated rematch, what else can a boxing fan ask for? – Benny Henderson Jr.

Expectations weren’t particularly high going into the rematch after Vazquez retired on his stool with a broken nose after the seventh round of their first encounter. Some pundits thought he dogged it against the power punching Marquez, but Vazquez bounced back to prove the critics wrong in the second go round. In a wild brawl that saw Marquez open up cuts over both of Vazquez’s eyes during rugged back-and-forth action, if was Vazquez who eventually prevailed in this war of attrition by sixth round TKO in a fight that was only separated by one point. The rubber match in March remains hardcore fight fans’ most anticipated fight in 2008. – Anthony Cocks

Knockout of the Year: Darnell Wilson kayos Emmanuel Nwodo

This knockout was the type that ends careers; one so sickening any sane person would turn his head at a replay. Nwodo's lights went out with a single shot, and Wilson made a statement to the cruiserweight division. – Vikram Birring

Runner Up: Tied

Nonito Donaire TKO 5 Vic Darchinyan

No surprise here, but I’m awarding this to Nonito Donaire for his well-timed left hook that discombobulated reigning IBF flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan from his senses and relieved him of his belt. The fact that very few people gave Donaire even a puncher’s chance going into the fight against the undefeated champion makes this unexpected KO all the more impressive. – Anthony Cocks

It really all depends on what one's criterior for KO of the year is - who or how? Yes Pavlik's come from behind TKO of Taylor was something, but Nonito Donaire's humble pie KO of Vic Darchinyan was the one that gets my vote. – Rob Scott

Kermit Cintron KO 2 Walter Mathysse

Many felt this would be a knockdown, drag out test for Cintron. Instead it was a brutal two round beating that ended with a horrific uppercut right cross knockout victory that sent shockwaves through the TV screen. – Gabriel Montoya

Biggest Upset: Nonito Donaire TKO 5 Vic Darchinyan

Nonito Donaire's knockout victory over Vic Darchinyan. It wasn't just that Donaire knocked Vic out. It was how he did it. Out-boxing Darchinyan over the course of the fight, Donaire would hurt Vic early in the fight, giving a bit of foreshadowing of things to come. Then in the 5th Donaire would lower the boom with a prefect left hook, avenging his brother's loss to Darchinyan and sending the Armenian power puncher to the drawing board. – Gabriel Montoya

Runner Up: Kelly Pavlik TKO 7 Jermain Taylor

Kelly Pavlik over Jermain Taylor- This may not seem like an upset to many given Pavlik's power, but let’s not forget that Taylor was still a big, undefeated middleweight having fought an impressive list of fighters, certainly more impressive than the caliber of competition that Pavlik faced and almost finished Pavlik off early. Nevertheless, congrats to Kelly. – Eric Marks

Going into his fight with unified middleweight champ Jermain Taylor, everybody knew Kelly Pavlik could punch. But very few people expected a dazed Pavlik to rise from the canvas in the second round, rally in the middle rounds and trap Taylor on the ropes in the seventh, unleashing a savage volley of blows to stop the reigning champion in a classic come-from-behind KO. – Anthony Cocks

Rising Star: Tied

Jorge Linares

Jorge Linares was impressive with his signature win over veteran Oscar Larios for the vacant WBC featherweight title on the Bernard Hopkins-Winky Wright under card. At just 22, Linares has smooth boxing skills, a decent whack and maturity that belies his age. Look for the Japan-based Venezuelan to be molded into an eventual superstar by the astute minds at Teiken Promotions. – Anthony Cocks

Alexander Povetkin

Yes people will say that Juan Diaz or maybe Miguel Cotto deserve this award, but it is Povetkin that has positioned himself for a title shot by his 16th fight, something neither of the above mentioned fighters could do.  Dominating wins over former champion Chris Byrd (TKO 11), Larry Donald (W10), Patrice L'Heureux (TKO 2), and David Bostice (TKO 2), show that this young man has a combination of speed, skill, power, smarts, and stamina that will be hard to beat.  Add to this that his fight with Donald drew a crowd of around 20,000 and was broadcast in 25 countries, or that his fight with Byrd had over 5.12 million viewers in Germany alone and you have someone who's appeal crosses borders and has already quantifiably surpassed fellow rising star Diaz for sheer viewer ship. – Julian Kasdin

Most Overlooked: Alexander Povetkin

Alexander Povetkin started out the year fighting David Bostice and closed out 2007 with a win over former heavyweight titleholder Chris Byrd. In between were wins over Patrice L'Heureux and Larry Donald, who was coming off a majority decision loss the Nicolay Valuev in a fight that many observers felt Donald won. Povetkin however pitched a shutout over Donald and stopped Byrd in the eleventh, making him one of the brightest prospects in the heavyweight division – despite having just 14 fights under his belt. – Anthony Cocks

People always ask me what happened to the heavyweights and I always tell them to be patient. Povetkin is coming. A two fisted, multi-combination heavyweight is a thing of beauty and Povetkin is both. With a bout looming on American cable, Povetkin looks to break out in 2008. – Gabriel Montoya

Junior Witter

Let’s give it up for “The Hitter”! It is about time the British WBC light welterweight titleholder gets some props. – Benny Henderson Jr.

Most Overrated: Samuel Peter

Being the one who tallied the votes, I get to see who voted for what, and I will say this, just about a wash out, people are tired of the Nigerian Nightmare, not necessarily the man himself but the hype that surrounds him. I’ll say it, although they did not get the nod, McCline and Toney could very well have wins over Peter, making him a three-time loser! – Benny Henderson Jr.

Sure, he’s in line for a crack at Oleg Maskaev’s WBC title and he hasn’t lost a fight since 2005, but being dropped three times by light punching Jameel McCline in his last fight doesn’t bode well for Samuel Peter. It’s hard too give too much credence to his win over James ‘Cash Out’ Toney, who has shown a progressive reluctance to get in shape for his fights. If Maskaev can protect his chin sufficiently when he meets Peter on March 8th, he has every chance of pulling off a mild upset. – Anthony Cocks

Sam Peter.  Why is this man still being ranked number two by The Ring?  Why is he still being touted by some as the future of the heavyweight division?  Why do some still swear he has an iron chin and bone crunching punch?  Sam Peter is a strong heavy, and he can provide a real test to separate the contenders from the pretenders, but let's not kid ourselves.  Fights with James Toney and Jameel McCline have shown us that Peter is simply a solid but not elite heavyweight.  He is not the future, and all the time and energy spent on hyping him could be better spent showing us top fighters from here and abroad. – Julian Kasdin

Runner Up: Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Fans and media alike have confused popularity with ring accomplishments. Props for breaking PPV records but the boxing world is still waiting for a welterweight title defense after 13 months from the media and fans consensus pound for pound champion. – Gabriel Montoya

Worst Decision (it was unanimous): Joel Casamayor SD 12 Jose Santa Cruz

Joel Casamayor vs. Jose Armando Santa-Cruz.  What can I say that hasn't been said before?  This was poor judging at its absolute worst.  None of the judges involved in this fight should ever, I repeat ever, be allowed to rob a young man, Santa-Cruz, of the biggest win of his career again.  Shame on all of them.  Some will say that Paolillo had it a draw, fine, but it should never have been a draw in the first place.  Santa-Cruz won this fight, no question, and it is he, not Casamayor, that should be rewarded with a shot versus the Baby Bull. – Julian Kasdin

I've actually seen worst decisions, but Joel Casamayors win over Jose Armando Santa Cruz on the under card of Mosley/Cotto has got to be considered up there as one of the worst. Even if you chalk it up as just a bad night for Casamayor – A bad performance and bad decision was what we were left with on this night. – Rob Scott

Honorable Mention

I know it’s not a fight but I’ll say the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board’s firing of Commissioner Larry Hazzard. It was the biggest bullshit decision in boxing this side of Casamayor vs. Santa Cruz and you can quote me on that. – Coyote Duran

Benny Henderson Jr.:
Hey guys, we just want to say THANK YOU to all the readers that make Doghouse Boxing what we are today, with out you we would be just another website. We hope 2007 was good for you, and here is to a great ’08!

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