Big Dog’s Punching Bag: 2004 Doghouse Awards
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (January 4, 2005)
Hey loyal Doghouse readers and boxing fans from all around, how it be there? Well the votes are in, the verdict is out and the awards are ready to be handed out Doghouse style. You, the loyal readers, have spoken and we have listened. 2004 can only be summed up as “A Hell of a Year!” We had some of the old dogs step up while others faded away, a few of the young pups made an impression while some just barked and yelped right on out the door. We witnessed some long awaited comebacks, bitter rivalries, hard let downs, and all-out brawls in the ring. Hey, we had it all in 2004 so let's just hope that 2005 will be even more explosive. Let’s get straight to the awards that you the fans decided upon and who you believe they should be dealt out too.
Chris Byrd with "Big Dog"
A$$ Kicker of the Year: Glen Johnson
Hey, no-one else could have claimed this award except for the 'Gentleman'. After years of fighting in the backyards of his opponents, being handed down piss-poor decisions and being chronically overlooked as just another borderline journeyman, this guy beat the guy and then beat the guy who beat the guy. His knockout win over Jones Jr. was hellacious and finally gave him the respect he had been fighting for. But his victory over Tarver made the Jamaican-born banger the world’s best light heavyweight and boosted him as the Doghouse A$$ Kicker of the Year!
Honorable Mention: Diego Corrales, Kostya Tszyu, Vitali Klitschko.
Throw Down of ‘04: Barrera-Morales III
The bitter brawl between the two Mexican born fighters was on and it was the most entertaining all out throw downs of 2004. In one corner you had the 'Baby Faced Assassin' staring down 'El Terrible' with a cold heart since there first go around in 2000, but with this bout only one would reign and would be the superior one. For twelve punishing rounds the two would exchange punch after punch in a heated battle that was eventually scored 113-115, 114-114, 114-115 in favor of Marco Antonio Barrera, winner by majority decision. This made these two warriors participants in Doghouse’s Throw Down of ’04.
Honorable Mention: Tito Trinidad-Ricardo Mayorga.
Bore Fest Bonanza
Well there really isn’t much to talk about or write about when it comes to this category. But with along with the A$$ Kicker of the Year and Throw Down of '04 awards, we felt it was appropriate to hand out a Bore Fest of the Year award. What was the one fight that left you speechless and certainly not for the entertainment? The votes were unanimous and the award goes to none other than John Ruiz versus Anybody.
Honorable Mention: Ruiz-Golota, Ruiz-Oquendo, Williamson-Klitschko
Well we won’t ever forget “You have any excuses tonight Roy?” But the award can only go to the one who perfected trash talking and has been doing it the longest, the tough-talking straight-walking in-your-face James Toney. When it comes to the war of the words you know this man has an endless arsenal. It's also worth noting that only three votes were cast in the opposite direction.
Honorable Mention: Antonio Tarver
You got Knocked the @%&* Out!: Antonio Tarver’s 2nd round KO over Roy Jones Jr.
Ok, you have to admit listening to the trash talking before the fight and then witnessing the destruction of Roy Jones Jr. made a pretty sweet night of boxing. For fifteen years RJJ ruled his division and wasn’t afraid to rub it in your face. Well after many years the trash talking caught up with the Floridian quicksilver in a big way. It wasn’t the left like Johnson landed but it put Jones Jr. on his butt and under the ropes and down for the count, giving RJJ his first defeat by KO.
OK, with only falling short of the top spot by one vote the honorable mention was Samuel Peter’s left hand that sent the unconscious 'Half Man, Half Amazing' Jeremy Williams down for the count and for the most part seemed to have sealed his fate in the division. So freaking brutal!
Highway Robbery: Three Way Tie between Felix Strum, Emanuel Augustus and Andrew Golota
We witnessed the disappointing unearned loss that Felix Sturm, the just plain and simple robbery of Emanuel Augustus, and the poor judging that once again left Andrew Golota belt less this year. After Felix Sturm beat Oscar De La Hoya to the punch and was en route to an upset victory over the 'Golden Boy', the ugly head of injustice and the greed for moneymaking came in to play once again and made the mega-bout between Bernard Hopkins and De La Hoya which hands down De La Hoya didn’t earn. ESPN would feature one of the most crooked fights of the year when the hometown boy Courtney Burton would get the nod over journeyman Emanuel Augustus when the hometown screw ups, oops I mean judges, Robert Pagnelli and Ed Mosley gave the most sour decision to Burton 99-90, 97-92 after he hands down took a sound beating by Augustus. The only judge with the balls to call it straight was judge Jack Richards, who scored it for Emanuel 98-94. Twice this year the foul happy punching Pole Andrew Golota would get a bad call. OK, the Byrd-Golota fight could have gone either way, if you come after a champion’s belt you have to take it, but his bout against Ruiz? Scoring two knockdowns, and his opponent getting one point deducted and still losing by the score of 111-114, 112-113, 111-114 in one of the ugliest fights in heavyweight history? Well, we can just call it highway robbery.
You Ain’t $%^& Boy!: Dominick Guinn
In 2003 this heavyweight prospect would pound out five opponents and after big wins over Charles Hatcher and Michael Grant, 2004 looked to be another step up to the top for Dominick Guinn. In March 'The Southern Disaster' would fight in his home state and began his decline after losing to Monte Barrett. In July Guinn would dispose of old dog Phil Jackson in round one and in December he just didn’t show up against Russian heavyweight Serguie Lyakhovich for their ten round match-up, which left the fans questioning his dedication. At one time he was the hot topic; now he is just a cold conversation. But hey, I couldn’t partake in this voting, it was just for the fans and I myself wouldn’t count out Guinn just yet, but I guess we will have to see how he rebounds in 2005.
Honorable Mention: Antonio Tarver-Roy Jones Jr.
Have a Drink on Me: Another Three Way Tie between Glen Johnson, Cory Spinks and John Ruiz
Hey you guys picked them so I had nothing to do with any of the outcomes, I just counted out the votes and with this award I counted them a few times. I understand the whole concept of the underdog finally getting his day as has happened with Glen Johnson - and you get the feeling Glen needed one on the house - but Cory Spinks and John Ruiz? I can’t even fathom.
Oh Please, You're Killing Me!
This guy has been handed out three awards now and in your eyes is well-deserving. John Ruiz. Need I say more?
Honorable Mention: Joe Calzaghe
Out of the Dark: Glen Johnson
This is the third time this guy has been awarded, and in my opinion he deserves them all. After years of being the guy in the back of the bus he has moved to navigator. 2004 was an explosive year for the champ. Disposing if RJJ in nine rounds and then getting the go ahead over Tarver, you can say Glen has finally come into the light.
Honorable Mention: Miguel Cotto, Mike Arnoutis.
Wait and See
Finally this guy gets some credit. Miguel Cotto stopped three of his four opponents in 2004 and the WBO light welterweight champ looks forward to continuing to make his mark on the 140 pound division in 2005. 2005 should feature more of the twenty-four year old undefeated light welterweight and you the readers voted to wait and see.
Honorable mention: Samuel Peter
Well guys, I thank you much for all your feedback in 2004, and I look forward to a whole lot more in 2005. Always email me whether you agree or disagree with me, all of your comments are always appreciated. Remember stay just the way you are, shooting from the hip and opinionated as hell.
God Bless and have a Happy and Safe New Year,
'The Big Dog'.
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