There were a number of outstanding fights in 2014.
Last August, strawweights Francisco Rodriguez Jr. and Katsunari Takayama battled for 12 rounds at the famed Arena Monterey in Monterrey, MX. Takayama had the edge in the first half of the fight. Rodriguez dug deep and battled on, eventually overtaking Takayama in the last few rounds. The give and take nature of the bout left the crowd salivating for more.
Going into his fight with lightweight champion Terence Crawford, extremely talented Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa believed he could outbox the bigger man. Gamboa moved up in weight and challenged Crawford. The bout took place in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Neb.
For four rounds, Gamboa looked like a prophet. He beat Crawford to the punch on a consistent basis. But Crawford is a true fighter. He switched to southpaw and ate lead right hands. But he was also beginning to catch Gamboa with hard body shots. He moved his attack up to the head, and scored knockdowns in rounds five and eight. He ended matters by flooring Gamboa twice in round nine.
There was one fight that, to this writer, transcended the sport. It would have been fitting if Showtime Boxing had broadcast the match in black and white. The fight lived up to it's hype by featuring multiple knockdowns, blood, guts, and a definitive ending.
Lucas Matthysee can punch. He's rarely in a bad fight. John Molina Jr. can punch too. He likes to brawl. He believes his right hand can knockout anybody. Something had to give when the two warriors met at the StubHub Arena in Carson, Ca. Matthysee became a believer after being floored in rounds two and five.
Matthysee started to control the match in round six by breaking Molina Jr. down. His hard shots landed with a thud.
Molina Jr. fought back with everything he had. Matthysse scored a knockdown in round eight. He pummeled Molina Jr. for the next three rounds, finally brutally stopping him in round eleven.
Both fighters came out victorious that night.
Matthysse was back after losing his previous contest to Danny Garcia.
Molina Jr. won the respect of fans and cynical boxing writers everywhere.
Their match deserves to be called "The Fight of the Year."