Koki Eto Vs Ardin Diale (Rd8)-The Koki Eto Vs Ardin Diale fight was a good old fashioned “slobber knocker” that saw both men letting their hands go through out. Early on however it was Diale on top as used his more technically correct boxing and speed to take a clear over Eto. Round 8 however was a little bit different with Diale being too tired to box and move. Instead we got a slug feast of epic proportions with Diale going down twice before trading with Eto who eventually forced a stoppage. What made the even more dramatic is that an exhausted Eto was then shaken by corner men who did what Diale couldn't and actually knocked him out! Amazing action that finished in completely bizarre manner. (Full fight here)
Katsunari Takayama Vs Francisco Rodriguez Jr (Rd12)-Unification bouts are almost always a special occasion but they are even better when the styles of the fighters involved gel perfectly. We got such a fight when Katsunari Takayama and Francisco Rodriguez Jr went to war. The war was a true FOTY contender though it was the final round that truly stood out as the two went hell for leather in a round that really summed up what the fight meant to both men. There trading, boxing, both men unloading and although both were tired they both managed to summon up the devil inside to give us some of the most dramatic and exciting action we managed to see in 2014. Brilliant stuff from both, especially in the last 40 seconds. (Full fight here)
Takuya Kogawa Vs Hirokyuki Hisataka (Rd8)-We've been lucky this year that some Japanese cards have been stream free and legally world wide. One such card was Dangan 112 which was headlined by an all Japanese bout between Takuya Kogawa and Hiroyuki Hisataka. The bout was great fun throughout but the final round was something else as the two fought a phone booth war which was violent, exciting, action packed and nothing short of amazing. Again the two men showed signs of being exhausted but both found something else in the gas tank to unload numerous monster shots on each other. Had this bout received air time on a major channel this round would have become a youtube classic. (Full fight here)
Kongfah Nakornluang Vs Den Sithsaithong (Rd3)-Sometimes it's easier to enjoy a fight when the skills and “boxing” go out the windw and we just get a good old fashioned pier 6 brawl. This was certainly the case in Thailand when Kongfah Nakornluang traded blows with Den Sithsaithong. The fight never really let up at any point in it's 6 rounds. For us the best round was round 3 though any of the rounds could have been selected with them all looking very similar to each other with punches being swung in and defence being neglected. (Full fight here)
Jaesung Lee Vs Takuya Watanabe (Rd 9)-For us the blood bath of the year came from South Korea as Japan's Takuya Watanabe gave a huge blood donation in his bout with Jaesung Lee. Not only did Watanbe fight whilst having blood pulsating out of his head but he fought hard and this was seen in the brilliant 9th round that saw both men trading shots in some of the most eye catching and alarming sequences seen this year. One moment it was one man looking like he was hunting the stoppage and then, moments later, the other seemed to come back. The blood from Watanabe made the action look even better and by the end of the round it looked like we may have had a stabbing victim. This round wasn't for the faint hearted but was exceptional and everything a fight fan could possibly want in a fight. (Full fight here)
Takuya Kogawa Vs Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (12)-Takuya Kogawa becomes the only man with 2 entries on this list though with good reason, the Japanese Flyweight is an exceptionally fun fighter ti watch and that was on show again as he battled Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep for the WBA interim Flyweight title. A lot of these rounds were very good to watch as Kogawa's insane engine saw him throwing hundred of punches but something about the final round just seemed even better than the others. Kogawa seemed to feel he needed to win every round, big, and Yodmongkol seemed to feel he would need a KO in the final round. This lead to Kogawa trying to break down the champion in the final 3 minutes whilst the champion loaded up on bombs. This combined for a sensational 3 minutes of action and near-non-stop punching from the Japanese dynamo. (Full fight here)
Due to the fact we had 6 amazing contenders we've decided that the round of the year...is too difficult to pick just 1 so treat yourself and watch all 6 contenders together below and decide for yourself which you prefer.