What do you mean annual awards? ...it's only mid-December!
Over the last week or so we've seen the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) announce their shortlists for their annual awards. At the time there was more than 2 weeks of 2019 left and it again left us asking why? Why can they not wait until the end of the year? Why can they not wait until all the fights have been and gone? Why can they not allow everyone a fair chance?
As we all know by now Japan hosts action on New Year's Eve, and whilst none of those bouts look likely to deliver us a Fight of the Year contender, but it's not just Japan that has fights between now and the end of 2019. In fact there are other countries playing host to some fights that do look like they could be legitimate contenders. For example on December 20th, a day before this article goes live, we had Julio Cesar Martinez Aguilar face off with Cristofer Rosales, in a bout with real potential to be something very special. Likewise on December 28th Jean Pascal clashes with Badou Jack, in a bout that promises fireworks.
Of course some awards are essentially over. There is nothing between now and the end of the year which could possibly effect the Fighter of the Decade, the Fighter of the Year, the The Good Guy or even Trainer of the Year awards. But where we do have things that could fit into the short list, we really need to hold on, be patient. There is no need to rush things, and it can be ridiculously stupid.
A great example of how stupid short listing things is before the end of the year was seen in 2014, when Naoya Inoue missed out on the short list, despite the year being one where he claimed world titles at Light Flyweight and Super Flyweight. He wasn't on the ballot that year, because his final win of the year, a KO2 win over Omar Andres Narvaez, came way after the short list had been compiled. The year however still had time left in it!
Jonathan Morris's famous quote "Patience is a virtue, Possess it if you can; Seldom found in woman, Never found in man." Can certainly be brought into boxing, and changed somewhat. We don't like seeing things "marinate", but there is also no need to rush something that recognises what boxing has given us over the previous year.
Of course it's not just the BWAA who are to blame here, and we suspect many other lists will be released between now and January with various websites, journalists and the ilk announcing their Fighter, Fight, Knockout, Round, Prospect, etc... of the Year. Come on folks, just a touch of patience, it will go a long way...and give you extra time to watch what's happening in the sport.
If you're about to do a list, put your damn pen down, wait until the year is over, you know what is around the corner! By all means do a short list, but your full on list can wait a few extra day!
For those who have already decided on their lists, we suggest giving Keon Woo Kim's brutal KO1 against Moon Han Ji and Mammoth Nakayama's sensational 5th round KO of Lerdchai Chaiyawed a watch for any KO list, and Yuki Beppu's sensational win over Ryota Yada deserves a watch for any Fight of the Year list. We probably won't change your mind, but you should give them a watch regardless!
Who goes up against Rookie of the Year?
In a change of note we have a second point of contention this week...who on earth goes up against Rookie of the Year? This year there are two shows in Osaka on the same day as the All Japan Rookie of the Year, in a decision that seems foolish! We understand that time is limited, and trying to squeeze everything into the year can be tricky, but to us the Rookie of the Year is one of the biggest annual events in boxing. To go up against it is sacrilege!
We're not complaining about the quality of the cards, which will be promoted by Muto and Nakazato, but it does seem like the shows are shooting themselves in the foot sharing a day with such a tremendous part of the Japanese boxing calendar!
Now with that out the way, I shall see you all with the next one of these in the new year, so have a great Christmas folks, and a happy new year! And watch as many fights as you can between now and 2020! I will be!
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces