When we talk about the best rounds we really do need to discuss what makes a round great.
For us a great round has action, and it has two men really battling hard and at a good tempo. However there are lots, and lots of rounds like that. For us there needs to be more than just a high tempo and back and forth, there also needs to be drama, there needs to be a risk, from both sides, of the man being stopped, or being hurt, at the very least.
We want to avoid rounds with excessive holding, and a limit on how much sloppy action and holding a bout has.
Knockdowns and point deductions, except for holding, can also add to a round, giving the action extra drama.
We also want to see both men giving as good as they get, or a major turn around in the round. If one man is decked twice but recovers to stop the other then that is exciting, and deserves to be credited as so. A little bit of controversy thrown in for good measure can also improve the quality of a round.
As with our Knockout of the Year we don't really care about the profile and ranking of the fighters. Two low level fighters giving on a great 3 minutes of action is just as valuable as two top names giving us the same type of action. After all it's the round that we are judging, not the fighters.
For us a round needs to perfectly combine drama, excitement and action, but it needs to stand on it's own as a round. What comes before it and after it are irrelevant. It's that round in isolation that matters.
Rounds that mix everything are few and far between, but we had a number that really had the drama, excitement and action that we needed.
The winner, in the end, was round 2 of the surprisingly amazing war between Junpei Tsujimoto and Daiki Ogura. This was just crazy from start to end and it swung one way and then the other.
The round started at a good pace, with a nice back and forth, but before long Tsujimoto was hurt, badly, by a left hook from Ogura. His legs stiffened and Ogura went in for the finish dropping Tsujimoto. Tsujimoto recovered to his feet but was rocked again and seemed in all sorts of trouble, despite doing all he could to clear his head and spoil the action before returning fire. His fate looked sealed before he landed a huge right hand with 20 seconds of he round remaining to stop Ogura.
The bout may not have been the cleanest action, it may not have had the big names, but it had everything we want to see. It had action, excitement, both men being hurt and a fantastic finish.
We may have had higher quality rounds through the year but no round left us feeling like we'd seen a movie scene quite like this one. Amazing round, amazing comeback.
Also up for this award were:
Zixiang Wang vs Mukhammadiso Zokhidov - Round 2 (A crazy round with Wang being dropped, Zokhidov being deducted a point and then Zokhidov being dropped)
Takuma Takahashi vs Leonardo Doronio - Round 3 (A thrilling round that saw Doronio dropped, Takahashi lucky not to be deducted a point, Doronio coming back to hurt Takahashi, Doronio being rocked again, Takahashi being cut and Doronio then being dropped and stopped)
Satoshi Shimizu vs Kyohei Tonomoto - Round 1 (A bizarre round where Tonomoto easily out boxed Shimizu in front of an empty Korakuen Hall, but was dropped twice in a round that didn't seem to make much sense but was fantastic to watch)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!