The bell at ringside has tolled for the last time this year, thereby ringing in this column’s awards for Anno Domini 2014.
A Merry Christmas to fight fans everywhere – and many a Happy Boxing Day.
Froch fought only once these 12 months but what a night it was. Upwards of 80,000 at Wembley – the biggest post-war boxing crowd in Britain – saw the Nottingham Cobra deliver the punch which rang out around the world. No controversy this time as Froch put a devastating end to a second successful defence of his world super-middleweight title against dashing young pretender George Groves.
A case could be argued for Kell Brook after the away win over American Shaw Porter which gave him a world welterweight title. Hearty congratulations, also, to Andy Lee for his knockout world middleweight title win over Matt Korobov.
But it was Froch who carried British boxing to a new, wider, younger, crossover audience in spectacular style.
KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR - Carl Froch
Froch prevailed in an eagerly-anticipated rematch between the pair in front of over 80,000 fans at Wembley
Froch landed a devastating punch on Groves that left the challenger unable to continue at Wembley
WORLD BOXER OF THE YEAR - Gennady Golovkin
Golovkin, the most feared middleweight on the planet, inflicted massive knockouts on three challengers for his world titles in this one year. Osumanu Adama, Daniel Geale and Marco Antonio Rubio all fell in 1914 to the Kazakh hammer, who now boasts 28 KOs in a perfect record of 31 wins.
Golovkin has not been taken the distance for almost seven years and now holds the highest knock-out ratio – 90 per cent – in the history of the classic middleweight division. Good luck to our Martin Murray in Monte Carlo on February 21.
Gennady Golovkin took his record to 28 knockouts from a perfect 31 wins in his career
FIGHT OF THE YEAR - Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr
Two brilliant British prospects for world titles had the courage to take each other on early in their careers and delivered a thriller in which Saunders claimed a valid decision but Son of Eubank enhanced his future, also. Not only a roller-coaster ride but vibrant proof that there is no crime in losing.
Chris Eubank Jnr and Billy Joe Saunders produced a thrilling contest when they met at the Excel
STILL….THE No 1 POUND-FOR-POUND - Floyd Mayweather
Not a vintage year for the Money man but he still minted a pair of hard-currency wins over the pesky, hard-punching Marcos Maidana to retain his status as both the best boxer on the planet and the pay-per-view king.
Floyd Mayweather extended his perfect record to 47 wins from 47 contests in 2014
Mayweather twice got the better of tough Argentine Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas
COMMAND PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR - Manny Pacquiao
Pacquiao looked virtually back to his lightning, thunderous best in Macau as he hounded a young world champion, New York’s Chris Algieri, around the ring, decking him six times on his way to a modern record points victory by 18 points, 120-102. Bring on PacMan v Money Man.
Manny Pacquiao dominated Chris Algieri when they met in Macau on November 23
VIRTUOSO PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR - Amir Khan
Having promised a statement against Devon Alexander, Khan delivered not only that but a masterclass of hand and foot speed. The boy from Bolton came of age in Las Vegas, not losing a round as he raced into the Mayweather-Pacquiao sweepstakes.
Amir Khan produced a dazzling display in beating Devon Alexander in Las Vegas in December
Hearn, at Matchroom, for backing his belief that Froch-Groves could fill Wembley, turning the stadium from an England football ground into a boxing Colosseum overnight and putting on the event of not just this but many a year.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD - Bernard Hopkins
Already, at 49, the oldest boxer ever to hold a world title, the former Executioner who re-dubbed himself The Alien came within a month and one week of wearing the light-heavyweight crown at 50 when he faced Sergey Kovalev in Atlantic City this November.
Although he lost Hopkins still achieved what many have not, by taking the Krusher from Russia the distance. For a life heart-warmingly redeemed from a Philadelphia prison as a teenager, we salute the grand old man of the prize-ring.
Bernard Hopkins came within a month and a week of wearing the light-heavyweight world title aged 50