There comes a time in every boxing fan's life where he simply loathes the fact that he's so invested in such a seemingly spiteful - or suicidal - sport and industry. The entire year of 2012 has basically been one of those times.
Sure, a few exciting and meaningful scraps have been nestled here and there between the endless saga of misery and controversy, however, on the whole the year has been a catastrophe for the sport.
At 2012's halfway point, so many ridiculous and absurd happenings have taken place that we can already compile a top 10 list of the worst offenders. Each of the items below falls into one of three categories - a terrible decision, a failed drug test or beyond the ring drama - and they've been placed in rough chronological order.
Beyond the Ring Drama: Mayweather and Pacquiao Can't Come to Terms, Again
There was some hope at the start of the year that Floyd Mayweather would meet Manny Pacquiao on May 5, after Mayweather had his jail sentence postponed until the beginning of June. Obviously, harboring such hope was a mistake, as the two sides prefer to take meaningless stands and bash one another to the media as opposed to figuring out a logical way to divvy up some $150 million.
Terrible Decision: Tavoris Cloud vs. Gabriel Campillo
The first of the terrible decisions for the year, Gabriel Campillo got jobbed in his title bid against Tavoris Cloud. Campillo got knocked down in the first, but went on to take complete control of the fight, as he appeared to win perhaps nine or 10 rounds. However, Cloud retained his belt with a Split Decision victory, including one scorecard which had him up by a ludicrous 6 points.
Terrible Decision: James Kirkland vs. Carlos Molina
This fight didn't get to the scorecards, so the terrible decision here is actually a little bit different than the rest. In this case, it was the decision of referee Jon Schorle to disqualify Carlos Molina. Molina was taking it to Kirkland for most of the night, but got sent down in Round 10. There was a great deal of confusion, and Molina's corner entered the ring, resulting in the DQ. This could have been easily avoided by not letting the cornerman in the ring, by acknowledging it as a simple mistake, or by taking any other action besides ending a fun, meaningful fight prematurely.
Terrible Decision: Brandon Rios vs. Richard Abril
Brandon Rios failed to make weight, again, and seemed drained heading into his showdown with the unheralded Richard Abril. Abril capitalized on Rios' weariness, and seemed to cruise to a comfortable decision win, which should have brought him a vacant world title, and by far the biggest victory of his career. Instead - surprise - the house fighter, Rios, got the decision.
Failed Drug Test: Lamont Peterson
Lamont Peterson's scheduled rematch with Amir Khan got flushed down the drain when it was revealed, just weeks before the fight, that he had failed a pre-fight drug test months prior. According to Peterson, he had been prescribed a treatment for low testosterone. Nevertheless, it was his team which requested the strict VADA voluntary testing, and the drug test ruined what would have been his first title defense, and the largest payday of his career.
Failed Drug Test: Andre Berto
Andre Berto isn't one to let another fighter take the spotlight, I suppose. That's why just weeks after the news broke about Peterson, it came out that Berto failed his voluntary pre-fight VADA drug test, leading to the cancellation of his rematch against Victor Ortiz. Berto's excuse was a tainted supplement.
Beyond the Ring Drama: Mayweather in Jail
Floyd Mayweather officially reported to his 87-day jail sentence on June 1, less than a month after his victory over Miguel Cotto. Could it ever possibly be a good thing when the biggest star in your sport serves three months in jail, particularly as it falls in the midst of his dwindling prime?
Beyond the Ring Drama: Paul Williams is Paralyzed
By far the most serious and worst news for the sport came at the end of May, when popular former titleholder Paul "The Punisher" Williams crashed his motorcycle, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Williams had just signed on to face Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in September, which would have been a nice opportunity for him as he continued to rebuild his career. Instead, the fighter who was once the most avoided in the sport as he campaigned from 147 to 160 pounds, will never walk again.
Terrible Decision: Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley
The swirling controversy from the bad scoring in the Pacquiao vs. Bradley fight is still ongoing. Pacquiao threw and landed more shots than Bradley, by wide margins, and also appeared to land the more damaging blows. According to most observers, he won anywhere from eight to 10 rounds in the match. However, the Split Decision astonishingly went to the undefeated Bradley, handing Pacquiao his first official loss since 2005 against Erik Morales, all those years and weight classes ago.
Failed Drug Test: Antonio Tarver
Antonio Tarver receives the "Worst Physique on a Fighter Failing a Drug Test Since James Toney" award, as word came out of Tarver's failed pre-fight screening for steroids after his Draw against Lateef Kayode. It would be wise for Tarver, who was hoping to secure a few more major fights, to simply hang up the gloves and switch full-time to broadcasting, a gig which he has shown a knack for as he prepares for his 44th birthday in November.
Sources: ESPN.com/Boxing, HBO, Showtime
More from this contributor:
Jake Emen runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com. You can find more of his writing, along with interviews, rankings and breaking news stories at the site, or you can follow ProBoxing-Fans.com on Twitter, @ProBoxingFans.
- Sports & Recreation
- Brandon Rios
- Carlos Molina
- Lamont Peterson
- Gabriel Campillo