SAN DIEGO, December 23, 2013 – In what is becoming a holiday tradition, HBO will replay the best boxing aired on its network in 2013 for fight fans to enjoy again, or perhaps for the first time. For five nights straight, HBO will air two top bouts back to back.
There were many exceptional moments in the ring in 2013. HBO’s producers have done a good job selecting its featured contests. Christmas songs are lovely and all that, but fight freaks want Santa to bring the action.
All times are 11 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Pacific. These bouts air on HBO Latino in Spanish at the same times each night. They are also available on HBO On Demand and HBO GO.
December 23: Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler II, May 25, 2013; and Sergey Kovalev vs. Nathan Cleverly, August 17, 2013
Froch avenged his 2010 loss to Kessler in a brawling 12-round decision that thrilled his hometown fans in London. The 36-year-old Brit would love to do the same against Andre Ward this year. Kovalev established himself as a force to be reckoned with when he took Cleverly’s WBO light heavyweight title on Cleverly’s turf to the dismay of the fans in Cardiff, Wales.
December 24: Timothy Bradley vs. Ruslan Provodnikov, March 16, 2013; and Miguel Cotto vs. Delvin Rodriguez, October 6, 2013
Bradley had a lot to prove to the fans and to himself, that his victory over Manny Pacquiao wasn’t a gift. The Desert Storm did it by winning a punishing fight with the Siberian Rocky. Bradley admitted to suffering a concussion early in the fight, but prevailed in a show of fortitude and conditioning that earned him newfound respect. Including Cotto’s knockout of Rodriguez is a bit of a stretch on this list. Rodriguez is not a top contender. But Cotto needed a sharp comeback performance and he delivered one. HBO hopes Cotto will draw big audiences with more fights like this in 2014 against some bigger names.
December 25: Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado II, March 31, 2013; and Gennady Golovkin vs. Matthew Macklin, June 29, 2013
It was hard for Rios and Alvarado to live up to their first match, the runner-up for fight of the year in 2012. It was a terrific bout but Alvarado employed more boxing than brawling to take the decision this time. Golovkin earned his first appearance in the HBO best lineup with his body shot knockout of Macklin, perhaps the best body shot knockout in a decade.
December 26: Timothy Bradley Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, October 13, 2013; and Adonis Stevenson vs. Chad Dawson, June 8, 2013
Bradley made a strong case for himself as 2013 Fighter of the Year in his dominating performance over the great Mexican champion Marquez. Stevenson might be his biggest competition in this race. In this fight, the light heavyweight scored a shocking first round knockout against Dawson. Don’t blink or you’ll miss this replay.
December 27: Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios, November 24, 2013; and James Kirkland vs. Glen Tapia, December 7, 2013
Both Pacquiao and Kirkland needed comeback victories to restart their stalled careers in the ring. They got them in fine fashion. Rios was no match for the speed and mastery of PacMan; Kirkland took Tapia apart in winning by TKO.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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