Irish Boxing Review author Steve Wellings was featured among the boxing pundits asked to give their boxing highlights of the year so far. Steve was joined by the founder of First Class Boxing Paul Webb, Nuthouse Podcast host Andy Paterson, dart player extraordinaire and big boxing fan Chris Mason. Heavyweight boxer Clarence Tillman and Nuthouse podcast member and producer Kurt Ward also offered up their opinions.

Highlight of the year so far?

Steve: Klitschko vs. Leapai of course! Seriously though, there have been a few moments of interest here and there but we really need a strong end to the year if it is to match 2013, which was great. Mayweather-Maidana was interesting in the way Maidana forced the fight and succeeded in making it closer than most of Floyd’s other recent bouts which is about as much as we can hope for at the moment with him. Stiverne’s comprehensive knockout of Arreola has opened up a potentially noteworthy period in the heavyweight division. The Froch-Groves rematch was a highlight more for the event than the fight but at least it provided a conclusive finish to the pre-fight animosity and confusion of the first fight. Lomachenko making history with his win over Gary Russell Jnr also sticks in the mind.

Paul: Curtis Woodhouse winning the British title. I was fortunate to be sat ringside as the former footballer achieved a life long dream of winning the Lonsdale belt. It was one of the most emotional atmospheres I have experienced at a fight as the crowd and majority of press seemed to be willing him on in a contest on paper he had no business winning. Darren Hamilton boxed well but was out jabbed and hustled by Woodhouse and when the loud mouth MC John McDonald bellowed “and the new” the celebrations in and out the ring were something special.

Andy: Nothing really sticks out other than some great scraps in the UK so far. Won’t forget Tommy Coyle’s war with Daniel Brizuela; it was one of those fights where your score card was all over the place. I think I ended up abandoning my score card and just let the fight play out. It was nice to see Gavin Rees also go out on a winning note and on his own terms, he has always been an underrated technician by some people. And then there was round 5 of Travis Dickinson against Matty Clarkson, the police should have been called in for that one!

Chris: Tough question. I liked Lucas Matthysse vs John Molina Jr, but for me it’s the rise of Chris Algieri and his win over teak tough Ruslan Provodnikov.

Clarence: Carl Froch’s knockout of George Groves. Can’t get too much better than that.

Kurt: The event that was Froch – Groves II. Seeing 80,000 pack out Wembley stadium for a sport which has been viewed as dying by some was incredible to see. Boxing was in the mainstream, and people who don’t follow the sport were actually interested in what was happening. We will hopefully see more of these huge events over the coming years…..

Click on this link to read the rest of the predictions!

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