Ranking the 5 Best Fights Early in 2013

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Ranking the 5 Best Fights Early in 2013
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In the history of boxing, 2012 will go down as a terrific year. There were champion versus champion showdowns like Andre Ward's TKO of Chad Dawson and Brian Viloria's stoppage of Hernan Marquez. We saw epic wars like Robert Guerrero versus Andre Berto and Brandon Rios versus Mike Alvarado. 

Young Lion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. finally stepped up to challenge middleweight kingpin Sergio Martinez, and although he was thoroughly out-boxed for 11 rounds, he nearly pulled off the upset of the year when he dropped Maravilla in the closing frame.

And in December, Mexican superstar Juan Manuel Marquez put the ultimate exclamation point on the year when he stopped Manny Pacquiao cold with, perhaps, the greatest right-hand counter in boxing history, making the fourth installment of their classic rivalry the most exciting one yet. 

Midway through March 2013, the sport has showed no sign of slowing down. With Rios-Alvarado II waiting on deck at the end of the month and Nonito Donaire-Guillermo Rigondeaux right after it in April, boxing fans have good reason to be giddy with anticipation. 

And the still-new year has already been filled with thrilling action. What follows are my selections for the best five fights of 2013 so far. 

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