Ranking Boxing's 10 Best Knockouts in 2013

Kevin McRae@@McRaeWritesFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2013

Ranking Boxing's 10 Best Knockouts in 2013

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    There are few, if any, sports more dramatic than professional boxing.

    In baseball, you know you're going to need to settle in for nine innings. In football, the clock is going to run for 60 minutes. In basketball, you're going four quarters no matter what happens.

    In boxing, literally any second of any round could be the end. You could blink and miss it. That's why people tune in, and why boxing in so dramatic.

    Fans love knockouts. They love seeing that perfect shot, or shots, land and someone go down. Luckily for the fans, 2013 has been especially good to us.

    These are the 10 best knockouts, thus far, of 2013.

10. Mikey Garcia TKO 4 Juan Manuel Lopez

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    Mikey Garcia is quite the puncher. This isn't breaking news, but it's something that's been extremely visible in recent months.

    When Garcia met Juan Manuel Lopez on the main event of HBO's Boxing After Dark on June 15, most felt it was a fight he should win easily. 

    JuanMa wasn't the same fighter since beating being brutally knocked out by Orlando Salido on two separate occasions, and Garcia had easily dispatched of Salido in his last fight. 

    The 25-year-old California native didn't disappoint. He absolutely decimated Lopez and stopped him in the fourth round of a one-sided affair. It was extremely impressive, and it should place him in line for more lucrative bouts going forward.

9. Tony Thompson TKO 2 David Price

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    Tony Thompson was brought in to be nothing more than a name opponent for then-unbeaten British heavyweight prospect David Price. 

    So much for that.

    In the second round, Thompson dropped Price with a right-hand counter that appeared to land near the side of his head. It seemed like a glancing blow, but when Price rose to his feet he was clearly out of the fight.

    Out on his feet, he danced jelly-legged toward the referee, who was forced to stop the contest. It was a stunning upset that derailed a once-promising career.

    Thompson would repeat the feat just five months later in equally stunning fashion.

8. Sergey Kovalev TKO 3 Gabriel Campillo

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    Sergey Kovalev has a reputation. He doesn't like to fight for very long.

    That's because he's knocked out nearly all his opponents within the first three rounds.

    His power numbers are impressive and scary, but without solid opposition, it's hard to tell whether he's that good or if his opponents are that bad. 

    Kovalev stepped up his competition in a big way this past January when he faced rugged Spanish contender Gabriel Campillo.

    In his previous fight, the 34-year-old had been outright robbed of the IBF light heavyweight title when he dropped a ludicrous decision to Tavoris Cloud in Texas.

    None of that mattered to the Russian. He steamrolled Campillo, dropping him three times in the third round, and placed the 175-pound division on notice that he's for real.

7. Edwin Rodriguez TKO 1 Denis Grachev

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    It's a shame that this fight took place so far off American fight fans' radar screens, because Edwin Rodriguez is a star in the making.

    The 28-year-old has appeared on American television a few times—most recently when he stopped Jason Escalera last fall on HBO—but this is the type of breakout performance you wish more people had seen.

    Many observers felt that Grachev, who came down from light heavyweight to a catchweight, would be too tough, rugged and strong for Rodriguez. Had the fight gone on, that might've proven true. 

    But we'll never know because the fight never got past Round 1.

    Rodriguez came out with mean intentions and assaulted Grachev from the opening bell. "La Bomba" landed a sickening amount of power shots and dropped his opponent twice in the opening minutes.

    It was a one-sided beatdown, and it took referee Stanley Christodoulou far too long to intercede and save Grachev from further punishment. 

6. Marcos Maidana TKO 6 Josesito Lopez

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    Marcos Maidana has heard all the criticism.

    He's too small for welterweight. He's one-dimensional as a fighter. He gets hit too often.

    All of those may be true, but Maidana doesn't care. He just wants to fight. He's pretty good at it, and you can never count him out.

    That was a lesson that Josesito Lopez learned the hard way earlier this summer. He dominated the early rounds against the Argentine, and he appeared to be on the verge of getting him out of there. The fourth round was particularly bad for Maidana—you could easily have scored it 10-8 without a knockdown—and it appeared the fight was close to over.

    But Maidana rallied and floored Lopez with a huge overhand right in the sixth round. Lopez rose to his feet but was subjected to a hellacious assault that forced the referee to intervene and stop the punishment.

5. Lucas Matthysse TKO 3 Lamont Peterson

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    Many people come to Atlantic City, the East Coast's best known gambling resort, in order to take risks and hopefully win big.

    Lamont Peterson was one of those people on May 18. With his career sputtering along, he was forced to take a risk in order to get back on track. His risk came in the form of Argentine knockout machine Lucas Matthysse. 

    Unfortunately for Peterson, it was a fool's bet. 

    Matthysse blasted through the IBF junior welterweight champion like it was light work. Peterson was dropped three times, forcing referee Steve Smoger—who isn't known for quick hooks—to end the contest in the third round.

    With the victory, "The Machine" solidified his position as the No. 1 contender to junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia. The two will meet as the co-main event on the Mayweather vs. Canelo undercard on Sept. 14.

4. Tyson Fury KO 7 Steve Cunningham

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    Tyson Fury is brash, arrogant, and most people either love him or hate him. 

    When he faced Steve Cunningham in his U.S. debut earlier this year, he faced a few dicey moments but ultimately he came out OK.

    At the end of the first round, Fury showed his disdain for his opponent by shoving him into his corner after the bell had already rang. Cunningham refused to take the bait, but he evened the score in the following round.

    A huge overhand right hand left Fury sprawled flat on his back. If the fight would've ended there, it's possible this could have been No. 1 on this list. But it didn't.

    Fury beat the count and slowly began to use his size and physicality to take over the contest. In the seventh round he would use his left forearm to block Cunningham's vision and set up a right hand that would end the night.

3. Gennady Golovkin KO 3 Matthew Macklin

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    Somewhere along the line it became popular to question Gennady Golovkin. A small, but vocal, group began banging their drums earlier this year with claims the 31-year-old would get exposed when he stepped up his competition.

    Those drums are eerily quiet now.

    Earlier this summer, Golovkin absolutely decimated veteran middleweight contender Matthew Macklin—who had gone life and death with Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez—stopping him with a vicious body shot in the third round.

    It was the type of punch you don't wish on your worst enemy, and it solidified GGG's standing as the most feared puncher in boxing.

2. Adonis Stevenson KO 1 Chad Dawson

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    One punch. 

    All it took to end the light heavyweight title reign of "Bad" Chad Dawson was one perfectly timed left hand from Adonis Stevenson. 

    Just like that, it was over.

    Stevenson's dynamite power was well known coming into the bout. But many questioned whether he would be able to land that type of shot against a tricky southpaw like Dawson. 

    That question was answered, literally 60 seconds into the bout, and the doubters were emphatically proven wrong. "Bad" Chad was done the second the shot landed, and a new sensation was born.

1. Gennady Golovkin KO 3 Nobuhiro Ishida

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    By this point you should probably understand that Gennady Golovkin is something of a power puncher. 

    His March 30 fight against Nobuhiro Ishida took place off the radar for most fight fans. It wasn't televised on HBO, and it was mostly a stay-busy type of fight that didn't mean much in the scheme of things. 

    But it produced the knockout of the year from a fighter who is developing quite the reputation for putting a hurting on his opponents.

    The end for Ishida came in the third round. Along the ropes he swallowed a huge right-hand shot that literally knocked him out of the ring. Ishida, who was knocked silly, actually ended up with half of his body in the ring with the other half sprawled in the first row.