With the end of the year approaching and Boxing's Best airing, HBO Boxing Insiders are taking a look back at 2014. Here, they make their selections for the single best punch on the network this year:
Kieran Mulvaney: Gennady Golovkin TKO3 Daniel Geale
For all the outstanding branding by Team Golovkin – from Mexican Style to Big Drama Show, to embracing such Golovkinisms as “good boy” – it would all be for naught if the fighter didn't deliver in the ring. But deliver he does, and big time. To fully appreciate the blow that precipitated Geale's fall, watch it in slow-motion: Geale's face registering a glimmer of glee at landing his best punch of the night – a right to Golovkin's face that knocks back the middleweight champ's head – and that glee transmogrifying to shock and horror as the Australian realizes that there's an even bigger right hand coming in the opposite direction, a right hand that sends him to the canvas and discombobulates him in night-ending fashion.
Eric Raskin: Golovkin's knockout-while-getting-hit move
The Lee-Jackson and Froch-Groves knockouts were more crushing blows. But Gennady Golovkin's KO punch against Daniel Geale gets all the points for creativity. As he absorbed a flush right hand to the face, GGG unleashed a right hand of his own that took his Australian opponent down under. A man who can knock another man out while getting hit is a dangerous man indeed.
Hamilton Nolan: Andy Lee knocks out John Jackson
Jackson outboxed him. Jackson was landing at will. Jackson systematically hurt him, and finally moved in for the kill… and caught one crazy Andy Lee punch thrown from off the ropes on a prayer, and it was over. Craziness.
Nat Gottlieb: Andy Lee knocks out John Jackson
Down in Round 1 Andy Lee picked himself up off the deck only to get schooled by John Jackson over five-plus rounds. No one in the house gave Lee any chance, but with his back to the ropes in Round 6, Lee uncorked a signature right hook that put Jackson to sleep for the evening. With that shot Lee launched himself into a world championship bout.
Oliver Goldstein: Andy Lee against Matt Korobov
Having been whacked out the ring by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in his previous tilt for a belt, Andy Lee must have experienced a familiar feeling through the first five rounds against Matt Korobov. Barring one shot in the third that had Korobov's knees buckle slightly, Lee – tall, gangly, and stiff – was being largely outworked by his stocky opponent. But then came the sixth round – and as an overbold Korobov squared himself up, Lee struck with an incisive right hook that had Korobov's legs fuzzy as analog static. The punch was short, sharp, sweet; and the follow-up onslaught brought the game Lee a first championship belt.
Tim Smith: Golovkin-Geale
The 3rd round KO punch that Golovkin delivered against Geale was a counter right hand over the top a solid left that Geale landed on Golovkin's chin. Golovkin delivered the KO punch while recoiling backwards from Geale's shot.
Diego Morilla: Andy Lee finishes John Jackson
A one-punch stoppage is always an instant candidate for best punch of the year. But if that punch comes while the fighter is being pummeled into submission and almost on the verge of being stopped himself, then the choice is locked. Lee had already visited the canvas of the Madison Square Garden, and was finding himself in the middle of a 20-odd punch salvo while being almost totally outgunned when, out of nowhere, he fired a counter right hook off the ropes from his southpaw stance that landed square on Jackson's cheekbone, sending him to the canvas for the entire count. Irishmen write songs about things like these, and I would be surprised if Lee doesn't already have a ballad written in honor of this demolishing, bone-chilling knockout punch.
Michael Gluckstadt: Golovkin-Geale
This punch shouldn't just win Best Blow, it should win Best Motion Picture for a Comedy or a Drama. The change of expression on Geale's face – and the lack of one on Gennady's – was the boxing year's high point for slapstick humor and range of emotions contained in a single moment.