2010 Breakthrough Fighter Of The Year

In our Breakthrough Fighter of the Year award we take a look at the boxer that made the biggest jump in the rankings in 2010. Most often, he enters the year as a relative unknown but finishes the year on the opposite end of the spectrum. And the nominees are:

Breakthrough Fighter of the Year

Saul Alvarez
Tavoris Cloud
Jason Litzau
Abner Mares
Dmitry Pirog

Ascending up the ranks in a hurry, 20-year-old Saul Alvarez went 5-0 during 2010 including wins over veterans Carlos Baldomir and Lovemore N’dou. Tavoris Cloud had two successful light heavyweight title defenses against Glen Johnson and Fulgencio Zuniga. Jason Litzau increased his stock with upset wins over Rocky Juarez and Celestino Caballero. Abner Mares proved he is already one of the best bantamweights in the world with his win over Vic Darchinyan and controversial draw with Yonnhy Perez. Dmitry Pirog went 3-0 in the year but no win was bigger than his convincing KO of Daniel Jacobs.

And the winner is…

Abner Mares

Abner Mares’ stock grew exponentially after each of his fights in 2010. His year began with a 5th round KO of Felipe Almanza. It was followed by a great performance in a draw against Yonnhy Perez. And honestly, a draw seemed like the worst-case decision for Mares on that night. Mares was unable to capture his first world title that night but he made a good enough impression to be included in Showtime’s bantamweight tournament. In the first round, he defeated Vic Darchinyan by split decision. Abner Mares proved he will be a force to reckon with for many years to come.

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