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Nicola Adams

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NICOLA ADAMS’ year began with a stutter, when she suffered a surprise upset loss to Stoyka Petrova at the Europeans. It had been many years since Adams left a major championship without a medal. But she put that behind her. She was already the first woman to win a boxing gold medal at an Olympics, she repeated the feat at the Commonwealth Games in August where similarly she won the first gold medal in the women’s boxing competition in Glasgow.

See who is at No.7 | See who is at No.5

Don’t miss the first issue in January for Boxing News’ choices for the best amateur boxers of 2014

Katie Taylor

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KATIE TAYLOR was imperious at the World championships on Jeju Island in South Korea. She won her fifth consecutive World gold medal, equalling Mary Kom’s record in the process. So far she remains one step ahead of her rivals and is still the pound-for-pound leader of the women’s sport.

See who is at No.6 | See who is at No.4

Don’t miss the first issue in January for Boxing News’ choices for the best amateur boxers of 2014

Shelly Watts

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The lightweight edged past pre-tournament favourite Natasha Jonas on a split decision at Glasgow 2014 and went on to become Australia’s first female Comonwealth Games champion.

See who is at No.5 | See who is at No.3

Don’t miss the first issue in January for Boxing News’ choices for the best amateur boxers of 2014

Claressa Shields

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AMERICAN middleweight Claressa Shields won the Olympic Games when she was only 17. Forced to sit out top flight competition last year due a change in the age restrictions, she was back with a bang in 2014. With fast, heavy hands she blazed through her opposition at the World championships to win her first World crown.

See who is at No.4 | See who is at No.2

Don’t miss the first issue in January for Boxing News’ choices for the best amateur boxers of 2014

SANDY RYAN WON RED ( ONE NATION PEGASUS ) V VALERIAN SPICER ( ISLINGTON )_

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Entering her first major international championship at this year’s Worlds, Sandy Ryan was expected merely to gain experience. Instead, showing power and skill, she boxed way through to the 64kgs final. She had to settle for silver there but, weighing in light, she can make the Olympic weight, 60kgs, and is one to watch for the future.

See who is at No.3 | See who is at No.1

Don’t miss the first issue in January for Boxing News’ choices for the best amateur boxers of 2014

Walsh

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In a year when Nicola Adams made history at the Commonwealth Games and Katie Taylor firmly underlined her name in the record books, Michaela Walsh is a surprise winner of this poll of our online readers. Walsh emerged as a rival to Adams at the Commonwealth Games. She reached the final, put in a  fiery challenge but Adams prevailed. Michaela rose to 54kgs for the World championships but lost a split decision to Azerbaijan’s Anna Alimardanova.

See who is at No.2 | See who is at No.10

Don’t miss the first issue in January for Boxing News’ choices for the best amateur boxers of 2014

December 25, 2014
December 25, 2014
EdwinValero

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BEFORE he was a murderer, Edwin Valero was a boxer.

And before he was a boxer, he was a boy, born in Venezuela on December 3, 1981 into a life of poverty and hard knocks that led to street fights and trouble with the police from a tender age. It was this shaky foundation that guided him to the prizefighting ring and from which that ring provided escape; it is likely in this harsh, angry soil that the seeds were sown that would ultimately erupt with shockingly violent finality.

Those early years, he would tell confidantes when he first arrived in the United States, were times of theft and motorcycle gangs, of finding an outlet for a tightly-coiled rage, a rage that seemingly never left him, even when he channeled it into the challenges of boxing.

“I saw him train about three times before I ever saw him spar, and I was immediately awed by him,” recalls Doug Fischer of The Ring, who was one of the first journalists to see the young super-featherweight in action shortly after he arrived at Joe Hernandez’s gym in Vernon, California in the spring of 2003. “The first time I saw him just train, just going through all the stations in this really cramped gym, and watching him skip rope and go from a double-end bag to a speed bag to a heavy bag and shadow-boxing, his intensity set him apart from most professional fighters that you saw. And then I saw him spar, and my God, he was having an easy time with guys he shouldn’t have been having an easy time with.”

Among those guys was Juan Lazcano, who in September of that year would annex the lightweight title from Stevie Johnston.

“Lazcano couldn’t hang with him,” says Fischer. “I think Lazcano sparred with him two or three times and decided he’d be better off at Joe Goossen’s gym in the valley sparring with [former and future world champion] Joel Casamayor.”

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The Modern Day Edwin Valero?