We come now to our final award -- The Beltway Boxing Fighter Of The Year for 2014!
This year's winner fought five times, four of the bouts were world title contests. Our winner started the year by defeating a legend, fought on the Card Of The Year and one of the honorable mention cards. One of the bouts landed among the best of the year and our winner ended the year by fighting twice in a nine-day period and both of those bouts were complete and utter shutouts.
Our winner is the first Beltway Boxer to win this award in consecutive years. This year, she has the award all to herself.
The 2014 Beltway Boxing Fighter of the Year is:
Tori "Sho Nuff" Nelson (13-0-3, one KO), welterweight, WIBA Welterweight champion, Ashburn, VA
Nelson had a remarkable year in 2014, winning five contests. Nelson's year started by overpowering the legendary Mia St. John on May 17 in Annandale, VA stopping her in the second round for the first of Nelson's four defenses of her WIBA Welterweight title.
Nelson would compete in two very tough title defenses in her next bouts. On June 28 in Baltimore, MD, Nelson faced Nicole Woods. Although Nelson had difficulties with Woods's unorthodox style, she managed to win a 10-round unanimous decision by landing strong left hands and a fierce uppercut. Arlene Blencowe proved to be Nelson's toughest opponent as she tested Nelson like no other on September 27 in Springfield, VA. Nelson would manage to win a split decision. This bout would also be the last time Nelson would lose a round in 2014.
Nelson would end the year pitching back-to-back shutouts in a nine day period. Nelson would have an easy time with Lucretia Markham on November 6 in Cockeysville, MD winning a four-round unanimous decision in a non-title contest. Then on November 15 in Fairfax, VA, Nelson would make the fourth defense of her title dominating Victoria Cisneros over 10-rounds en route to a unanimous decision.
This would also be a great year for the Nelson camp as both Nelson and manager James Hogan would be honored by the WIBA as Boxer and Manager of the Year.
Honorable Mention (In alphabetical order):
Tyrieshia "Lady Tyga" Douglas (8-0, three KO's), WIBA Bantamweight Champion, Washington, DC
Douglas had a solid year of advancement in 2014. Douglas started her year on June 28 in Baltimore, MD with a six-round unanimous decision over Christina Fuentes. Douglas would follow up with two knockouts over two very overmatched opponents, showing that she was on a championship level.
Douglas would get to prove that on November 13 in Baltimore when she captured the WIBA Bantamweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision over Christina Ruiz. Douglas, normally a flyweight, would move up two weight classes to win the title.
Tony "Mo Better" Jeter (19-4-1, 13 KO's), WBC Fecarbox Middleweight champion/NABA USA Middleweight champion, Stevensville, MD
Jeter had a promising start to 2014 with an opportunity to face Patrick Nielsen in Denmark for the WBC Silver Middleweight title. However, February 15 didn't not go well for Jeter as Nielsen stopped him in the second round.
Jeter would return home and would defend his WBC Fecarbox title on April 26 with a first-round knockout of Guillermo Valdes in Springfield, VA. Then would come Jeter's best performance of the year as he defeated Jimmy Lange for the second time on November 15 in Fairfax, VA in what would be the Beltway Boxing Bout Of The Year. Jeter would end the year with a first-round knockout of James Wayka on December 6 in Springfield. Jeter pulled off a triple threat in two of his bouts as he served as boxer, promoter and matchmaker for those cards.
Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KO's), IBF Super Lightweight champion, Washington, DC
There were many questions about Peterson after his crushing fifth-round knockout loss to Lucas Matthysse in May of 2013. The loss was a non-title affair so Peterson was still in possession of his title. Peterson would defend his belt against the mandatory number one challenger, Dierry Jean of Montreal, Canada in front of his home fans on January 25 at the DC Armory. Peterson would answer his critics by winning a unanimous decision.
In his only other contest, Peterson would defend his title for a second time with a 10th round TKO of Edgar Santana on August 9 in Brooklyn, NY. That win now has a little more meaning as it sets him up for his April bout this year against Danny Garcia.
Previous BATB Beltway Boxers of the Year:
2006: Eric Aiken
2007: Darnell Wilson
2008: Lamont Peterson/Joshua Snyder
2009: Fernando Guerrero
2010: Tim Coleman
2011: Lamont Peterson
2012: Tony Jeter
2013: Phil Jackson Benson/Tori Nelson
Those are our award winners for 2014. Again, what a great year it was! We thank all of you for your support and we look for an even better year in 2015!