While administrative blunders besieged Boxing South Africa and the organisation continues to wobble on shaky legs, the fighters made the most of opportunities in the ring and delivered a number of noteworthy performances.
When it came to knockouts the following video clips came out tops in a list of the most impressive stoppages of the year with a bunch of local and international fighters in the mix.
Hekkie Budler v Pygmy Kokietgym
Many will say that Budler’s first round stoppage of Karluis Diaz was worth a mention here, but it was his follow-up performance that said much more.
The WBA and IBO minimum-weight world champion was never regarded as a dangerous puncher but his stoppage of Thailand’s Pigmy Kokietgym in Monaco in June changed that line of thinking as he stopped his Thai opponent in the eighth round.
A proper test came in October when the South African picked himself up off the canvas to beat former world champion Xiong Zhao Zhong. A date with Mexican Jesus Silvestre in February awaits for the “Hexecutioner”.
Danny Garcia v Rod Salka
While it may not have been the hardest fight of his career, Garcia reiterated the fact that he has one of the best left hooks in the business as he iced Salka inside two rounds during their encounter in August.
Garcia dropped his American countryman three times during the second round of the non-title contest as Salka was dominated by his unbeaten foe before a brutal knockout ended the one-sided bout.
Nkosinathi Joyi v Rey Loreto
Having moved up a division to junior-flyweight in the hope of securing another world title, South Africa’s Nkosinathi Joyi was pitted against Rey Loreto for the IBO crown in a fight that saw the South Africa southpaw marked as a heavy favourite.
But his Filipino opponent had other ideas and three rounds into the contest unleashed a left hook that sent Joyi crashing to the canvas and he lay motionless for a period before coming round. A return fight is scheduled for February.
Lucas Matthysse v John Molina
This bout provided a thrill a minute for boxing fans as Argentine Matthysse recovered from knockdowns in the second and fifth rounds during the clash for an obscure WBC title to stop the American 22 seconds into the 11th round.
Sporting a cut after an accidental clash of heads in the third round, Matthysse fought back hard and dropped Molina in the eighth and 10th rounds en route to his 33rd knockout in 35 career victories.
Gennady Golovkin v take-your-pick
His stock has been rising steadily, but 2014 was the year that Gennady Golovkin emerged as a household name in boxing. All three of his fights in 2014 ended in stoppages as he moved to 31-0 with 28 short route wins.
The man from Kazhakstan punches hard and it’s difficult to pinpoint which of his wins this year was more impressive so here’s a collection of his greatest hits.
Fighter of the Year: Zolani Tete
The man dubbed “Last Born” finally came through and managed to claim a legitimate world title belt after years of perseverance when he snatched the IBF super-flyweight title.
Having earned a shot at the belt after an impressive win in an eliminator in Mexico in 2013, Tete had to get on a plane to Japan for his world title tilt.
The southpaw from the Eastern Cape delivered a display of crisp punching and his opponent, Teiru Kinoshita, had absolutely no answer with all three judges scoring unanimously in favour of Tete with scores of 119-109 and two of 118-110.
Tete was meant to have defended his belt against Paul Butler in October, but he broke his hand during training camp and the fight was postponed.
Prospect of the Year: Lodumo Lamati
There was a lot to like about bantamweight Lodumo Lamiti when he made his debut in March this year. Trainer Nick Durandt quickly dubbed him “9mm” for his ability to shoot down opponents and the three-time national amateur champion racked up seven wins, six by stoppage, this year.
Durandt has made no secret of the fact that the 22-year-old is champion material and 2015 could see him challenge for the South African title as part of a bigger picture that includes world title ambitions.