The year of 2008 was not a spectacular year for the African American fighter as one after another went belly-up in the heavyweight division in an effort to thwart the Klitschko's, but there is one who stood out, albeit barely.
That would be 26-year old Chad Dawson, the undefeated WBC light-heavyweight champion who defeated both Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver.
Dawson improved to 27-0 with 17 KOs, but just wasn't able to brand himself as a serious challenger for the elite pound for pound fighter he desires.
He has all of the natural tools. Height 6'3, a southpaw, blazing hand speed and decent power, but his stamina is still a question.
He had Glenn Johnson hurt in their fight but almost got clocked himself, but still won a hard fought decision.
I don't think that he proved anything in the Tarver fight because Tarver never really posed a serious threat, but Dawson could not finish him off either and settled for another easy decision.
Next year his first fight is with Tarver again, probably because he could not find anything else.
Nonetheless, Dawson was the best and most exciting Black fighter in 2008, but only because my true favorite Paul Williams was upset and then had to avenge defeat to first save his face in the welterweight division then he won at 160 in impressive fashion and then he blasted away a competent junior middleweight in Verno Phillips to close out the year.
The one guy who could have conceivably been at the top of the list for our Fighter of the Year was the old man, Bernard Hopkins who knocked down Joe Calzaghe and lost a close decision, but then just blew away the best middleweight in the world Kelly Pavlik in a 170 confrontation.
Hopkins finished the year as a fresh face in a sport that is in dire need of some excitement beginning 2009, with MMA chipping away at its promotional dollars and network appeal.
The problem now is that there is not really anywhere for B-Hop to go, unless he wants the winner of Dawson-Tarver, or unless he wants to give Roy Jones Jr. another payday.
I guess that I would be even more impressed with Hopkins knockdown of Calzaghe if Jones didn't do the same.
Perhaps if nothing else it proves that a Hopkins/Jones fight would be compelling for all the wrong reasons. That they are both old and fading and because of that it is a fight that should and will be made.
Down the food chain of outstanding Black fighters is undefeated WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto who will fight Luis Collazo at the Beau Rivage Resort in Biloxi Mississippi on Jan 17.
The problem with the 25 year old and 23-0 Berto is that he doesn't appear to be improving as a fighter.
Against Steve Forbes he didn't look any better than Oscar de la Hoya, and the larger question is whether or not Berto wants to be great, and if he's willing to put the work in to accomplish that.
Another down the food chain is Shane Mosley, who defeated Ricardo Mayorga in a 12 round knockout, but who's not beating the hell out of the cigarette smoking Mayorga.
Don King has a tougher time just getting Mayorga in the ring to fight than any of his opponents have against him these days.
Mosley still managed to parlay that win into a title bout against Antonio Margarito next month at Staples Center, but beyond that who knows where he goes.
Wladimir Klitschko beat so many Black fighters in 2008 his nickname could be the LAPD. I'm talking about when Daryl Gates was the Chief.
Lamon Brewster, Tony Thompson, Hasim Rahman and did I tell you what the older brother did to Sam Peter? The heavyweight division is not even a division anymore, it's a monopoly with the Klitschko owning all of the property and controlling the bank account.
Memo to Dan Goossen: Please don't event think about having Chris Arreola fight anyone of the Klitschko brothers. Wait until they both are gone and then unleash the nightmare against anyone.
Finally, someone asked me recently how is Don King doing. My response was just like Wall Street and the U. S. automakers. Give him a bailout.