Fight of the Year: Canelo-Golovkin II
The Canelo-Golovkin rematch was the biggest fight of the year in my opinion. Often rematches fail to live up to the hype but tis fight was even better than the first bout. After the Mexican star failed a drugs test, the fight was pushed back until September. Golovkin was angered by the failed test but the fight went ahead. The pair produced 12 rounds filled with phenomenal intensity, character and huge punches. Canelo gained the decision and in the eyes of many is now the biggest star in boxing.
Fighter of the Year: Oleksandr Usyk
The Ukrainian boxer enjoyed a sensational 2018 as he became unified Cruiserweight champion of the world. He defeated Mairis Briedis and Murat Gassiev in the World Boxing Super Series to win the WBC, WBA (Super), IBF, the Ring and lineal Cruiserweight title alongside the WBO title he already held. For the first time in British boxing history, all four cruiserweight titles were on the line. Usyk’s knock out win against Bellew as he won all three of his fights in his opponent’s back yard. He is planning to move to heavyweight and add some extra spice to the division. Other contenders included Naoya Inoue, Mikey Garcia, Vasyl Lomachenko and Canelo Alvarez.
Knockout of the Year: Whyte-Browne
This was a tough category to pick a winner but the devastating knockout that Dillian Whyte inflicted on outclassed Lucas Browne gets my nod. The Brit dominated his opponent before a sensational left hook ended the Aussie’s night. Other contenders for this award were Alexander Povetkin’s knockout of David Price, Usyk’s finish of Tony Bellew while Naoya Inoue’s KO of Juan Carlos Payano was very close to winning the award.
Comeback of the Year: Tyson Fury
This was a relatively simple category to pick a winner as Tyson Fury came back from over two years of inactivity and mental health difficulties to challenge Deontay Wilder in a heavyweight classic. Fury shed 10 stone and won two comeback fights. He fought the Bronze Bomber for the WBC Heavyweight Championship of the World in what was an epic contest. The Gypsy King looked to be knocked out in the 12th round but he defied the odds to get up just as he proved the doubters wrong by coming back from the lowest point of his life. A deserving winner.
Round of the Year: Fury v Wilder Round 12
The final round of the Fury-Wilder contest is my pick for the best round of the year. The Bronze Bomber landed a devastating three punch combination to knock Fury down. Wilder celebrated as he thought he had won his 41st fight with 40 knockouts. Instead Fury somehow got to his feet and survived the onslaught from the heaviest puncher in boxing today. It looks as if we will get a rematch in what should be another epic contest.
2018 was an excellent year for boxing with some epic fight staking place. Next year promises to be exciting with plenty of big fights taking place. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and feel free to comment on your suggestions for winners in the above categories. I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the best for 2019!!