After a great year of boxing fights that included brutal KO’s, monumental upsets, and the emergence of the next generation of great fighters, it’s only appropriate that we acknowledge the top boxing moments and fighters of 2018.
Fighter of the Year
The unanimous pick for FOTY was none other than cruiserweight champion Olexsander Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs). Usyk fought 3 times in 2018, defeating Mairis Briedis, and Murat Gassiev, to capture all four belts (WBA, WBC, IBO and IBF) in the cruiserweight division. In his last fight he successfully defended his belt by knocking out Tony Bellew right after Bellew came off possibly his two biggest career victories over David Haye via TKO.
Fight of the Year
For Fight of the Year, it was hard to pick just one. 2018 was filled with some epic new battles, as well as, rematches. So we had a three-way tie for Fight of the Year:
Canelo vs. GGG (Canelo victorious by majority decision)
Hurd vs. Lara (Hurd victorious by split decision
Wilder vs. Ortiz (Wilder victorious by TKO in 10th round)
Knockout of the Year
2018 was filled with lots of knockouts, but ultimately we decided to go with Jermall Charlo’s (28-0, 21 KOs) second round KO over Hugo Centeno Jr. (26-2, 14 KOs) Having recently moved up in weight, Charlo needed to prove that his power was still there. He put everyone on notice that he hadn’t lost his power when he landed a left hook during an exchange that folded Centeno Jr. and had him unable to continue.
Upset of The Year
The Upset Of The Year had to be Eldier Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs) seventh round KO victory over Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) on August 4, 2018. Although Alvarez was unbeaten at the time, he was overlooked by so many while Kovalev was still looked upon as the top fighter in the light heavyweight division since the retirement of Andre Ward. What was more surprising about Alvarez’s win were the three knockdowns that occurred before the fight was called off by the referee due to the fact that Kovalev could no longer stand or continue.
Round of the Year
Round of the Year had to go to Round 12 of the Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) vs Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) fight. It’d be very hard to find another round that had the drama and intrigue factor that this round possessed. With all the controversy involving the ten count and no one understanding how Fury could get up from what seemed like a punch that could literally kill another human being, the round all seemed so unreal. Not only did Fury get up, but he was never wobbly nor did he seem too stunned.
Prospect of the Year
The Prospect of the Year goes to Jaron Ennis (22-0, 20 KOs), who is a slick Philadelphia fighter in the welterweight division. Not long ago, he was taking any local fights he was given and now he’s stepped up in competition, fighting on Showtime, and still looking as dominant as he did before although he’s fighting better competition .
Biggest Disappointment of the Year
The Biggest Disappointment of 2018 has to be Billy Joe Saunders (27-0, 13 KOs). After his standout performance against hard hitting David Lemieux at the end of 2017, many people were looking forward to seeing what was in store for Saunders in 2018. He had a fight set against Martin Murray in June but pulled out due to an “injury”. Many fans believe he pulled out because there was a possibility that he could fight GGG or Canelo. After the Murray fight fell through, he was scheduled to defend his title against Demetrius Andrade in October, who would’ve been his best opponent to date, but as the fight got closer Saunders was caught with a banned substance in his system which caused him to be stripped of his title. Saunders did have a fight at the end of December, where he weighed in at 178 pounds, which was eighteen pounds over his normal 160 pound weight limit. Now the big question is can he even make the middleweight 160 pound limit any longer?
Trainer of the Year
Trainer of the Year goes to none other then Anatoly Lomachenko. Given the work he’s done with Oleksandr Usyk on his way to becoming the undisputed cruiserweight champ and getting his best career victory, and with his son Vasyl Lomachenko who once again moved up in weight to win himself two belts even when he was clearly the smaller fighter against both opponents.