Boxing fans experienced several peaks and troughs in the past year. There was the excitement of the Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward superfight, there was the subsequent controversy surrounding its decision, there was tragedy and there were some terrific prizefights and standout performances.
Who and what stood out the most?
Find out when THE RING reveals its annual year-end awards for 2016. The categories: Fighter of the Year, Fight of the Year, Knockout of the Year, Trainer of the Year, Upset of the Year, Event of the Year, Comeback of the Year, Round of the Year, Prospect of the Year and Most Inspirational.
Leading up to the announcement, we will give you the five finalists in one category each day. Day 5: Event of the Year.
The finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
CANELO ALVAREZ- LIAM SMITH This matchup may not have sent pulses racing but an opportunity to see Canelo Alvarez do his thing at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, was too much for fight fans to ignore. A crowd of 51,240 of them – more than Manny Pacquiao drew there in either of his two fights – paid to see the Mexican icon halt WBO junior middleweight titleholder Liam Smith in an electrifying atmosphere.
BERNARD HOPKINS RETIREMENT He has made more middleweight title defenses than any other fighter in boxing history. He is the oldest man to ever win a world title. He is the oldest man to unify world titles. Don’t hold your breath waiting for these records to be broken. At the age of 51, the legendary Philadelphia warrior retired for good following an eighth-round knockout loss to Joe Smith Jr. at the Forum in Inglewood.
THE DEATH OF MIKE TOWELL Mike Towell was a 25-year-old welterweight from Dundee, Scotland, who tragically succumbed to injuries sustained in a fifth-round stoppage loss to Dale Evans. It was disclosed afterward that Towell, a devout family man, had complained of headaches during training camp yet the fight took place. We don’t have all the answers but lessons need to be learned once we do.
THE DEATH OF MUHAMMAD ALI It may have been expected but that didn’t make this any easier. Losing “The Greatest” on June 3, 2016, was heartbreaking and just as he had in the prime of his boxing career, Ali made the world stop. The internet went into meltdown and news outlets couldn’t get memorials out quick enough. Over 100,000 people were in Louisville to pay their respects and only two words were required on his headstone – MUHAMMAD ALI.
SERGEY KOVALEV- ANDRE WARD The year 2016 was lacking in terms of superfights, but the biggest one available lived up to the hype. Kovalev dropped Ward in Round 2 and controlled the early sessions with his skills and tenacity. This forced Ward to fight under fire for the first time in his career and, despite an uproar in relation to Ward’s unanimous decision victory, fans were treated to a terrific fight.
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