Tuesday, March 20, 2018  |


Carl Frampton named 2016 RING Magazine Fighter of the Year


Carl “The Jackal” Frampton has been named THE RING Magazine Fighter of the Year for 2016.

The Northern Irishman separated himself from a tight field of candidates by taking the biggest risks yet emerging victorious in two important fights, decisions over U.K. rival Scott Quigg and American Leo Santa Cruz.

“Obviously it’s a huge honor,” Frampton said when he learned he won the award. “… Toward the end of the year I picked up fighter of the year on some websites but THE RING Magazine, that’s the one. I’ve very, very proud of that.”

Frampton gave the U.K. fans what they wanted when he agreed to fight the unbeaten Quigg on February 27 before a packed house at Manchester Arena, not far from Quigg’s hometown. Frampton won a split decision – and broke Quigg’s jaw in the process – to unify two junior featherweight sanctioning-body titles.

Then, rather than face a marginal challenger after a tough fight, Frampton immediately moved up in weight to face one of the hottest fighters in the world, Santa Cruz, in Brooklyn, New York.

Frampton outboxed the typically aggressive Santa Cruz to win a majority decision, which most observers believed should’ve been unanimous, to add a featherweight title to his growing collection.

And, although the following played no role in the decision to honor Frampton, he impressed us one more time by agreeing to an immediate rematch with Santa Cruz. That fight is set for January 28 in Las Vegas.

So the final tally: Two fights against two elite, previously unbeaten opponents in hostile territory, two victories.

No other fighter had that kind of year. That’s why Frampton edged fellow candidates Terence Crawford, Roman Gonzalez, Vasyl Lomachenko and Manny Pacquiao for Fighter of the Year honors.

“I had an amazing year last year,” Frampton said. “I unified at 122 and moved up and fought a great fighter at featherweight in Leo Santa Cruz. The year went pretty much to plan. It couldn’t have went better.”

The winners in the other nine categories:

FIGHT OF THE YEAR – Francisco Vargas D 12 Orlando Salido

KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR – Canelo Alvarez KO 6 Amir Khan

ROUND OF THE YEAR – Skender Halili vs. Jason Thompson, Round 2

UPSET OF THE YEAR – Joe Smith Jr. vs. Andrzej Fonfara, KO 1


TRAINER OF THE YEAR – Arnulfo Obando


EVENT OF THE YEAR – The death of Muhammad Ali


Struggling to locate a copy of RING magazine? Try here or…


You can subscribe to the print and digital editions of RING magazine by clicking the banner or here. You can also order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page. On the cover this month: the recently retired all-time great Bernard Hopkins.

  • Chris Wallace

    Frampton? Sure, why not. Joe Smith had a better story, but Frampton’s solid. But there’s something not right about giving KOTY to a guy who knocked out a chinny fighter jumping two weight classes. No matter how good the KO was (and it was good), it’d be kind of like giving KOTY to one of those fighters who brutally knocks out Roy Jones these days. It’s not a huge accomplishment.

    • Stephen M

      That and B hop getting most inspirational will surely get tongues wagging.

      • Ewan Leaper

        Along with Alvarez getting KOTY it feels like De La Hoya cronies are being heavily favoured

        • Stephen M

          I guess a person could think there is some favoritism. Let me play Devils advocate. The Khan Alvarez fight was a mismatch, but I have to admit the KO was pretty spectacular. I can still see it clearly in mind. On Hopkins, the panel is probably mostly middleish aged men, so it’s pretty logical that they find Bernard most inspiring…

          • Robert Archambault

            Considering that Khan was known to have a glass chin, his getting KOd was no surprise. Hopkins on the other hand, had never been knocked out in his entire career, even Kovalev could not do it, and Smith utterly destroyed him, knocking him clear out of the ring. How can that not be KO of the year? Other than it would be embarrassing to have a part owner of GBP on the receiving end instead of receiving the award that is.

          • Stephen M

            I suppose they might have to clarify the criteria for KO of the year. I mean, is it most surprising or who’s head bounced the highest after hitting the mat? I have no idea.

          • Robert Archambault

            B-Hop never hit the mat though. He went clean out of the ring. LOL
            I believe a number of factors need to be considered… first of all, catchweight fights should be disqualified from all awards from the get go.
            Second, for KO of the year, the history of the opponent needs to be taken into consideration. If a fighter has been knocked out before, that has to be considered.
            Weight difference also has to be considered but if we eliminate catchweight fights, that is less of a problem.

          • Stephen M

            I suppose they might have to clarify the criteria for KO of the year. I mean, is it most surprising or who’s head bounced the highest after hitting the mat? I have no idea.

          • Chris Wallace

            N’Dam icing Blanco was even more spectacular—and it involved two guys fighting on even terms.

          • Ewan Leaper

            It was indeed Stephen, no question about it, but it was by no means the best I saw this year- from a purely aesthetic point of view I personally liked Hassan N’Whateverhisdamnameis hitting some poor sod so hard that he momentarily humped the canvas like a long-lost lover but it wasn’t even nominated. Interesting to see you and Robert’s take on KOTY criteria, I’d imagine a lot of things should be taken into consideration, such as:

            The size/significance of the fight- the Carl Froch v George Groves rematch

            Underdog status- Joe Smith fits that pretty good

            What’s gone before in the fight/comebacks- Carl Thompson v Sebastien Rothmann, Corrales v Castillo are pretty good examples

            The aesthetic value of the KO- Marciano v Walcott if you like right hands, Robinson v Fullmer if you like lefts, Ray Mercer v Tommy Morrison if you are a sick bastard…

            Canelo’s KO was aesthetically pleasing but that’s about it. Khan was an undersized “name” opponent and it was really just a crap matchup when he’d been beating his chest about taking on anyone. It could possibly have been considered something of a comeback KO but it was Canelo so he was ahead on the scorecards…

            I’ll admit I’m cynical and that I don’t really like how him and his promoter go about their business. It feels like a 7.5 fighter is being pushed as a 10 when you can see how favourably he’s being treated and how carefully he’s been managed, especially recently. You could say Mayweather was ambitious but there was a hell of a lot of money involved so it was a no lose for GBP- factor in that Mayweather was 36, P4P No 1, not a big puncher and outweighed by God knows then the risk/reward was high. Getting punched to smithereens by you know who will do little for the carefully constructed illusion of elite credibilty.

          • Stephen M

            It’s boxing so you are entitled to be cynical. Picking in any of these categories is subjective, so no matter who they pick people will complain. I don’t really know how they get beyond “this is the KO I liked best”. How can you argue with that?
            Cheers Ewan!

        • Nathan Dryden

          Doesn’t golden boy own “The Ring” publication?

      • Jody Hanna

        American media bias.

    • Spider Rico

      Technically, it was one weight class since it was held at a catchweight.

    • Captain Ron

      If you’re one of Oscar’s boys then I guess it’s the achievement of the year. Canelo could have KOed some 75 year old librarian and it would still be the KO Of The Year.

  • 90s swagger

    Congratulations Ring mag – your credibility isn’t completely shot.
    Good call.

    • TNT

      This is still a great magazine (that I will soon subscribe to electronically). I do not see why its credibility is even questioned. The writers do a fantastic job.

      • 90s swagger

        I have tons of respect for the writers, the ( sometimes) obvious bias not so much.

      • D Johnson

        The electronic Subscription is slick.

    • Robert Archambault

      Only half shot. Ward for comeback of the year? Seriously? And how can a catchweight KO by a fighter who outweighed his opponent by about 20lbs in the ring be KO of the year? Oh yeah! Canelo, the Golden Boy of GBP.

      • 90s swagger

        your right, i was being far to kind.

      • D Johnson

        Arturo Gatti vs Joey Gamache was the most spectacular knock out I’ve seen in 20 years. Pretty sure Gatti out weighed him by at least 20 pounds fight night.


    What? Canelo’s KO of Khan is KO of the Year? Everybody KNEW

    • alvin grismore

      Oscar Dela Hoya owns ring mag

    • Captain Ron

      V. Lomachenko nearly beheading Roman Martinez should have been the KO Of The Year. I figured Loma was going to win it inside the distance. But not that swiftly or suddenly. That left-uppercut/right-hook combo was just plain brutal. As for the chandelier-chinned Khan getting flattened by big, hulking Saul Alvarez, um yeh. Like you needed to be a visionary to see that one coming.

      • Droeks Malan

        That was my pick too.


        You know….Alvarez KO Khan is personally picked by Oscar…

        • Captain Ron

          Yup. Goes without saying. Khan himself was picked by Oscar. The whole thing was the KO Of The Year even before it happened.


      Who owns this site? you know.

  • Atamans Atamans

    Santa Cruz win))

  • Keano

    Canyellows name does not belong on any form of awards list. How he can be honoured for the equivalent of an horse knocking out a cat with a kick is laughable. I’ve seen around 10 better knockouts in the last 2 months.

  • KillaBlu

    great choices other than KO of the year and upset of the year. Seriously wtf is with those, Canelo shouldn’t get credit for KOing someone who was a natural 140 pounder and while Fonfara was a good contender, Uchiyama was a long reining world champion

    • Spider Rico

      Yeah, Corrales deserves upset for defeating a former p4p. He was a 15/1 underdog against Uchiyama and KO’ed him in under 3 rds. Even Broner didn’t want anything to do with Uchi when they were around the same weight.

  • Chris Stans

    Comeback of the year probably shouldn’t be such a controversial decision win

  • philoe bedoe

    Good decision giving Frampton the FOTY award.
    Let’s hope it’s not a kiss of death, like some previous recent winners.
    Fury, Donaire, Stevenson………

    • Orca

      That crossed my mind also. I’d say, thanks but no thanks, ha.

      • philoe bedoe

        I hope it’s not a poison chalice, or it goes to their heads and they rest on their laurels lol……..,

  • Ciscostudent561

    How did Joe not win inspiration

    • Captain Ron

      Ali still inspires many folks after his passing. Maybe he should have won it.

  • Jay Rosacay

    For me it should be Lomachenko… he dominated all his top level opponents… KOTY should go to Joe Smith Jr. its very dramatic..

  • D Johnson

    American media bias

    • TNT

      What you talking about Willis?

      • D Johnson

        Just being a smart ass. Bias is a word Ive been hearing a lot around here lately. Apparently if the writer doesn’t share the same opinion as the reader there’s some vast conspiracy amuck. So I was just pointing it out (sarcastically) that there doesn’t seem to be a vast conspiracy by the American media in naming Frampton fighter of the year.

      • Barley mcgrew


  • Already956

    Atta boy. Haters will say he ducked rigo. Meanwhile I’m waiting for rigo to move up from 122.

    • wrecksracer

      I think Frampton deserves Fighter of the Year, but it’s a fact that he was stripped of his title for not fighting Rigo. Not sure why Rigo would move up…all of they fighters at 126 moved up from 122 to avoid fighting him.

      • Already956

        Staying at 122 doesn’t help his cause. And calling out Loma for a fight at 126 when Loma has already jumped to 130 with plans for 135 is just pathetic really

        • wrecksracer

          Yeah, he’s not getting Loma at this point. The problem with 126 is that he already knows that Quigg, Frampton, and Santa Cruz aren’t going to fight him. What would the point of him moving up be? He’s actually small enough to move down to 118…but I’m not sure his options would be any better.

          • Stephen M

            Good points.

  • Rosalino Sanchez Felix

    The Jackal is a good choice for FOTY, and Leo SC will lose the rematch

    • James Otis

      Only if he gets KO’d. Vegas is a Haymon town. If Leo stays standing up, he’ll get the nod. I’ve seen too many Haymon fighters get a Vegas decision after being pounded from pillar to post. If I were a fighter not handled by Haymon, I would not fight a Haymon or Mayweather fighter in Vegas, Puerto Rico or California. It’s a big gamble to fight Haymon anywhere, but Vegas is a done deal.

      • Rosalino Sanchez Felix

        probably, sets up a third match

  • The Immortal S-Hop

    LMFAO B-Hop strikes again. I’m here for it.

    • Tramadol Jack

      Bhop is very inspirational. In his last fight he inspired me to try skydiving.

      • Barley mcgrew

        Post of the day.

      • Vincent Howard

        That was funny

      • Koninbeor

        His last fight inspired me not to fight Joe Smith, Jr. Well… maybe that’s giving him too much credit. I’d say it reinforced my natural inclination not to fight someone who’d knock my head off.

  • Kudos

    Who the fuck is Arnulfo Obando?

    • J Scorpio

      He was Roman ‘Chocalitito’ Gonzalez’s trainer who died of a brain aneurysm a couple of months ago

      • Kudos


  • Billy ray cyrus

    there was a time when the ring fighter of the year award really meant something. It’s a shame what the Bible has become

  • alvin grismore

    Oscar de la hoya owns ring magazine, that’s why his friends are up there.. Frampton is the only real thing going for em

  • Charlie U.

    Frampton is the right choice and I don’t think it was even close. As far as the comeback category, I didn’t see the other nominees but Ward is an odd choice. I’m not like many others here who dislike the guy and pile on whenever they can, but what exactly did he come back from? Litigation that was driven mostly by him? The death of his former promoter who he was at odds with for years? A small movie role in Creed? Leisure time with his family? I think a better, more inspired choice would be Rocky Balboa. That character was all but done in 2006 but he came back as a trainer and Sly almost snagged an Oscar for it. Talk about a comeback, indeed!

    • Nathan Dryden

      I think Loma had a good case for fighter of the year. Came up a div to win the WBO title by nearly decapitating Roman Martinez and then making Nicolas Walters quit …… took out 2 very very good fighters in only is 7th and 8th fight…… WOW!!
      I have no problem with Frampton winning it he had a great year , but to say it was not even close is pretty insane.
      Joe Smith Jr, a part time guy steps up in class level against Pena and TKO him, steps up another level and as a heavy underdog against Fonfara, TKO him in the 1st!! then goes up another level against Hopkins (though old he is still cagey with one of the best ring IQ in boxing history) and not only gives the legend his firsts ever KO loss, but knocked him out of the RING!!!!

      • Young Winter

        Agreed….it was the way the Loma won….I’ve never seen a guy made to quit like that….this guy is something else….incredible talent….

      • Mike Prado

        Good points man. I agree with Carl Frampton getting it, but good cases could be made for Loma and Smith.

    • Nathan Dryden

      Agree with the Ward assessment , I am as confused as you…….

  • Reggie Woodard

    Participation Trophy-Malik Scott

  • Orca

    I was also surprised that they gave Bhop the inspirational award. But i’m ok with it now. You know in the oscars when they give the lifetime achievment award? I feel it’s similar to that. Just a ‘thanks for the memories bhop’ award. Bidding him a fond farewell. When I think of it like that, it seems fitting.

    Fighter of the year award, I have no problem with Frampton getting it. He had a great year. I get the whole Rigo thing but he still won 2 titles on the road in 2 different divisions against really good fighters. Thats hard to beat.

    • Stephen M

      Ya well, do you think that Dougie just started skipping rope out of the blue? No way, he was inspired!

  • Avery Benitez

    Khan had to have been knockout of the year just for the sheer brutality by which he was rendered unconscious. I mean, it happened so quickly and suddenly and put Khan right on his back, immobile. I think it should be based on the manner in which it happened, not the circumstances surrounding it. Lets be honest, that KO had people out of their seats and screaming in glee/concern. Thats what makes KOTY.

    • Don Badowski

      What top welterweight has a reputation for getting KOed hard and doing stupid things? I’ll give you a hint. It’s the same one Alvarez went shopping for.

  • Conrad

    You can’t just give BHop most inspirational because he retired? Well…you can obviously…but…you know, should you?

  • Don Badowski

    Alvarez gets KO of the year? Says Khan…
    Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!

  • Tito Piccolo

    how about robbery of the year?


    Wheres Billy Joe Saunders???

  • Sergey Osadchy

    That’s why the magazine is losing its credibility in the world of boxing and in the eyes of its readers:
    Almoust all respected personality in the world of boxing say the boxer of the year is Lomachenko.
    Readers of the magazine voted for Lomachenko.
    The rating Boxrec Lomachenko just above.
    Skill at Lomachenko admire more.
    There is a feeling that the choice of the journal influenced by.

  • Steven Nicholson

    Congratulations to the Jackal, also won the fighter of year award from ESPN, Yahoo sports, USA today, British boxing board of control and Boxing News so it makes the BBC over here in the UK look even more stupid for refusing to include him on their 16 (yes sixteen) person shortlist for sports personality of the year.

  • RL Stecher

    Good choice for Fighter of the Year. Ward and Hopkins winning their respective categories? The only thing Hopkins inspired was a lesson to fighters who think they can still compete with dangerous contenders beyond the age of 50. Had he accepted his loss like a man, maybe, but he made excuses and went out like a whiner.

  • Andrii Matiash

    Lomachenko № 1

  • kiowhatta

    Ah-em. This is not only questionable, but dubious, possibly even outright biased. Golden boy Canelo? Golden boy Hopkins? Ok Canelo’s one hitter quitter against glass jawed weight jumper Amir Khan was worthy of contention, but not a winner. Hopkins – most inspirational? how about most embarrassing? Most inspirational should have gone to Kell Brook.
    And instead of comeback of the year for Andre Ward, how about worst robbery of the year?
    Vasyl Lomachenko MADE a fighter, an undefeated, world class fighter QUIT. Because he is a freak.
    There can hardly be any discussion.
    Trainer of the year is Kevin Barry (Joseph Parker).

  • kiowhatta

    Barley is gonna be pissed when he see’s B-Hop as most inspirational. Barley? you Ok?

  • khan-cutioner

    And this is why I stopped coming to ring for two years, because the blatant bullshit is just too much, I wonder how anybody still takes this organization serious.