Monday, October 02, 2023  |


THE RING Year-End Awards 2017: Finalists for ‘Upset of the Year’

Horn (left) on the attack against Pacquiao. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)
Fighters Network

What a year 2017 has been for boxing.

There were 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in London for Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko. Floyd Mayweather and UFC star Conor McGregor made the world stop. Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin threw down in the superfight that everyone wanted to see.

And that was just the tip of the enswell.

For the first time in recent memory our editorial staff struggled to shortlist almost every one of our 10 categories. There was disagreement (there always is) but we’ve now managed to pull together five official nominees per category for year-end honors.

The categories are: 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 revealing the winners, we will present nominees in two categories each day. As always, we would love to hear your opinions: Category 6: Upset of the Year

The finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

Sadam Ali UD12 Miguel Cotto: Last year, Ali came out second-best in a WBO welterweight title fight to Jessie Vargas, who stopped him in nine rounds. The legendary Miguel Cotto, who had regained the WBO junior middleweight title, needed a live body for his final outing and Ali was perfect foil. And then the bell rang. Ali boxed beautifully at times, hurting Cotto more than once on his way to a stunning decision win.

Tony Bellew TKO11 David Haye: When Bellew first challenged former heavyweight titleholder Haye, critics thought he was crazy. Bellew was a reigning WBC cruiserweight titleholder and Haye had beaten significantly larger competition. Haye won most of the opening sessions on aggression, but Bellew was adept defensively and boxing a smart fight when his rival suffered an Achilles tendon injury in the sixth. Bellew seized the initiative, decking Haye twice on his way to a sensational 11th-round stoppage. The rematch takes place on May 5.

Jeff Horn UD12 Manny Pacquiao: With only 17 fights under his belt and zero big fight experience, what were the chances of Horn defeating one of the finest fighters of his generation? Well, oddsmakers installed him as a 10-1 underdog. Despite hurting Horn badly in the ninth, Pacquiao performed below par and the Australian challenger was much more energetic. At the end of 12 rounds, all three judges scored in favor of the new WBO welterweight titleholder. A complete shocker!

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai UD12 Roman Gonzalez: Despite being a former world titleholder at 115 pounds, few expected Sor Rungvisai to hand the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world his first professional defeat. He did just that and reclaimed the WBC title in the process. Sor Rungvisai’s quantity trumped Gonzalez’s quality over 12 rounds and, despite the controversial nature of that result, the hard-hitting southpaw from Thailand rubberstamped his dominance with an emphatic fourth-round knockout in a direct rematch.

Caleb Truax MD12 James DeGale: IBF super middleweight titleholder DeGale was coming off 11 months of inactivity, complex shoulder surgery and he required a soft touch. Step forward Caleb Truax. The plucky American challenger, a 16-1 underdog, hurt his man badly in the fifth and maintained a solid workrate throughout to sensationally claim the title and leave DeGale’s plans for big fights in tatters. A direct rematch could be next.

You have the nominees. Who do you believe deserves the award?


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On the cover this month: THE RING 100