THE RING Year-End Awards 2017: Finalists for ‘Fight of the Year’
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 9: Fight of the Year
The finalists are:
Canelo Alvarez D12 Gennady Golovkin
It was a draw and many fans were stomping their feet in protest, but it was a damn good fight. Canelo was sharp early and the Mexican’s lateral movement and counterpunching were superb. Golovkin appeared to solve that style and win several rounds in succession, but Canelo closed well and the match was declared even. The quality on display in this middleweight championship fight was of the highest caliber.
Anthony Joshua TKO11 Wladimir Klitschko
Few experts gave veteran former champion Klitschko a chance of dethroning Joshua who was unbeaten in 18 straight fights with 18 knockouts. Nip and tuck early, Joshua suddenly floored the legendary Ukrainian in the fifth. Klitschko, however, got up and returned the favor by smashing Joshua to the canvas in the very next round. It was intense action all the way until Joshua lowered the boom in the 11th, scoring two knockdowns and forcing the referee to intervene. Arguably the best heavyweight championship fight in 20 years.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai UD12 Roman Gonzalez
“Chocolatito” Gonzalez was the finest pound-for-pound fighter in the world and a relatively unknown southpaw from Thailand wasn’t about to change that. At least, that’s what we thought. Over the course of 12 hellacious rounds, Sor Rungvisai was undoubtedly the stronger and more aggressive fighter. The majority of fans and experts felt that Gonzalez’s quality trumped the challenger’s bulldozing attacks, but all three judges disagreed. A tremendous battle.
Miguel Berchelt KO11 Francisco Vargas
An all-Mexican firefight at 130 pounds that will live long in the memory. Berchelt more than matched Vargas for aggression and scored heavily with terrific shots on the outside. Vargas, the WBC titleholder, was cut and busted up in the early sessions, but his experience and fighting heart kept him in the game. A vicious attack in the 11th finally forced the referee to rescue the champion from further punishment.
Miguel Roman TKO9 Orlando Salido
You would struggle to find a relevant featherweight or junior lightweight that Salido hasn’t tangled with over the course of an incredible 21-year professional career. Once again, the grizzled old warhorse gave it everything, leaving his heart and soul on the battlefield. Roman fought brilliantly, decking Salido in the fourth and once again in an incredible eighth session. Salido went to the well one more time, but Roman would not be denied and closed out with another knockdown in the ninth. Dazzling stuff.
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On the cover this month: THE RING 100