WE polled the readers of Boxing News Online to see who their international fighter of the year was. The fervent popularity of destructive Kazakh Gennady Golovkin shone through. He was chosen with 47% of the vote, even though 2016 has been quiet by his standards. He knocked out Dominic Wade and then took on Kell Brook, a welterweight world champion stepping up two divisions. It was a fight that Brook was never going to win, he was outgunned from the start. But the event did capture the public’s imagination and was an exciting spectacle as Golovkin steamed into him and ultimately overwhelmed his gallant challenger.
Golovkin’s next closest competitor in the poll for international fighter of the year was brilliant Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko with 28% of the vote.
Lomachenko has only had eight professional contests but in 2016 became a two-weight world champion when he dismantled and destroyed Roman Martinez to win the WBO super-featherweight title. He defended by utterly bamboozling, then hammering Nicolas Walters, who had been expected to be a challenge. Walters quit on his stool.
Other contenders were Andre Ward with 7%, Terence Crawford with 6%, Manny Pacquiao 4%, Roman Gonzalez with 3%, Canelo Alvarez 2% and Sergey Kovalev, Jorge Linares and Oleksandr Usyk all on 1%.