1 Leigh Wood W KO 12 Michael Conlan
Bookended by two of the most dramatic moments of the year, the March fight between featherweights Wood and Conlan was the kind of fight you show newcomers to the sport in the hope they will stick around. It all began with Conlan registering a huge knockdown in round one with an almighty left hand, after which the Irishman went on to produce some of the finest boxing of his career. That was until Wood caught up with him, however, and finished the fight quite spectacularly in round 12, sending Conlan out of the ring with a straight right cross.
2 Sivenathi Nontshinga SD 12 Hector Flores
The perfect blend of high-octane action and tight scorecards, this September fight at light-flyweight between Nontshinga of South Africa and Flores of Mexico was nip and tuck from first bell to last. Held in Hermosillo, Mexico, a quite fitting backdrop, Flores recovered from a second-round knockdown to push Nontshinga hard throughout, yet it still wasn’t quite enough to stop the South African taking a split decision and heading home with the vacant IBF light-flyweight belt.
3 Kenshiro Teraji W TKO 7 Hiroto Kyoguchi
Light-flyweights Teraji and Kyoguchi met at Tokyo’s Saitama Super Arena in November and together showed that there is no greater sight than that of fighters in the lower weight classes rattling through their punch repertoires at breakneck speed. With momentum shifts in abundance, Teraji and Kyoguchi not only delivered a fight for the ages but, in round five, also gave us arguably the round of the year. That round, a microcosm of the fight, saw both fighters hurt before rallying back quite incredibly.
4 Sebastian Fundora W RTD 9 Erickson Lubin
Known as the “Towering Inferno”, Sebastian Fundora is a 6’5 southpaw super-welterweight whose style and dimensions make him a nightmare for anyone to fight. In April, however, he almost met his match in the form of Erickson Lubin, who, after being floored himself in round two, came back to badly hurt and drop Fundora in a wild and eventful round seven. Yet, in the end, it was Fundora who prevailed when Lubin retired on his stool after nine rounds.
5 Jermell Charlo W KO 10 Brian Castano II
Charlo and Castano met for the first time back in 2021 and both came away disappointed when the fight was declared a draw after 12 rounds. Eager to fix that, they reconvened in May of this year and this time left nothing to chance, with both men fighting harder than before and Charlo, in particular, dominating some meaty exchanges before dropping Castano twice in the 10th round. The win settled their rivalry and also confirmed Charlo’s place at the top of the super-welterweight tree.
6 Joe Joyce W KO 11 Joseph Parker
Although he had a plan, and although he showed a remarkable amount of courage and durability on the night, heavyweight Joseph Parker was still unable to make a dent in Joe Joyce when the pair locked horns in September. Instead, Joyce, as is his custom, set his radar on Parker from the very first bell and just continued marching forward undeterred until, in round 11, he ended matters with a stunning left hook.
7 Fernando Martinez W UD 12 Jerwin Ancajas
No stranger to entertaining fights, experienced Filipino Jerwin Ancajas was involved in not one but two of them in 2022, both against the same opponent: Fernando Martinez. The pair met for the first time in February and this fight, the better of the two, ended with Martinez, an unbeaten Argentinean, taking the unanimous decision after 12 rounds of nonstop action. Martinez then managed to repeat the trick in the October rematch, beating Ancajas once again by decision to retain his IBF super-flyweight belt.
8 Jai Opetaia W UD 12 Mairis Briedis
The often-ignored cruiserweight division has thrown up some classic slugfests in recent years and July’s battle between Opetaia and Briedis in Australia was, as it turned out, a welcome addition to this trend. With no fear of travelling, Briedis, the champion, took his title to Opetaia’s home country only to then leave without it after 12 stirring rounds of action which saw the Latvian at last meet his equal in the physicality stakes and Opetaia, previously unknown, come of age on the big stage.
9 Andy Ruiz W UD 12 Luis Ortiz
A fun brawl between heavyweight contenders, the result of this September fight ultimately hinged on Andy Ruiz’s ability to secure three knockdowns en route to the final bell. The first two knockdowns occurred in the second round, when Ruiz dropped Ortiz with a big right hand, and the equally pivotal third knockdown arrived in the seventh, when a more cuffing right hand this time did the damage. Each of those flashpoints tipped an otherwise back-and-forth contest in Ruiz’s favour and Ortiz, though he had his moments, was in the end left wondering what could have been.
10 Dmitry Bivol W UD 12 Saul Alvarez
While perhaps not the most action-packed fight of the year, the May clash between Bivol and Alvarez was certainly one of the best, both in terms of its magnitude and the skills exhibited by Bivol, the victor, on the night. Deemed an upset by most, Bivol was as good as punch-perfect in Las Vegas and Alvarez, despite his star appeal and his prior success in lower weight classes, found this latest step up to light-heavyweight a bridge too far.
British Fight of the Year
1 Leigh Wood W KO 12 Michael Conlan
2 Joe Joyce W KO 11 Joseph Parker
3 Jordan Gill W KO 9 Karim Guerfi
4 Josh Warrington TKO 7 Kiko Martinez
5 Chris Billam-Smith W UD 12 Isaac Chamberlain
6 Denzel Bentley W UD 12 Linus Udofia
7 Josh Taylor W UD 12 Jack Catterall
8 Sam Gilley TKO 9 Drew Brown
9 Tyler Denny W UD 10 River Wilson-Bent
10 Ijaz Ahmed D 12 Quaise Khamedi
Female Fight of the Year
1 Katie Taylor W SD 10 Amanda Serrano
2 Claressa Shields W UD 10 Savannah Marshall
3 Delfine Persoon W UD 10 Elhem Mekhaled
British Female Fight of the Year
1 Claressa Shields W UD 10 Savannah Marshall
2 Ebanie Bridges W UD 10 Maria Cecilia Roman
3 Sandy Ryan W UD 10 Erica Anabella Farias
Female KO of the Year
Savannah Marshall KO 3 Femke Hermans
Female Prospect of the Year