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World fighter of the year

fighter of the year
The 2019 fighter of the year

1. Canelo Alvarez
Mexican superstar Canelo scored two of his biggest wins in 2019. He defeated Daniel Jacobs via decision to unify the WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight belts, before venturing up to light-heavyweight to dethrone WBO champion Sergey Kovalev inside the distance.

Canelo
Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy

2. Manny Pacquiao
They thought he was finished, or at least on the slide, yet this year Pacquiao confounded the doubters with a humbling decision over Adrien Broner, prior to an even better points victory by the veteran Filipino against WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman.

3. Naoya Inoue
By now a cult hero, Japan’s Inoue, the WBA and IBF bantamweight champion, romped to victory in the WBSS tournament with a stunning early knockout of Emmanuel Rodriguez, followed by a hard-earned decision over Nonito Donaire in a modern classic.

4. Artur Beterbiev
Fearsome Russian Beterbiev started the year with a dominant knockout of Radivoje Kalajdzic and ended it with both the IBF and WBC versions of the world light-heavyweight title after breaking down fellow champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk in impressive fashion.

Artur Beterbiev
Mikey Williams/Top Rank

5. Josh Taylor
As well as announcing himself as Britain’s premier fighter, Prestonpans’ Taylor swept the WBSS 140lb tournament trophy with brilliant points victories over previously unbeaten duo Ivan Baranchyk, an IBF champion, and Regis Prograis, a WBA champion.

6. Errol Spence Jnr
Though Spence’s year ended badly, due to a terrible car accident, it still featured impressive 12-round victories for the top-quality Texan against Mikey Garcia and Shawn Porter, the latter adding the WBC welterweight belt to the IBF version Spence already owned.

7. John Riel Casimero
Filipino Casimero had four fights in 2019, winning each of them inside time, but it was the final one of the year, a stunning third-round stoppage of the feared Zolani Tete, which landed him the WBO bantamweight title and made him a three-weight world champion.

8. Vasyl Lomachenko
The technically superb Ukrainian Lomachenko, the WBC, WBA and WBO lightweight king, again produced exhibitions, fights to be studied, in 2019, this time at the expense of a pair of game but well-beaten Brits in Anthony Crolla (KO’d) and Luke Campbell (outpointed).

9. Juan Francisco Estrada
Mexico’s Estrada felt unlucky not to get the nod against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai when they met in 2018 but put it beyond doubt in their 2019 rematch, outpointing the Thai to win the WBC super-fly title, a belt he then retained via stoppage against Dewayne Beamon.

10. Teofimo Lopez
Explosive Brooklynite Lopez boxed no less than four times in 2019, knocking out Diego Magdaleno and Edis Tatli, before outscoring Masayoshi Nakatani and ending the year on a real high by stopping Richard Commey to become the IBF lightweight champion.

British fighter of the year:

  1. Josh Taylor
  2. Joe Joyce
  3. Anthony Joshua
  4. Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Daniel Dubois
  6. Josh Warrington
  7. Chris Eubank Jnr
  8. Luke Campbell
  9. Callum Smith
  10. Lee Selby

1 Comment

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  • I disagree with the choice of Canelo for #1 – mainly, but not solely, for the following reasons:
    (1) Canelo refused to resubscribe for a 2nd year of year round testing with VADA back in June/July.
    (2) Taking on the 36 yr old Kovalev was a calculated gamble that appeared well worth it as Kovalev’s performances over the past 18 months have shown he was almost certainly there for the taking. Canelo would not have gone anywhere near Kovalev 3 or 4 years ago – so his win against an old champion well past his prime is undeserving of the amount of praise he’s gleaned.
    (3) Apparently rather than taking on any of Beterbiev, Gvozdyk or Bivol, as a larger Loma would have done, Canelo has dropped the WBO LHW belt and is now dropping down to 168 lbs to take on WBO champ Saunders, no doubt because he realises that Bill is only really a middleweight and has been out of form over the past 12 months.
    Canelo & Lomachenko are both WBC Franchise Champions however the comparison between what GBP/ Canelo & Top Rank / Lomachenko are doing is stark. Loma is taking on all-comers in the higher division he’s chosen to fight in whereas Canelo is simply flitting from division to division picking off opponents thought to be the weakest in those divisions.

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