Welcome to The Queensberry Rules’ annual year-end boxing awards, continuing throughout this week. Here’s how we do it around these parts:
The major categories are Knockout of the Year, Round of the Year, Fight of the Year and Fighter of the Year. The final leg, which will finish after, is a pu-pu platter of awards ranging from Trainer of the Year to more frivolous topics.
For each category, we give five finalists, with video and/or relevant info. You tell us if our finalists and honorable mentions are lacking, and give your vote on who you think should win. Maybe you sway us to adjust the list, and maybe you sway us on the eventual winner. On the second day after a category is introduced, we’ll give you the winner and explain why.
THE 2016 FIGHT OF THE YEAR FINALISTS (IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER)
Jamie Conlan vs Anthony Nelson
“Up and down, topsy turvy” — astute Box Nation analysis.
Fernando Vargas vs Orlando Salido
There’s no year that goes by anymore without Salido in a Fight of the Year candidate, and Vargas is starting to make a habit of appearing now, too.
Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz (link)
A classic of the volume puncher/counterpuncher genre.
Roman Gonzalez vs Carlos Cuadras
Cuadras punctured the pound-for-pound king’s aura of invincibility (but didn’t stop his unbeaten streak) in this well-fought, power punch-filled affair.
Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward (highlights only)
It’s not your typical Fight of the Year slugfest, but it it’s plenty intense and dramatic.
THE HONORABLE MENTIONS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
Dillian Whyte vs Dereck Chisora
Keith Thurman vs Shawn Porter
Jesus Soto Karass vs Yoshihiro Kamegai I
Thomas Williams vs Edwin Rodriguez
Tom Doran vs Luke Keeler
Sam Eggington vs Frankie Gavin
Adonis Stevenson vs Thomas Williams
Shinsuke Yamanaka vs Anselmo Moreno II
Tony Bellew vs Ilunga Makabu
Hosea Burton vs Frank Buglioni
Jorge Linares vs Anthony Crolla
Anthony Crolla vs Ismael Barroso
Gennady Golovkin vs Kell Brook
Jason Sosa vs Stephen Smith
Vyacheslav Shabranskyy vs Sullivan Barrera
Mark Magsayo vs Chris Avalos
Leo Santa Cruz vs Kiko Martinez (link)