Welcome to The Queensberry Rules’ annual year-end boxing awards, continuing throughout the week. Here’s how we do it around these parts:
The major categories are Knockout of the Year, Fight of the Year and Fighter of the Year. For each category, we give five finalists, with video and/or relevant info. On the second day after a category is introduced, we’ll give you the winner and explain why.
Previously: Knockout of the Year nominees and Knockout of the Year winner. Now: Fight of the Year nominees. On deck: Fight of the Year winner and Fighter of the Year nominees.
FIGHT OF THE YEAR NOMINEES (IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER)
Roman Gonzalez vs Khalid Yafai
The official return of the king. One-time pound-for-pound master Gonzalez turned back the clock in a toe-to-toe war against the undefeated Yafai.
Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte
The ending is plenty good enough, but consider that Povetkin had been down twice in round 4 before knocking out the KO artist himself.
Jose Zepeda vs Ivan Baranchyk
Let’s face it, in most years this is a competitive category. Zepeda vs Baranchyk is just in its own league.
Juan Francisco Estrada vs Carlos Cuadras 2
These two know how to deliver drama in the ring against each other. Estrada got off the canvas to stop the gritty Cuadras for the first time.
Masayoshi Nakatani vs Felix Verdejo
If you didn’t know the outcome and watched the first five rounds you might have assumed Verdejo was going to be the sure winner. Nakatani had other plans.