Pound4poundireland’s 2017 Fighter of the Year

Rungvisai Gonzalez Boxing

Fighter of the Year

1. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai

2. Vasyl Lomachenko

3. Mikey Garcia

Mikey Garcia reminded everyone of his talent this year, continuing his comeback from a long layoff to first destroy titlist Dejan Zlaticanin at lightweight in a KO of the year candidate, then dominate Adrien Broner at 140.

“No Mas-chenko” was coined in boxing lore thanks to consecutive schoolings in 2017 of Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga and (the admittedly much smaller) Guillermo Rigondeaux, all of which resulted in corner retirements, cementing Vasyl Lomachenko near the top of everyone’s estimations of boxing’s top fighter.

Wouldn’t it be great to see Lomachenko-Garcia in 2018? A shame that promotional differences, maybe size too, will keep them apart, at least for now.

The outstanding fighter of 2017 to my eyes was the formerly unheralded Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

Prior to 2017, the Thai, birth name Wisaksil Wangek, a former kickboxer of over 50 professional fights, was most known for a brief 115lb. title run that ended in a cut-shortened defeat to Carlos Cuadras in 2014.

But, having not faced a fighter with a decent record in two years, he fought a savage war with consensus pound for pound #1 and undefeated lower weight legend Roman Gonzalez, coming out with a hotly debated decision win, one which I felt he had earned.

All debate was quenched in the immediate rematch 6 months later, when Rungvisai stepped it up yet another gear and flattened Gonzalez brutally in the fourth round.

He’s earned his place among boxing’s elite, will have a chance to further his case against another lower weight darling when he takes on Juan Francisco Estrada next month, and is the Pound4poundireland Fighter of the Year for 2017.

 

Pound4poundireland’s 2016 Fighter, Fight, Knockout, Round, Prospect, Upset and Trainer of the Year

Fighter of the Year

1. Carl Frampton

carl-frampton

2. Andre Ward

3. Vasyl Lomachenko

Fight of the Year

1. Francisco Vargas-Orlando Salido

2. Jamie Conlan-Anthony Nelson

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/full-fight-video-anthony-nelson-vs-jamie-conlan-fight-of-the-year-candidate/

3. Leo Santa Cruz-Carl Frampton

https://ok.ru/videoembed/93337488021

Knockout of the Year

1.  Hassan N’Dam ko1 Alfonso Blanco

2. Deontay Wilder ko9 Artur Szpilka

3. Murat Gassiev ko1 Jordan Shimmel

Round of the Year

1. Yoshihiro Kamegai-Jesus Soto Karass I Round 10

2. Jamie Conlan-Anthony Nelson Round 5

3. Edwin Rodriguez-Thomas Williams Jr. Round 2

Prospect of the Year

1. Jarrett Hurd

2. Jason Quigley

3. Hughie Fury

Upset of the Year

1. Joe Smith Jr. ko1 Andrzej Fonfara

2. Jezreel Corrales ko2 Takashi Uchiyama

3. Julius Indongo ko1 Eduard Troyanovsky

Trainer of the Year

Shane McGuigan – mainly for his work with Carl Frampton, but also George Groves

Pound4poundireland’s 2013 Awards for Fight, Knockout, Round, Prospect, Upset and Trainer of the Year

Fight of the Year

1. Timothy Bradley-Ruslan Provodnikov

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/fight-video-timothy-bradley-v-ruslan-provodnikov-fight-of-the-year-candidate/

2. Mike Alvarado-Brandon Rios II

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/full-fight-video-brandon-rios-mike-alvarado-ii-another-classic-fight-of-the-year-contender/

3. Omar Figueroa-Nihito Arakawa

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/full-fight-video-omar-figueroa-vs-nihito-arakawa-epic-fight-of-the-year-contender/

Knockout of the Year

1. Javier Fortuna ko1 Miguel Zamudio

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/full-fight-video-javier-fortuna-v-miguel-zamudio-frightening-first-round-knockout-of-the-year-contender/

2. Deontay Wilder ko1 Siarhei Liakhovich

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/full-fight-video-deontay-wilder-vs-siarhei-liakhovich-ko-of-the-year-candidate/

3. James Chereji ko2 Belmin Skomorac

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/full-fight-video-james-chereji-vs-belmin-skomorac-knockout-of-the-year-candidate/

Round of the Year

1. Timothy Bradley-Ruslan Provodnikov Round 2

2. Denkaosan Kaovichit-Eiji Tsutsumi Round 10

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/video-round-of-the-year-candidate-denkaosan-kaovichit-vs-eiji-tsutsumi-round-10/

3. Darren Barker-Daniel Geale Round 6

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/full-fight-video-daniel-geale-vs-darren-barker/

Prospect of the Year

1. Vasyl Lomachenko

2. Jessie Magdaleno

3. Naoya Inoue

Upset of the Year

1. Simpiwe Vetyeka rtd6 Chris John

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/full-fight-video-chris-john-vs-simpiwe-vetyeka/

2. Fahlan Sakkereerin Jr. ko3 Ryo Miyazaki

3. Jhonny Gonzalez ko1 Abner Mares

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/full-fight-video-abner-mares-vs-jhonny-gonzalez/

Trainer of the Year

Angel Garcia – for his work with Danny Garcia

Pound4poundireland’s 5 breakout names for 2014

Vasyl Lomachenko – This twice Olympic champion will challenge Orlando Salido for his Featherweight title in March, and if he wins, would break the world record by winning a world title in just his second pro fight. This could also set him up for a mega showdown later in the year with fellow ex-amateur all-time great Guillermo Rigondeaux, and a chance to gatecrash the pound for pound elite quicker than anyone else in boxing history

 

Naoya Inoue – Inoue has already established himself in the Jr. Flyweight top ten in just 5 fights, and could be set to charge towards a world title in 2014, joining the many Japanese fighters in the lower weights who have taken the fast track to the top, most notably in recent times, the highly talented Kazuto Ioka

 

Khabib Allakhverdiev – Top Rank’s WBA “regular” bauble-holder at Jr. Welterweight had an inactive year in 2013, fighting only once, a lethargic stoppage of Souleymane M’Baye, and seeing a scheduled fight with Breidis Prescott on HBO fall through due to injury. 2014 promises to be far better for the former world amateur bronze medallist, and he is next slated to appear on Pacquaio’s undercard in April.

With Top Rank lacking opponents for their big names at 140 and 147, he could find himself in a major fight next year, and would have the chance make a Provodnikov-like breakthrough

 

Terence Crawford – Crawford was the man to take advantage of Allakhverdiev’s injury, stepping in to school Prescott early in 2013. Two further wins on HBO followed, and the new year could provide him with his chance to establish himself as the premiere lightweight on the planet.

That starts with a scheduled mandatory shot at Ricky Burns in March, although I have a niggling feeling that Burns might just pull out of this one ‘injured’ and vacate his title, instead of taking a very likely loss in front of his home fans

 

Bermane Stiverne – With Vitali Klitschko’s virtual retirement and vacation of his title, comes the opportunity for a number of heavyweight contenders to claim a slice of history. Stiverne gets the first crack at it, and he could hardly have a more favourable opponent: the WBC’s favourite overweight son Chris Arreola, whom he quite easily beat just a matter of months ago.

If, as expected, he can pick up the title, and continue to be showcased on HBO or Showtime, he will transition from relative obscurity to prominence in the boxing landscape next year