As the year approaches an end, 2017 was a year the sport of Boxing can be proud of, and 2018 is shaping up to continue the momentum of this year. Some legends bowed out including Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Andre Ward. Meanwhile, Floyd Mayweather claimed his 50th win in a spectacle fight with Conor McGregor (He is still on 49 for most of us), and also retired from the sport.
Representing the UK, Anthony Joshua cemented his reputation as the most exciting heavyweight the division has seen in a long time, meanwhile in the US Deontay Wilder was impressive, and is hopeful for a showdown with Joshua to determine who the new Heavyweight king is.
The Pound for Pound rankings received a shakeup with Errol Spence, Mikey Garcia joining in as top 10 fighters in the world. There were bad decisions from judges specifically in the GGG/Canelo and Pacquiao/Horn fights, but overall boxing had a great year both for casual fans, and purist.
Mayweather vs. McGregor wasn’t the top fight, it was the top draw, Pacquiao vs Horn wasn’t the top fight it was the top robbery and Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux wasn’t the top fight, it was the top surprise ending.
Here are my top 5 fights of 2017!
#5: Andre Ward Vs Sergey Kovalev II
The undefeated Light Heavyweight Champion Andrew Ward who was pound for pound #1 at the time, went out at the top of his game with the demolition of Sergey Kovalev, becoming the only fighter to stop the Russian. Ward was the more aggressive fighter whose defense negated Krusher’s offense, and with his precise body attack ultimately knocking out what seemed to be an already mentally defeated Kovalev.
Ward won the first fight coming off the canvas in the 3rd round to a controversial Split Decision, yet left no doubters in the rematch.
#4: Roman Gonzalez vs Rungvisai 1
Top 5 Pound for Pound fighter Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez at the time was a heavy favorite coming in against Rungvisai. In a back and forth fight Rungvisai upset Gonzalez. He dropped Gonzalez in the first round, head-butted him bloody, and refused to give an inch over the course of what was a very good fight.
A rematch was in September where Rungvisai won via impressive knockout making himself the top guy to watch in the smaller divisions, while leaving us to wonder if we will see Chocolatito again.
#3: Keith Thurman vs Danny Garcia
Two of the best Welterweights in the world met in a unification fight, and from the opening bell both fighters looked to make a statement. The action and pace of the fight was highly intense resulting in both fighters landing their power shots, and looking to out class each other.
In a split decision Keith Thurman edged out Garcia, who started a little slow out the gate. The welterweight division continues to be the best in boxing, and in his win Thurman make his statement for now, as the best in the group.
#2: Golovkin Vs Canelo
In a highly anticipated middleweight showdown, this fight lived up to the hype! Canelo came out of the gate more aggressive and a lot more comfortable than GGG. Beginning in round 4, GGG showed up and began to take control of the fight.
Most fight fans thought the Kazakhstani boxer has done more than enough to edge the contest, but judge Adalaide Byrd’s scoring gave the Mexican 118-110, sparking angry reactions. The rematch is virtually set for May of next year in what will be another anticipated fight.
#1: Joshua Vs Klitschko
Every fight in 2018 will be hard to top this fight, that resulted with a changing of the guard as the legendary veteran Wladimir Klitschko was eventually beaten by Anthony Joshua who is arguably the Heavyweight division’s brightest star since Mike Tyson.
Klitschko tested Joshua and even knocked him down, but the younger man had too much in an epic encounter at Wembley winning via 11th round KO. In his victory Joshua’s popularity has grown even more, and he is spearheading the Heavyweight division back into the lights of the public eye.