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2016 boxing awards

Photo via Bleacher Report

Welcome to our 2016 Boxing Awards!

Here are the categories:

Boxer of the Year
Fight of the Year
Breakout Star
Big Things in 2016

Participating in the 2016 FGB Awards – Boxing edition are FGB writers Duan, GG, and Alex Goff as well as Robert Silva from the World Championship Boxing podcast.

Boxer of the Year

Duan: Vasyl Lomachenko
In only 8 fights, Lomachenko is already a two weight champion. The ease at which he dispatched of top level opponents Roman Martinez and Nicholas Walters this year showed just how good he can be. Scary to think that he may just be scratching the surface.

Duan’s previous winners:
2015: Canelo Alvarez
2014: Sergey Kovalev
2013: Timothy Bradley
2012: Carl Froch
2011: Andre Ward
2010: Sergio Martinez
2009: Amir Khan
2008: Manny Pacquiao

Alex: Andre Ward
Beating Sergey Kovalev put Andre at the top of any “best of” list. In 2017, his year will be decided by how he does in the rematch. Kovalev is the scariest boxer and Andre skillfully took on the beast.

Alex’s previous winners:
2015: Floyd Mayweather
2014: Sergey Kovalev

Robert: Terence Crawford
Crawford continues to grow as both a fighter and main event star. His July victory over Viktor Postol was the single, most important and significant victory of 2016, resulting in unifying two 140 pound titles and capturing the vacant Ring Magazine Junior Welterweight title. His victory three weeks ago against brawler John Molina showcased a skill level only matched today by Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux. I’m so hoping 2017 will feature Crawford against Adrien Broner or Manny Pacquiao, helping cement his legacy as one of the greatest fighters of his era.

Robert’s previous winners:
2015: Canelo Alvarez
2014: Sergey Kovalev
2013: Danny Garcia

GG: Andre Ward
I think Duan’s pick of Lomachenko and Robert’s pick of Crawford were both great picks and I thought hard about taking both guys. The Ward pick is probably not a popular one because he didn’t win his fight with Sergey Kovalev convincingly. In fact, a lot of people don’t even think he won. But to me, his decision to go up in weight and take on one of the top two or three baddest men in the game and then win the decision cemented it for me. Ward went 3-0 on the year and even if he beat two patsies, he beat one of the biggest dogs in the yard.

GG’s previous winners:
2015: Gennady Golovkin
2014: Sergey Kovalev
2013: Floyd Mayweather
2012: Nonito Donaire
2011: Andre Ward
2010: Sergio Martinez
2009: Manny Pacquiao
2008: Manny Pacquiao

Fight Of The Year

Duan: Jamie Conlan vs Anthony Nelson
Every now and then boxing throws up a fight like this where there’s not a huge amount of expectation going in and then it delivers something truly classic. It’s eight rounds of pure heart and guts.

Duan’s previous winners:
2015: Dave Ryan vs John Wayne Hibbert 2
2014: Tommy Coyle vs Daniel Brizuela
2013: Timothy Bradley vs Ruslan Provodnikov
2012: Brandon Rios vs Mike Alvarado
2011: Erik Morales vs Marcos Maidana
2010: Mikkel Kessler vs Carl Froch
2009: Bernard Dunne vs Ricardo Cordoba
2008: Tie between Antonio Margarito vs Miguel Cotto and Steve Cunningham vs Tomasz Adamek

Alex: Keith Thurman vs Shawn Porter
The system has robbed fans of fights like this. It was two of the best in the division putting everything on the table. This was an awesome fight, and for a few days it seemed like a great fight.

Alex’s previous winners:
2015: Ruslan Provodnikov vs Lucas Matthysse
2014: Carl Froch vs George Groves 2

Robert: Francisco Vargas vs Orlando Salido
In a year filled with several great fights, Vargas-Salido was the most action packed and brutal. Vargas and Salido are two of the most exciting fighters of this generation. No fighter today has gotten more out of his ability and Vargas has the potential to be this generation’s Matthew Saad Muhammad; a very skilled fighter who can brawl and come from behind while bleeding profusely. Let’s hope 2017 brings us an epic rematch.

Robert’s previous winners:
2015: Krzysztof Glowacki vs Marco Huck
2014: Lucas Matthysse vs John Molina
2013: Timothy Bradley vs Ruslan Provodnikov

GG: Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev
This wasn’t the most exciting fight of the year. To me, that was Robert’s choice. But this fight was the one that fascinated me the most all year long. I love chess matches. I loved the drama of Kovalev knocking Ward down, making Ward look vulnerable for one of the first times in his career. I loved Virgil Hunter yelling at Ward in the corner, letting him know the stakes. I love Ward figuring things out, going to the body to try and stop Kovalev. And I love the drama coming out of the decision with Kovalev thinking he won clearly. It was everything I love about the sport.

GG’s previous winners:
2015: Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura
2014: Terence Crawford vs Yuriorkis Gamboa
2013: Timothy Bradley vs Ruslan Provodnikov
2012: Juan Manuel Marquez vs Manny Pacquiao IV
2011: Juan Manuel Marquez vs Manny Pacquiao III
2010: Amir Khan vs Marcos Maidana
2009: Juan Diaz vs Juan Manuel Marquez
2008: Antonio Margarito vs Miguel Cotto

Breakout Star

Duan: Anthony Joshua
In 2016 Joshua won his first world title and successfully defended it twice without ever being taken out of his comfort zone. He’s already got the biggest fight of 2017 booked and there is a case to be made that he’s becoming boxing’s biggest star.

Duan’s previous winners:
2015: Tyson Fury
2014: Carl Frampton

Alex: Anthony Joshua
Since having his fights featured in America, he has given many the ability to get excited about heavyweight boxing again. Tyson Fury looked like he was going to be a breakout star of the division, but it will be Joshua who will carry the mantle. How he does against the aging former king of the division in Wladimir Klitschko may break him out even further.

Alex’s previous winners:
2015: Roman Gonzalez
2014: Gennady Golovkin

Robert: Errol Spence
Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman will fight each other in early 2017. This is a unification fight between two of the best 147 pound fighters on the planet. I see the winner of this fight having no choice but to fight Errol Spence before the year ends. And neither man, in my opinion, can defeat Spence, thus making Spence the new star of the talent rich division and the entire sport of boxing.

Robert’s previous winners:
2015: Deontay Wilder
2014: Nicholas Walters

GG: Joe Smith Jr.
I’m still not sure if Smith is good or not. He absolutely starched Andrzej Fonfara in the first round, knocking him woozy and then finishing him off in a punishing way. And then he knocked Bernard Hopkins all the way out of the ring in his retirement fight. Again, I don’t know exactly where Smith goes, but he had one of the most surprising and best years.

GG’s previous winners:
2015: Roman Gonzalez
2014: Terence Crawford

Big Things in 2017

Duan: Michael Conlan
Olympic controversy to one side, Conlan is a terrific talent; a medalist in every major championship in the amateur game, with the personality and fighting style to become an attraction wherever he goes. He’s going to be one of Top Rank’s future stars for sure.

Duan’s previous winners:
2015: Callum Smith
2014: Anthony Joshua
2013: Vasyl Lomachenko
2012: Khalid Yafai
2011: Canelo Alvarez
2010: Carl Frampton

Alex: Triple G getting fights in his division
While everyone has wanted Canelo to take the step up and fight the monster, the real interesting fights have been with guys in his weight class. The fight against Danny Jacobs will be the monster’s first true test.

Alex’s previous winners:
2015: Terence Crawford
2014: Deontay Wilder

Robert: Jermall Charlo
Charlo ended 2016 with a spectacular knockout over the very excellent Julian Williams. I see him engaging in a very big fight in 2017 with either Canelo or Golovkin, and in my opinion, with his battering ram of a jab and spectacular right cross, he convincingly defeats either one of these premier Middleweights. I feel that 2017 will begin a new era in Middleweight excellence: the Jermall Charlo era.

Robert’s previous winners:
2015: Errol Spence
2014: Roman Gonzalez
2013: Keith Thurman

GG: Claressa Shields
This may be a year or two too soon. She just made her debut. But if we look back at what Ronda Rousey did for the UFC a few years ago, Shields has a blueprint ready for her. More than likely, she won’t get the immediate opportunity to win a title, but with the proper marketing, she may be able to put many more eyeballs on female boxing. I hope she gets an opportunity to fight both on live television in a good spot as well as on the undercard of a big show on PPV or HBO/Showtime.

GG’s previous winners:
2015: Anthony Joshua
2014: Nicholas Walters
2013: Ruslan Provodnikov
2012: Floyd Mayweather’s record (predicting Mayweather would lose in 2013)
2011: Miguel Cotto
2010: Amir Khan

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