We’re doing the Fight Game Media Awards a little differently this year. We’re breaking up the awards into multiple posts. Our boxing writers Carlos Toro and Robert Silva are the panel for boxing. They also host the Pound 4 Pound podcast on the Fight Game Media Network.
Who was the best boxer of 2021?
Boxer of the Year
Carlos Toro: Canelo Alvarez
There’s no denying some of the other candidates’ successful 2021 (Oleksandr Usyk, George Kambosos Jr., Stephen Fulton Jr., Josh Taylor, Claressa Shields), but Canelo had a tremendous year that saw him not only fight three times, two of which were against undefeated world champions, but also win all of his fights inside the distance and become the undisputed super middleweight champion. Towards the end of 2020, Alvarez said he was going to be the undisputed champion by the end of 2021 and he did so with wins against Avni Yildirim, Billy Joe Saunders, and Caleb Plant. It affirmed Canelo’s status as not only the sport’s biggest name, but also quite possibly the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today.
Was it the greatest collection of fighters Canelo has ever faced? Absolutely not, but it shouldn’t take away from what was a historic accomplishment few boxers in history can lay claim to. Now, the future is wide open for Canelo as he can fight in a number of divisions against many worthy contenders and other champions. Taylor and Shields should get honorable mention because they too became undisputed champions this year, but Canelo was more active and the bulk of his journey to unifying his division took place this year.
Robert Silva: Canelo Alvarez
When 2021 began, Canelo Alvarez was already my fourth greatest Mexican fighter of all-time. With his devastating beatings of Billie Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion of the world, Canelo, at the tender age of 31, is now my second greatest Mexican fighter of all-time behind the legendary Salvador Sanchez. If he goes on to dominate 175 pounds like he has done at 168, he will do what I’ve always felt was the impossible: supplant Sanchez as the greatest Mexican fighter who ever lived.