By Anna Richards
2017 has picked off where 2016 ended, with some amazing fights, we are not even half way yet but there are already few picks for the FOTY contender.
This year has brought back the golden memories of boxing once again. Fans are now beginning to see the kind of fights they have been craving for such a long time. We are witnessing more exciting title unification bouts and boxing promoters are finally coming to their senses. They have realized that if they fail to deliver what fans want to see, boxing might be replaced by newer sports such as MMA.
1. Dillian Whyte vs. Dereck Chisora
The fight between the two British heavyweight stars Dillain Whyte (20-1, 15 KO) and Dereck Chisora (26-7, 18 KO) was one of those fights that exceeded its pre-fight hype where tables were thrown and both fighters had to be restrained. But when the two fighters were cut lose in the ring, boxing fans were treated with grueling heavyweight action. Despite being out of breath, there continued to throw their best shots at one another and yet survived 12 round.
2. Mikey Garcia vs. Dejan Zlaticanin
After two and a half hear break, Mikey Garcia (36-0) returned to the ring with a BANG against the WBC World lightweight champion Dejan Zlaticanin (18-1). In the third round, Garcia delivered a one of the most brutal knockouts you would ever see in boxing. You can compare it with Amir Khan’s famous knockout at the hands of Canelo Alvarez. However, this was even worse as Zlaticanin was completely put to sleep for few seconds by Garcia and referee had his opponent back inside the ring.
3. Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz 2
It was a clash between top two featherweight fighters in the world, exactly six months ago it was Carl Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) who defeated Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs) to become the WBA (Super) Featherweight title by a majority decision. But in the most anticipated rematch, Cruz turned the tables with his tactical superiority to win back his WBA title he lost to the Northern Irishman. With better reach advantage Cruz was able to keep Frampton’s aggression at bay and dominated the fight with his stinging jabs.
4. Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs
In this “Middleweight Madness” bout between the two knockout specialists, it was believed the fight will not go the distance. However, the bookies favorite Gennady “God of War” Golovkin was forced to snap his KO streak that he was able to maintain for years. The deciding factor was knockdown of Jacobs in the 4th round by GGG, otherwise the decision could have gone either way, it was that close. Golovkin has not confirmed his status as the true king of middleweight. It seems now, the only person who could really test his reign is the Mexican, Canelo Alvarez.
5. Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia
In the 147 pound division, the WBA (Super) champion Keith “One Time” Thurman fought the WBC champ Danny Garcia at Barclays Center in New York on March 4. This unification fight was too close to call and both fighters showed their full array of boxing skills for the entire 12 rounds. The fight ended in a split decision win for “One Time”, who fought a tactical fight against Garcia. Immediately after the fight Thurman called for a rematch even though he did just enough to win the bout but a rematch would be interesting and Garcia thoroughly deserve it.
There is still a lot left to see in 2017, but it will be a really big ask to supersede these top 5 bouts for the FOTY title. One huge fight that every boxing fan has been waiting for is a heavyweight class between Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko on April 29 at the Wembley Stadium, London. This is going to be another mouthwatering title unification bout, where the winner will take the IBF, WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight belts. Joshua is the new face of world boxing and also the favorite for the fight but for Klitschko it will offer his another chance to reach the top before he decides to hang up his boxing gloves.by