Canelo and Fury headline Ring Magazine awards
After a year of sports cancellations and postponements during the Covid-19 pandemic, the boxing world has continued to perform and be entertained.
The year 2021 brought boxing fans breathtaking finishes, shock upsets, record wins and memorable performances, and the Ring Magazine Awards have judged them all.
Ring Fighter of the Year
Individually, Canelo Álvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs), the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer, has put together one of boxing’s most impressive years. Not only did he become the very first undisputed champion of Mexico, but at the same time, the very first undisputed champion in the 168-pound category in 37 years.
Canelo set the tone for his run to become undisputed at this final park of 2020 with his dismantling of Callum Smith (28-1-0, 20 KOs) when he won the English Ring Championship, the WBA belt, as well as the vacant WBC title.
In February of this year, Canelo faced and put away his mandatory WBC challenger Avni Yildirim (24-4-0, 13 KOs) in just three rounds at Hard Rock Stadium in Florida. However, these are his next two fights that the boxing world has taken note of.
On May 8, 2021, the steadfast Mexican faced off against Billy Joe Saunders (30-1-0, 14 KOs), the undefeated WBO title holder from England. After the pair exchanged swear words during press conferences, they met at AT&T Stadium in Texas, where they managed to break the U.S. boxing assist record of nearly 10,000, se beating in front of a crowd of 73,126 people.
Despite Saunders ‘slight success in the intermediate laps, Canelo fulfilled his predictions by concluding the eighth round with a highlight coil uppercut that broke Saunders’ cheekbone and orbital bone – injuries that required surgery and stopped the fight.
Standing with the WBA, WBC and WBO belts, as well as the title The Ring, Canelo has one more hurdle to reach the undisputed record, the IBF title from Caleb Plant (21-1-0, 12 KOs).
Although the American Plant had a commendable fight against the favorite, he found himself stranded on the scorecards of the three judges before the 11th round. Canelo sent the IBF title holder to the canvas twice in the penultimate round, and after the formalities, to the hospital.
Canelo became just the undisputed sixth fighter in the Four-Belt Age, joining middleweight Bernard Hopkins (2004), middleweight Jermain Taylor (2005), junior welterweight Terence Crawford (2017), cruiserweight Oleksandr Usyk (2018) and junior welterweight Josh Taylor (2021), and as a result received the Ring’s Fighter of the Year 2021 award, winning it for the second time.
“For me it’s an honor. Like I always say, I love boxing. I do this because I love boxing, and everything that comes is an honor for me,” Canelo said. The ring. “It’s a bonus for me because I love the sport. I respect the sport and always try to do my best in boxing,” Taylor said.
“I feel good. I feel blessed because at the end of the day I want to make my career history. And so I feel blessed. I feel so good about it. This is the second, but I hope there will be many more to come, “he continued.
“We have accomplished one of the best things in boxing, being undisputed,” Alvarez said. “Outside the ring and inside the ring too, it’s the best year for me. I got married to my wife (Fernanda). I’m so happy. I accomplished and wrote history as that undisputed champion. So for me, this may be my best year in boxing, “he said.
Ring Fight of the Year
Although not everyone can catch the much-anticipated and highly anticipated all-British heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) and Anthony Joshua (24-2-0, 22 KOs), which would see the The first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis’ victory over Evander Holyfield in 1999, boxing fans have been able to get involved in Fury Against Wilder 3.
After the towel was thrown in the seventh round of the second contest, Deontay Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs), commonly known as “The Bronze Bomber”, activated a second pre-granted rematch against the Gypsy King . . The date was set for July 24, 2021, but with Fursy testing positive for Covid-19, the competition was pushed back two and a half months.
The heavyweight trilogies are considered almost sacred among fight fans, with players like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier clashing three times in one of the sport’s most historic rivalries, and Evander Holyfield versus Riddick Bowe trading for devastating shots in their epic three-fight streak, just to name a few.
Fury vs Wilder 3 provided everything a fighting fan could ask for. Both fighters found themselves on the canvas, Wilder covered himself in credibility by fighting with everything he had, and Fury proved the heavyweight champion with a conclusive knockout finish.
Fury set the tone in the fight when he defeated his counterpart with a right uppercut and left hook. Much to the disbelief of many, Wilder overcame the first backhand and served Fury the same medicine with a clean right hand that put the 2.06m Gypsy King on his back. Characteristically, Fury stood up briefly, as he was thrown back to the canvas again in what was awarded the Round of the Year for 2021.
With Fury fans worried, the Ring and WBC title holder regained his composure in the ring and began to smash the sporadic Wilder. Round 10 showed Wilder’s willpower as he rose from the canvas with a heavy right hand, but the penultimate round proved too difficult for the powerful Alabama puncher.
Fury managed to end the fight and the trilogy in spectacular fashion by landing a powerful right hand that limped his opponent, against the ropes and then the canvas. Wilder, less than half-conscious, was still trying to get up.
The Fury vs Wilder feud ended with a historic third fight, and the finale was awarded The Ring’s Fight of the Year 2021.
“I am absolutely delighted and overwhelmed to be recognized once again by Ring Magazine. It is more awards to add to the collection and more plaques to put on the wall. I am absolutely delighted, and would like to give a shout out to Deontay Wilder because I needed a dance partner to win this award, ”Fury said.
“It was a big fight, but not that big for me and Deontay, because fights like this take away years of your life. […] but it was an epic battle and a great trilogy. It was all totally worth it. There’s been a lot of talk about it being one of the best heavyweight fights of the past few years, and it was a good thing to be a part of it. “
The Ring Awards 2021 – Coach of the Year: Eddy Reynoso
The Ring Awards 2021 – Upheaval of the Year: George Kambosos Jr.’s 12th round decision-making vs. Teofimo Lopez
The Ring Awards 2021 – Performance of the Year: Shakur Stevenson TKO Round 10 vs. Jamel Herring