By Paul R. Jones! – Each year, East Side Boxing releases the names of its annual award winners, given to the world’s best fighters, fights, and moments in the sport of boxing.
This year, we’ve crunched the numbers, made our list, and checked it twice.
Here is our complete list of winners, runners-up, and honorable mentions for 2018:
Winners & Nominees 2018
FIGHTER OF THE YEAR, MALE
- OLEKSANDER USYK, Cruiserweight, 🇺🇦 Ukraine – 🏆 WINNER
- Vasyl Lomachenko, Lightweight, 🇺🇦 Ukraine – RUNNER-UP
- Terence Crawford, Welterweight, 🇺🇸 USA – NOMINEE
- Mikey Garcia, Lightweight, 🇺🇸 USA – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION (alphabetical): Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez • Miguel Berchelt • Tyson Fury • Jarrett Hurd • Naoya Inoue • Daniel Jacobs • Anthony Joshua • Wanheng Menayothinn • Jaime Munguia • Regis Prograis • Srisaket Sor Rungvisai • Callum Smith • Josh Warrington • Dillian Whyte • Deontay Wilder
FIGHTER OF THE YEAR, FEMALE
- Katie Taylor, Lightweight, 🇮🇪 Ireland – 🏆 WINNER
- Claressa Shields, Middleweight, 🇺🇸 USA – RUNNER-UP
- Cecilia Brækhus, Welterweight, 🇳🇴 Norway – NOMINEE
- Mariana Juárez, Bantamweight, 🇲🇽 Mexico – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: Rose Volante • Marie Eve Dicaire • Heather Hardy • Alicia Napoleon • Ewa Piątkowska
COMEBACK FIGHTER OF THE YEAR
Photo © Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
- Tyson Fury, Heavyweight, 🇬🇧 United Kingdom – 🏆 WINNER
- Beibut Shumenov, Cruiserweight, 🇰🇿 Kazakhstan – RUNNER-UP
- Tevin Farmer, Junior Lightweight, 🇺🇸 USA – NOMINEE
- Kell Brook, Super Welterweight, 🇬🇧 United Kingdom – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: Devon Alexander • Rob Brant • Nonito Donaire • Kazuto Ioka
• Jesús Soto Karass • Manny Pacquiao • Cristofer Rosales
TRAINER OF THE YEAR
- Anatoly Lomachenko, 🇺🇦 Ukraine – 🏆 WINNER
- Derrick James, 🇺🇸 USA – RUNNER-UP
- Ben Davison, 🇬🇧 United Kingdom – NOMINEE
- Shingo Inoue, 🇯🇵 Japan – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: Teddy Atlas • Dave Coldwell • Buboy Fernandez • Roberto Garcia • Shingo Inoue • Robert McCracken • Brian McIntyre • Eddy Reynoso
WORST DECISION OF THE YEAR
- Thomas Mattice sd8 Zhora Hamazaryan – 🏆 WINNER
- Devon Alexander D12 Victor Ortiz – RUNNER-UP
- Donnie Nietes D12 Aston Palicte – NOMINEE
- Deontay Wilder D12 Tyson Fury – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez MD12 Gennady Golovkin • Tony Harrison UD12 Jermell Charlo • Travis Kauffman MD10 Scott Alexander
BLUE-CHIP PROSPECT OF THE YEAR
- Teófimo López, Lightweight, 🇺🇸 USA – 🏆 WINNER
- Filip Hrgovic, Heavyweight, 🇭🇷 Croatia – RUNNER-UP
- Jaron Ennis, Welterweight, 🇺🇸 USA – NOMINEE
- Shakur Stevenson, Super Featherweight, 🇺🇸 USA – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: Efe Ajagba • Murodjon Akhmadaliev • Conor Benn • Joshua Buatsi • Souleymane Cissokho • Robson Conceicao • Michael Conlan • Daniel Dubois • Luis Feliciano • Ryan Garcia • Joshua Greer Jr • Joe Joyce • Josh Kelly • Vergil Ortiz Jr. • Jason Quigley • Lewis Ritson • Lamont Roach Jr. • Evgeny Romanov • Anthony Sims Jr. • Tony Yoka
BREAKOUT FIGHTER OF THE YEAR
- Jaime Munguia, Junior Middleweight, 🇲🇽 Mexico – 🏆 WINNER
- Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Light Heavyweight, 🇺🇦 Ukraine – RUNNER-UP
- José Carlos Ramírez, Super Lightweight, 🇺🇸 USA – NOMINEE
- Josh Taylor, Super Lightweight, 🇬🇧 United Kingdom – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: Ivan Baranchyk • David Benavidez • Isaac Dogboe • Charlie Edwards • Reymart Gaballo • Devin Haney • Maurice Hooker • Jarrell Miller • José Uzcátegui • Anthony Yarde
FIGHT OF THE YEAR
- Murat Gassiev vs. Yuniel Dorticos* – 🏆 WINNER
- Alex Saucedo vs. Lenny Zappavigna – RUNNER-UP
- Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin-II – NOMINEE
- Erislandy Lara vs. Jarrett Hurd – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: • Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter • Sho Kimura vs. Kosei Tanaka • Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares • Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada • Oscar Valdez vs. Scott Quigg • Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury
MOST IMPROVED FIGHTER OF THE YEAR
- Maurice Hooker, Junior Welterweight, 🇺🇸 USA – 🏆 WINNER
- Tevin Farmer, Super Featherweight, 🇺🇸 USA – RUNNER-UP
- Josh Warrington, Featherweight, 🇬🇧 United Kingdom – NOMINEE
- Dillian Whyte, Heavyweight, 🇬🇧 United Kingdom\🇯🇲 Jamaica – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: David Allen • Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez • Rob Brant • Dominic Breazeale • Richard Commey • Ohara Davies • Charlie Edwards • Tony Harrison • Jamel Herring • Jarrett Hurd • Bryant Jennings • Shawn Porter • Liam Williams
UPSET OF THE YEAR
- ELEIDER ÁLVAREZ KO7 SERGEY KOVALEV – 🏆 WINNER
- Cristofer Rosales TKO9 Daigo Higa – RUNNER-UP
- Rob Brant UD12 Ryota Murata – NOMINEE
- Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez MD12 Gennady Golovkin – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: Oleksandr Gvozdyk KO11 Adonis Stevenson • Tony Harrison UD12 Jermell Charlo • Maurice Hooker SD12 Terry Flanagan • Emanuel Navarrete UD12 Isaac Dogboe • Callum Smith KO7 George Groves • Josh Warrington SD12 Lee Selby
KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR
- Naoya Inoue KO1 Juan Carlos Payano – 🏆 WINNER
- Dillian Whyte KO6 Lucas Browne – RUNNER-UP
- Dillian Whyte KO5 Derek Chisora-II – NOMINEE
- Aleksandr Usyk TKO8 Tony Bellew – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: Efe Ajagba KO1 Dell Long • David Allen KO Nick Webb • Dominic Breazeale KO9 Carlos Negron • Jermall Charlo KO2 Hugo Centeno Jr • Derek Chisora KO Carlos Takam • Murat Gassiev KO12 Yunier Dorticos • Román González TKO5 Moises Fuentes • Oleksandr Gvozdyk KO11 Adonis Stevenson • David Lemieux KO1 Gary O’Sullivan • Teófimo López KO1 Mason Menard • Luis Ortiz KO2 Razvan Cojanu • Alexander Povetkin KO5 David Price • Jason Quigley KO6 Daniel Rosario Cruz • Michel Soro TKO2 Greg Vendetti • Deontay Wilder KO Luis Ortiz
ROUND OF THE YEAR
- ALEX SAUCEDO vs. Lenny Zappavigna, RD4 – 🏆 WINNER
- Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury, RD12 – RUNNER-UP
- Jarrett Hurd vs. Erislandy Lara, RD12 – NOMINEE
- Sho Kimura vs. Kosei Tanaka, RD2 – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada RD12 • Gary Russell Jr. vs. Joseph Diaz, Jr. RD12 • Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez-II, RD9 • Murat Gassiev vs. Yunier Dorticos, RD12 • Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares-II, RD12 • Travis Kauffman vs. Scott Alexander, RD1 • Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr., RD9 • Oscar Valdez vs. Scott Quigg, RD12
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
- Kalle Sauerland/Richard Schaefer (Sauerland promotion/Ringstar Sports/ Comosa AG) – 🏆 WINNER
- Eddie Hearn (Matchroom Boxing) – RUNNER-UP
- Haymon Boxing (Premier Boxing Champions) – NOMINEE
- TOP RANK – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: Sean Gibbons (Knucklehead Boxing Inc.) • GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS • Frank Warren (Queensberry Promotions)
GUTSIEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
- OSCAR VALDEZ (SUFFERS BROKEN JAW AND LOSES TEETH IN WIN OVER SCOTT QUIGG), Featherweight, 🇲🇽 Mexico – 🏆 WINNER
- George groves (dislocates shoulder in win over Chris Eubank Jr.), Super Middleweight, 🇬🇧 United Kingdom – RUNNER-UP
- Leonardo Zappavigna (Fought valiantly, with one eye swollen shut and cuts, in a loss to Alex Saucedo in a fight of the year candidate), Heavyweight, 🇦🇺 Australia – NOMINEE
- Scott Quigg (sustained facial lacerations and grotesque swelling in loss to Oscar Valdez), Featherweight, 🇬🇧 United Kingdom – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: Sam Hyde (fought with horrendous swelling on his left eye before being stopped by Richard Riakporhe) • Beibut Shumenov (reclaims WBA world title despite fighting with career-threatening eye injury) • Deontay Wilder (beats Luis Ortiz despite being “Sick as a dog”)
BEST MOMENT OF THE YEAR
- Luis Ortiz proclaims That, five days before his ko of razvan cojanu, doctors “found a cure for [his] daughter’s condition” – 🏆 WINNER
- ADONIS STEVENSON ‘awakes’ from a medically-induced coma after suffering a traumatic brain injury VS. Oleksandr Gvozdyk – RUNNER-UP
- José Carlos Ramírez, along with the California Latino Water Coalition, continue the “FIGHT FOR WATER,” raising awareness and money for water rights for farmers and workers in Central California – NOMINEE
- Jesús Soto Karass sets a new record for the most punches thrown by a fighter (1,848) in his win over Neeco Macias after going 0-5-1 in his last 6 fights – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: Devon Alexander floats idea of a Congressional run in 2020 on social media • CECILIA BRÆKHUS is awarded first pound-for-pound, number 1 ranking for a female fighter by The Ring Magazine • DAZN launches global sports streaming service • Tony Harrison teaches at-risk kids boxing in Detroit • Wanheng Menayothinn moves to 52-0 • TYSON FURY goes public in trying to “smash the stigma” associated with mental health problems
#WTF MOMENT OF THE YEAR
- Victor Ortiz’s is arrested on suspicion of rape (later pleads not guilty to 3 felonies) – 🏆 WINNER
- “SAY IT AIN’T SO, HBO!”: HBO shuttered its doors to boxing after nearly five decades – RUNNER-UP
- CURTIS HARPER exits the ring before a scheduled fight with Efe Ajagba on a PBC card – NOMINEE
- FLOYD MAYWEATHER Jr. beats the brakes off of TENSHIN NASUKAWA in under a round on RIZIN.14 card – NOMINEE
HONORABLE MENTION: David Benavidez tests positive for cocaine • ADRIEN BRONER/Tekashi 6ix9ine create FAKE BEEF • Adrien Broner reportedly sued over sexual battery incident in an Atlanta mall • Omar Figueroa Jr. allegedly faces DUI charge in California • Billy Joe (Saunders) BEHAVING BADLY: tests positive for oxilofrine, a banned stimulant; starts “chicken-gate” (A Hot Mess) and reportedly hurls half-a-chicken at Deontay Wilder at a Nando’s restaurant; urges suspected drug addict to engage in questionable behavior <
Justin Jones contributed to this report.
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- Did we get it right? Email us with your comments and we’ll include the best ones in a future mailbag.
Photos © 234Fight, Tom Casino/SHOWTIME, Naoki Fukuda, Matt Heasley/Hoganphotos, Esther Lin/SHOWTIME, Ed Mulholland/Main Events, Oxnard Police Department, SHOWTIME, Stacey Verbeek, Mikey Williams/Top Rank, World Boxing Super Series
Editor’s Note: Most selections were made by Paul R. Jones! and Justin Jones on behalf of EASTSIDEBOXING. *FIGHT OF THE YEAR selection was made by James Slater
About Paul R. Jones!
Paul R. Jones! is a boxing writer and ringside photographer for EASTSIDEBOXING. He joined ESB in 2011. A scientist by day, and disruptive boxing wonk by night, Paul covers the humorous, offbeat, and absurd from the sport of boxing. Paul’s articles have appeared in PEDIATRICS, Race and Social Problems, and Motivation and Emotion, and he’s covered boxing online for BOXINGINSIDER, TheFightJournal, BOXINGNEWS24, and WRAPSONTV. Follow him on Twitter here: @boxingepicenter. Or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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