The “ESBYS”: Handing out East Side Boxing’s 2019 AWARDS – Winners and Nominees!

By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.

As always, our selection process is data-driven, emphasizing facts over fiction and analytics over emotion.

Without further ado, here are our 2019 ESB Yearly Award Winners (or “ESBYS”) and runners-up:

FIGHTER OF THE YEAR, MALE

Canelo Alvarez - By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.

CANELO ÁLVAREZ was a man on fire in 2019, out-dueling Daniel Jacobs and flattening Sergey Kovalev, en route to earning ESB’s top honor: boxing’s Fighter of the Year.

🏆 WINNER

CANELO ÁLVAREZ

Middleweight

NOMINEES

Errol Spence Jr.

Welterweight

Naoya Inoue

Bantamweight

Josh Taylor

Junior Welterweight

FIGHTER OF THE YEAR, FEMALE

Canelo Alvarez - By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.
September 13, 2019; New York, NY, USA; WBO featherweight champion Heather Hardy and Amanda Serrano during their bout at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Melina Pizano/Matchroom Boxing USA

AMANDA SERRANO edged equally-deserving Katie Taylor and Claressa Shields in our voting as the Female Fighter of the Year in 2019. Serrano became the first 7-division World Champion in Women’s Boxing History in 2019 and a Guinness World Records holder for the most worlds titles won by a woman across multiple weight classes: #WhereBrooklynAt. The three-sport fighter (boxing, jiu-jitsu, MMA) also called out Taylor in 2019—a fight that would have immediate pound-for-pound implications.

🏆 WINNER

AMANDA SERRANO

Featherweight

NOMINEES

Katie Taylor

Lightweight

Jessica McCaskill

Super Lightweight

Claressa Shields

Middleweight

FIGHT OF THE YEAR

Canelo Alvarez - By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.

NAOYA INOUE’s riveting win over NONITO DONAIRE is our consensus pick for 2019 Fight of the Year. This bantamweight bout had six key elements that produce a timeless bout: (1) big momentum shifts; (2) dramatic moments; (3) limited fouling and holding; (4) who would win. INOUE proved that he could beat an elite opponent without having to rely solely on his vaunted power, claiming a WBA Super Bantamweight World Title and the coveted Ali Trophy with his win over DONAIRE in the World Boxing Super Series finals.

🏆 WINNER

NAOYA INOUE UD12 NONITO DONAIRE

Bantamweight

NOMINEES

Josh Taylor MD12 Regis Prograis

Junior Welterweight

Errol Spence Jr. SD12 Shawn Porter

Welterweight

Julian Williams UD12 Jarrett Hurd

Junior Middleweight

FIGHT OF THE YEAR, WOMEN’S BOXING

Canelo Alvarez - By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.

JESSICA McCASKILL’s unanimous decision win over ANAHI ESTER SANCHEZ was undeniably 2019’s Fight of the Year in women’s boxing. A super lightweight title unification bout that featured sustained action, heated exchanges, and high stakes.

🏆 WINNER

JESSICA McCASKILL UD10 ANAHI ESTER SANCHEZ

Super Lightweights

NOMINEES

Katie Taylor MD10 Delfine Persoon

Lightweights

Amanda Serrano UD10 Heather Hardy

Featherweights

Claressa Shields UD10 Christina Hammer

Middleweights

PROMOTER OF THE YEAR

Canelo Alvarez - By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.

All things considered, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC | Haymon Boxing) gave fight fans more compelling fights in 2019 than did the competition, which led to our recognition of PBC as ESB’s Promoter of the Year.

🏆 WINNER

PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS

PBC | Haymon Boxing

NOMINEES

Eddie Hearn

Matchroom Boxing

Kalle Sauerland / Richard Schaefer

Sauerland Promotion | Ringstar Sports | Comosa AG

Bob Arum

TOP RANK

KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR

Canelo Alvarez - By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.

YUNIEL DORTICOS’s jaw-dropping knockout of ANDREW TABITI was something to behold: A picture-perfect, walk-off knockout by the Cuban badass that closed the show on a high-octane battle for an IBF Cruiserweight World title. KTFO’s don’t get much cleaner than this. Photo © Sumio Yamada – WBSS

🏆 WINNER

YUNIEl DORTICOS KTFO10 ANDREW TABITI

Cruiserweight

NOMINEES

DEONTAY WILDER KTFO1 DOMINIC BREAZEALE

Heavyweight

DERECK CHISORA KTFO2 ARTUR SZPILKA

Heavyweight

DEVIN HANEY KTFO7 ANTONIO MORAN

Lightweight

TRAINER OF THE YEAR

Canelo Alvarez - By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.

EDDY REYNOSO established himself as boxing’s top trainer in 2019 by taking Canelo Álvarez to new heights and successfully cultivating young talent (e.g., Ryan Garcia). Photo © Tom Hogan – HOGANPHOTOS | Golden Boy

🏆 WINNER

EDDY REYNOSO

(Notable fighters: Canelo Álvarez, Ryan Garcia)

NOMINEES

BRIAN “BOMAC” McINTYRE

(Terence Crawford, Jamel Herring)

DERRICK JAMES

(Errol Spence Jr., Jermell Charlo)

CALVIN FORD / Kenny Ellis

(Gervonta Davis, Lorenzo Simpson, Demond Nicholson, Malik Hawkins)

comeback FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

Canelo Alvarez - By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.

ANDREW CANCIO had a 2019 to remember, including successive knockout wins over (then) undefeated, ALBERTO MACHADO, which allowed CANCIO to win and defend his WBA Super Featherweight strap. CANCIO came out of a brief retirement for one last punch versus MACHADO and made the most of his opportunity. Although CANCIO, who also works for the Southern California Gas Company, would lose his title in November to rival RENE ALVARADO, the gritty vet put forth a valiant effort before finally being waived off by a referee’s stoppage. His ability to overcome adversity (e.g., being released by Golden Boy Promotions after the ALVARADO loss), and prove naysayers wrong, earned CANCIO an ESBY as our 2019 Comeback Fighter of the Year. Photo © Tom Hogan – HOGANPHOTOS | Golden Boy

🏆 WINNER

ANDREW CANCIO

Super Featherweight

NOMINEES

ALFREDO ANGULO

Super Middleweight

SERGEY LIPINETS

Welterweight

Javier Fortuna

Lightweight

MOST IMPROVED FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

Canelo Alvarez - By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.

The fighting Marine, JAMEL HERRING, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, leveled up with Trainer of the Year nominee BRIAN McINTYRE in 2019 to take the super featherweight division by storm. HERRING, the runaway winner of our ESBY award for the Most Improved Fighter of the Year, posted wins against a former world champ, (Masayuki Ito) and an undefeated prospect (Lamont Roach Jr) in 2019, earning and defending a WBO World Super Feather Title along the way. His opponents’ combined record: 44-1-2. Photo © Mikey Williams – Top Rank

🏆 WINNER

Jamel Herring

Super Featherweight

NOMINEES

JEAN PASCAL

Light Heavyweight

Josh Taylor

Junior Welterweight

Michael Hunter

Heavyweight

UPSET OF THE YEAR

Canelo Alvarez - By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.

ANDY RUIZ JR.’s improbable knockout of renown heavyweight ANTHONY JOSHUA was arguably boxing’s biggest upset of the decade and a no-brainer for 2019’s Upset of the Year. Photo © Al Bello  –  Getty Images

🏆 WINNER

ANDY RUIZ JR. TKO7 ANTHONY JOSHUA

Heavyweight

NOMINEES

Josh Taylor MD12 Regis Prograis

Junior Welterweight

Julian Williams UD12 Jarrett Hurd

Junior Middleweight

Juan Francisco Estrada UD12 Sirsket Sor Rungvisi

Super Flyweight

breakout FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

Canelo Alvarez - By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.

JOSH TAYLOR is our 2019 Breakout Fighter of the Year on the basis of his activity level and strength of schedule. Taylor beat a borderline pound-for-pound entrant and former unified champion (REGIS PROGRAIS) in the World Boxing Super Series finale, and upended undefeated, up-and-coming prospect Ivan Baranchyk to earn an ESBY in this category. Photo © Andrew Couldridge – Action Images

🏆 WINNER

JOSH TAYLOR

Junior Welterweight

NOMINEES

JOSÉ CARLOS RAMÍREZ

Super Lightweight

Artur Beterbiev

Light Heavyweight

Teófimo López

Lightweight

PROSPECT OF THE YEAR

Canelo Alvarez - By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.

True to his moniker, Daniel Dubois’s fists were equipped with “dynamite” in 2019, smashing all 5 of his opponents by knockout. DUBOIS was also involved in a Round of the Year candidate (vs. RICHARD LARTEY) and consistently raised his level of his competition throughout the year. For his efforts, DUBOIS is ESB’s pick for the 2019 Prospect of the Year. Photo © Sky Sports Boxing

🏆 WINNER

Daniel Dubois

Heavyweight

NOMINEES

Vergil Ortiz Jr.

Welterweight

Efe Ajagba

Heavyweight

Joe Joyce

Heavyweight

WORST DECISION OF THE YEAR

Canelo Alvarez - By Paul R. Jones! Each year, East Side Boxing (ESB) releases the names of our annual award winners, given to the best fighters, fights, and knockouts in boxing.

JAIME MUNGUÍA’s highly-questionable win over DENNIS HOGAN was a head-scratcher, making it more than worthy of an ESBY for the Worst Decision of the Year. Photo © Tom Hogan – Hogan Photos/Golden Boy

🏆 WINNER

Jaime MunguÍa MD12 Dennis Hogan

Super Welterweight

NOMINEES

Callum Smith UD12 John Ryder

Super Middleweight

Joshua Greer Jr. MD12 Nikolai Potapov

Bantamweight

Ohara Davies Dec10 Miguel Vazquez

Super Lightweight

 

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About the Author: Paul R. Jones! is a boxing writer and ringside photographer for East Side Boxing. A scientist by day and boxing writer by night, Paul covers the humorous, offbeat, and absurd from the sport of boxing. You can keep up with more of what Paul is thinking about on Twitter @boxingepicenter. You can also e-mail him at prjones1@hotmail.com.

More from Paul:

EAST SIDE BOXING’s 2018 AWARDS: Complete List of Winners, Nominees, More!

ESB Best of 2017! Lomachenko, Crawford, Joshua, More!

ESB Best of 2016! Frampton, Thurman, Álvarez, More!

The Year in Review: Six Notable Fights in 2014 – Part I — Pacquiao, Hopkins, Froch, More!

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