Referee of 2019 Award: Michael Griffin
Referee of 2019 Award: Michael Griffin
Ring Card Girl of the Year 2019: A ring girl is a woman who enters the ring between rounds of a combat sport, carrying a sign that displays the number of the upcoming round. Ring girls are often seen in boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts.
A good ring card girl will make you not notice what round they're in. A great ring card girl will make you momentarily forget what sporting event you're watching.
Fighter of the Year: Naoya Inoue
FOTY: Inoue vs Donaire
Upset of the Year: Ruiz vs Joshua 1
Prospect of the Year: Vergil Ortiz (with a shout out to local boy Joseph Adorno)
Most Enjoyable KO (by far): Sam Maxwell vs Sabri Sediri
Shittiest Performance of the Year: Andy Ruiz Jr. , Ruiz vs Joshua II
fight of 2019: spence v porter
upset of 2019: williams v hurd
comeback of 2019: alfredo angulo
prospect of 2019: daniel dubois
ko: haney v moran
round: spence v porter, eleventh
Apply shame. Apply fame. The crook and the flail.
Fight of the Year
It was late January and Xu Can and Jesus Rojas fought for a featherweight title that didn’t receive a lot of attention. It turned out it deserved plenty, because it was an unbelievable match with almost nonstop punching and back-and-forth action.
It instantly became a Fight of the Year candidate.
In March, Sergey Lipinets and Lamont Peterson met in yet another bout that wasn’t heralded all that much before the opening bell. It turned into one of those jaw-dropping matches that makes boxing so compelling.
Just three months into the year, having a pair of fights of that quality was a signal of what 2019 was about to become. For all of the dirt heaped upon boxing’s supposed grave by fans and media who don’t pay enough attention, this was a year in which there was a new candidate on an almost weekly basis.
Culling through my list, I whittled it down to five finalists:
Jarrett Hurd vs. Julian Williams
Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. I
Adam Kownacki vs. Chris Arreola
Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko
Naoya Inoue vs. Nonito Donaire
I was tempted to pick the Kownacki-Arreola fight because it was as my friend, the longtime pro wrestling announcer Jim “JR” Ross, would say, a slobber-knocker. But there were too many fights with too much skill involved to pick that, as much as I enjoyed it and as much as I shouted at the television while watching it.
Golovkin was under the weather when he fought Derevyanchenko, but it did not stop him from putting on a Herculean effort. What made it a great fight, though, is that Derevyanchenko fought with as much passion and intensity and was never out of the bout.
Williams upset Hurd in a dramatic back-and-forth battle in which there was nonstop action and constant momentum shifts. And Joshua and Ruiz both hit the deck in a slugfest that became the talk of the boxing world when Ruiz stopped Joshua to become the first man of Mexican descent to win a piece of the heavyweight title.
But the 2019 Yahoo Sports Fight of the Year goes to Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire for their pitched battle in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series’ bantamweight tournament.
Donaire had been given up for dead several years ago, but revived his career after signing with promoter Richard Schaefer. He earned a spot in the WBSS and proved he was worthy of it by making his way to the final opposite Inoue.
Inoue is one of the most exciting stars in the sport, reminiscent in many ways of a young Manny Pacquiao. He’s one of the best body punchers in the sport and he pushes a pace few can handle.
The veteran Donaire showed why many believe he’ll secure a spot in the International Boxing Hall of Fame when he’s finally done, as he managed to stand in there with “The Monster,” and gave as good as he got throughout a compelling battle.
The drama unfolding before a huge crowd was remarkable, as the momentum shifted and neither man backed down.
It was a match that had everything, and it’s the choice as the 2019 Yahoo Sports Fight of the Year.
Do not let success go to your head and do not let failure get to your heart.
I remember when The Ring and Ko had some year end 'unofficial' awards so going to try that too
Fighter...actually a tough one because I'm not voting for a diva. Josh Taylor
Fight of year...Donaire v Inoue or Hooker v Ramirez for me
Upset...Ruiz v Joshua or Williams v Hurd
Prospect...tempted to sat Haney or Stevenson although both have technical belts just doesn't feel they've been tested. Josh Kelly
Trends that need to end award...franchise champions
Trends that need improvement...Dazn. Hey I like my fights 'live' not lagging
Blatant mismatch of the year award...Khan v Dib, Caleb Plant v Mike "I was the Subway guy" Lee and Erislandy Lara v Ramon Alvarez
The Pampered Champ award...Jaime Munguia
The pampered prospect award...Esquiva Falcao
Non event Event award...Spence v Garcia. You have to admit the hype and build was deep
The I just love to defend my belt award...Emanuel Navarrete
Comebacks that shouldn't have been awards...Chad Dawson, Robert Guerrero, Hector Camacho Jr or Peter Manfredo Jr
Most improved on the Mic...Sergio Mora
Please shut that guy up on the mic award...Mauro Renallo. Multi year winner he's on a roll.
Snoozer fight award...Andrade v Akavov or Bivol v Castillo. Joshua v Ruiz if we're honest
Time to hang em up award...Mike Alvarado Jr, Samuel Peter Ray Austin and Brandon Rios
Fighting through the pain award...Carl Frampton with two busted hands or Gamboa on one wheel. Joe Smith Jr with Bivol too.
Underappreciated and most overlooked someone fight this guy award...Miguel Berchelt
Simply impressive boxing award...Juan F Estrada v Wangek and Beterbiev v Gvozdyk
Most declined: Kovalev
Fighter of 2019: Naoya Inoue
Fight of 2019: Naoya Inoue vs. Nonito Donaire
Upset of 2019: Andrew Cancio vs. Alberto Machado
Comeback of 2019: Jhunriel Ramonal
Prospect of 2019: Ginjiro Shigeoka
KO of 2019: Yunier Dorticos KO10 Andrew Tabiti
Round of 2019: Naoya Inoue vs. Nonito Donaire Round Eleven
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