Supreme Boxing End of the Year Awards
December 29, 2017 Share

Supreme Boxing End of the Year Awards

By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña

2017 has absolutely been blockbuster year for the “sweet science.” From great technical fights to all out wars, from dramatic finishes to quick knockouts, 2017 had it all. Now, the team at Supreme Boxing will give fans a rundown in what we believe is the “Best of the Best”

Prospect of the Year – Michael “Mick” Conlan

Rising Superstar Mick Conlan has taken the boxing world by storm. The former 2012 and 2016 Irish Olympian hit 2017 running, winning his first five professional fights decisively with four coming by way of knockout. Conlan made his debut on St. Patricks day in New York City and was walked into the ring by none other than MMA superstar Conor McGregor. Conlan will back at MSG on St. Patty’s Day in 2018 and Top Rank is rumored to have the Garden booked on that day for the next five years. With over 34 million Americans claiming to have Irish heritage and Conlan showing that he has the goods to become a world champion in the ring, Top Rank may just have the next Global Phenomenon on their hands.

Knockout of the Year – David Benavidez vs Rogelio “Porky” Medina

On May 20th, the world was formally introduced  to the 20 year old undefeated David Benavidez as he entered the ring to take on the always tough Rogelio “Porky” Medina in a WBC Title eliminator showdown. Benavidez had come into the fight knocking out 16 of his first 17 opponents including 13 inside of two rounds, but Medina would definitely be his toughest opponent to date. In an all out war the fight between Benavidez and Medina went back and forth for the first six rounds. Then in round 7 Benavidez caught Medina with a vicious right uppercut that dropped Medina. Medina beat the count, but was clearly hurt on his stool in between rounds. Like the warrior that he is Medina refused to quit, Medina not only came out for round 8 but he came out looking to finish Benavidez. About a minute into the round, Benavidez stood in the center of the ring and absolutely demolished Medina. It was crushing two punch combination to the body, followed by a brutal six punch combination that sent Medina flying into the bottom rope. The referee never bothered to count, and waived off the bout at the 1:08 mark giving Benavidez his 10th consecutive knockout victory.

Fight of the year – Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko 

In what many believed was a coming of age fight for the former Olympian Anthony Joshua, 90,000 fans packed Wembley Stadium when he took on Wladimir Klitschko. The 41 year old Klitschko was the former champion of the division for more than a decade before losing to Tyson  Fury in shocking defeat in November 2015. Now it was time for a war with Joshua. The first four rounds of this much anticipated fight was very technical as the former champion Klitschko boxed beautifully, but Joshua got the Ukrainian in trouble in the fifth round, dropping Klitschko with a combination of brutal, punishing shots to the head and body. Then in the sixth Klitschko showed the heart of a champion sending AJ to the canvas putting the sold-out Wembley crowd into a frenzy. Both Joshua and Klitschko exchanged punch after punch for the next couple of rounds with neither man willing to take a step backwards. In the 11th round, Joshua broke through the guard of Klitschko’s landing devastating uppercut, sendings the Klitschko’s head back as the crowd gasped with emotion. Smelling blood, Joshua moved in for the kill, flooring Klitschko twice in the round before the referee stepped in to seal a historic win for AJ.

Fighter of the Year – Terence “Bud” Crawford

September 18, 2004 was the only other time in the history of the four-belt era of boxing where two world champions were given the opportunity to unify all the belts. That night Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins became the undisputed middleweight champion of the world with a devastating knockout victory over the “Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya. In August of this year Terence “Bud” Crawford (32-0, 23 KO’s) entered the ring in front of a sold out crowd of 12,100 electric fans at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska to battle the IBF, WBA Champion Julius “The Blue Machine” Indongo (22-1, 11 KOs), from Windhoek, Namibia the two undefeated 140lb world champions looked to etch their name in the history books. Crawford made quick work of Indongo dropping him in the second round and knocking him out with a brutal body shot in the third round to become the undisputed world champion. Because of the historical value of the accomplishments of Crawford, joining former middleweight champions Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor by becoming only the third fighter of the four-belt era to hold all four major sanctioning body belts at the same time, along with easily defeating  2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz from the Dominican Republic in May. Terence Crawford is our 2017 “Fighter of the Year”

Female Fighter of the Year – Cecilia Braekhus

Cecilia Braekhus (32-0, 9 KO’s) was born in Colombia, but adopted by Norwegian parents at age two (2), and has lived in Norway since. Being a boxer was tough on Braekhus due to a ban on boxing Norway had in place. She became a boxer in spite of the ban, which went into effect the year she was born, 1981. She spent the first decade of her career training and fighting outside of Norway, mostly in Denmark and Germany. Currently Braekhus is the only unified undisputed champion in all of boxing, holding all of the major sanctioning body titles. This year Braekhus has defended her WBC, WBO, WBA, and IBF Welterweight titles against Klara Svensson, Erica “La Pantera” Farias and Mikaela Lauren. In a recent interview Braekhus stated:

“I’m extremely proud of it. I love my belts with everything. I work very hard to defend my belts at all times, at all costs. I have a great fan base in Norway, my home country, and in Europe, who have lifted me up. Through the ups and downs, they’ve always been there. I have so much to thank them for.” Braekhus is currently in the united states on a media tour and plans on fighting year in 2018. “I have the feeling that this is the right time to come over here and get some fights and do it, and also hopefully put it on American television. I believe that is a big possibility for 2018. That’s the feeling I have after this week, after having meetings, and meeting boxing people and television people and promoters. This is the right time to do it. “I’ll go home to Norway, I will think a little bit, let this all sink in, and decide what to do next.”

(Feature photo: Nick Potts / Associated Press)