World Fighter Of The Year 2015
Boxing Monthly’s online team select their picks for the ‘World Fighter Of The Year’ in the penultimate of our 2015 awards.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Another fighter who divides opinion to the extent that everyone he fights is proclaimed a Saint pre-fight then dismissed as overrated once he beats them. It wasn’t the last days of the Alamo, but his decision win over Pacquiao was a technically brilliant master class and well deserved.
One or two experienced journalists scored with their hearts rather than their heads, the only explanation for handing the fight to the ineffective southpaw great. Also, fans grumbled about the lack of action, which is understandable given that every other recent Mayweather outing was a two-way kill crazy rampage.
No, Mayweather made the most money, garnered the most attention and beat the consensus number two to cement and underline his dominance. His choice of Andre Berto as a "farewell fight" was one of the most hilarious things to have happened in boxing this year, which is saying a lot given the tragicomic nature of what can barely be described as a sport.
Whatever your take on both Tyson Fury and Mayweather they dragged boxing into the mainstream and reminded us that, like religion, politics and football, everyone has an opinion about boxing, and these opinions are more often than not spectacularly misinformed, hypocritical and tedious.
Still, as ‘gifts to the fans’ go it was like giving a 15-year-old a Star Wars figure you bought for them over a decade ago: the paint has chipped away, an arm is missing and it isn't Boba Fett, but they should be grateful, right? Both men were to blame for the fact it took so long to make, both of them did it for the money, not the legacy, and neither is going to be ushered into Sainthood anytime soon.
It is what it was, as they say: later than it should have been, gaudy and marred by a post-fight injury excuse that showed just how little the fans mean to the men at the very top - it encapsulated the essence of the business of boxing. – Terry Dooley.
Roman Gonzalez. He came (to America), he saw (Edgar Sosa and Brian Viloria) and how he conquered with some of the best offensive fighting you'll see this century. With HBO behind him the world is his oyster. A shame it took so long but everyone was woken up by 'Chocolatito' in 2015. – Shaun Brown.
Gennady Golovkin. There was true runaway favorite regarding FOTY in 2015, but the two top candidates were Gennady Golovkin and Roman Gonzalez. I give the edge to 'GGG' due to his dominant performances over top ten middleweights Martin Murray (whom many feel was robbed in prior title challenges against Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez) and David Lemieux. – Michael Montero.
Roman Gonzalez. For a flyweight to be universally recognised as the best fighter on the planet, he needs to be pretty special. Gonzalez disposed of the respected Edgar Sosa and Brian Viloria in ruthless but beautiful fashion and made himself a staple on American television. No fighter deserves the accolades he is receiving more. – John Evans.
Gennady Golovkin. Just beating out Roman Gonzalez, and late addition Daniel Jacobs (fake WBA-title aside, 3 good dramatic wins this year). Three top-class performances, travelling the world, beating world-class operators, in style, making the 10th defence of his WBA title and unifying it with the IBF all equals him being the fighter of the year for 2015. – Colin Harris.
Roman Gonzalez. ‘Chocolatito’ (44-0, 38 KOs) deserves more recognition than he gets. Fighting around 112lbs doesn't unfortunately generate the media attention it should, unless you come with massive PR presence, as Prince Naseem Hamed did (at 126lbs). Media gravitates to the ultimate prize, the heavyweight division, which comparatively, has been a borefest compared to 112 this year. Can't wait to see how far his record and achievements progress into 2016 and beyond. – Paul Zanon.
Terence Crawford. This was a tough one, as there are numerous candidates who are worthy. While Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez took on tough challenges this year, Terence Crawford was a pillar of consistency. Taking into consideration the level of competition and the distance by which Crawford defeated his opponents, he seemed to be the top choice. - Shawn Smith.
Gennady Golovkin. For me it’s a toss-up between Gennady Golovkin and Roman Gonzalez. Both men are resolutely and refreshingly ‘old-school’ and a credit to their sport and both secured three impressive stoppage victories in 2015. It’s a tough call, but in the end I’ve decided to plump for Golovkin as fighter of the year, while admitting that Gonzalez is now deserving of wearing the sport’s P4P crown. – Luke Williams.
Badou Jack. This isn't award isn't about who is the best fighter in the world, it's about who had the best year. Both Roman Gonzalez and Gennady Golovkin have beaten solid opposition this year but these were fights that they both were heavy betting favourites in, each time. On the other hand, Badou Jack was an underdog against both Anthony Dirrell and George Groves and came out victorious in both. In a year where no one did anything truly astonishing, two good wins against the odds is good enough for me. - John A McDonald
Roman Gonzalez. ‘Chocolatito’ brings some fire and finesse to an often overlooked division and is slowly but surely becoming the name that lights up a card. He is slick and skilled but carries the power in both hands to score decisive knockouts, racking up three memorable stoppages this year. - Jessi Jackalope.
Canelo Alvarez. As much as I admired the dominance of ' Chocolatito', he didn't do anything that wa't expected of him. So I've gone with another member of the sweet tooth clique and picked 'Canelo'. Alvarez only fought twice but both were memorable for different reasons, a highlight reel KO of James Kirkland set the pulses racing before his decision win over lineal 160lbs champion Miguel Cotto showed that 'Canelo' could deliver against an elite fighter on the biggest stage after his schooling by Mayweather in 2013. – Callum Rudge.
Roman Gonzalez. Just as Tyson Fury ushered in a new era for the heavyweight division, Roman Gonzalez's rightful recognition as P4P the best fighter on the planet and HBO TV exposure may have done the same for fighters in divisions south of 118lbs. For years the flyweight kingpin was a secret of the hard-core fan but thrilling and artistic victories over Edgar Sosa and Brian Viloria on HBO have cemented the Nicaraguan marvel's place on American TV. Hopefully, we will see a rematch with Juan Francisco Estrada and/or a super-fight with Japan star Naoya Inoue in 2016. - Danny Winterbottom.
Roman Gonzalez. He seems to have it all, can throw a huge variety of punches, dictates pace, and beats good men down. And he's only 28 years old. The funniest part of his story this year, in my opinion, was watching so many 'experts', who've never given time to the lighter weights, falling over themselves to proclaim their love for the flyweight maestro. - TKO Radio.
Canelo Alvarez. This was a really difficult pick. Alvarez was expected to wallop Kirkland and Cotto, two wins that in another year wouldn’t have landed him on top of the pile. And while he beat Cotto, he didn’t actually prove himself to be a better fighter than the Puerto Rican. Alvarez won because he was a much bigger man, a beneficiary of the farcical day-before weigh-in rule. Still, in a year where other potential claimants such as Gennady Golovkin and Roman Gonzalez merely ticked along, Alvarez became the middleweight champion, with a win over a future Hall of Famer. In 2015, that would be enough. - Andrew Harrison.
Boxingmonthly.com ‘World Fighter Of The Year 2015.’ – Roman Gonzalez.