There may be a few outliers out there that lean towards another name, but it’s tough to build a case against 🇺🇦Aleksandr Usyk as the Fighter of the Year for 2018.
Usyk started the year off in the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series. There, he defeated Mairis Briedis in Briedis hometown of Latvia, successfully defending his WBO Cruiserweight title while also leaving with the WBC belt held by Briedis.
In July, Usyk made his way to Russia, where he put his WBO and WBC titles up against Murat Gassiev’s WBA and IBF versions in the World Boxing Super Series finals.
In a matchup that many figured would deliver a Fight of the Year candidate, Usyk made the work look easy…very easy. He made Gassiev look like he was stuck in the mud as performed surgery over 12 rounds on his way to a wide unanimous decision to become the first Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion and also took home the Muhammad Ali trophy, awarded to the winner of the tournament.
In November Usyk continued to uphold his reputation as a road warrior, defending his Cruiserweight titles against Tony Bellew in Manchester, England. Meeting some resistance early, Usyk would deliver a KO in the 8th round against a game Bellew.
A 3-0 record all on the road. An Ali Trophy. Making history as the first Cruiserweight unified champion. 2018 belonged to Aleksandr Usyk who is now 16-0, 12KO.