Tag: 2018 Awards

The 2018 Fighter Of The Year: Aleksandr Usyk

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.

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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.

2018 Awards: Worst Decision of Year

Donnie Nietes draw vs Aston Palicte
September 8, 2018
The Forum, Inglewood, California

In his first fight at 115 pounds, 36 year old Donnie Nietes took on the younger Aston Palicte, 27, in a battle for the vacant junior bantamweight title previously held by Naoya Inoue. The fight took place on the Superfly 3 card on HBO.

The fight did little in the way of producing any drama, and although Palicte held a big size and age advantage, the veteran Nietes continuously put his superior skills on display. Over and over again, Nietes landed a sharp overhand right, that even appeared to stun his opponent at times.

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In the end, the work done by Nietes over 12 rounds wasn’t enough for two of the judges which had one scoring the bout 118-110 Nietes, 116-112 Palicte, and a 114-114 draw.

Had Nietes gotten the victory it seemed he deserved, he would have put himself in the company of Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire as the only Filipino fighters with world titles in four weight classes.