2019 was a strange year for me, it started off very slow in my opinion and I really didn’t have great hope in how it would turn out this year. However, I must admit I was very wrong, from about June onwards this year, some incredible fights and contests took place which has helped make a great end to this decade of boxing.
Talking about the decade, I have complied a list of the top boxing moments of the decade to remind of some key boxing memories in the 2010s.
To finish off, each section I will give you Boxing Life’s fighter of the year/decade and fight of the year/decade
Hope you enjoy and wishing you all a successful and happy 2020.
Pacman has still got it!
Manny Pacquiao still has it! As an aging fighter many doubted the Pacman could continue his reign as world champion in 2019 as he came up with a very impressive display at 40 years old to defeat former world champions Broner & Thurman – overall a tremendous year for the Pacman who has now been a world champion in 4 different decades.
Estrada gets redemption against Sor Rungvisai
In April, super flyweight Estrada got his revenge against Sor Rungvisai to become WBC, Ring Magazine and lineal champion. He is now a two weight champion and now considered the top man at 105lb going into the 2020s
Andy Ruiz Jr defeats Joshua in huge upset
Probably the biggest upset of 2019 for me as no one was really expecting it to happen! Joshua’s American debut quickly turned into a nightmare as Ruiz Jr turned the tables after being knocked down himself in an entertaining 3rd round. This will definitely go down as classic upset through the boxing ages.
Josh Taylor wins WBSS
It was an amazing encounter in the World Boxing Super Series Final between two hungry world champions who wanted to prove they were the best at super lightweight. The whole fight was neck and neck throughout and could have gone either way in my opinion. The Scotsman came out on top with a majority decision which has now put him as one of the best p4p boxers in the world.
Donaire vs Inoue masterclass
Another WBSS final took place this year in the bantamweight division as highly rated and talented Nayoa Inoue from Japan took on an aging Nonitio Donaire. The pair went toe to toe for 12 rounds for the Muhammad Ali trophy which saw an amazing technical fight while both fighters had to go through difficult moments. A younger Inoue came out on top, but was finally truly tested at world level, by the once dominant Donaire.
Spence Jr defeats Porter in classic welterweight bout
If you are someone who enjoys a fast paced fight on the inside with non-stop action, this was definitely the fight for you! Spence Jr and Shawn Porter went at it for 12 rounds at an unreal pace as they put the IBF and WBC titles on the line to become unified welterweight champion. Spence Jr came out on top, but was finally challenged at the top level.
Canelo becomes 4 weight world champion
As much criticism as Canelo gets at times you simply can’t ignore his achievements and this year will be one to remember for the boxing superstar! After becoming a 3 weight champion at the end of 2018, the Mexican cemented his legacy further by knocking out the once feared light-heavyweight champion Kovalev. On top of this he had brilliant display against Danny Jacobs to prove he is still the cream crop in the middleweight division.
KSI vs Logan Paul 2
Now I know this will be a controversial choice, but you can’t ignore that fact the boxing community all responded to this event whether it was good or bad for the sport. Whatever you think, you can’t ignore that these two YouTubers have probably managed to get a whole new generation of boxing fans due to their feud. If you don’t know already, KSI came out on top in an actual entertaining contest.
Wilder KO’s Ortiz…again
After the dramatic encounter with Tyson Fury in 2018, Wilder had a point to prove to in 2019 why he is still the best heavyweight. After a devastating KO of Dominic Breazeale earlier in the year, he then took on the rematch with Luis Ortiz again. The Cuban was arguably winning every round until Wilder did what does best with a huge KO shot. Wilder will now take on Fury again in February 2020 which will no doubt be one the big moments of 2020.
After Joshua’s defeat to Ruiz Jr earlier in the yea, he quickly went on to activate his rematch clause. The two headed to Saudi Arabia to fight as the event was headlined as ‘Clash on the Dunes’. Joshua came out on top with a brilliant boxing display against a less than impressive Ruiz.
Boxing Life’s 2019 awards
2019 Fighter of the year
Josh Taylor – two very impressive performances against two tough world champions in Baranchyk and Prograis ended the year off by the Scotsman winning the Muhammad Ali Trophy and becoming IBF, WBA and Ring Magazine super lightweight champion. With these achievements in 2019, I very much expect Taylor to go into bigger things in the next couple of years.
(After some actions outside the ring Taylor has been forced out many of the fighter of year lists, I based this solely on boxing alone)
Runner up – Canelo Alvarez
Third – Manny Pacquiao
2019 Fight of the year
Inoue vs Donaire – This was a real tough one as there was some classic fights in the second half of the year, but nothing had me glued to the screen as much as this fight did. The KO power possessed by both meant every shot hurt one another along with tactical movements, heart and desire each fighter put efforts made a thrilling encounter.
Special mentions for me have to go GGG vs Derevyanchenko, Errol Spence J vs Shawn Porter and Joshua vs Ruiz Jr I.
2019 KO of the year
Deontay Wilder – His stunning KO over Dominic Breazeale was something else indeed! Watch below:
Upset of the Year
Joshua vs Ruiz Jr I – Let’s be honest no really saw this one coming, this is without a doubt the upset of 2019 and potential even in the 2010s. Watch the amazing third round again:
Boxing moments of the Decade (2010s)
- Floyd Mayweather defeats ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley, where Maywether may have been hit the hardest throughout his whole career. Mayweather Jr turned the tide by using his boxing IQ to win the remaining rounds.
- Manny Pacquiao defeats Antonio Margarito in masterclass against the controversial Mexican fighter.
- Hopkins defeats Pascal to become the oldest man to win a world championship belt.
- Andre Ward wins the Super Six World Boxing Classic after defeating Brit Carl Froch.
- Floyd Mayweather, Jr. defeats Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision in classic fight.
- Juan Manuel Márquez knocks out Manny Pacquiao in the 6th round in their final fight between the two.
- Floyd Mayweather, Jr. gives a boxing masterclass against highly rated and up and coming Canelo Álvarez
- Another tremendous display also took place by Rigondeaux who defeated hard hitting Donaire in a spectacular boxing display.
- Carl Froch stops George Groves at Wembley Stadium in front of 80,000 fans in their rematch.
- Miguel Cotto stuns Sergio Martinez to become WBC, The Ring and lineal middleweight world champion.
- Mayweather vs Pacquiao finally meet in the ring after years of negotiations by the two of the greatest fighters of their generation. The fight didn’t live up to the hype as Mayweather put on a comfortable display.
- Tyson Fury dethrones Wladimir Klitschko as heavyweight champion after 10 years of domination.
- Muhammad Ali passes away the boxing community comes together mourn “The Greatest”
- Andre Ward defeats Segey Kovalev to become a 2 weight world champion.
- Crawford becomes the Undisputed champion at light welterweight as he collected all the world title belts in the division. The first man to so since Bernard Hopkins.
- Joshua stops Kiltshko at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000. A truly classic heavyweight content which saw both fighters go toe to toe in a thrilling contest that saw Joshua defeat the Ukranian
- Mayweather comes out of retirement to make his boxing come back against MMA/UFC start Conor McGregor which was very much considered the ‘money fight’.
- Canelo and GGG finally stepped into the ring which saw an intriguing contest that was mostly dominated by Golovkin. The fight ended in a controversial draw.
- Canelo defeats GGG in another controversial majority decision in their close middleweight rematch.
- Just after a year of Crawford becoming undisputed champion, Usyk became undisputed Crusierweight champion while winning the Muhammad Ali Trophy against Russian Gassiev in the World Boxing Super Series Final.
- Wilder vs Fury – Tyson Fury made an incredible comeback after two years out the ring battling depression. After a few tune up fights he went right in the deep end against Deontay Wilder in another classic heavyweight contest. The bout saw Wilder appear to KO Fury, where he somehow managed to get up off the canvas to earn himself a split decision draw.
See full list above.
Boxing Life’s Awards of the Decade
Fighter of the 2010s
Floyd Mayweather Jr – you simply cannot ignore what this man has done in the ring in the 2010s, defeating everyone pretty comfortably along the way as he did it. As he aged he simply used his defensive skills, boxing IQ and experience to be one step ahead of everyone. Yes he may have faced fighters past their peak, but at the end of the day he still managed to beat them, even when he was probably past his best too. The win over Pacquiao will always be a legacy defining fight on who was the better fighter for both.
Enjoy these amazing highlights of Mayweather Jr doing what he does best…Boxing
Fight of the decade
Joshua vs Kiltchko – this was a fight I had a lot of fun watching and have played back many times now. Joshua was still an upcoming heavyweight while Kiltchko was very much on the decline, however they both had something to prove in this fight which made this a truly remarkable contest in front of 90,000 fans. The back and forth had everyone one on the edge of their seats which saw both fighters hit deck, with Joshua managing to end it witha dramatic 11 round TKO.
Watch below and take trip down memory lane for this classic.
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