Boxing 2017 Review – The TalknShoot Boxing Podcast edition number 55 begins the process of looking back at the highlights from 2017. The podcast starts with a review of the monthly calendar, January thru November. Though we may have missed a fight or two here along the way, the list is pretty comprehensive and all of the big fights for 2017 are covered.
It has been a year that has seen a great deal of retirements from the sport. Wladimir Klitschko, Andre Ward, Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto and Tim Bradley all hung up the gloves during the 2017 calendar year. This will make the hall of fame inductions in a few years very interesting and it also had the effect of giving us an exciting year of wide-open boxing action.
This will go down as the year that Anthony Joshua became the biggest star in boxing. Joshua fought Wladimir Klitschko in April, notching a sure fire “Fight of the Year” candidate. That fight took place at London’s massive Wembley Stadium in front of 80,000 people, sealing Joshua’s position as the U.K.’s biggest box office attraction.
At the end of October, Joshua would do it again. He was slated to face tough Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev at another British soccer stadium, this time at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Pulev pulled out of the fight with a back injury just a few weeks prior to the date. Promoter Eddie Hearn scrambled and produced France’s Carlos Takam as an opponent and the show went on.
Joshua had already sold out the building for Pulev, but promoter Eddie Hearn knew Joshua was the big attraction. Hearn rolled the dice a bit but Takam came in with a very credible performance on short notice and there was very little in the way of complaints afterwards.
So who stands in the way off Joshua winning Fighter of the Year? Thailand’s Sor Rungviai is from a very different walk of life than Joshua, but the super flyweight is considered the strongest candidate for the Fighter of the Year award by many boxing insiders.
Rungvisai, whose real name is Wisaksil Wangek, took on Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in March of this year in a fight he entered as a major underdog. Gonzalez was acknowledged as the number one pound for pound fighter in the world and Rungvisai walked out with a disputed majority decision and the WBC world title at 115 pounds.
Gonzalez had his supporters and a rematch was set for September. Rungvisai entered the fight as a defending champion and with the odds much, much tighter than the first outing. He entered the fight with a confidence and a focus that has rarely been seen, while Gonzalez looked to be nervous. The writing was on the wall.
Rungvisai improved on his performance from the first time, taking Gonzalez out in the fourth round. The knock out left no questions about who won the fight and it may have given him the”Fighter of the Year” award for 2017.
Who else is in the running? They are probably mentioned in this podcast somewhere! Vasyl Lomachenko has a fight scheduled in December against Guillermo Rigondeaux that could leave him with a 3-0 record for the year and a candidate as well. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is coming off back to back PPV’s against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Gennady Golovkin that each saw over one million buys. Listen for more……
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