A remarkable year for boxing includes numerous Fight of the Year contenders

Combat columnist
Boxing
Anthony Joshua celebrates his 11th-round TKO of Wladimir Klitschko in what was a leading contender for the 2017 Yahoo Sports boxing Fight of the Year. (Getty Images)
Anthony Joshua celebrates his 11th-round TKO of Wladimir Klitschko in what was a leading contender for the 2017 Yahoo Sports boxing Fight of the Year. (Getty Images)

Boxing had a renaissance of sorts in 2017, as promoters finally began to listen to the fans and made the fights the public wanted to see. The fighters responded by putting on a series of great bouts that made for a crowded field of boxing Fight of the Year candidates.

Three stand out above the rest for the 2017 Yahoo Sports boxing Fight of the Year honor.

Sri Sor Rungvisai’s majority decision win over then-pound-for-pound kingpin Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez on March 18 in New York was an intense, fiercely contested super flyweight battle that took the early lead in the race.

On April 29, in front of a record crowd of 90,000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium, Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko put on a heavyweight title fight for the ages. Both guys were down, both were hurt, but both kept getting up and moving on. It was a welcome change from recent heavyweight bouts, most of which have been lackluster. Joshua prevailed by 11th-round stoppage.

Then, on Dec. 9, while much of the boxing world was paying rapt attention to the Vasyl Lomachenko-Guillermo Rigondeaux fight in New York, Mickey Roman stopped Orlando Salido in another signature battle. Salido, who twice previously was in the Yahoo Sports Fight of the Year, was stopped this time, but the battle was a typical Salido-style brawl.

All three bouts were worthy contenders in a year in which it was tough to settle on just three finalists. Badou Jack and James DeGale opened the year with a super middleweight bout that deserves mention, and David Benavidez and Ronald Gavril put on a show in another super middleweight title bout in September.

Boxing thrives when these kinds of competitive, evenly matched bouts are made. And the fighters respond by raising their games in many cases to meet the challenge in front of them.

Watch the video below to see which fight I picked as the 2017 Yahoo Sports boxing Fight of the Year and let us know your pick by putting it in the comments.

 

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