The Boxing Writers Association of America have finalized their award ballot for 2016 and have formally announced their nominees. Let’s take a look at a few of the categories via ESPN and discuss who’s in the running .
The nominees for the 2016 Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year are nearly identical to the ones we’ve discussed yesterday, with their official ballot comprising of: Terence Crawford, Manny Pacquiao, Joe Smith Jr., Carl Frampton, Vasyl Lomachenko, and Roman Gonzalez.
Candidates for the Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year award are: Abel Sanchez (Gennady Golovkin), Manuel Robles (Oscar Valdez/Jessie Magdaleno), the late Arnulfo Obando (Roman Gonzalez), Shane McGuigan (Carl Frampton), Virgil Hunter (Andre Ward), and Jerry Capobianco (Joe Smith Jr.).
And now for the blood and guts portion...Nominees for the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier Fight of the Year are:
Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz
After beating domestic rival Scott Quigg, Carl Frampton moved up to featherweight to take on titleholder Leo Santa Cruz. Frampton got off to a fast start and withstood a late charge from Santa Cruz to win a world title in his second weight class.
Keith Thurman vs Shawn Porter
A rare showdown between two top welterweights in their prime took place over the summer when Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter faced off in Brooklyn. The fight lived up to expectations and thrilled fans. In the end Thurman won a close unanimous decision.
Roman Gonzalez vs Carlos Cuadras
A fall showdown between the pound-for-pound king Roman Gonzalez moving up in weight to take on world champion Carlos Cuadras. It was far from an easy night for Gonzalez, but he outworked a game opponent to win a unanimous decision.
Jesus Soto Karass vs Yoshihiro Kamegai I
Pretty much a no-nonsense slugfest, and we all knew it going in! These two warriors traded blows for 12 rounds in a fight that had the crowd buzzing. The fight ended up a draw but was so good that the two would fight again five months later.
Francisco Vargas vs Orlando Salido
Exactly what it looks like in the picture. A brutal 12 round war that also promised to be from the outset. These two fought at a furious pace in a fight so close it would also end in a draw.
Dillian Whyte vs Dereck Chisora
A British heavyweight grudge match which lived up to its billing in a 12-round street fight. Whyte would pull out a razor thin split decision win on the night, but it’s looking like we’ll soon see a sequel.
Which fight was the best of 2016? Cast your vote below and make your case in the comments.