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Oleksandr Usyk wins BWAA Fighter of the Year award

Usyk’s path to becoming undisputed cruiserweight champion put him ahead of the pack.

Oleksandr Usyk v Tony Bellew - Cruiserweight World Title Fight Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

It’s official. Undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) has been named the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Fighter of the Year, beating out fellow champions Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko, Mikey Garcia, and Maurice Hooker for the honor.

Really, though, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone. Usyk had a standout year in 2018, finishing off the World Boxing Super Series tournament in good fashion to become the first undisputed cruiserweight titleholder in history. Usyk would then also land a money fight against Tony Bellew in Manchester last November, a fight Usyk would win in style, emphatically knocking out Bellew in 8 rounds.

In a BLH poll conducted in December, 66% percent of you believed Usyk deserved to win the Fighter of the Year award, with none of the other candidates receiving more than 15% of over 2000 votes. But in the official BWAA voting, Usyk was much more dominant, taking 83% of the votes from BWAA members.

In addition the BWAA award, Usyk also won the Fighter of the Year award from RING magazine and ESPN, making it a clean sweep for 2018.

Usyk, 32, has recently been connected to a move to heavyweight after cleaning on the cruiserweight division, where a possible fight against unified titleholder Anthony Joshua has garnered significant attention. That fight won’t be made in the immediate future, but it could turn into a big deal a few months down the line.

For now, we just extend our congratulations to Usyk for a great year of fighting. I might’ve even asked Usyk how he feels about racking up all this hardware, but I’m pretty sure we all know the answer to that question...

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