2017 was by all measures an excellent year for the sport of boxing. Featuring a litany of outstanding individual performances. Here is a list of the top 10 individuals performances of 2017:
1-Andre Ward KO Sergey Kovalev- Coming off a very close and very controversial decision victory at the end of 2016, set up what was to be the fight of the year in 2017. The fight disappointed in pay per view sales only, as it generated in the neighborhood of just 125,000 PPV buys. In the ring, the fight met every expectation. Prior to the fight, Ward said he would leave no doubt this time and that’s exactly what he did. Kovalev came out and was winning the early rounds with his jab and reach advantage winning with aggression while Ward searched for his rhythm. Ward’s body attack changed the momentum of the fight and Ward picked up the pace. Going into the 8th round it was a tight fight until Ward wobbled the Krusher with a massive right hand and then jumped on him with a ferocious body attack which concluded with the bug Russian sitting in the ropes helpless and referee Tony Weeks waiving a halt to the bout. Ward left no doubt of the outcome and who was the #1 Pound For Pound fighter on the planet. Of the fight, Ward said, “I don’t take away from my opponents. He’s a great fighter. Not a lot of people are going to beat him…When you fight great fighters, you gotta raise your game to the next level, and I’m thankful we did that tonight.“When I saw him react to the body shots that were borderline, I knew I had him. I hurt him with a headshot, and I just had to get the right shots in there to get it over with, and I did that.”
2-Srisaket Sor Rungvisai KO Roman Gonzalez II- Rungvisai followed up his top ten performance with a top two performance. Rungvisai shocked the boxing world pulling the massive upset over Chocalatito and followed it up shocking the boxing world again by completely destructing the former Pound for Pound king. Winning every moment of every round and landing big thudding shots.Third round action was back and forth but Rungvisai appeared visibly stronger. The WBC Champ caught Chocolatito with a vicious right hook in the middle of the ring then dropped Chocalatito hard in round four. He managed to get up but Rungvisai went right after him and caught him with the exact same shot again to drop him even harder with no chance of getting up. At 1:18 of the fourth round, Rungvisai successfully defends his WBC belt while handing Chocolatito his second consecutive defeat.
3-Miguel Berchelt KO Francisco Vargas- The opening month of 2017 produced one of the best performances. Berchelt who currently ranks #9 on the pound for pound list entered the year as a relative unknown to those except the hardest of hard cores, and Vargas was coming in as an all-action star in the making, coming off a 2016 fight of the year with Orlando Salido and prior to that a knockout performance over Takashi Miura. However on this January night in California, Berchelt took Vargas apart from the the opening bell, building up what appeared to be a sizable lead on the cards and battered Vargas face into a bloody mess over the course of the fight, which grew increasingly one-sided as it reached the middle rounds. Berchelt’s was in full force, and hurt Vargas with every headshot and dug in with thudding body shots. The brutal end came in the 11th round but could have been stopped at any point from around 9 on, but the warrior was allowed to continue until the 11th by referee Raul Caiz Jr.
4-Vasyl Lomachenko KO Guillermo Rigondeaux- Both fighters entered the ring as the undisputed king of their particular weight classes. The fight was hotly debated by fans before the fight. However, once the bell rung at MSG the contest was over. The first round was a feeling out process and from the second round on High-Tech put on an absolute gem of a performance dominating the undefeated Cuban. Consistently beating him to the punch and landing at will. Every round looked pretty much the same as Lomachenko dominated and frustrated Rigondeaux and finally caused him to quit on his stool after the sixth round.
5-Terence Crawford KO Julius Indongo- This fight was going to produce the only undisputed champion in boxing and the first in over a decade. Crawford dominated the fight from the opening moments on. In what was supposed to be perhaps the biggest test of Crawfords career was decidedly one-sided. Bud dropped Indongo in the second round, before finishing him off in the third on a hard body shot. Indongo was down for the full ten count, while the hometown crowd in Lincoln, Nebraska, went crazy for their the now undisputed Jr Welterweight Champion.
6-Mikey Garcia UD Adrien Broner- This was a do or die fight for Broner and a fight for greatness for Mikey Garcia. Mikey certainly displayed his greatness, while currently holding the WBC strap at 135 he jumped up and dominated Adrian Broner who campaigned between 140 and 147. Garcia put on a perfect performance outboxing the ultra quick and much bigger Broner. As well as dominating AB to the body, showing off a body attack we didn’t know he possed. Garcia also opted at times to stand in and exchange with Broner and beat him at that too. Garcia dominated every moment and every aspect of the fight and took a UD by a wide margin.
7- Errol Spenco KO Kell Brook- Spence traveled across the pond to Brook’s backyard to take on the IBF champ who had never lost at the weight and had a dominant win over Showtime Porter. Spence was outboxed losing pretty much each of the first four or five rounds, but his ferocious body attack was wearing down Brook and by the 7th round or so the momentum had shifted. Spence stayed and the attack and by the 11th round Brook’s eye was swollen and his body broken down by Spence’s attack. An attack that overwhelmed and dropped Brook to one knee and rendering him unable to beat the count.
8-Yunier Dorticos KO Dmitry Kudryashov- In what ended as the knockout of the year was a masterful performance from the Cuban Cruiserweight. Dorticos’s power was obvious as every shot landed on Kudryashov could be heard with a thud by the packed crowd in San Antonio. Dorticos dominated the fight with basic 1-2’s that kept Kudryashov weary and going backward until one landed as clean as possible right on the button, dropping the Russian who fought with all his strength to try and beat the count but was unable to continue.
9-Srisaket Sor Rungvisai MD Roman Gonzalez I- Regarded by many as one of the best, if not the best, pound-for-pound boxers in the world, Roman (Chocolatito) Gonzalez suffered the first defeat of his career after appearing to mount a strong comeback from a first-round knockdown Gonzalez went down for only the second time in his career from a vicious right to the body, and Rungvisai of Thailand followed up with a strong second-round performance.With the Thai challenger taking a points advantage early. The middle rounds were back and forth and up for grabs. Rungvisai showed great stamina and conditioning in finishing well and taking late rounds and an ultra close MD. Winning 114-112 on 2 of the 3 Scorecards.
10- Tank Davis KO Liam Walsh- The Baltimore Tank was shipped over to the UK and steamrolled its British counterpart inside of three rounds. Davis overwhelmed and outclassed the then-undefeated Jr Lightweight with incredible speed and thudding power. Davis kept up an impressively high pace from the opening bell, landing jabs and left hands that forced Walsh to abandon his southpaw stance and switch to orthodox. One left in particular hurt Walsh in the third and sensing his vulnerability Davis continued landing that same punch with increasing power until he forced the first knockdown, Walsh was able to get to his feet and Davis continued his vicious attack, forcing referee Michael Alexander to stop the fight in the third.